New Urban Agenda in Asia-Pacific

Governance for Sustainable and Inclusive Cities

Editors: Bharat Dahiya, Ashok Das

Foreword: Shabbir Cheema, Senior Fellow, Ash Center, Harvard Kennedy School

Contributing Authors: Bhishna Bajracharya, Jamie Boex, Devanne Brookins, Chen Chen, Xu Chen, Ben Edwards, Chenhao Fang, Delik Hudalah, Nasir Javed, Shahed Khan, Debolina Kundu, Ammar A. Malik, Bjorn Moller, Richard LeGates, Feng Luan, Li Li Pang, Wilmar Salim, Sana Riaz, Pushpa Thambipillai, Hui Xi, Ben Yang, Hashim Zaidi, Min Zhao, Haiyan Zou

Project: Regional Workshop on Urban Governance for Sustainable Development in Asia: Access to Services for Social Equity (East-West Center, Hawai’i, USA)

Publisher: Springer, Singapore

Publication date: 2020

ISBN: 978-981-13-6708-3 (Print); 978-981-13-6709-0 (Online)


About this Book

This book explores significant aspects of the New Urban Agenda in the Asia-Pacific region, and presents, from different contexts and perspectives, innovative interventions afoot for transforming the governance of 21st-century cities in two key areas: (i) urban planning and policy; and (ii) service delivery and social inclusion. Representing institutions across a wide geography, academic researchers and development practitioners from Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America have authored the chapters that lend the volume its distinctly diverse topical foci. Based on a wide range of cases and intriguing experiences, this collection is a uniquely valuable resource for everyone interested in the present and future of cities and urban regions in Asia-Pacific.


  1. Senior Fellow Harvard Kennedy School Cambridge, MA, USA

    "In this path-setting book on the New Urban Agenda in Asia-Pacific, the world’s most economically dynamic and culturally vibrant region, the authors critically assess vital issues related to urbanization: urban planning and policy, and innovations in service delivery and access towards social inclusion. Through country- and issue-specific case studies, the author’s contributions are important toward reducing gaps between theory and practice, and identifying contextual factors that impede innovations. Though the selected countries are diverse, Bharat Dahiya and Ashok Das have done an outstanding job editing, and in identifying common patterns and challenges that will influence the New Urban Agenda’s effective implementation in Asia-Pacific over the next decade."

  2. Director, Global Solutions Division UN-Habitat, Nairobi, Kenya

    "The New Urban Agenda calls for a paradigm shift on how we plan, finance, develop, govern and manage cities. The cross-cutting principles of inclusion, innovation and integration are prerequisites for its successful implementation. This book expands the body of knowledge on what national and local authorities in diverse socio-economic contexts of the Asia-Pacific region are doing to promote sustainable urbanization, in partnership with civil society and other actors. The book extracts learnings on what to do and what to avoid. In this way, it can help to accelerate the implementation of the New Urban Agenda to support the achievement of the urban dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goals."

  3. Principal Infrastructure Finance Specialist People's Republic of China Resident Mission Asian Development Bank, Beijing, China

    "New Urban Agenda in Asia-Pacific examines some key recent developments pertaining to urban governance and planning for making cities in this economically dynamic and culturally complex region sustainable and inclusive. Its rich and diverse case studies look into various dimensions of governance and planning to clarify nuances that induce as well as impede effective urban policymaking, programming, planning, and their implementation. In doing so, this book expands our understanding of contemporary governance and planning challenges, and provides ideas to concerned stakeholders for developing future pathways that may enable their cities to effectively pursue the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals."

  4. Global Fellow Woodrow Wilson Center Washington DC, USA

    "This volume establishes a useful and wide-ranging edge in the policy conversation about governance and sustainability in Asian cities. The broad range of case studies shows deep underlying commonalities and specific idiosyncrasies-in institutional issues, decentralization challenges, service delivery and capacity strengthening-that leaders and management are faced with in cities and regions of Asia and the Pacific. The volume makes an important contribution to appreciating the role of national level planning as well. The chapters suggest many legal and policy areas that are vital to support local authorities on the front line to achieve good governance and sustainable services. Perhaps more important are the solid institutional footings required for cities to harness their creative potentials for national development in the coming decades."

  5. Bartlett Professor of Planning University College London London, UK

    "New Urban Agenda in Asia-Pacific is a timely contribution to understanding the future of our cities in Asia-Pacific, and one of the first steps towards realising the admirable vision of the United Nations for this region. The book’s scope is comprehensive. Bharat Dahiya and Ashok Das led the authors with intimate research and practice derived understanding of the region’s different contexts to fill an important gap between local knowledge and global objectives of governance and service delivery for promoting sustainable and inclusive cities."

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