Green Cities Beyond Failure: Towards Hopeful Epistemologies of Ecological Urban Futures in Asia

Aug 4, 2022, 00:00 - Aug 5, 2022, 00:00
Online Workshop

The National University of Singapore invites to this online workshop, which should encourage participants to leverage existing critical insights and identify promising roadmaps towards alternative urban ecological futures. They invite scholars who have examined “green” or eco-city developments in Asia to share experiences and reflect on ecological urban futures in ways that move beyond the generation of yet more critical case studies.


As more urban areas across the world adopt green visions, more case studies are conducted to document how these projects have yet to deliver on their environmental promises. Together, the dominant discourses reinforce a recurring and deterministic view that without radical reforms, existing political-economic structures will doom green city experiments to failure. Since such wholesale structural transformations seem far-fetched in most societies, the saturation of existing criticisms inevitably conjures up a bleak outlook on ecological urban futures. Repetition of similar criticisms is prone to overgeneralize the drawbacks of green city experiments, especially when the dominant discourse overshadows contextualized and differentiated outcomes. As a result, green cities are often viewed as ecological utopias that disguise state or market rationale to capitalize on nature, and urban scholarship on green cities seems to have hit a cul-de-sac of universal disapproval. Focusing on Asia, we acknowledge the importance of scholarly critiques of green cities but also seek to nudge the discourse beyond conclusions of inevitable failure.

Find more info and register on ARI’s website.

Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore