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Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA)
Start date: Apr 1, 2012, End date: Mar 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Asia’s mounting global importance includes a remarkable growth is urbanisation. Over 60 percent of the estimated 3.5 billion Asian population are now living in cities. A city’s most important asset is indeed its inhabitants (ADB 2008, Managing Asian Cities). If we are to address such unparalleled growth of Asian megacities, effective urban management must be informed by qualitative analytical knowledge and framed within a global, pluri-disciplinary experience that a transcontinental mobility programme such as the International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES) can provide. The challenge is for urban scholars and practitioners – policy makers or community leaders – to create a balance between the benefits and costs of urbanisation with a view of improving the quality of life of millions. The objective is to nurture more contextualised and policy-relevant knowledge on Asian cities, through exchanges and targeted case-study-based research among participants from the 11 partner institutions, with the European institutions playing a key role.Inspired by the new qualitative emphasis commanding European urban policy, the Urban Knowledge Network Asia intends to address critical urban development issues in Asia, taking into account the challenges of the diversity of urban societies, with their heterogeneous populations. The Urban Knowledge Network Asia aims, therefore, to study how Asian cities, taken as organic socio-spatial entities, manage their space and improve human liveability. To this end, the network put together by the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) aims to host a variety of research projects covering three key areas of society in relation to the planning, management and governance of the urban environment: 1) shelter/housing (the house and the neighbourhood where people live), 2) the urban environment and its impact on living conditions, and 3) the city as a cultural nexus."
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