Divergent Local Responses to Globalization: Urbanization, Land Transition, and Environmental Changes in Southeast Asia (SEAGUL)

Southeast Asia, a vast area of 4.5 million km2, is home to a population of more than 641 million. Rapid urbanization occurred over the past four decades, doubling the urbanization ratio from 24% in 1976 to 48% in 2016, with several cities have doubled urban built-up land in just two decades (HCMC, Hanoi, and Yangon from 1990 to 2010). One consequence of the rapid urbanization is the degradation of the urban environment, particularly air pollution in major cities such as Manila, Jakarta, and Bangkok. Globalization, the international integration process across economic, cultural, and political domains, has been recognized as one of the most significant driving forces ofland transitions in Southeast Asia. These forces include flows of commodity (international trade), capital (foreign direct investment), money (remittance and overseas aid), and people (rural-urban migration, and international workers, and

Our objective is to examine the interrelationships among urbanization, economic development, and environment changes under globalization in seven countries, i.e., Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, with three specific tasks:

Task 1. Urban land transition and its relationship to other land transitions

We will evaluate urban land vs. other types for the selected countries and case cities in S.E. Asia from 1990s to 2010s, derived via satellite image datasets, complemented by land cover and land use maps of the local countries and cities.

Task 2: Urban environmental changes (air pollution) patterns, drivers, and impacts

We will extract surface air pollution data of PM2.5 and NO2 for the case cities and the countries and examine how spatio-temporal patterns of urban air quality have been associated with urban land transformation, traffic congestion, and socio-economic activities in Bangkok, Manila, and Jarkarta, compared with bench-mark cities of Tokyo, Taipei and Shanghai.

Task 3. Urbanization & divergent local responses to globalization

We will use partial least squares structural equation modeling to understand the complex relationships among economic development, urbanization, and environmental conditions across scales. We will analyze why countries in Southeast Asia responded to globalization differently by examining five types of flows related to globalization and urban tele-connection:
(1) FDI driven industrialization (Metro Bangkok, HCMC, Laguna near Metro Manila)
(2) FDI driven service development (business processing outsourcing in Metro Manila)
(3) Resource extraction export (Vientiane in Lao PDR)
(4) Tourism driven (Chiang Mai in Thailand, Bagan in Myanmar, Bali in Indonesia)
(5) International migration and remittance (Cambodia and Myanmar workers in Bangkok)

This project contributes to the knowledge frontier and generates theories and models to for the co- evolved relationships between urbanization, economic development, and environment under globalization at multiple spatial scales. It integrates remotely sensed measurements with LCLUC, atmospheric models, and socioeconomic analysis and assists Southeast Asia to cope more strategically with urban, land, and environmental changes under globalization.