Toward Innovative, Liveable and Prosperous Asian Megacities

Cities play a pivotal role in national economic growth. Megacities, in particular, benefit from a large and skilled labour force, economies of scale and economies of agglomeration - that is, efficiency resulting from the clustering of firms in a given industry or related industries, as well as the resulting demand for intermediate and consumer goods. Cities also provide an ideal environment for innovation, entrepreneurship and knowledge-intensive activities. But cities differ in their degree of success in building knowledge-based economies and some are better able to stimulate innovation than others. However, there has been very little research elucidating the drivers of innovation within complex urban environments in emerging economies.

This grant will support a comparative analysis of the innovative capacity in six megacities in member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Researchers will endeavor to identify the drivers of creativity and innovation, as well as the specific strengths and weaknesses of each city's innovation system. And, they will develop a framework for integrating innovation and urban development policies since it cannot be assumed that the benefits of economic growth brought about by innovation will automatically trickle down and eradicate the severe and absolute poverty also found in these megacities. Instead, explicit objectives will be identified and incorporated into development strategies to deal with poverty and environmental challenges.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Sunday, February 15, 2009

End Date

Monday, November 12, 2012


36 months

IDRC Officer

Osir, Ellie Onyango

Total funding

CA$ 815,700


Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia


Networked Economies

Project Leader

Tereso S Tullao Jr


De La Salle University Inc.

Institution Country


Institution Website

Project Leader

Apiwat Ratanawaraha


Chulalongkorn University

Institution Country


Institution Website