Alternative Urbanities: New Perspectives on Quezon City and an Urbanizing Asia
2 December 2014
LH 111, Ricardo and Dr Rosita Leong Hall Auditorium
Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines
Organized by the Department of History, Ateneo de Manila University
The founding of Quezon City seventy-five years ago marked a significant milestone in the urban history of the Philippines and of then colonial Asia. Since then, the city has contributed to the political, cultural, social, educational, religious, and economic landscape of the nation and of the region. It has grown in terms of not only the infrastructure and the districts that constitute it, but more importantly the population that comprises it. It has become a lived experience for its citizens and denizens for the past seventy-five years. Moreover, the city projects itself into the future, with its component communities becoming a hub for many facets of human experience—technology, entertainment, the arts, politics, spirituality, academics, sports, and many others. At the same time, the city faces the challenges that usually confront large metropolises—challenges in the environment, housing, popular empowerment, transportation and mobility, health and sanitation, basic education—and create both opportunities and threats to its viability as an urban hub. Do these challenges present urban anomalies or alternative urbanities? When Quezon City was established in 1939, most Asian societies were overwhelmingly rural; yet less than a century after, Asia became home to the largest urban populations in the world. How should we understand Quezon City in light of Asia’s so-called “urban century,” and are there alternative urban paths to those taken by Quezon City and the rest of Asia?
This conference provides opportunities for scholars and academics to assess and evaluate the processes, conditions, and challenges of Quezon City’s past, constitute its present, and project its future. It aims to bring together experts from various disciplines and academic specializations to present a multidisciplinal and multidimensional scholarly assessment of urban societies and cities in Asia, most especially Quezon City. More importantly, the academic conference will be open to public school teachers and select students from the city to expose them to the many dimensions of the city’s history, culture, everyday life as explained by experts from various fields.