Workshop on Asian Urbanisms in Theory and Practice: The Future of the Vernacular City – July 1-2 ’13

On July 1-2 (Monday and Tuesday), 2013, FASS Cities Research Cluster, Urban Knowledge Network Asia, NL, ARI Asian Urbanisms Cluster, and the Future Cities Lab will hold a workshop on Asian Urbanisms in Theory and Practice: The Future of the Vernacular City. This workshop is organized by Prof Mike Douglass, Dr Rita Padawangi, and A/P Tim Bunnell. Day 1 is a closed door session and Day 2 is open, but seating is very limited and on a first come first serve basis (please RSVP to fasrda at nus . edu . sg if you’d like to attend, and include the name of the organization you represent). Day 1 features a tour of Bukit Brown in the evening (open to the public, but limited to 40 pax only). Day 2 features a walking tour of Armenian Street (the bus leaves U Town at approx. 4:30pm and the tour ends at 6pm). CityPossible II begins at the Substation at 6pm and ends at 9:30pm.

This workshop will bring together scholars in the region to assert the relevance of urban theories in practice, followed by a special focus on the vernacular city. This workshop will work towards developing an urban theory that is grounded in the complexities, diversities, and richness of cities, particularly in Asia. The separation between social and cultural emphasis in urban theories and the practicality of financial and economic considerations in urban policies is problematic and needs to be addressed. This workshop taps into the resources and the network of the Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA) that has recently started working on building urban knowledge in Asia (April 2012). In particular, this workshop will address the following three themes:

1. The Idea of the City

What is the city? The disconnect between urban theory and urban policies stems from different visions of what constitutes the city, what the city should be, and how it should function. This theme will come up with an epistemological approach to cities by looking at how knowledge of Asian cities is acquired and shaped, and by whom. The conscious move to represent Asian cities will provide updates to and will reshape urban theories to increase their relevance to broader sets of urban realities.

2. Cities by and for the People

The focus on economic growth in many developing cities has often left behind the people dimension. There have been efforts to promote participatory approaches, but eventually these approaches are secondary to financial considerations. To reassert the importance of the city as a social and cultural reality, there needs to be a thorough examination of urban residents’ opportunities and challenges in shaping Asian cities. Residents’ participation can be through various levels of participation in decision-making processes or hands-on actions in building their own spaces in the city. The objective is to integrate the theoretical importance of civil societies in determining their urban realities. This highlights the people’s role of in crafting urban places in the form of action, decision-making and policies in the actuality of Asian cities.

3. The Future of Cities

This theme will address the critical issues that define urban life and the future of urbanisation in Asia. The discourse on future cities has been much dominated by technological imaginations and utopias that confines humanities and social sciences approaches in projecting the future of cities to empirical statistics. However, technological developments are dependent upon how those technologies are socially derived, politically framed, and culturally accepted. It is important to revive the importance of urban theory to construct a holistic view of the future of cities that addresses the built environment, infrastructures, and the socio-cultural fabric.

The programme is available here. Link to event announcement at ARI website.

List of speakers and special guests:

Shrawan Acharya (Center for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT University))

Simone Bijlard (HKU)

Jorick Beijer (TU Delft)

Madhu Bharti (Center for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT University))

Yves Cabannes (UCL)

Jacob Cheong Cheok Kio (Macau Cultural Affairs Bureau)

Zhituan Deng (Center for Urban and Regional Studies, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (CURS))

Adele Esposito (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville (ENSA Paris-Belleville)

Charles Goldblum (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville (ENSA Paris-Belleville))

Claire Leow (All Things Bukit Brown, Singapore)

Liling Huang (National Taiwan University)

Xaoxi Hui (College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Beijing University of Technology (CAUP))

Song Kun (Tianjin University)

Nathalie Lancret (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville (ENSA Paris-Belleville))

Stephen Siu Yu Lau (HKU)

Ivana Lee (Sanggar Ciliwung Merdeka, Jakarta)

Rohit Negi (Ambedkar University, Delhi)

Rangarajan Parthasarathy (Center for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT University))

Philippe Peycam (Center for Urban and Regional Studies, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (CURS))

Paul Rabé (International Institute of Asian Studies, Leiden University)

Anupama Rao (Barnard College)

Neha Sami (Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS))

Qiang Sheng (Tianjin University)

Sandyawan Sumardi (Sanggar Ciliwung Merdeka, Jakarta)

AbdouMaliq Simone (Goldsmiths)

Jianxin Sun (China Academy of Urban Planning and Design (CAUPD))

Tim Simpson (University of Macau (UM))

Yongqing Xie (China Academy of Urban Planning and Design (CAUPD))

 

Venues:

Day 1, 8:45AM to 5PM:Value Lab Asia, on level 6, at the Future Cities Lab, CREATE Building, University Town, NUS. Directions to Value Lab Asia here. Beautiful photos of Value Lab Asia are here.

Day 1, 5:30PM to 7:15PM: Bukit Brown, at Lorong Halwa. Directions to Bukit Brown: go along Clementi Road to Dunearn Road, then opposite Bt Timah campus, make a left turn into Kheam Hock Road. Travel through private housing estates, then go under the PIE. Past this you will come to a T-junction (Kheam Hock Road/Sime Road/Lorong Halwa), turn right into Lorong Halwa and you will see the gate.

Day 1, 8PM to 9:15PM: Research Division Seminar Room at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, 5 Arts Link, NUS, 117570, in the AS7 Shaw Foundation Building, level 6, room 42. Directions to the Research Division Seminar Room: walk straight past the restrooms after exiting the elevator, then past the glass door on the left, and one door on the right. The seminar room is in front of you at the end of the corridor.

Day 2, 8:45AM to 2:10 PM:Value Lab Asia, on level 6, at the Future Cities Lab, CREATE Building, University Town, NUS.

Day 2, 2:10PM to 4:30PM: Theatrette, on level 2, CREATE Building, University Town, NUS. Directions to the Theatrette: When you exit from the lift, as usual, turn left and walk straight (which passes the escalator), then you will see the entrance door to the Theatrette.

Day 2, 4:45PM to 9:45PM: Walking tour of Armenian Street and City Possible II Film Festival starting 6PM at Substation, 45 Armenian Street 179936. Directions to Substation here.

 

Contact person: Rachel Amtzis (fasrda at nus.edu.sg).

About CityPossible II

Link to event announcement at The Substation.

 

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