Wednesday, December 14, 2011


The Asian Development Bank (ADB) returns to Honolulu

By Henry Curtis

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is holding a research conference at the Imin Conference Center, at the East West Center (EWC),  on December 14-15, 2011.

Two dozen or so scholars are attending the “Workshop on Urbanization in Asia.”  They are presenting papers, reviewing presentations by others and engaging in a question and answer dialogue.

Almost half of the scholars are from the United States and the rest from various Asian countries including the Peoples Republic of China, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Bangladesh.

The topics include urbanization, slums, poverty, health, quality of life, social networks, economic growth, population growth, population shifts, environmental impacts, climate change, air pollution, transportation, government planning and investments.

The opening session included remarks by Denise Konan and Douglas Brooks.

Denise Konan, Chair of the Economics Department at the University of Hawai`i, Manoa, is the incoming Dean of the College of Social Sciences:

“Just about a month ago we hosted the APEC meeting here, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting here in Hawai`i, and this topic was so central to many of the different various kinds of discussions that were happening in the context of that meeting.”

Douglas Brooks, Assistant Chief Economist of the Asian Development Bank's Economics Research Department:

“Over the next 20 to 30 years the scale of urbanization in Asia is likely to be something unprecedented in world history.  ...At the same time, it is a time in history when environmental constraints are becoming increasingly important. So we expect a lot of our discussion will be about how to properly manage the urbanization process.”

Hawai`i is also represented by

Reginald Yin-Wang Kwok, professor of Asian Studies, and professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP);

James Spencer, Director of the University of Hawai'i Globalization Research Center;

Allen Clark, Senior Fellow in the EWC’s Politics, Governance, and Security study area;

Roland Fuchs, Professor Emeritus and former Chairman of the UH Geography Department

Sumner LaCroix, Adjunct Senior Fellow, EWC and UH Professor of Economics; and

Natalie Waters, Civil Engineer at Oceanit.

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In other words they need to figure out how to get around those pesky environmentalists so they donʻt have any laws to stand on.

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