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Chong, Y. L. (1976) The evolution of the urban pattern of Southeast Asia during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This is the first attempt of its kind made to analyse the evolution of the urban pattern of Southeast Asia as a whole during the 19th and 20th centuries. The main objective of this study is to collect sufficient information and data to fill in the "gaps" in our knowledge of the development of Southeast Asian cities. It empliasizes the influence of political and socio-economic changes on the growth of urban centres both in space and time. The study brings out the essential character of the Southeast Asian cities, i.e. it shows their growth, their decay and the different stages reached in the process of urban evolution. Chapter I outlines the general characteristics of the region which have direct or indirect influence upon urban development in the past as well as present. Chapter II addresses itself to the historical development of urban settlements in the early centuries. Emphasis is placed on the genesis of sacred-capital cities on mainland Southeast Asia as well as port-cities in the maritime part of the region. The development of early colonial cities in the Philippines and Indonesia is also examined. Urban development in the last 160 years was largely the result of a long interplay of colonial economic forces. Chapter III is devoted to an analysis of the drastic political and socio-economic changes which took place in the 19th century and how they generated the new urban network in the region. The 20th century witnessed the rapid spread of towns and cities over the surface of Southeast Asia. Chapter IV examines the changing pattern and the factors which led to this unprecedented urban growth. Chapter V focusses upon the development of metropolises in the region. With the aid of maps, their growth patterns are examined and characteristics described. Within the framework of the rank-size rule, the city-size distribution of each country is examined and its hierarchal characteristics analysed. The future urban pattern is being formed by today's process of growth. The concluding chapter looks at the problems facing Southeast Asian cities. Some suggestions are raised for a national urban policy and for a more positive approach to urban and regional planning in the region.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 14:58

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