Service industries, globalization, and urban restructuring within the Asia-Pacific: new development trajectories and planning responses

TitleService industries, globalization, and urban restructuring within the Asia-Pacific: new development trajectories and planning responses
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsHutton, TA
JournalProgress in Planning

While industralization programmes have been central to the development of Asia-Pacific states and city-regions over the past half-century, service industries are increasingly important as instruments of urban growth and change. The purpose of this paper is to establish service industries as increasingly significant aspects of urban development within the Asia-Pacific, and to propose a conceptual and analytical framework for scholarly investigation within this important research domain. To this end the paper explores a sequence of related themes and issues, concerning the larger developmental implications of urban services growth (or tertiarization), the facets of urban transformation associated with tertiarization, and a preliminary typology of urban service functions which acknowledges the rich diversity of service vocations and stages of development within the Asia-Pacific. The paper concludes that “advanced services”—specialized, intermediate service industries, advanced-technology services, and creative service industries—will be quite crucial to the development of city-regions within the Asia-Pacific, with respect to employment growth and human capital formation, to the urban economic (or export) base, to the operation of flexible production systems, and to competitive advantage. The development of these urban service poles will require innovative policy commitments and regulatory adjustments, as will the multi-centred specialized urban service corridors which function as engines of regional economic growth, and which provide platforms for national modernization and responses to the pressures (and opportunities) of globalization. To date, urban and regional development strategies for service industries within the Asia-Pacific have privileged globalization, industrial restructuring, and modernization aims, but there is also an encouraging record of more progressive planning experimentation in some jurisdictions, incorporating principles of sustainability and co-operative development. There is also increasing interest in policies to support cultural and creative industries among Asia-Pacific city-regions, informed by some recent urban policy experimentation in this domain. These experiences can offer models for further policy and programmatic innovation in the 21st century, as service industries continue to play larger roles in urban and regional development within the Asia-Pacific.