Urbanisation has in the milieu of urban history revealed itself to both be an effect and a cause of societal shifts originally instigated by the onset of industrialisation. So closely allied is urban growth with industrial advancement, and so significant are they in terms of how a society observes itself, that they collectively act as an age marker, a symbol that denotes cultural progression from the traditional to the modern. In such a context this work offers to explicate arguably the world’s most evolutionary, cutting-edge urban building society – China – a nation increasingly distancing itself from its heritage, and rural foundation as part of its process of social and cultural advancement. Accordingly an analysis of the urban perspective of China’s contemporary development is given, in so doing appraising China’s post-1978 state-society relationship, and the nation’s grasp of modernity, albeit via the prism of urban design. Putting forward an appreciation of how the evolving Chinese economic and political strategy has manifest a radically different urban landscape in terms of its scale, density, complexity, and meaning, the work shall additionally elucidate the significance of the modern Chinese city concept. This is to be achieved by centring upon issues like the clearing and redeveloping of city districts, the construction of skyscrapers, and the naming of exclusive housing enclaves. In summing up the proposal explicates two key matters. Firstly, the redefining of China’s cities in ‘abstract’, and its significance for the country with its ever more intimate ties to globalised forces. Secondly, how architecture, planning, and urbanisation have been not only utilised but encouraged by the elites to emit the benefits of the modern age.
|Keywords:||Modernity, China, Metropolises, Urban Design|
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, NT, Hong Kong
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