Asian cities are undergoing massive transformation in the face of globalization. Urbanization is not only part and parcel of these transformations; it is often the most visible expression of them. Three recent books explore some of these urban transformations: Marie Gibert-Flutre and Heidi Imai examine Asian alleyways as an urban vernacular threatened by globalization; K.C. Ho looks at the neighborhood scale in Asia’s cities; while Minna Valjakka and Meiqin Wang showcase how visual arts act as the “urbanized interface” of China. As I read these books it occurred to me that their topics: the alleyway, the neighborhood, and visual arts, each seemed to represent one of the three city elements outlined by David Grahame Shane in Recombinant Urbanism: Conceptual Modeling in Architecture, Urban Design, and City Theory (2005): namely: the armature, the enclave, and the heterotopia.
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- visual arts