As cities are a major part of livelihoods in Asia where half of the population lives in urban spaces, they also need to become part of solutions for ecological crises and social injustices. What would your city need to make it a greener and more inclusive space? What does the just city of the future look like? Our newest editorial on urban development invites you to reflect on your own space and the spaces around you.
In “Urban spaces – green spaces – inclusive spaces”, the FES Climate & Energy project in Asia brings together diverse perspectives from across the region on urban spaces and their development. The nine contributions analyse the social-ecological nexus in the debate around building a just city and making space for all.
Erik Akpedonu maps out how Manila´s green spaces have been wiped out by the city’s planning and its lived realities, creating spaces for consumption by the middle class rather than recreational places for all. Snehashish Mitra takes us to Guwahati in India, where environmental planning is closely linked with ideas of ethnic divides. With a focus on Vietnam, Binh Quang Le and Anh Ngoc Vu exemplify how the narrative of modernisation of a city can quickly turn into social exclusion in the Red River Zone in Hanoi. Melinda Martinus explains how urban citizens across Southeast Asia perceive climate change policies and how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted social-ecological transformations in Jakarta and Singapore and Christina Schwenkel shows how eco-socialist architecture is worth revisiting in today´s city making. Nannan Dong from China shares project examples on how the Shanghai government seeks to bring nature back into the cities and closer to its citizens. Komchai Thaiying illustrates with the Eastern Economic Corridor in Thailand what controversies of different ideas of development bring to a place. In between the longer written contributions, we invite you to view our photo essay from Chennai in which Shruti Kulkarni visualises how marginalized groups make the city their own and move around it.
Bringing together the work of our offices in the region, we provide you with the latest news on current debates, insightful research and innovative visual outputs on the future of work, geopolitics, gender justice, and social-ecological transformation.
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