Michael Douglass

Michael Douglass, Faculty, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, UH Mānoa

Professor Emeritus

Areas of Interest

Urbanization in Asia, Rural-urban Linkages, Spatial Planning Theory, Community and Civic Space, and Migration


  • PhD, Urban Planning, UCLA (1982)
  • MA Political Science, University of Hawaii (1968)
  • BA Political Science, UCLA (1967)


Mike Douglass is Emeritus Professor and former Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa where he was also the Director of the Globalization Research Center. He received his Ph.D. in Urban Planning from UCLA. From 2012-2018 at the National University of Singapore he was Professor and Leader of the Asian Urbanisms Cluster in the Asian Research Institute and Professor in Sociology and in the LKY School of Public Policy. He previously taught at the Institute of Social Studies (Netherlands) and at the School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia (U.K.). He was a Visiting Scholar/Professor at Thammasat University, Tokyo University, Stanford University, UCLA, the Korean Research Institute for Human Settlements, and NUS. He was a Research Associate at the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (Nagoya), and Senior Regional Economist for UN Habitat in Indonesia. He has been a consultant for major international development and donor agencies as well as national and local
governments in Asia.

Academic, Professional Work

1986-present Associate Professor, Professor, Chair and Emeritus Professor, Department of Urban & Regional Planning, University of Hawaii

2012-2018 Leader, Asian Urbanisms Cluster, Asia Research Institute; Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, and Professor of Sociology, National University of Singapore.

2016-2017 Consultant, Asia Foundation. “Strategic Policy Research and Action Framework for Urban Governance in Asia.” Hanoi.

2015 Advisor, Policy Strategies and Directions for City Government, Nanchong, Sichuan, China. Commissioned by the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design (Beijing).

2014-2017 Principal Investigator: Governing Compound Disasters in Urbanizing Asia. Ministry of Education, Singapore.

2014-2017 Principal Investigator, “Progressive Cities in Asia and Europe,” Université Sorbonne Paris Cité and National University of Singapore grant.

2013 Consultant, United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), Integrated Regional Planning for Sustainable Development in Asia. Nagoya, Japan.

2013 Consultant, UN Office of Sustainable Development, Knowledge and Capacity Needs for Sustainable Development in the Post Rio Era. Incheon, South Korea.

2013 Advisor to the Centre for Policy Research (New Delhi) on the Governance of Mega Cities Regions. Mumbai.

2011-2013 Consultant and author, “Lessons from the Korean Experience: The Saemaul Undong (New Village Movement).” UNRISD and the Korea International Cooperation Agency.

2009 Consultant and author, Transborder Intercity Networks in East Asia: Regionalizing Globalization for Economic Resilience (monograph). Korean Research Institute for Human Settlements, Anyang, Korea.

2009 Consultant and author, UNCHS/UNDP/UNESCAP: “Cross-Border Water Governance in Asia”. Bangkok.

2008-2013 Co-Editor, International Development Planning Review (Liverpool University Press).

2003-2012 Director and Executive Director, Globalization Research Center, University of Hawaii

2008-2011 Lecturer/trainer in graduate planning education with the Hanoi Architecture University (Ford Foundation)

2007-2008 Organizer and co-leader, Historic Preservation in a Livable City – International Perspective on the Urban Transition, Responsible Tourism and World Heritage Designation for the Han Chang’an Site, Xi’an, China. Ford Foundation, University of
Hawaii, National Taiwan University, Northwest University Department of Archeology, Xi’an.

2004-2005 Consultant and author: Port City Competitiveness and Sustainability in Pacific Asia: Busan in Comparison to Kobe, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Kaohsiung and
Singapore. OECD.

2002-2003 Consultant and author, UNCHS/UNDP: “The Urban Transition in Vietnam.” UNCHS/Government of Vietnam.

2001 Official evaluator, Contextual Evaluation Mission, Rural-Urban Partnerships Programme (RUPP), Nepal. UNDP/UNCHS, Royal Government of Nepal.

2001 Consultant and author, UNDP/UNCHS: “Pathways of Urbanization and Socio-economic Development in East Asia: Policy Research Agenda for Vietnam’s Urban Transition in a
Global Era,” Contribution Of UNDP/UNCHS (Habitat): First Meeting of The Vietnam Urban Forum, 21 May. Translated into Vietnamese as Urban Forum publication, September 2001.

2000 Consultant and author, OECD Territorial Review of Korea. “Territorial Dimensions of Development in Pacific Asia: Restructuring after the Economic Crisis.”

2000 Visiting Professor and Scholar, Asia/Pacific Research Center, Stanford University.

Selected Books and Publications

Transformations in the Governance of Urban and Regional Planning in Korea – From (Neo-) Developmentalism to Civic Democracy, 1965-2020 (Routledge, 2020), in S.H. Park and H.S. Kang,
eds, Reconsidering the Korean Urban and Regional Development Experience.

The Hard State, Soft City of Singapore (Amsterdam University Press, 2020). Co-edited with S. Chung Environmental Governance for Urban Resilience in the Asia-Pacific, Urban Studies, March, 2020, with M. Miller and J. Rigg.

The Rise of Progressive Cities East and West (Springer, 2019). Co-edited with R. Garbaye and KC Ho. Cities in Asia by and for the People (Amsterdam University Press, 2018). Co-edited with Y. Cabannes and R. Padawangi.