A postgraduate course I teach, titled Cities and Social Change in East Asia (Course code: GY438), has blog writing as an assignment. This course is an interdisciplinary course that encourages students to develop a critical
understanding of how urban space is transformed in diverse social, economic and political settings. The course is comparative in nature, taking into consideration the divergent trajectories of city-making processes in East and Southeast Asia that has experienced condensed urbanisation as well as industrialisation.
One of the key highlights of the course is the writing of a blog piece, which is a means to convey students’ knowledge to a wider audience. Each student is asked to identify a key urban issue in a city of their choice, and make use of the course teaching to write the blog. It has also been a tool to encourage students to see themselves as knowledge producer rather than passive recipients of teaching, and for them to actively engage with the site they care about.
Some of the outputs are published on this course-specific blog, Urban Asia (https://urbanasia.blog), and I am pleased to present (rather belatedly) the blogs from 2018/19 cohort, published and back-dated. The topics cover sub-divided homes in Hong Kong and collective activism, China’s investment in port city project in Sri Lanka, redevelopment ideology in Hong Kong, slum redevelopment in Hong Kong, and contestations over street market closure in Singapore.
A set of new blogs are to appear in the coming weeks, this time produced by the students from the 2019/2020 academic year.