Asian Cities

UKNA website: http://ukna.asia

Consisting of over 120 researchers with affiliations at 17 institutes in Europe, China, India and the United States, the Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA) represents the largest global academic network on Asian cities.

One of UKNA's key objectives is the nurturing of contextualised and policy-relevant knowledge on Asian cities.
The network seeks to influence policy by contributing insights that put people at the centre of urban governance and development strategies, with “human flourishing in Asian cities” as its vision. UKNA's ambition is to be an inclusive network that brings together concerned scholars and practitioners, from different countries and disciplines, engaged in collaborative research on cities in Asia.

Between 2012-2016, the network benefited from a grant of € 1.25 million from the European Union, enabling extensive research staff exchanges between its partners (see below). The UKNA synergy and the succesful completion of the EU-funded staff exchange scheme (March 2016) has encouraged the network’s partners to carry on its activities. The number of institutional partners in the network continues to grow, as does the number of institutions (both academic and non-academic) and scholars who seek to collaborate with UKNA. Until 2016, the network's focus was primarily on India and China, but from 2017 UKNA is expanding its orientation, among others to include urban development in Southeast Asia in the framework of the 'South East Asia Neighborhoods Network' programme (2017-2020). 


Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA) 2012 - 2016

Marie Curie Actions ‘International Research Staff Exchange Scheme’ (IRSES)

The International Institute for Asian Studies has been awarded a grant of € 1.25 million under the Marie Curie Actions ‘International Research Staff Exchange Scheme’ (IRSES). This is part of the European Union’s Research Executive Agency’s Seventh Framework Programme. Entitled 'Urban Knowledge Network Asia' (UKNA), the new IIAS-led programme consists of a network of 102 researchers from 13 partner institutes in Europe, China, India and the United States. The project officially started on 1 April 2012 and will run for four years.

The UKNA is the only global urban knowledge network of its kind and one of its key objectives will be the nurturing of contextualised and policy-relevant knowledge on Asian cities. This will be attempted via a series of research staff exchanges and specifically targeted case-study-based research, pursuing three avenues of inquiry: 

1. Ideas of the City
2. Cities by and for the people
3. Future of Cities 

IIAS is the coordinating institute, with Paul Rabé acting as overall coordinator. The partner institutes are the Architecture Faculty of the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville in France, and the Development and Planning Unit (DPU) of University College London in the United Kingdom.

The Chinese partner institutes are the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design (CAUPD) in Beijing as well as the Beijing University of Technology, Tianjin University, the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS) and Hong Kong University. India is represented by the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) in Bengaluru, Ambedkar University in Delhi, and the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University in Ahmedabad. The University of Southern California’s School of Policy, Planning and Development (SPPD) in Los Angeles is the UKNA’s United States partner.