Vol. 3, No. 2 (2007): 43–64.
This paper identifies links between (i) the emergence of a global niche in food processing export industries such as those in Vietnam and similar regions of Southeast Asia, (ii) new forms of governance associated with these dispersed but densely settled industrial regions that result in a highly decentralized model for water service provision institutions, and (iii) some of the potentially emerging health challenges associated with such rapid peri-urbanization, changing consumption patterns, and decentralized provision of basic infrastructure. Such settlement and institutional transitions have made the job of the urban planner more complicated even as it may increase the level of threat to human and environmental security through the emergence of previously unknown diseases like avian influenza or the re-emergence of formerly controlled ones such as dengue fever.
James H. Spencer is an Associate Professor in the Urban Planning, Political Science and Co-Director of the Globalization Research Center at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. His writings focus on public policies related to regional development and labor market dynamics, local approaches to infrastructure provision, and the intersection of urban planning and health. His research has focused on Southeast Asia and the US, and has appeared in Urban Affairs Review, Journal of Planning Education and Research, Policy Studies Journal and Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.