Academic journal article Journal of International Affairs

Developing Living Cities: From Analysis to Action

Academic journal article Journal of International Affairs

Developing Living Cities: From Analysis to Action

Article excerpt

DEVELOPING LIVING CITIES:

FROM ANALYSIS TO ACTION

Seetharam Kallidaikurichi and Belinda

Yuen, editors

(Singapore: World Scientific, 2010),

316 pages.

Developing Living Cities is a collection of essays from experts on urban planning in Asia, which is home to eleven of the twenty-five largest cities in the world. The collection is cautiously optimistic about the future of Asian cities. While they are centers of economic productivity, manufacturing and largescale employment, many of these cities face problems of social inequity, pollution, overcrowding, traffic congestion and worsening quality of life.

The task of planning cities is a difficult one, and urban planners need a framework that helps assess the efficacy of interventions. The authors develop a "living cities" framework that judges policies along six dimensions: whether the policy facilitates competitiveness, builds efficient and affordable infrastructure, increases the reach and reliability of transportation and communications, encourages e-governance, maintains a clean environment and creates adequate housing options.

The book unpacks each component of the framework with case studies from Asia. Singapore, a city-state that has seen unprecedented development, is used as a test bed for applying the framework in its entirety. …

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