International Institute for Asian Studies
Asian Cities - With a special eye on contemporary developments, IIAS aims to explore the longstanding Asian urban "tradition", by exploring the origins of urbanism and urban culture in different parts of Asia and linking the various elements of city cultures and societies, from ancient to modern (colonial and post-colonial) times | Read more
Asian Cities close

The "Asian Cities" cluster explores modes of urban development in Asia, and deals with cities and urban cultures with related issues of flows and fluxes, od ideas and goods, cosmopolitism, "métissage", and connectivity at their core, framing the existence of vibrant "civil societies" and political micro-cultures.

Asia is experiencing a process of increasing human concentration built upon ancient urban traditions at a pace never before encountered. This unprecedented rate of change brings with it tremendous transformations framing new expressions of social, cultural and political modernity.

Keeping a close eye on contemporary developments, the cluster seeks to explore the longstanding Asian urban 'tradition', by discussing the origins of urbanism and urban culture in different parts of Asia, and by linking the various elements of city cultures and societies, from ancient to modern (colonial to postcolonial) times.

Through an international knowledge network of experts, research institutes and cities, it aims to create a platform for scholars and urban practitioners focusing on Asian cities 'in context' and beyond traditional western norms of knowledge, with the potential to evolve into a broad multi-disciplinary corpus contributing to the actual development of Asian cities today.

SEANNETIIAS-CSEAS Winter School: Mapping the Aesthetics of Urban Life in Asia: A Dialogue with the ArtsUKNA Macau Winter School Urban Heritage in Taipei

Asian Cities Updates

11 December 2017

A two-day symposium on the relationship between rivers and cities.


In December 2016, UKNA (Urban Knowledge Network Asia) held a five-day event in Delhi, India, entitled Revisiting Delhi: Urban Heritage and Civic Services, combining a decentralized city-museum proposal to the local government with discussions on the...


Dibrugarh, an important city for trade, commerce and education in eastern Assam has had a fascinating history of destruction and renewal since the 1950s. It was one of the highest revenue collecting cities in post-colonial India at the time of the transfer of power in 1947. Following the large-...


Dimapur is not an easy city to govern, with or without dogs. Close to 400,000 people live here and an increasing number of people from rural Nagaland are moving to Dimapur in search of livelihoods. It is the largest city in Nagaland and possesses the only airport and railway station in the state...


The Indian border state of Sikkim has remained relatively detached from the rest of India owing to its cultural distinction and geographical isolation from the Indian mainland. However, over the recent decade state-induced economic liberalisation, evinced in private hydro-power projects,...


On 23 August 2016 the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) undertook a rally in the capital of Tripura, Agartala, demanding a separate state for indigenous people. During the rally, a minor scuffle between members of IPFT and Bengali Hindu residents spiralled into a full scale riot, in...


I look here at the existing infrastructure that supports the proliferation of Aizawl-based newspapers in contemporary Mizoram and argue that government institutional structures, once intended to suppress and censor the print media, have become an integral part of the creation of content for the...