Book launch: Tropical Constrained Environments and Sustainable Adaptations
A book co-edited by Dr Simona Azzali and Dr K. Thirumaran investigates resource-constrained environments in the tropics and subtropics where people’s lives and businesses are affected, and adaptations occur periodically.
In resource-constrained environments, successful communities and businesses survive through their strong intuitive and forward-looking adaptations. A new book – “Tropical Constrained Environments and Sustainable Adaptations” – delves into the role of urban planning and design in the promotion of business and adaptations of people and communities. Additionally, the book focuses on the effects of expanding populations, growing migrant flows, business needs on the built environment of land-constrained territories, and more.
Dr Simona Azzali, lecturer and researcher in Urban Design at James Cook University (JCU) in Singapore, co-edited the book with Dr K. Thirumaran, Academic Head of Business at JCU in Singapore. The book includes book chapter publications from several academics from a number of different universities, the JCU Singapore Business School, as well as undergraduate students and graduate students, prospective PhD candidates and sessional staff in the fields of business and tourism.
Among the myriad of chapters and insights included in the book are a strategic framework that highlights the need for community participation in the process of tourism development in constrained environments – with implications that will prove helpful for researchers, policymakers and especially the tourism industry – and research that examines how urban planners have embraced the issue of food security.
Through the diverse chapter contributions, the book sheds light on constrained environments across a multitude of disciplines – such as architecture and planning, tourism, business and public policy. As a result, three themes emerge from the book:
- Enabling Resources with Sustainability Goals
- Attracting Business with Local Frameworks
- Designing and Planning for Urban Communities
In the book, Dr Azzali shares, “The Tropics are home to nearly half the world’s population, have rapid population growth forecast, and significant economic and social inequality challenges. Significant urbanisation is underway in Southeast Asia. By 2030, an additional 90 million people are forecast to move to ASEAN cities. These urban populations are expected to triple by 2050. Issues like poverty, inequality, unsustainable energy consumption and declining infrastructure will shape government and business decisions for years to come. While our tropical environment is urbanising faster and faster, we are often unable to cope with—and adapt to, the challenges brought by these changes. What processes can be used to reduce inequities and injustices in the tropical built environment? Climate change, natural disasters and, most recently, infectious disease as COVID-19 have revealed the vulnerability of our cities and urban habitats. For vulnerability, we refer to the inability of a system or a unit to withstand the effects of a hostile environment, community or coloniser.”
She adds, “It is critical to find creative and sustainable but also very concrete solutions to address most pressing urban issues and build tropical resilience and developing research and design capability in areas related to urbanisation and sustainable adaptations in the tropics, by engaging with industry and bridging academic knowledge and real-world issues to create better tropical environments.”
While there is plenty more to explore in the study of tropical constrained environments, “Tropical Constrained Environments and Sustainable Adaptations” is a strong start. Readers of the book, especially those interested in social sciences and humanities – including urban studies, urban planning, urban design, geography, tourism, business, and public policy – will benefit from the diverse insights and highlights of life in the Tropics, and discover practical insights to build better environments and create social change.
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