The Globe as you know it is changing.
Coming June 2019

  • More thought-provoking stories that inspire
  • Independent, free and member-supported
  • Vote for, pitch and commission stories
  • Member engagement with our journalists

To understand more about why you are so important to our member-supported initiative, we encourage you to read the following from our managing editor ~ Read more

The Globe as you know it is changing.

Since 2007, Southeast Asia Globe has been a space for some of the region’s best writers and photographers to take our readers behind the headlines into the stories that shape people’s lives. Every month, you could expect to pick up our latest print edition and find high-quality journalism, analysis and artwork waiting on every page. And since 2007, we’ve fought to uphold our promise of quality and independence to you, our readers.

But, like we said, the world is changing. Print publications just aren’t reaching the audiences they need to fulfil their promise of informing, educating and entertaining the public. Advertisers continue to invest in digital platforms while printing costs creep ever higher. Print may not be dead, but it’s fighting for its life. And we’re tired of waiting by a sickbed for its condition to improve. We want to be present at the birth of something new.

That’s why Southeast Asia Globe is relaunching as a member-driven platform featuring daily long-form features combining world-class journalism with enthralling art design and data-centered tech. Through our core pillars – Power, Money, Life and Earth – we are focusing in on the central issues that our readers have always engaged with most, with the same in-depth coverage of politics, business, social affairs and the environment that you’ve come to expect since 2007.

But leaving print behind us doesn’t just save our backs from lugging stacks of magazines across Southeast Asia. It opens up a global readership who don’t just want to read the news, but have a say in the stories that we tell and the way that we tell them. We’re not asking you to take out another magazine subscription – our stories are open to all. What we’re offering our members is a space where they can pitch and vote on the stories that they think deserve to be told. We want to inspire an engaged and active community of members who vote for, comment on and contribute to the stories that matter most to them. We want to work with our members to curate the way they engage with the news – not just as readers, but as an active extension of our editorial team.

That’s how we’re changing to bring you great stories. Here’s how we’re not.

We’re independent. Always have been, always will be. We’re not owned by any corporation or aligned with any state. We choose the stories that we tell, and the way that we tell them.

We’re creative. We’re not interested in churning out breaking news stories on the hour, every hour. We believe that the best stories are the ones that come alive on the page, digging deeper into the issues that shape Southeast Asia – and bringing you along for the ride. From our dedicated designers to our new software development team, our commitment is to constantly challenge ourselves to find new ways of reaching out to our readers.

We’re open. Challenging governments, NGOs and businesses to be transparent with the public means nothing if we keep our own readers in the dark. That’s why we will be completely open about why we tell the stories that we tell – and how we pay for them. Work with us to build something that endures where many media fail, and decide with us exactly where that money is going.

Above all, we’re optimistic. And yeah, we know what you’re thinking. Faced with impending climate collapse, the rise of right-wing authoritarian governments across the world, widening wealth and income inequality and deepening divisions rooted in race or gender or creed, it’s hard not to open the papers and feel the weight of the world pressing down. But we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe that when people work together, they can make their little corner of the world a more just, open and equal place.

And that’s why we can’t do this without you. We believe that across the globe is a community of people who care deeply about social justice, environmental action and press freedom – and who will join in to help make those ideals a reality. We’re not just holding our hand out – we need your voice to play a vital role in building Southeast Asia Globe into a leading space for progressive causes in the region. Tell us what stories the mainstream media is missing. Share with us the causes that matter most to you, and how we can champion those causes not just across Southeast Asia, but the world.

Our vision is clear. By 2025, we want to be recognised for building a great space for outstanding journalists from across the region to explore new ways of telling Southeast Asia’s most vital stories. Let’s bring together a community of engaged and loyal members who want to help reshape the media rather than just read it. And we want to reach a point where our readers, not advertisers, are the ones working to support our shared vision of an inclusive media.

We can’t do this without you. Let’s get together and build something that we all believe in.

If you’re interested in joining us, sign up to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. And watch this space.

Long-term planning the key to sustainable cities

By: David Hutt - Posted on: March 18, 2016 | Business

Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones of Newcastle University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape discusses the future of Southeast Asia’s cities

What are your thoughts on the ways Southeast Asian cities are developing?
The growth in population and the relative growth of economic fortunes for many cities will continue to make Asia a location of choice for investment. This will continue to transform the landscape of cities as property and real estate demands put pressure on existing urban areas. The externalities of that growth will comprise more urban congestion if infrastructure and transport schemes fail to keep pace with growth. Housing and property prices will also increase dramatically in some places, causing possible gentrification of some areas of cities and pressure on existing residents. This may lead to increased migration across and between cities. 

Mark Tewdwr-Jones
Mark Tewdwr-Jones

A further issue is the relative position of cities and their populations’ needs for basic resources, such as water and food. This suggests that cities will consume more and rely on rural areas for imports. The more land that is taken for urban development, the more the rural as a resource for the urban is threatened long-term. We have already seen that countries such as China are buying up land in other countries for Chinese food production. This suggests that a balanced and long-term approach is needed in cities to ensure short-term decisions do not compromise those cities’ longer-term needs.

Why else is long-term planning important for cities?
We know that politicians and businesses prefer to see instant results, but short-term perspectives often create solutions that are not innovative. They’re great for politicians wanting to be seen cutting ceremonial ribbons and for businesses looking to make quick profits. But they’re very much the easy option. 

Short-term perspectives deny the impact of longer-term global economic trends on individual places; they deny the longer-term impact of extreme weather events and environmental impacts; they deny the social polarisation that growth sometimes unleashes for different citizens and smaller businesses in cities; and they deny the effect growth has on service delivery and public infrastructure that can effect entire cities.

Governments need to employ a long-term perspective of change. Some urban problems develop incrementally over much longer time frames. We need to take a synoptic perspective of urban change as it is happening, looking at individual component parts like energy, housing, transport, health and education but seeing how all these interact with each other in unique spaces. Our intelligence and data needs to be better, we need to develop scenarios to look at ‘what if’ situations caused by extreme environmental and economic uncertainty, of major demographic change such as ageing, and of migration across nations. These are the issues that will create shocks to nations and cities; we can’t always stop them from happening, but we can prepare for them in better ways.

In what ways can city authorities make sure that economic goals are combined with social and environmental goals?
Cities that benefit from strong central government intervention to support economic conditions and make infrastructure developments will remain at an advantage but will only make for successful cities if they balance economic goals with social and environmental wellbeing… We know that some of our biggest cities suffer from adverse environmental conditions such as pollution.Governments often see the environment as separate to economic development, but we really need to start to view them as inseparable.

How can authorities go about engaging the population with their efforts to develop cities?
Nations have embarked on a range of innovative public engagement processes to shape places over the past 30 years. We are not necessarily talking of initiating new bottom-up democratic processes that challenge existing government structures. Rather, we are thinking of more creative ways to enable citizens – and, for that matter, smaller business owners – to have a much more prominent voice in shaping city futures. 

China’s use of urban planning museums in major cities, such as those in Shanghai and Chongqing, provide unique opportunities to engage people in novel ways. These are now being copied in the UK with plans for community- or university-run ‘urban rooms’ in every town and city.

Keep reading:
Can Singapore’s smart city vision be a model for the region?” – From smart dustbins to driverless buggies, Singapore is building a responsive city and the rest of the region can follow suit