New Economic Spaces in Asian Cities: From Industrial Restructuring to the Cultural Turn

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Peter W. Daniels, K.C. Ho, Thomas A. Hutton
Taylor & Francis, Apr 27, 2012 - Architecture - 320 pages
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The East and Southeast Asia region constitutes the world’s most compelling theatre of accelerated globalization and industrial restructuring. Following a spectacular realization of the ‘industrialization paradigm’ and a period of services-led growth, the early twenty-first century economic landscape among leading Asian states now comprises a burgeoning ‘New Economy’ spectrum of the most advanced industrial trajectories, including finance, the knowledge economy and the ‘new cultural economy’. In an agenda-setting volume, New Economic Spaces in Asian Cities draws on stimulating research conducted by a new generation of urban scholars to generate critical analysis and theoretical insights on the New Economy phenomenon within Asia.

New industry formation and the transformation of older economic practices constitute instruments of development, as well as signifiers of larger processes of change, expressed in the reproduction of space in the city. Asia’s major cities become the key staging areas for the New Economy, driven by the growing wealth of an urban middle and professional class, higher education institutions, city-based inter-regional movements and urban mega-projects. New Economic Spaces in Asian Cites animates this New Economy discourse by means of vibrant storylines of instructive cities and sites, including cases studies situated in cities such as Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Singapore. Theoretical and normative issues associated with the emergence of the new cultural economy are the subject of the book’s context-setting chapters, and each case study presents an evocative narrative of development interdependencies and exemplary outcomes on the ground.

New Economic Spaces in Asian Cities offers a vivid contribution to our understanding of the ongoing transformation of Asia’s urban system, including the critical intersections of global and local-regional dynamics in processes of new industry formation and the relayering of space in the Asian metropolis. The synthesis of empirical profiles, normative insights, and theoretical reference points enhances the book’s interest for scholars and students in fields of Asian studies, urban and cultural studies, and urban and economic geography, as well as for policy specialists and urban/community planners.


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As Asian economies grow, we can expect the increasing rise in land values. Real estate developers in turn would have to churn out the most economic yet viable spaces. Architects then would try their best to make the most of these forms into living spaces. In-migration to population to urban centers would increase. Traffic would abound. How much of these scenarios can be aided with the use of technologies remains to be seen. All these are expected, as we strive to be competitive in the new global economies. 


1 Contextualizing the transition from industrial restructuring to the cultural turn in Asian cities
Situating the cultural turn in the Asian city
The new cultural economy and the reconstruction of space in Asian cities

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About the author (2012)

Peter W. Daniels is Professor of Geography, University of Birmingham, UK.

K. C. Ho is Vice Dean (Research) and Associate Professor of Sociology at Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore.

Thomas A. Hutton is Professor in the Centre for Human Settlements at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

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