07 NOV 2019 (THU) | 14:00-14:45 | 15:15-16:00 | 16:30-17:15 |
Map Library, Rm10.10, 10/F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Dr Creighton Paul CONNOLLY
Lecturer, Development Studies and the Global South, School of Geography, University of Lincoln in UK
Worlding Cities Through Transportation Infrastructure
This presentation focuses on large-scale infrastructure (re)development in Penang, Malaysia, known as the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), which is envisioned to modernise Penang’s infrastructure and boost economic growth. In doing so, it analyses the ways in which mid-sized cities attempt to ‘globalize’ through the redevelopment of urban infrastructure, particularly transpor-tation infrastructure. However, the PTMP has been highly controversial given its significant socio-environmental impacts and its alleged incompatibility with the city’s unique heritage landscapes. The presentation analyses the Penang State Government’s vision for the PTMP, before turning to an alternative strategy and critique of this plan put forth by local civil society organisations, which they have called ‘Better, Cheaper, Faster’. As I demonstrate, both plans make use of worlding strategies in ‘selling’ their particular vision for the city’s future, but the ways they do so are marked-ly different. In reviewing this case, the presentation challenges the conceptualisation of inter-referencing and urban modelling practices as currently documented in the literature on worlding. What is novel in Penang is the way local stakeholders identify comparable cities outside of the Global North as models to follow, rather than established mega- or ‘world’ cities, which act as more realistic reference points. In doing so, the paper highlights key technologies of governance that are being used to counter the neoliberal worlding strategies put forth by city managers. Subsequently, I will outline how I intend to develop this research further through future research on large-scale in-frastructure projects in Melaka and Southeast Asia through China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Dr Ben GERLOFS
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Princeton University, USA
Comparative Urbanism and Conceptual Chimaeras: Ethnographic Evidence from Mexico City on the Prospects of Global Juxtapositions
This presentation draws on several years of ongoing ethnographic research in Mexico City to articulate a novel conceptual apparatus for understanding neighborhood change, known locally as blanqueamiento (‘whitening’). In contradistinction to the imported global language of ‘gentrification’, organizing residents from certain rapidly changing neighborhoods and their intellectual and political allies have fashioned this tool to collectively better address the intertwined morphologies of the political, financial, demographic, socio-cultural, and aesthetic changes with which they now contend in their daily lives. In this presentation, I will outline the contours of this concept and some of the changes it is used to describe, placing this intervention on academic and political languages within a broader set of contemporary debates about comparative urbanism, academic hegemony, and the limits and potential of global approaches to urban form and process. I will also briefly introduce a methodological framework keenly attentive to the difference that place can make in these debates, and a novel set of interdependent methods I am provisionally calling an ‘aesthetic survey’ that, I argue, holds unique potential for juxtaposing localized processes with extant global patterns of urban change.
Dr Wei HUANG
Planner, Ministry of Transportation, Ontario in Canada
Modeling and Understanding How People Interact with Urban Environments Using Data-driven Methods
How people live, work and play in cities plays an essential role in designing and building a city, and understanding urban mobility patterns and social phenomenon. Recent decades, cities have become more diverse and complex than ever before, leading to a variety of urban problems. To deal with such unprecedented challenges, one key solution is to understand the mechanism of the interaction between citizens and urban environments. This talk reports models and findings on urban activity and mobility patterns and their influences on urban systems using machine learning technologies, big spatial data, and spatial analytics.