Background- Southeast Asia contains some of the most populous and fastest growing cities in the world. While they are still developing, many feature high-rise developments and several of the world’s tallest buildings.

-This model was developed in 1967 by T.G. McGee. It is sometimes called the McGee Model. McGee studied several cities in Southeast Asia and discovered that they shared certain aspects of land-use. Some similarities include:

Old colonial port zone surrounded by a commercial business district
Western commercial zone
Alien Commercial Zone(dominated by Chinese merchants)
No formal central business district (CBD)
Hybrid sectors & zones growing rapidly
New Industrial parks on the outskirts of the city

- As the model shows, no CBD is visible. However, several components of the CBD are present in separate areas in the city. Basically the components of the CBD are clustered around the port zone. The Western commercial zone for western businesses. The alien commercial zone is dominated by the Chinese who have migrated to other parts of Asia and live in the same buildings as their businesses. These are Chinese merchants. And then there is the mixed land-use zone that has miscellaneous activities including light industry. There is also a separate area known as the government zone near the center of the model. Also note the mixed- land use zone contains various economic uses which can include informal business.
-The focal point is the Port Zone reflecting a city oriented around exporting.

Key Concepts:

-The Southeast Asian City Model is similar to the Latin American (Griffin-Ford) City Model in that they each feature high-class residential zones that stem from the center, middle-class residential zones that occur in inner-city areas, and low-income squatter settlements that occur in the periphery.
- The main difference between the two models is that the Southeast Asian City Model features middle-income housing in suburban areas. This reflects the larger percentage of middle-class citizens that reside in the peripheral regions than those of Latin America. This may reflect a smaller MC in Latin-American cities by comparison.
-Due to the alien commercial zone these cities also experience a blended culture but also strong ethnic ties.

Where it applies:

Many of the medium-sized cities in Southeast Asia have the strongest similarities. Since these cities are developing rapidly, aspects of the city are subject to change. However, as the city continues to develop, it is likely that the middle-class region will expand.

  • It is also important to note that the Southeast Asian City model does not explain why the areas were formed but rather points out trends and patterns.

Examples of the model:
Kuala Lampur, Malaysia
Jakarta, Indonesia