Transnational Asian Cities

Transnational Asian Cities (TACs) such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Mumbai, which are increasingly dependent on technological and financial services infrastructure, are undergoing rapid, profound, and asymmetrical transformations as they reshape themselves around a host of erratic flows, both local and global. Today, state borders are being eroded by human migration and by the unprecedented circulation of capital and technologies. Movements of labour and commodities, as well as changing natural environments, are producing an ever more intense interconnectedness with profound implications for well-being, disease, and the cultural imaginary of urban communities.

The CHM collaborative Transnational Asian Cities project draws together experts from cultural studies, anthropology, social history, communication studies, science and technology studies, urban planning and cultural geography to investigate the impact of new virtual networks on the health of communities in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Mumbai. Each of the three cities is increasingly functioning as a node in a global network, but each is developing distinct versions of the network society and manifesting different forms of sociability. The study seeks to investigate the differences and commonalities between the cities, with a particular focus on how these new networks are shaping conceptualizations of health, illness and disease. On a practical level, the study evaluates the impact of these technologies on the delivery of healthcare.

Transnational Asian Cities: Health, Virtual Networks, and Urban Ecologies considers how - and to what extent - advanced telecommunications, the internet and computerized systems are facilitating decentralization and in the process producing new network configurations that fundamental change individual and community understanding and experience of urban space(s). Whilst some attention has been paid to the manner in which this new network architecture is changing patterns of production and consumption, little study has yet been made of the health implications of these technological transformations. The CHM project asks: How are new networked communities making use of technologies to secure their health? How are changing patterns of sociability produced by these transformations shaping the ways in which individuals and groups imagine their health, illness, disease and risk? To what extent is global interconnectedness leading to local disconnection with consequences for health? And how are these networks being reconfigured in relation to new health challenges and threats in the twenty-first century?

For further information about Transnational Asian Cities, please contact Prof Gray Kochhar-Lindgren.