This is the blog for the biennial field course to Southeast Asia offered through the University of Pittsburgh’s Urban Studies Program and Study Abroad Office. The course is designed to give upper-level students the opportunity to travel to cities in the region for a two-week research course to evaluate urban processes and morphology. The course emphasizes an approach rooted in human geography as a key element for urban research, and extends the writing intensive capstone for urban studies seniors. Singapore and Kuala Lumpur are presently the two focus cities.
This course provides students with the opportunity to extend pre-existing research interests in Southeast Asian urbanism with on-site evaluation of urban processes in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Both research sites share cultural and historical legacies as postcolonial cities in the Malay world, yet since independence, each city followed a different pattern of development. This mixture of similarity and difference makes these cities interesting sites for comparative research. On-site instruction focuses on patterns of Asian urbanism, landscapes of consumption, and sustainable city development. Practicums on field research methods enhance the walking tours and observations.