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Seminar: SSD

Friday, April 15, 2016, 10:00am - 11:00am


Urban-Rural Landscapes: Planning Desakota Futures

Prof. Stephen Cairns
Program Director
Future Cities Laboratory
Singapore-ETH Centre

This talk will outline research recently begun at Future Cities Laboratory on ‘Urban-Rural Systems’. It is focused on the complex patterns of set­tlement emerging in the hinterlands of many large cities in Southeast Asia, the Indian sub-continent and China.

All cities have their hinterlands of one kind or another. This study is specifi­cally interested in the hinterlands of cities surrounded by tropical, wet-rice agriculture. It has this interest in part because many cities in Asia are surrounded by this kind of agriculture. More importantly, such hinterlands have very specific ecological, economic and demographic character­istics, which mean they interact with nearby urban centres in distinctive ways. Most notably, wet-rice agriculture sup­ports relatively high population densities with fine-grained land-use patterns. When cities encroach upon such areas, the rural does not immediately give way to the urban and instead a hybrid rural-urban typology emerges. Sometimes dubbed desakota landscapes (Indonesian for ‘village’ and ‘city’), they are neither strictly urban nor rural in character, but a mixture of both.


SSD Conference Room, Drilon Hall