Southeast Asia Neighborhoods Network (SEANNET)

SEANNET supports the development of contextualised knowledge about neighbourhoods in Southeast Asian cities. The programme provides an alternative epistemology of the city by unearthing new knowledge about Southeast Asian cities and re-assessing cities through the methodological lens of what happens at the micro-urban (i.e. neighbourhood) level. The local research and findings will help frame the development of a new urban pedagogy in the form of Southeast Asia-specific theories and methodologies that can be applied both inside and outside the classroom. 

Phase 1 of SEANNET (2016-2021) was led by IIAS, with financial support from the Henry Luce Foundation (New York, USA), and focused on six historic neighbourhoods selected as SEANNET case studies in five countries in the region: Mandalay (Myanmar), Chiang Mai and Bangkok (Thailand), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Manila (Philippines), and Surabaya (Indonesia). In each city, SEANNET consists of a team of local researchers headed by a local and international principal investigator.  

Phase 2 of SEANNET (2022-2027) is entitled 'Communities of Learning, Research and Teaching Collaborative (SEANNET Collective)' and is led by Dr. Rita Padawangi at the Singapore University for Social Sciences.

In this phase, the programme has expanded, with the addition of seven new sites, including Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei Darussalam), Singapore; Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Dili (Timor Leste), and Jayapura and Batu (Indonesia). The extension is funded by the Henry Luce Foundation's LuceSEA Initiative. It features a five-year collaborative research, education, and capacity-building programme to strengthen and expand the reach of SEANNET towards long-term sustainability. SEANNET Collective has three goals: to enhance conceptual inquiry, develop collaborative research and pedagogical approaches with institutions of higher education, and expand the network for a more comprehensive coverage of urban Southeast Asia.

SEANNET team members in New Haven, USA, during the final workshop in SEANNET phase 1 at Yale University, March 2023. (photo: Paul Rabé)