Research Clusters

      Team

      Core members

      Main Theme

      Background

      The issues of sustainable development are being increasingly refocused, from preservation of natural environments to resource distribution in Asia’s congested mega-cities. These processes — resource entitlements and property rights, citizenship and migration, rapid social polarization and the future relation of cities to changing hinterlands — need innovative analytic scrutiny. Governance performance and legal disputes may be key analytical lenses to understand these interrelated processes.

      Building Blocks

      The first conference, held in 2010 at the University of Hong Kong, consisted of four panels: 1) Political ecology of the city 2) The civic and the public in urban environmental conflicts 3) Built environments and green design 4) The social life of urban infrastructure. Twelve presentations on urbanism, ecologies and sustainable development in Asian cities were delivered to an audience of academics, policy-makers, urban planners and students. The conference expanded its intellectual discussion into policy debates by involving NGO leaders and government officials from Hong Kong, China and other Asian regions. Members of the Civic Exchange, a highly respected environmental think tank in Hong Kong led by Christine Loh, briefed the participants on their work. They led a walking tour through old neighborhoods in the Sheung Wan/ Central District, where conflicts between development and conservation are intense.

      Environmental Sustainability, Political Ecology and Civil Society

      The first conference, held in 2010 at the University of Hong Kong, consisted of four panels: 1) Political ecology of the city 2) The civic and the public in urban environmental conflicts 3) Built environments and green design 4) The social life of urban infrastructure. Twelve presentations on urbanism, ecologies and sustainable development in Asian cities were delivered to an audience of academics, policy-makers, urban planners and students. The conference expanded its intellectual discussion into policy debates by involving NGO leaders and government officials from Hong Kong, China and other Asian regions. Members of the Civic Exchange, a highly respected environmental think tank in Hong Kong led by Christine Loh, briefed the participants on their work. They led a walking tour through old neighborhoods in the Sheung Wan/ Central District, where conflicts between development and conservation are intense.

      “Ecologies of Urbanism in Asia II: Cities, Towns, and the Places of Nature” was the second conference organized by the cluster in June 2014. 31 participants from various top institutions in Hong Kong, India, Europe and North America took part in 5 panel sessions organized around the following themes: 1) The cultivated city 2) Conservation in the city 3) Building and dwelling in the city 4) The work of water in the city 5) City and technology. Following two and a half days of intensive discussions, participants went on a walking tour around sites of colonial as well as local cultural interest in Hong Kong and a field trip to Macau.

      Environmental Sustainability, Political Ecology and Civil Society

      “Ecologies of Urbanism in Asia II: Cities, Towns, and the Places of Nature” was the second conference organized by the cluster in June 2014. 31 participants from various top institutions in Hong Kong, India, Europe and North America took part in 5 panel sessions organized around the following themes: 1) The cultivated city 2) Conservation in the city 3) Building and dwelling in the city 4) The work of water in the city 5) City and technology. Following two and a half days of intensive discussions, participants went on a walking tour around sites of colonial as well as local cultural interest in Hong Kong and a field trip to Macau.

      The third conference “Death and Life of Nature in Asian Cities” took place in June 2018. Five themes, namely, 1) Planning and unruly nature 2) Nature in the built environment 3) Nature and urban danger 4) Nature of distress in the city 5) Nature and food in the city, will be discussed in the meeting. The group plans to turn the papers into an edited book volume.

      Output

      Publications

      2017 Sivaramakrishnan, K., Rademacher, Anne M. (eds.), Places of Nature in Ecologies of Urbanism, Hong Kong University Press. (Details)

      2013 Sivaramakrishnan, K., Rademacher, Anne M. (eds.), Ecologies of Urbanism in India: Metropolitan Civility and Sustainability, Hong Kong University Press. (Details)

      Events and Activities

      • Workshops

      Workshop on “Urban Ecologies in Asia III: Death and Life of Nature in Asian Urbanism” (June 14 – 16, 2018) (Details)

      Workshop on “Urban Ecologies in Asia II: Cities, Towns, and the Places of Nature”, (June 9 – 12, 2014) (Details)

      Workshop on “Urban Ecologies in Asia I”, (March 12 – 14, 2010) (Details)