Remaking China's Great Cities : Space and Culture in Urban Housing, Renewal, and Expansion book cover
1st Edition

Remaking China's Great Cities
Space and Culture in Urban Housing, Renewal, and Expansion

ISBN 9780415695909
Published August 11, 2014 by Routledge
256 Pages 103 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

China’s rapid urbanization has restructured the great socialist cities Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou into mega cities that embrace global capitalism. This book focuses on the urban transformations of these three cities: Beijing is the nation’s political and cultural capital; Shanghai is the economic and financial powerhouse; and Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong Province and the regional center of south China. All are historical cities with rich imperial, colonial, and regional heritages, and all have been drastically transformed in the last six decades.

This book examines the cities’ continuous urban legacies since 1949 in relation to state governance, economic reforms, and cultural production. By adopting local historical perspectives, it offers more nuanced accounts of the current urban change than the modernization/globalization paradigm and conceptualizes the change in the context of the cities’ socialist, colonial, and imperial legacies. Specifically, Samuel Y. Liang offers an overview of the urban planning and territorial expansion of the great cities since 1949; explores the production and consumption of urban housing, its spatial forms, media representations, and socio-political implications; and examines the state-led redevelopment of old urban cores and residential neighborhoods, and the urban conservation movement.

Remaking China’s Great Cities will be of great interest to students and scholars working across a range of fields including Chinese studies, Chinese culture and society, urban studies and architecture.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Part I: Planning and Expansion 1. Urban planning and cellular urbanism 2. Utopian urban forms and linear urbanism  Part II: Housing and Culture 3. Reinventing home as private retreat 4. The developer’s real estate culture 5. Homeowner subjectivity and social stratification  Part III: Renewal and Conservation 6. Rebuilding political centers 7. Rebuilding urban slums 8. Spoliation and conservation 9. Epilogue: Resistance to capitalist urbanization

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Samuel Y. Liang is Associate Professor of Humanities and the Coordinator of Chinese Studies at Utah Valley University, USA.


"Remaking China’s Great Cities is on the whole a strong contribution to our knowledge about urban transformation in the PRC. It has opened new windows onto this huge topic and deserves attention from urban scholars across disciplines." - Max D. Woodworth,  The China Quarterly 2015

"Samuel Liang’s latest book, Remaking China’s Great Cities: Space and Culture in Urban Housing, Renewal, and Expansion gives a comprehensive overview of rapid urbanization in China since 1949...This book explores multiple dimensions of urbanization in China substantiated by well-illustrated case studies. It is highly readable and makes a valuable contribution to our knowledge about Chinese urban development trajectories from historical perspectives." - Hing-wah Chau, The University of Melbourne, China Information 29 (3)