Eco-cities as an Assemblage of Worlding Practices


  • Zack Lee Department of Environmental Planning, Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



Eco-cities are gaining attention in policy and academic circles over the past few years. Yet they pose difficulties as objects of study since they have been diversely defined and implemented. This paper argues that eco-cities are better understood as an assemblage of worlding practices. Combining these two concepts foregoes the emphasis on the eco-city’s physical structures and focuses more on its policy environment and its relations with other locations. The case study being examined is the Philippine’s Clark Green, the country’s first eco-city project. Its main proponent is an independent government agency, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), tasked with developing former military locations for civilian uses. Their vision is to create a world-class project built by international stakeholders in order to elevate the status of the Philippines and the Filipinos. They have chosen to emulate the Songdo International Business District in South Korea as their benchmark model. Not only are they adopting the ideas of a smart city but also similar strategies to enter the international education and logistics industries. The paper will show how the BCDA uses the eco-city idea as a tool to enter various national and international discourses that extend beyond the project’s geographical boundaries. Yet the strategies and visions of an independent government-owned corporation are tempered by challenges from local stakeholders, conflicting national priorities, and failures from similar policies applied elsewhere. The paper highlights the need for worlding projects to be embedded in their own national context for greater policy coordination.


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How to Cite

Lee, Z. (2015). Eco-cities as an Assemblage of Worlding Practices. International Journal of Built Environment and Sustainability, 2(3).