Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo
Urbanization has been a fixture in the development of most countries in South-East Asia for more than 40 years. The massive and rapid growth of urban agglomerations, such as Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila and, more recently, Ho Chi Minh City, forced planners and urban managers to focus, at least initially, on finding solutions to housing demands and a massive need for basic infrastructure (water, sewerage, electricity and transport). Urban policies and interventions were – and in many places still are – based on simple physical terms: the number of people, houses and roads and the area covered. These remain key factors. But with the number of cities and urban dwellers increasing and systems of cities becoming more intricate, it is clear that a more complex notion of ‘urban’ is needed. Urban planning ministries, local government officials and development organizations are under pressure to design programmes that respond to the needs and demands of urban people; to do it effectively, they need to incorporate new and more complex dimensions into their plans. The essays in this publication highlight some of these ‘new urban’ dimensions.
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