This book examines the active role of urban citizens in constructing alternative urban spaces as tangible resistance towards capitalist production of urban spaces that continue to encroach various neighborhoods, lanes, commons, public land and other spaces of community life and livelihoods. The collection of narratives presented here brings together research from ten different Asian cities and re-theorises the city from the perspective of ordinary people facing moments of crisis, contestations, and cooperative quests to create alternative spaces to those being produced under prevailing urban processes. The chapters accent the exercise of human agency through daily practices in the production of urban space and the intention is not one of creating a romantic or utopian vision of what a city "by and for the people" ought to be. Rather, it is to place people in the centre as mediators of city-making with discontents about current conditions and desires for a better life.
Yves Cabannes is an Urban Planner and activist, Emeritus Professor of Development Planning and former Chair (2006-2015) of the Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU), University College London, UK. He holds a Ph.D. in Development Planning from Paris Sorbonne University.
Mike Douglass is Emeritus Professor of Urban Planning, University of Hawaii. At the National University of Singapore (2012-2018), he was a Professor at the Asia Research Institute. His research includes globalization and the city, progressive cities, creative communities, and environmental disasters.
Rita Padawangi is Senior Lecturer at the Singapore University of Social Sciences. She received her PhD from Loyola University Chicago. Her research interests include participatory urban development and social movements. She is co-coordinating the collaborative Southeast Asia Neighborhoods Network (SEANNET) and is the editor of the Routledge Handbook of Urbanization in Southeast Asia (2019).