Seemingly messy and chaotic, the landscapes and urban life of cities in Asia possess an order and hierarchy that often challenges understanding and appreciation. With contributions by a cross-disciplinary group of authors, Messy Urbanism: Understanding the “Other” Cities of Asia examines a range of cases in Asia to explore the social and institutional politics of urban informality and the contexts in which this “messiness” emerges or is constructed. The book brings a distinct perspective to the broader patterns of informal urban orders and processes as well as their interplay with formalized systems and mechanisms. It also raises questions about the production of cities, cityscapes, and citizenship.
Messy Urbanism will appeal to professionals, students, and scholars in the fields of urban studies, architecture, landscape architecture, planning and policy, as well as Asian studies.
Manish Chalana is associate professor of urban design and planning at the University of Washington. His work focuses on urban design, urban history, historic preservation, and international planning and development.
Jeffrey Hou is professor and chair of landscape architecture at the University of Washington. He is the editor of Insurgent Public Space: Guerrilla Urbanism and the Remaking of Contemporary City.
“The rubric of ‘messy urbanism’ is a productive antidote to the binaries that have limited a productive discussion about urbanism in Asia. This book is a significant contribution in understanding the inherent nature of the built environments in aspiring democracies—an emergent urbanism that seamlessly embraces the incremental, temporal, and ephemeral as given conditions in the formation of Asian cities.”
—Rahul Mehrotra, Architect / Professor of Urban Design and Planning, Harvard University
“This book is of a high quality, with multiple examples from Hong Kong and China. The authors have covered the topic admirably and I expect the book to attract a wide readership.”
—Vinit Mukhija, Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Urban Planning, UCLA