1st Edition

The Shenzhen Phenomenon From Fishing Village to Global Knowledge City

By Richard Hu Copyright 2021
    210 Pages
    by Routledge

    210 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Shenzhen Phenomenon is a comprehensive and systematic study about how Shenzhen, the world’s fastest growing city, has developed into an international metropolis from scratch within 40 years.

    It unravels the decision and policy making, planning, design, and development processes that have enabled the city’s rapid growth, and associated problems and paradoxes. It also reveals the politics and power that have propelled this experimental city to spearhead Deng Xiaoping’s ‘reform and opening-up’ agenda, which has made the city and remade the nation. This book demystifies several long-held misperceptions through identifying Shenzhen’s rise as an opportunity deriving from a crisis, as a product of both grassroots ingenuity and top vision, and as both a planned city and an unplanned city.

    Produced on the 40th anniversary of Shenzhen, this timely volume not only offers a comprehensive and systematic chronicle of the city, but also opens a window to understand China’s new city making and urbanisation. It will be of interest to academics, students and practitioners in the field of urban and Chinese studies, as well as urban planning and design.

    List of Tables. List of Figures. Acknowledgements. Abbreviations. Chapter 1: An instant city  Chapter 2: The chief architect  Chapter 3: The planned and unplanned  Chapter 4: The global knowledge city  Chapter 5: The Shenzhen-Hong Kong dialectics  Chapter 6: New cities ‘made in China’  Chapter 7: The Dengist legacy in a ‘new era’


    Richard Hu is an award-winning urban planner, and a professor at the University of Canberra, Australia. His scholarly and professional interests integrate urban design, urban science, and urban policy to address contemporary urban transformations and challenges, with a focus on the Asia Pacific area. His latest book is Global Shanghai Remade: The Rise of Pudong New Area.

    "Shenzhen’s growth from a fishing village to a global metropolis of more than 13 million people and $350 billion in economic output is one of the world’s great economic miracles. But this miracle is the result of an intentional and purposeful growth strategy. Richard Hu explains Shenzhen’s remarkable growth and unveils the strategies that have brought it about in this detailed and important book." 

    Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class


    "Richard Hu’s detailed chronicle of the rise of Shenzhen tells the story of how rapid urbanisation is possible through political will, entrepreneurship, planning and institutional innovation. It is a must-read for every student and professional involved in city building. While Shenzhen was the first of the new planned cities in China, it was not the last. Hu concludes this valuable book by explaining how the cumulative experience of Shenzhen has helped inform the planning and development of Xiong’an, the country’s most recent example of a new city."

    Gary Hack, Emeritus Professor of Urban Design, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania; author of Site Planning: International Practice


    "Richard Hu provides the long overdue in-depth examination of the birth and evolution of China’s ‘urban phenomenon’, Shenzhen. Conceived by Deng Xiaoping as a window to the global economy, Shenzhen has become in its own right a ‘global knowledge city’, now running close on the heels of Beijing and Shanghai. Hu’s definitive assessment of Shenzhen helps to explain China’s economic miracle."

    Christopher Silver, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Florida