South East Asia and Australia

Howard Dick and Peter J. Rimmer

in The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199589531
Published online April 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

South East Asia and Australia


This article first reviews the historical trajectories of South East Asian cities. It then discusses urban governance and the state, identifies the present urban hierarchy, and explores urban dynamics by linking regional identity to the international connections as revealed by airline networks. South East Asian urbanism has distinctive features that arose from the exigencies of a tropical monsoon climate and from associated cultural patterns. At the same time, modern technologies are easing the constraints of climate and leading to more conformity with Western urban norms. Notwithstanding its proximity to South East Asia, Australia remains a separate continental region, trading heavily with north-east Asia, but oriented by sentiment, culture, and security ties towards the United States and Europe. Culturally, Australia used to be strongly Anglo-Celtic in character, though underpinned by a White Australia Policy. Since 1945, however, immigration has shifted first to Europe and more recently towards Asia, resulting in a more vibrant multicultural society.

Keywords: South East Asian cities; urban governance; urban development; urban dynamics; regional identity; urbanism

Article.  9540 words. 

Subjects: History ; Asian History

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