ABSTRACT

As noted in the Introduction, the purpose of this textbook is to provide “a multidisciplinary and comparative introduction to the emerging world of the Pacific,” presenting the Pacific Basin as a coherent unit of study and aiming to bring together area studies with traditional subject-based disciplines. While remaining committed to a structured comparison, this chapter, which analyzes urbanization patterns across the Pacific Basin, begins by re-blurring the analytical distinction between areas and themes— as my key units of analysis, namely cities, are of course both places and subjects. In fact, the interdisciplinary academic field of critical urban studies not only draws from both place-based area studies and disciplines such as sociology and geography, but also from applied fields such as planning, design, and (landscape) architecture.