Beyond Metropolis studies planning and governance in the regions surrounding the twelve cities in Asia with populations over ten million: Tokyo, Mumbai, Kolkata, Dhaka, Delhi, Shanghai, Jakarta, Osaka, Beijing, Karachi, Metro Manila, and Seoul. These regions are greater than cities plus suburbs: for almost all, development has sprawled into the surrounding countryside, enveloping villages, towns, and small and medium-sized cities, creating “extended metropolitan regions.”

These areas, argues Aprodicio A. Laquian, are the centers of development for their countries: they represent huge markets; large and varied labor pools; and centers of politics, education, and culture. Beyond Metropolis examines these mega-urban regions in terms of governance and sustainability; water, transportation, and housing; and the twin questions of inner-city redevelopment and satellite area development. The author embraces, on the one hand, unified regional planning and, on the other, cooperative efforts by urban residents for addressing their own problems. Beyond Metropolis builds on studies conducted during the 1990s at the Centre for Human Settlements, University of British Columbia.

Aprodicio A. Laquian directed the Centre for Human Settlements from 1991 to 2000 and is professor emeritus of the University of British Columbia. His career has embraced both academic and government service for the Philippines, the United Nations, Canada, and the United States. He was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2002–2003.


Tables and Figures

Joseph S. Tulchin


1. From Mega-Cities to Mega-Urban Regions

2. Planning Asia’s Mega-Urban Regions

3. The Governance of Mega-Urban Regions

4. Are Mega-Urban Regions Sustainable?

5. Planning and the Management of Water Resources

6. Managing Mobility in Mega-Urban Regions

7. Inner-City Redevelopment

8. Developing the Urban Periphery

9. Housing and Basic Urban Services

10. Toward Viable Mega-Urban Regions in Asia


Beyond Metropolis should be read by planners and scholars beyond Asia.”—Tim Brunnel, Pacific Affairs

“Highly readable…. A book likely to leave the reader wanting to learn more of what lies beneath the dynamism.”—Giok-Ling Ooi, ASEAN Economic Bulletin

“A useful synthesis, bringing together information and analysis over a wide range of topics and providing a reasonable introduction to planning and governance in giant Asian cities.”—Douglas McCallum, Urban Studies

“This is an outstanding work of research and synthesis.”—Robert Fishman, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan

“A useful and instructive introduction for undergraduate and graduate students. Researchers and practitioners…will also benefit from reading it carefully.”—Peter J. Marcotullio, International Development Planning Review

Beyond Metropolis is a book of great value.… The way he conceptualizes urban problems and contextualizes planning suggestions could instigate new ways to think about the Asian city.”—Nihal Perera, Canadian Journal of Urban Research

“Laquian’s Beyond Metropolis not only provides a detailed analysis, but also serves as a handbook for good urban management. It shows the complexity of issues that should be taken into consideration before preparing a comprehensive strategy for sustainable development of modern cities.”—Maciej Chowaniok, Regional Studies

“This is a very important book and it is very much needed. The best features are its examples drawn from extensive and in-depth knowledge of many mega-urban regions in Asia, and its broad coverage in terms of topics.”—David Mammen, President, The Center for Good Governance