This course is part of the Contemporary China Studies Programme Summer Sessions 2018, and is taught in Shanghai, China in collaboration with Fudan University. The aims of the course are (1) to elucidate urbanization, urban transformation ‘with Chinese characteristics’, and current-day Chinese urban life; (2) to debate the fascinating comparative perspective vis-à-vis highly urbanized western societies; (3) to illustrate sustainable development in Chinese fashion; and (4) to scrutinize this specific metropolis.
This course delves into urbanization and the dynamic metropolitan transformation in the Chinese context. Since a few decades, China’s geography and ‘face’ is being transformed at an unprecedented rate by urbanization and urban development, whereby its society is rapidly transitioning into an urban one. The ramifications for diverse groups in Chinese society are wide-ranging. Increasingly, the cities are the places where economic and social development in China under reform and globalization, changes in politics, governance, and culture are being played out. At the same time, Chinese urbanization and city development is occurring under circumstances that – economically, institutionally, socially and culturally – diverges significantly from the ‘Western’ context. As a result, city expansion, intra-urban restructuring, the transformation of cityscapes and the reshaping of the lives of city dwellers have distinct characteristics. Significantly, the economic, environmental, and human costs of recent relentless change are currently engendering a reorientation of urban policy and planning towards ‘Sustainable and Resilient Cities’.
The aims of the course are first to elucidate urbanization, urban transformation ‘with Chinese characteristics’, and current-day Chinese urban life. Second, to debate the fascinating comparative perspective vis-à-vis highly urbanized western societies. It challenges participants to confront current metropolitan development and transformation occurring in the distinct Chinese institutional environment with ideas and principles of urban development and urbanisms pertaining to the own home context. Third, to illustrate sustainable development in Chinese fashion. No doubt, the Shanghai Metropolis epitomizes many of the processes and features elucidated above. A fourth aim of the course then is to scrutinize this specific metropolis.
Focus on Shanghai and Yangtze River Delta region
Over the past decades, Shanghai has developed into China’s prime metropolitan area, located in coastal East China, in the Yangtze River delta. While its rich history is still visible in the ‘downtown’ area, recent rapid expansion and transformation reflects its role as prime engine of China’s post-reform transition and modernization. Today, Shanghai is a global city from a business perspective, a center of management and innovation to the domestic economy, the place of residence for over 20 million Chinese citizens, a significant part of whom have migrated from elsewhere in China. Shanghai is a microcosm of urban transition and social transformation in contemporary China, evident in its diverse and dynamic ‘cityscapes’, ranging from the disappearing (and some renovated) central ‘Shikumen’ areas, Pudong New Area to the New Towns in suburban districts. Shanghai is the core of a ‘network megalopolis’ in the Yangtze River Delta. Few other mega-urban regions in the world match its demographic and economic power.
Assc. Prof. dr. Leo van Grunsven
In case you apply for two consecutive courses at CCSP Summer Sessions in Shanghai, you will receive a discount of 20% on the tuition and housing fees of the second course.
Contemporary China Studies Programme Summer Sessions 2018