Asia-Pacific-U.S. Urban Dialogue Program

Across the world a massive demographic shift is underway. For the first time in human history, more people now live in cities than in rural areas. In the next 20 years, the world’s population will grow from 7 billion to more than 8 billion people. The urban population will grow even faster, from 3.5 billion to 5 billion. Complex demographic and economic trends are propelling people into this new urbanized world, where hundreds of cities will be built and expanded to accommodate migration and growth–particularly in Asia.

The rapid transformation of cities and towns into massive urban megaregions has created unprecedented political, economic, socio-cultural, ecological, and physical changes. Today national and local governments, the private sector, and civil society are facing a sense of urgency as they work to adapt, innovate, and prepare to accommodate the future billions in sustainable, efficient, and inclusive cities that can foster productivity and continued economic growth.

This surge in urbanization is forcing a rethinking of the relationship between national and local governments and creating new power centers outside of the traditional political hierarchy. The rapid growth of megacities and midsize cities has strained existing urban administrative systems, which are struggling to respond to new challenges in virtually every aspect of human organization. Government, civil society, and corporations must all take a new look at urban planning strategies, infrastructure, lifestyles, welfare needs, employment, housing, transportation, health care, food, shelter, and basic social interactions. They must learn to more effectively work collaboratively and adapt and innovate to solve the problems of today while simultaneously preparing for future growth. Their achievements will largely define the 21st century.

Since 2008 the East-West Center’s Asia-Pacific-U.S. Urban Dialogue has examined the complex human costs of urbanization and innovative solutions for creating more liveable cities of the future.

Our Distinctive Approach

Small, roundtable dialogues that encourage lively and frank peer-to-peer exchanges on current trends, key issues and best policy options for managing the urban transition.

A diverse, high-level group of city leaders, policymakers, urban planners, civil society and business leaders, experts and scholars from across Asia and the U.S. who share their experiences and strategic visions for creating more liveable cities of the future.

Interdisciplinary, multi-country examination of critical concerns and innovative solutions that provide participants with a deeper and common understanding of urban challenges faced across Asia and in the West.

Three-day seminar on the relaxed and informal campus of the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, U.S.A.

Each Seminar Focuses on These Core Questions:

  • What new tools and innovative strategies are available and how can we, as decision-makers, use them to generate more effective policy responses to manage urban growth?
  • How do we mobilize diverse populations, governments, institutions and civil society organizations to forge a common plan of action?
  • How can we ensure that social equity is an inherent part of the urban growth process?



For more information regarding the Urban Dialogue, contact

Ms. Meril Dobrin Fujiki
Seminars Development Coordinator
East-West Seminars
East-West Center
1601 East-West Road
Honolulu, Hawaii 96848-1601
Phone: 1-808-944-7352
Fax: 1-808-944-7600