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Messy UrbanismUnderstanding the "Other" Cities of Asia$
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Manish Chalana

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9789888208333

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888208333.001.0001

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Untangling the “Messy” Asian City

Untangling the “Messy” Asian City

(p.1) Chapter 1 Untangling the “Messy” Asian City
Messy Urbanism

Jeffrey Hou

Manish Chalana

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter outlines the rubric of “messy urbanism” in terms of its significance, threats, and theoretical frameworks. Messiness is simultaneously a range of urban conditions and a notion that we attempt to unpack and challenge in this work. Here, messiness denotes urban conditions and processes that do not follow institutionalized or culturally prescribed notions of order. It suggests an alternative structure and hierarchy as well as agency and actions that are often subjugated by the dominant hierarchy, including notions of spatial and visual orders as well as social and political institutions and cultural norms. In this book, by examining a range of cases and contexts that span from Northeast Asia to South Asia, we are interested less in the distinct spatial and formal properties of specific locations and structures per se, but more on the social, spatial, and institutional politics of messiness, and the context in which messiness has been constructed. More precisely, we are interested in the questions that messiness raises with regard to the production of cities, cityscapes, and citizenship.

Keywords:   Messy urbanism, Urban planning in Asia, Asian city, Asian urbanism, Cityscapes

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