Asian Cities

Emerging Civic Urbanisms in Asia. Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore and Taipei beyond Developmental Urbanization

Im Sik ChoBlaž KrižnikJeffrey Hou

In parts of Asia, citizens are getting increasingly involved in shaping their neighbourhoods and cities, representing a significant departure from earlier state-led or market-driven urban development. These emerging civic urbanisms are a result of an evolving relationship between the state and civil society. The ten contributions in this volume provide critical insights into how the changing state-civil society relationship affects the recent surge of civic urbanism in Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, and Taipei, and present cases of grassroots activism and resistance, collaboration and placemaking, neighbourhood community building, and self-organization and commoning in these cities. Exploring how citizen participation and state-civil society partnerships contribute to more resilient and participatory neighbourhoods and cities, the authors use the concept of civic urbanisms not only as a conceptual framework to understand the ongoing social and urban change but as an aspirational model of urban governance for cities in Asia and beyond.


Im Sik Cho is Associate Professor and director of the Master of Urban Planning programme at the National University of Singapore’s Department of Architecture.

Blaž Križnik is Associate Professor of urban sociology at the Hanyang University, Seoul and researcher at the Institute for Spatial Policies, Ljubljana.

Jeffrey Hou is Professor of Landscape Architecture and director of the Urban Commons Lab at the University of Washington, Seattle.