Douglas Webster was a consulting professor at APARC from January 1999 - 2003. Webster has worked on urban and regional development issues in East Asia for twenty-five years, as an advisor to international organizations, East Asian governments, and the private sector. He was professor of planning at the University of British Columbia, the Asian Institute of Technology, and the University of Calgary, where he directed the urban planning program. His current interests focus on peri-urbanization in East Asia--the dynamic rural-urban transition process underway near large East Asian cities. Webster is currently senior urban advisor to the Thai Government (NESDB) and the East Asian Urban Unit (EASUR) of the World Bank.
Webster worked closely with Thomas Rohlen and James Raphael on the "Urban Dynamics of East Asia" project. In 1999, they taught a course on "Cities and Urban Systems in East Asia" that served as a catalyst for exploring developing ideas related to understanding urban development trajectories in East Asian cities--a key focus of the project. In 2000 and 2001, Webster taught a course on "Managing the Urban Environment in East Asia". Webster's recent publications have focused on comparative peri-urbanization in East Asia, application of strategic planning approaches to urban management, and the dynamics of change in post 1997 Bangkok. Through the World Bank, Webster is currently engaged in policy dialogues on urbanization with three Asian nations: China, the Philippines, and Thailand. In addition, he is a member of the team producing the World Bank's East Asian urbanization strategy that will be released shortly.
Webster and his colleagues on the Urban Dynamics project have recently been awarded a grant from the Ford Foundation to study comparative peri-urbanization in China.