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In a recent post I mentioned that I would return to provide some thoughts on regional urbanisation.

Well, this is that post, although credit for most of the work and insights will belong elsewhere.

My source is some commendable research on Climate Change and Urban Planning in Southeast Asia by Belinda Yuen and Leon Kong on behalf of SAPIENS that can be found here.

My first graph come from there (source here), depicting…

Estimates and Projections of Southeast Asia Urbanization (to the year 2020)

 

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(W: World, B: Brunei, C: Cambodia, I: Indonesia, L: Lao PDR, Ma: Malaysia, My: Myanmar, P: Philippines, S: Singapore, T: Thailand, TL: Timor-Leste, V: Vietnam)

There is clearly a LOT of potential explanations in there, but nothing particularly stands out to me. Anybody else see anything noteworthy?

The second graph also comes from that same SAPIENS source (see here for the source graphic), depicting…

Rate of change (%) of Southeast Asia Urbanization

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(W: World, B: Brunei, C: Cambodia, I: Indonesia, L: Lao PDR, Ma: Malaysia, My: Myanmar, P: Philippines, S: Singapore, T: Thailand, TL: Timor-Leste, V: Vietnam)

Again there is a lot there. In Indonesia/Malaysia/the Philippines the rate of urbanisation  expected to slow. Perhaps the primate cities in those respective countries are reaching their limits as a percentage of the population? If so, that suggests that Thailand, which is set to massively increase its percentage of urbanised population, could see massive growth in Bangkok. Do any readers see anything remarkable?

I must admit at this point I am largely speculating, as it is largely impossible to comment meaningfully (or at least without excessive speculation) on these trends without an awareness of broader population trends which I just don’t have access to here/now.

I will think further and update this post with further thoughts later.

UPDATE – Ok, now I have access to some of the data required to draw meaningful conclusions from the graphs above. I found it here, but have lost the inspiration to go through the significant volume of data searching for the relevant information. Neverheless some of the graphs in the link are so good I’m sure I will revisit it sooner or later.

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