Resource Urbanisms

Asia’s divergent city models of Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and Hong Kong

This report presents the key findings of the Resource Urbanisms project that LSE Cities  led between 2015 and 2017. The research, supported by the Kuwait Programme at the LSE Middle East Centre, focuses on two natural resources, land and energy, and explores their relationships with city form, housing and mobility. It analyses these relationships through a comparative case study approach by focusing on Kuwait and Abu Dhabi in the Gulf, and Hong Kong and Singapore in East Asia. Both the Gulf and East Asian case studies have similar income levels, but exhibit contrasting forms of urban development. More importantly, Kuwait and Abu Dhabi are endowed with vast natural resources (land and oil), while Hong Kong and Singapore possess limited natural resources, making them useful cases for comparative purposes.

The research is based on a mixed method approach  developed by LSE Cities and the project partner, the  European Institute for Energy Research (EIFER). This approach compares the evolution of urban forms and  infrastructure and uses remote sensing, energy modelling, transport accessibility analysis and data visualisation  at multiple spatial scales to uncover and establish  relationships between different variables. The research developed a new metric, urban living area (ULA), to  represent more accurately the land where urban living  takes place. 

Publication date
November 2017
Principal Investigator
Philipp Rode Executive Director, LSE Cities and Associate Professorial Research Fellow, LSE
Research and Project Coordinator
Alexandra Gomes Research Officer,LSE Cities
LSE Cities Research Team
Muhammad Adeel, Research OfficerFizzah Sajjad, ResearcherJenny McArthur, Researcher
Case Study Leads and Experts
Sharifa Alshalfan, Kuwait Research Lead and Visiting Fellow, LSE Cities and LSE Middle East Centre Peter Schwinger, Abu Dhabi Research Lead and Independent Consultant Devisari Tunas, Singapore Research Lead and Scenario Coordinator for Archipelago Cities, Future Cities Laboratory, ETH Singapore Christiane Lange, Hong Kong Research Lead and Lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture, Hong Kong University Clemence Montagne, Abu Dhabi Research Co-Lead and Adjunct Faculty, Paris-Sorbonne University Abu DhabiSteffen Hertog, Associate Professor in Comparative Politics, Department of Government,
LSEEIFER Research Team
Andreas Koch, Head of Energy Planning and Geosimulation Syed Monjur Murshed, Research Officer Jochen Wendel, Research OfficerAlice Duval, Research Assistant
Production and Graphic Design Emily Cruz, Outreach Manager, LSE Cities Peter Griffiths, Managing Editor, LSE Cities Atelier Works, Graphic Design Nadia Hage, Translator of the Arabic Executive Summary Jacqui Lewis, Copy editor
Download PDF (English)
الملخص التنفيذي (Arabic summary)