The Newsletter 55 Winter 2010

The state of cities in China

Bogdan Stamoran

The high-speed city building of reform-era China will soon yield an agglomeration of many large, non-agricultural settlements. China’s massive, geographically clustered urban core will repeat itself via a common set of distinguishable spatial manifestations. The stories of individuals’ plights and everyday life were irrelevant to the planning of this spatial spread. Instead, a totalising utopian vision, with the city itself as a subject, dominates the propagandistic narrative of urbanisation. Will the upgrade of infrastructure, some of which includes unprecedentedly fast high-speed rail, redeem conceptual planning biases by interconnecting the splatter-patterned urban spots across the country?

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