A headshot of Architecture Professor Nick R. Smith


On May 17, 2021, Nick R. Smith, assistant professor of architecture and urban studies, published a review essay in The Journal of Asian Studies, titled “Rural Perspectives on Asia’s Urban-Rural Relations.” In this article, Smith reviews two books about rapid urban expansion in East Asia: Kristen E. Looney’s Mobilizing for Development: The Modernization of Rural East Asia and Jonathan Rigg’s More than Rural. He credits these works with bringing a “much-needed rural perspective to urban-rural problematics.” Specifically, Looney and Riggs’ books explain how rapid expansion of urban cities in East Asia has exacerbated extreme poverty in rural areas that rely on smaller-scale agriculture for food security and employment. 

While much research on urban development operates from a Euro- and urban-centric viewpoint, Smith points out that both books emphasize the fundamental need for rural development as a source of poverty alleviation and food security