[Webinar Series: Leaders Shaping the Future of the Indo-Pacific]
The Future of Cities in Asia: Smart Cities Pursuing the Well-Being of Citizens

This event now concluded. Video available here



  • Speakers:
    ● Jaeseung JEONG (Professor, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)
    ● Erwin VIRAY (Professor, Singapore University of Technology and Design)
  • Moderator: Fiona WILSON (Asia Bureau Chief, Monocle)
  • Date: Friday, March 26, 2021, 7:00–8:00 pm (JST)
  • Venue: Online
  • Co-organized by: Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting, Asia Society Japan Center, Shahani Associates Limited
  • Supported by: Japan Foundation Asia Center, MRA Foundation, Tanaka UK Japan Educational Foundation
  • Language: English / Japanese (with simultaneous interpretation)
  • Admission: Free

Asia is the region of the world where megacities are most concentrated. Yet three issues are arising questioning the trend of metropolitanization that has continued since modernization. First, the risks of population concentration that have stood out with the spread of Covid-19. Second, concerns about the working environment where the development of digital technology has made working from home and decentralization of work possible. Third, more fundamentally, doubts from those concerned with well-being about the urban model of society where efficiency and economic growth are pursued above all.

We will invite two experts from Korea and Singapore, which have made pioneering efforts in terms of anti-Covid measures and digitalization, to hear what they think the future of cities in Asia may look like based on the latest developments and issues in their respective countries.

Recording of the livestream

*If you would like to watch in Japanese (simultaneous interpretation), please click here

Jaeseung JEONG (Professor, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)

photo: JeongJaeseung Jeong is currently a professor in the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering and the Head of the Graduate School of Transdisciplinary Studies at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). After receiving his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in physics from KAIST, Jeong worked as a postdoc associate in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University and as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University. His research topics include brain dynamics of decision-making, computational modeling of neuropsychiatric disorders including depression, addiction, and dementia, Brain-Robot Interface (BRI), and brain-inspired artificial intelligence. He was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2009 and has also received several awards from the scientific community, publishing more than 90 research articles for such journals as Nature, Nature Medicine, and Nature Communications. He has been working as a master planner of the Sejong smart city national pilot project since 2018.
Erwin VIRAY (Professor and Head of Pillar, Architecture and Sustainable Design, Singapore University of Technology and Design)

photo: VirayPrior to joining the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Erwin Viray was the Global Excellence Professor at the Kyoto Institute of Technology (KIT), where he served as head of the Graduate School of Architecture and Design and chief communications officer for the Kyoto Design Lab. Outside of teaching, Viray has held several leadership roles, including serving on the board of TOTO Gallery “MA” in Tokyo, the advisory council for the Barcelona Institute of Architecture, and the Singapore President’s Design Awards jury—for which he has served as chair since 2013. He has authored or co-authored several books and has written numerous articles for specialized journals and magazines on architecture, while serving as an editor of the a+u (Architecture + Urbanism) magazine since 1996. He holds a B.S. in architecture from the University of the Philippines, an M.E. in architecture from KIT, and a D.Eng. in architecture from the University of Tokyo. He is inspired by Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative, which seeks to understand how architecture and design can work with new technologies to create new experiences and spaces.
Fiona WILSON (Asia Bureau Chief, Monocle)

photo: WilsonFiona Wilson, originally from London, has been writing about Japanese design and architecture for many years. She spent several years as Asia Editor of Wallpaper magazine before becoming Asia Bureau Chief at Monocle magazine. She resides in Tokyo and has travelled up and down Japan meeting artists, artisans and architects. She recently edited The Monocle Book of Japan.


*The webinar series Leaders Shaping the Future of the Indo-Pacificseeks to introduce new leaders, ideas and initiatives that will shape the Indo-Pacific region in the coming years.