The new face of peri-urbanization in east asia: Modern production zones, middle-class lifesytles, and rising expectations

Douglas Webster, Jianming Cai, Larissa Muller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


This article assesses the changing nature of peri-urbanization processes and outcomes in East Asia. East Asia has experienced industrially driven peri-urbanization to a greater extent than any other world region over the last four decades. While manufacturing remains a key driver, rapid economic and social transformations in the region are creating more diversified and complex "second-generation" peri-urban landscapes. Higher value economic activities, global transaction space (e.g., airport complexes), and new building technology are transforming modern production zones. New lifestyle trends of East Asia's growing middle classes and improved transportation networks are fueling large capital investments into leisure and tourism facilities and residential communities, including second home residences, in these urban peripheries. Major social and environmental changes are also playing out in this highly contested space, driven by a complex mix of heightened consumer awareness, multinational investors, and the rising aspirations of local actors. The article concludes by identifying policy implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-333
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Urban Affairs
Issue numberS1
StatePublished - May 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies

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