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what if … you built the whole mass of western europe in 20 years?

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what if 400 million farmers then moved in? what if it happened between now and 2020?

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what would it look like? how would it work? would it be easy to get around? 

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would there be jobs? would it be dense? green?

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would you be able to go to sleep at night? 

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and if you did, would you dream of somewhere else …? 
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The Chinese Dream
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– a society under construction

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010 Publishers, Rotterdam 2008

neville mars adrian hornsby

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ATION FOUND 会 CITY NAMIC 市 基 金 DY 城 动 态

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China is not arranged in any necessary order, but an experience of China must start in one place, and then move on to somewhere else. Similarly with this book, there is no single throughroute. It is the product of numerous authors from divers fields all confronted with the same three items: China, urbanization, and the year 2020. Transecting the different chapters is a lexicon of
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common terms and key concepts, and hyperlinks which cross-connect passages and images. A red asterisk (*) indicates a link, referring readers either to the glossary at the back of the book (DATAHUB), or elsewhere in the body. Relevant asterisked terms are listed on the bottom of the right hand page, with coordinates to glossary terms [glo], images [img], and text [txt].
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1. INTRODUCTION Neville Mars / Adrian Hornsby 2. PUC* Saskia Vendel 3. KEEP ’EM COMING Adrian Hornsby, quotes Bert de Muynck IMAGE BLOCK: PEOPLE AND THE DREAM 4. CHINA’S ENERGY FIX Louis Coulomb 5. THE GREEN EDGE* Erich W. Schienke Ph.D., Neville Mars 6. LOCKDOWN* Neville Mars, Saskia Vendel 7. “HEY FUCK! WHERE’D THE CITY GO?” Adrian Hornsby IMAGE BLOCK: CHANGING LANDSCAPES 8. BBT arch. Nevile Mars, Saskia Vendel, int. Adrian Hornsby, Charlie Koolhaas 9. POLICY SPRAWL* Chang Liu IMAGE BLOCK: FLOATING VILLAGE 10. DYNAMIC DENSITY* Neville Mars, Adrian Hornsby, research Elaine Ho, Yue Hongdan 11. D-RAIL arch. Neville Mars, Brice Bignami, text Adrian Hornsby 12. CONSUMURBATION* Austin Kilroy IMAGE BLOCK: CHONGQING SUPERBLOCK 13. UTOPIAN CITIES Pan Wei, free trns. Adrian Hornsby, Yue Xiao 14. CRACKING CREATIVITY! Jeanne-Marie Gescher OBE, Philip Dodd / Adrian Hornsby, Neville Mars 15. CITIES WITHOUT HISTORY Neville Mars 16. “TOO MUCH JOY AND SPLENDOR” Martijn de Waal IMAGE BLOCK: INTERIOR PERSPECTIVE – Marrigje de Maar 17. MY DREAM SURVEY Adrian Hornsby, Neville Mars

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ArChITeCTUre sCAle DreAM

eCONOMICs sCAle DreAM

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DATAHUB 640 QUOTES ’N’ NOTES, MAPRINGS END: PERCEIVED DENSITY BUR B MA GLOSSARY / FROM LIPSTICK TO SKYSCRAPER – Reineke Otten GAZI NE LOOK MA! NO HIERARCHY – Quinn Commendant
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Keep ’Em Coming p.90

PUC* p.30

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Dynamic Density* p.338

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Introduction p.20

Lockdown* p.184 Chongqing Superblock p.458

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D-rail p.424

My Dream Survey p.606

Cities Without History p.520

BBT p.250

Perceived Density p.652

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Interior Perspective p.600

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Cracking Creativity! p.478

“Too Much Joy and Splendor” p.538

People and the Dream p.104

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“Hey fuck, where’d the city go?” p.198

Floating Village p.328
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Utopian Cities p.466

Changing Landscapes p.234

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[eNergY]
China’s Energy Fix p.118 Glossary p.672 Look Ma! No Hierarchy p.702

Consumurbation* p.440

[pOlITICs]
Policy Sprawl* p.286 Quotes ’n’ Notes p.642

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BURB p.705

[eCONOMICs]

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the chinese dream:
DREAMING IS NOT A LUXURY. AROUND TWO HOURS EVERY NIGHT OUR BRAINS PRODUCE DREAMS. PRECISELY WHY IS NOT CLEAR, BUT THE GENERAL FUNCTIONS SEEM EVIDENT. DREAMS PROCESS OUR RECENT EXPERIENCES. DATA STORED IN OUR TEMPORARY MEMORY IS ENCODED AND TRANSFERRED TO BECOME PART OF THE NARRATIVE OF OUR LONG TERM MEMORY. THIS IS THE SYSTEMCHECK OF OUR MIND. CONSOLIDATING NEW DATA, IT FEEDS OUR UNDERSTANDING AND CONSTRUCTS OUR IDENTITY. EQUALLY, DREAMS WILL CONSIDER THE FUTURE. WHEN FACING IMPORTANT OR DIFFICULT MOMENTS, OUR DREAMS WILL SET THE STAGE TO ALLOW US A VIRTUAL TEST RUN. WE CAN PREPARE OURSELVES — GENERATE NEW IDEAS IN ANTICIPATION OF CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES. DREAMS BECOME THE PLAYGROUND OF OUR DESIRES; A SAFE PLACE TO EXPRESS UNCHARTED URGES FOR WHICH THERE MAY BE NO ROOM IN WAKING LIFE. SOME DREAMS WILL BE REJECTED, WHILE OTHERS BECOME POWERFUL ASPIRATIONS THAT GIVE DIRECTION TO OUR DECISIONS. rise and shine: CHINA HAS BEEN UP FOR THREE DECADES. WITH DENG XIAOPING’S ACCESSION TO POWER, CHINA LAUNCHED ITS LAST AND BOLDEST DREAM: THE DREAM OF INDIVIDUAL PROSPERITY. IT OPENED ITS EYES TO AN ALTERNATIVE REALITY, ITS DOORS TO THE GLOBAL ECONOMY, AND CONFORMED TO MARKET PRAGMATISM TO REALIZE THIS DREAM. SINCE THEN, A SINGLE MASSIVE WAVE OF PROGRESS HAS KEPT THE ENTIRE NATION ON ITS FEET. THE SUCCESS HAS AMAZED FRIEND AND FOE. TODAY ‘GETTING RICH IS GLORIOUS’ MAY HAVE LOST ITS APPEAL AS A PARTY SLOGAN, BUT IT HAS EXPANDED TO BECOME THE INTRINSIC MOTIVATION OF CHINA’S ENTIRE POPULATION. SPREADING FAST BEYOND THE INITIAL TESTING GROUNDS OF THE SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES, THE GROWING PROSPERITY HAS NURTURED A SOLID AND CONSIDERABLE MIDDLE CLASS AND SPURRED THE CONSTRUCTION OF INDUSTRY AND CITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THESE CITIES ARE THE TRADEMARKS OF MODERN CHINA, THE SUBJECT OF THIS BOOK, AND THE OBJECTIVE OF THE CHINESE DREAM: A SOCIETY OF MIDDLE CLASS CONSUMERS SETTLED IN MODERN CITIES. THE ASPIRATIONAL DRIVE OF INDIVIDUALS SHAPING CONTEMPORARY URBANIZATION RESEMBLES THE AMERICAN DREAM OF THE FIFTIES, AND WITH RURAL POPULATIONS IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD FLOCKING TOGETHER IN MEGASLUMS, THIS MUST BE THE CORE COMPONENT OF THE GLOBAL DREAM. BUT WHAT IS THE FORM OF THE MODERN CITY? HOW CAN IT BE REALIZED? AND WHAT SOCIETY DOES IT ENGENDER? fearful symmetry: THE PRECISE TRANSLATION OF THE BEIJING 2008 OLYMPIC SLOGAN IS ‘ONE SAME WORLD, ONE SAME DREAM’. TO CHINESE PEOPLE ITS INTERPRETATION IS OBVIOUS: ‘WE CAN OBTAIN THE SAME LIVING COMFORTS AS THE WEST, AND THE BEIJING OLYMPICS WILL SHOW THIS TO THE WORLD’. FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE DREAM, THE TV COMMERCIALS OF CARS GLIDING PAST A BACKDROP OF SHINY NEW TOWERS IS PROOF THAT (THIS TIME) IT IS REAL. CONFRONTED WITH SO MUCH PROGRESS, QUESTIONING THE QUALITY OF THE FUTURE SEEMS SENSELESS. THE CRUDEST FORM OF TWENTIETH CENTURY MODERNITY IS ON OFFER, AT A TIME WHEN THE DEVELOPED WORLD HAS COME TO ACKNOWLEDGE ITS SHORTCOMINGS. MESMERIZED BY NEW FOUND CONSUMERISM, THE YOUNG MIDDLE CLASS LOOKS AHEAD AND MARCHES ON. THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT ON THE OTHER HAND IS INCREASINGLY AWARE THAT THIS PASSIONATE ADOPTION OF WESTERN-STYLE PROGRESS CAN NO LONGER SUFFICE. THE IMMINENT DANGERS: IT WILL EXCLUDE THE BULK OF CHINA’S CITIZENS FROM MUCH OF THE PROGRESS BEING MADE AND PRESENT THE POOREST WITH THE BILL FOR ITS RAMPANT ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION. YET THE ONGOING ECONOMIC BOOM HAS INSTILLED ITS LEADERS WITH A TOWERING CONFIDENCE TO RESPOND. THE LATEST TECHNIQUES FROM THE WEST ARE ACQUIRED — THE NEWEST ARCHITECTURE, THE FRESHEST BIOTECHNOLOGY. IN REALITY THE UNIQUE CONDITIONS CONTEMPORARY CHINA FACES DEMAND NEW PARADIGMS. HALF WAY DOWN THE PATH OF MODERNIZATION THE HAZARDS OF NOT DREAMING ARE REVEALING THEMSELVES. CHINA’S BOOM EXPERIENCES HAVEN’T MOVED BEYOND THE SHORT TERM MEMORY. THERE HAS BEEN NO OPPORTUNITY TO ASSESS THE PRODUCTS OF A SOCIALIST MARKET ECONOMY, SIMPLY NO TIME TO REFLECT ON ITS OUTCOME. THE CHINESE DREAM IS NOT BEING UPDATED. INSTEAD EVERY NEW PROBLEM — MANY OF WHICH PRESENT THEMSELVES ON A SCALE PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN — IS SIMPLY COUNTERED WITH A PLAN FOR ITS REMOVAL BY THE YEAR 2020, 2030 OR 2050. IN PERFECT SYMMETRY ALL CONTEMPORARY SHORTCOMINGS ARE DIRECTLY MIRRORED TO BECOME OUTSTANDING OBJECTIVES FOR

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a society under construction
the face of china: sly rise / one world one dream In 1978 China set aside the ideological struggle for global socialism, and turned instead to the more practical business of tending its own garden. Ironically this would-be parochialism of intent has thrown China onto the world stage in a much bigger and more powerful way than anything ever witnessed throughout the preceding centuries of empire and dictatorial zeal. China continues to protest the doctrine of harmony, peace, and non-intervention — a rise as though on the quiet — but as the rest of the world beholds China’s economic miracle, its surge in defense spending (outpacing roaring GDP), its sophisticated space program (not without military implications), its monster move into global trade (by the time you read this, China is almost certainly the world’s number one exporter), its impact upon the environment (likewise for energy consumption, with CO2 emissions set to exceed the US sometime before 2010), and its undeniable hand in geopolitical sore spots (e.g. Sudan, Iran, Burma), the world is starting to gasp, ‘No fair!’. China may be pursuing a “peaceful rise” — it is also doing an awful lot else. You cannot become a highly internationalized top-four global economy without major global impacts, and as a result, the past five years in particular in the West have been ones of avid China-watching. The 2008 
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Beijing Olympics has been unofficially billed as China’s “coming out” party — a phrase which belies a widely felt suspicion that China is still somehow “in”. Everybody knows China is growing, but to become what? What is the Chinese Dream? Western speculation upon this point seems to traverse a void. The media supplies stories from either extreme of China’s rise, indulging on the one hand the narcissistic fantasies of Shanghai-Shenzhen ultramodernism, and on the other its own cultivated outrage at worker abuse horror shops. But these gaudy limits are given precious little by way of infill by the state itself. Instead the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) pursues a strict PR policy of maximum inscrutability. We knew Ronald Reagan liked jelly beans, Bill Clinton blow jobs; and that George W. Bush plays golf. But what is Hu Jintao like? Chinese official-speak seems to emanate from a core of indefatigable closed handedness: there is the wall of statistics, the effacement of personality, and the reiteration of such intractable slogans as: “HOLD ALOFT THE BANNER OF SOCIALISM WITH DISTINCT CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS”, “PURSUE THE COURSE OF SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENT”, “IMPLEMENT SOCIALIST DEMOCRACY” etc. Words are spoken, but nobody seems to be remotely clear upon what has been said. All the while the essential question looms ever larger …

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For the most part, the world feels it knows the American Dream. It is clearly founded upon the pluralistic ideal of a liberated people, who, in pride of their independence, list among their inalienable rights both freedom and the pursuit of happiness. It is highly individualistic, deeply antiauthoritarian, unabashedly utopian, essentially Protestant, and closely attuned to the principles of self-interest upon which capitalism rests. It has, over the past century, led its free individuals in their motor cars out into an enormously gas-guzzling landscape of single house plots with flagpoles, porchswings, and driving-distance retail marts. It has also, and less comfortably, led its government into a painful and prolonged war in Iraq, bringing on accusations of interventionist aggression and cultural and militaristic imperialism — everything the Dream once stood against. But however creaky the present, the ideology holds fast, and is propounded from the bowsprit: freedom, democracy, (neo)liberal capitalism, opened markets, and free (if with subsidies) trade. For the CCP identity is not so easy. For a start, there is an essential discord to any socialist revolutionary party which promotes social harmony while exhorting some people to get rich quicker than others. This root contradiction, in combination with a degree of enforced reticence regarding the global demise of socialism, goes some way toward explaining the CCP’s adamantine, if charmless, inwardness. But while the political face of China has remained sturdily impassive, the body has been remarkably open. After 30 years in Mao suits, post-1978 China has welcomed a terrific influx of foreign cultural influences, and

changes to wealth and lifestyles have far outpaced explicit formulations of what the country stands for or who its people are. Indeed the sheer pace of physical change has tempted numerous Western critics to posit a Chinese identity crisis — a fragile dragon which has become somehow lost or confused in the furious dust clouds of the construction boom or the artificial lights of new megamalls — a nation still ailing from recent turbulent history, and riddled with insecurities about its multi-ethnic composition, its enormous size, its questionable territories (Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwan, Inner Mongolia), its demographics distorted by the one child policy — in the midst of which (the critics continue), is a youth growing up in something between a cultural wasteland and a vacuum, in which values are being replaced by the most superficial consumer desires for bubble gum, mp3 players, and crass fake Westernism. The suggestion that pop is somehow melting the minds of a generation or country is of course no more new than it is accurate. However, it seems to have found fresh throat in relation to China, especially on the subject of the starkly new pop-modernist cities which have either appeared out of seeming nowheres (the fishing village that used to be Shenzhen), or have summarily razed previous “traditional” areas in order to bounce into being. The immediate assumption is that much of the newness has come at the expense of oldness, and the West, which has always set such high value on its own architectural heritage, has been particularly appalled by acts of wholesale demolition. 

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THE FUTURE. CHINA NOW BOASTS RADICAL SCHEMES FOR (ALMOST) ALL ASPECTS OF SOCIETY, FROM WELFARE TO TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION, ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY AND MOON LANDINGS. IF ACHIEVED CHINA WILL BECOME NOT JUST A SUPERPOWER, BUT THE WORLD’S MOST ADVANCED NATION. THE WEST MUST HOLD ITS BREATH AND BELIEVE, IF ONLY FOR A LACK OF ALTERNATIVES. scattered dreams: WITNESSING CHINA’S MIRACLE ON A DAILY BASIS, THE CONTRAST BETWEEN THE CONTEMPORARY BIG HAZARDS AND CHINA’S BIG HOPES FOR 2020 AND BEYOND ISN’T QUITE SO STARK. RESPONDING TO CRISIS HAS BEEN KEY TO CHINA’S SUCCESS. FROM THE INCEPTION OF REFORM, EVERY SUCCESSIVE WAVE OF CHANGE HAS COME OUT OF A DISASTER PREDICAMENT. WITHOUT A BLUEPRINT FOR THE SOCIALIST MARKET ECONOMY, TRANSITION HAS BEEN A BUMPY RIDE. WITHIN YEARS OF LOSING CENTRAL FUNDING, LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FOUND THEMSELVES CLOSE TO BANKRUPTCY. WITHIN ANOTHER FEW YEARS THE LAND REFORMS PUT IN PLACE TO ALLOW LOCAL

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GOVERNMENTS TO LEASE AND DEVELOP AREAS UNDER THEIR JURISDICTION UNLOCKED THE WORLD’S MOST RAMPANT BUILDING FRENZY. THE ’89 UPRISING DID NOT YIELD ANY SUBSTANTIAL POLITICAL REFORM, BUT FURTHER ENCOURAGING ENTREPRENEURIALISM HAS UNLEASHED THE WORLD’S LARGEST CONSUMER MARKET. URBAN DEVELOPMENT HAS BEEN PRAGMATIC AND OFTEN RELENTLESS. EMPLOYED AS A POLITICAL TOOL IT HAS ALSO BECOME INCREASINGLY STREAMLINED. THE SOCIALIST MARKET HYBRID CAN EXPEDITE ANY PROCEDURE, SWITCHING FREELY BETWEEN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE OPERATIONS. THE MAOIST DREAM OF COLLECTIVE OWNERSHIP IS AUCTIONED OFF IN BITS TO A MASS OF COMPANIES AND INDIVIDUALS WRESTLING FOR SUPREMACY OR SURVIVAL. FROM THE TOP, THE STATE LAUNCHES ITS MEGA PROJECTS, WHILE SOLO DEVELOPERS SEAR HOLES INTO THE ONCE COMMUNAL CARPET TO CREATE PRISTINE PATCHES FOR HASSLE-FREE PRIVATIZATION. ACCORDING TO THE ONE-STEP-UP MODEL, BOTTOM-LEVEL MIGRANT WORKERS SEND WAGES BACK HOME TO BUILD IN THE VILLAGE, WHILE URBANITES BUY THEIR FIRST APARTMENT IN THE CITY. PLOT BY PLOT URBANIZATION FACILITATES A CONTROLLED UNRAVELING OF CAPITALISM WITH CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS.

“BY 2020, CHINA WILL COMPLETE THE BUILDING OF A COMFORTABLE SOCIETY … CITIES WILL LEAD THE WAY” – PREMIER WEN JIABAO leapfrog: THE WORLD OBSERVES THE CHINESE DREAM IN ANXIETY AND WITH ANTICIPATION. SET AGAINST A BACKDROP OF DIMINISHING RESOURCES AND BLEAK PROGNOSTICATIONS FOR THE CAPITAL MARKETS, THE EMERGING ECONOMIES ARE WHERE THE BIG GAINS ARE TO BE MADE. IT IS THE ABSENCE OF A MATURE POWER GRID, THE LOWER CURRENT LEVELS OF URBANIZATION, THE LACK OF CARS AND SO ON, THAT SUDDENLY OFFER HOPE. LEAPFROG DEVELOPMENT, SO OFTEN VAUNTED YET SELDOM OBSERVED, IS TODAY DEMANDED FROM CHINA IN ORDER TO ALIGN THE COURSE OF PROGRESS WITH GOALS FOR GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY. BIG SOLUTIONS ARE REQUIRED TO MOVE BEYOND SUCH FUEL-DEPENDENT LANDSCAPES AS THOSE PRODUCED BY THE AMERICAN DREAM. INDEED, TO LEAPFROG EFFECTIVELY, THIS KNOWLEDGE MUST BE FOUND AND IMPLEMENTED NATIONWIDE AND NOW. the 400 fetish: IN 2001 JUST SUCH A RADICAL PLAN FOR LEAPFROG URBANIZATION CAME FROM WITHIN CHINA. THE THEN STATE MINISTER OF CIVIL AFFAIRS, DOJE CERING, PROPOSED THE CONSTRUCTION OF 400 NEW CITIES BY THE YEAR 2020, OR 20 NEW CITIES PER YEAR OF ABOUT 1 MILLION RESIDENTS EACH. THIS GRANDIOSE SCHEME AIMED TO ACCOMMODATE THE PROJECTED FLOOD OF RURAL MIGRANTS AND SPRING-

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BOARD CHINA TO THE LEVEL OF A MODEL INDUSTRIALIZED NATION. THE OBSCENE AMOUNT OF NEWNESS BOTH SHOCKED AND MESMERIZED ME. THE DESIRE TO CONCEIVE A COMPLETE URBAN SYSTEM IS HIGHLY SEDUCTIVE. IN THEORY, A CITY BUILT AT ONCE COULD BE FREE FROM ALL THE ACCUMULATED PROBLEMS AND CLUTTER, AND OUTSMART THE PREDICAMENTS AGEING CITIES HAVE BEEN STRUGGLING WITH. IT’S AN ENTICING AND OSTENSIBLY IMPOSSIBLE IDEA, ESPECIALLY WHEN MULTIPLIED BY 400. THE PROPOSAL BECAME THE STARTING POINT FOR THE DCF’S RESEARCH. SOON WE FOUND REALITY IS ALL TOO OFTEN MORE EXTREME THAN CHINA’S BIG AMBITIONS. DURING THE PERIOD 1978–1998 CHINA REALIZED MORE THAN 400 CITIES. THEN, WHILE URBANIZATION CONTINUED TO ACCELERATE, SUDDENLY NO NEW CITIES WERE RECORDED. THE BIRTH OF A CHINESE CITY IS A MATTER OF POLICY. DETAILED CRITERIA ARE FORMULATED THAT PRESCRIBE THE RATIO OF URBAN TO RURAL INHABITANTS IN AN AREA, AND ITS RURAL TO URBAN ECONOMIC OUTPUT. THIS IS CLEAR-CUT, BUT IT OFTEN DESCRIBES ENVIRONMENTS AT ODDS WITH OUR UNDERSTANDING OF A CITY. DISPERSED SEMI-URBANIZED REGIONS WILL OBTAIN CITY STATUS, WHILE DENSELY POPULATED INDUSTRIAL CENTERS ARE OVERLOOKED. MOREOVER, THE REGULATIONS ARE EASILY ALTERED. THE CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE IN CHINA IS GEARED TOWARDS THE CONSTRUCTION OF NEW CITIES BUT PREFERABLY WITHOUT GRANTING EXPENSIVE CITY BENEFITS OR LOOSING CENTRAL CONTROL.

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This interpretation of the new Chinese city as an expression of cultural annihilation / identity loss misses two critical points about China. Firstly there is the comparatively lower status of architecture within Chinese history, which is focused less on city states, and more, given the history of political instability, on portable wealth forms. Notably, historically significant temples are often valued for their site rather than for the structure itself, which may have been knocked down and rebuilt multiple times over many centuries. It is striking that the Forbidden City in Beijing, probably China’s architectural apogee, is much more a complex reticulation of courtyards, gates and axes than an expression of built volumes or created interiors. The key interest is the capture, division and rationalization of external space — aims quintessentially different from those driving the massive stone edifices and august drawing rooms of architecturally proud imperial Europe. Secondly, while architectural tradition may occupy a relatively low position in China, tradition itself, indeed possibly to the detriment of innovation, has long been exalted,1 and China long wedded to the notion of itself as an ancient and culturally dominant civilization. In many ways the reinstatement of China upon the global stage is seen by the Chinese as no more than a setting right of a weak two centuries — a view which the CCP is no stranger to as it consciously deploys traditional “harmony” rhetoric,2 both to legitimize its own leadership (drawing a perverse line from feudalism to “Communism with Chinese Characteristics”), and to encourage the strong sense of common history 

and nationhood which is sweeping across China today. What the Western fantasy of a China undergoing identity erasure instead reveals is a deep identity crisis within the Western world when confronted by this huge, closed, red alien rising. There is a sense that world order is sliding away from what has been, since the outset of industrialization, an essentially Anglo-Saxon hegemony, and a terrible anxiety gathers as it goes. To further compound the distress, this acute external probing of global power structures comes at a time when the West is suffering another identity crisis entirely on its own front: an EU which keeps gagging on its constitution, a US which — once so confident of being the best place to live on earth — is becoming increasingly aware of its unpopularity, the threat of global terrorism, the quandary of immigration, the tangibly fragile planet which seems to be sitting, regrettably, in a greenhouse almost entirely of the G8’s making — all this at the same time that Western populations themselves are getting famously addled about who they are on an individual level, and resorting more and more to antidepressants and comfort eating …. The sickeningly fat, threatened and unhappy West now turns to China, points the finger, and croaks, ‘You have an identity problem.’

World One Same Dream, is in itself — with its distinctly Chinese flair for concision — a perfect expression of CCP governance: one same party which unilaterally sets the course of reform for one same nation. In frank opposition to the pluralist American Dream of all people free to pursue their own ideas, the Chinese Dream is of 1.3 billion people all engaged in one same mission, and pursuing one same vision. Over the past 30 years the single unequivocal driving force which has coordinated all efforts and motivated all policy has indeed been one same principle: maximize economic growth.
3 1.12 (1978) x 1.08 (1979) x 1.08 (1980) x 1.05 (1981) x 1.09 (1982) x 1.11 (1983) x 1.15 (1984) x 1.14 (1985) x 1.09 (1986) x 1.12 (1987) x 1.11 (1988) x 1.04 (1989) x 1.04 (1990) x 1.09 (1991) x 1.14 (1992) x 1.14 (1993) x 1.13 (1994) x 1.11 1 Indeed the importance of tradition is structurally embedded into tradition itself, through Confucian stress upon loyalty (to parents and thus to past), and the Taoist dictum to ‘Let your wheels move only along old ruts.’ (1995) x 1.10 (1996) x 1.09 (1997) x 1.08 (1998) x 1.08 (1999) x 1.08 (2000) x 1.08 (2001) x 1.09 (2002) x 1.10 (2003) x 1.10 (2004) x 1.10 (2005) x 1.11 (2006) = 14.88 4 This is something the bank holds and receives a small return on, but cannot cash. The money is effectively sterilized, hence the term.

and the mid 40s for a decade. If you take the position that the purpose of raising GDP is to enable people to have more money to spend on improving their lives, this seems perverse. The super-saver policy of amassing money to stuff mattresses is hard work for small gain, and yet this is what the Chinese seem to be engaged in. The first of China’s super-savers is the government, which has accumulated some US$1.7 trillion in foreign exchange reserves — the largest such reserve in the world. This is money which simply never enters the economy. It happens like this: an export is paid for in dollars, the dollars are passed on to the bank, and the bank is obliged to hand them over to the government in exchange for a low yielding sterilization note.4 The government then buys low yielding dollar treasury bonds, which it stockpiles, while the people who have been working so hard in China’s famous sweatshops to produce the exports never see the money. The scale of this operation is huge — in 2006 China produced toward US$1tr in exports, of which US$400bn (i.e. 40%) wound up in foreign exchange reserves. US$1.7tr is comfortably in excess of US$1,000 for every person in China. Considering that GDP per capita is still hovering around US$2,000, this seems to be saving in excess of prudence. The 20 million Chinese still living on less than US$2/day, if told their government had this much money stashed away on their behalf but wasn’t releasing it, might legitimately say, ‘Hey! I could really use a thousand bucks.’ Worse still, it’s a thousand bucks which is going to be worth a lot 

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economic growth:3 black or white? China’s rise is the most successful humanitarian project ever to have taken place. Never before have so many people been lifted out of extreme poverty in so short a space of time. Estimates vary, but it is on the scale of 400 million Chinese poor raised above the US$1/day line in 28 years. In that time, GDP has risen in real terms by a factor of more than 14, making China the fourth largest economy in the world (some one fifth the size of the US). If current growth rates continue, China will outsize the US in the next 20 to 30 years. The economic growth part of the story is well known. The relationship between current growth and popular benefits is not so black and white. What is less obvious, but perhaps even more astonishing, is the growth in savings that has accompanied China’s soaring earnings. In 2006 these stood at over 50% of GDP, having hovered between the high 30s

Hilariously, China has been perfectly up front about its identity all 2 The CCP’s promulgation of the along. The Olympic slogan, officially rendered into English as One World “harmonious society” clearly echoes One Dream, though a more faithful translation would read One Same Confucian ideals and language.

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slick cities: OUTSIDE OF THE OFFICIAL RECORDS AROUND ONE HUNDRED NEW TOWNS OF SUBSTANTIAL SIZE HAVE MUSHROOMED ACROSS CHINA IN THE LAST DECADE IN THE FORM OF MINING-TOWNS, TOURIST TOWNS, SUBURBAN ENCLAVES, FACTORY VILLAGES, THEMED AND CONCEPT TOWNS, AND MILITARY SETTLEMENTS. THEY EMERGE IN DIFFERENT FORMS, SOMETIMES AS INDEPENDENT ENTITIES, SOMETIMES AS PART OF A LARGER URBAN STRUCTURE, BUT ALWAYS CLEARLY DELINEATED FROM THE PREEXISTING. INCREASINGLY THESE ARE SLICK CITIES — CLEAN RESIDENTIAL STRONGHOLDS FORTIFIED AGAINST THEIR MUDDLED SURROUNDINGS. COMPARED TO THEIR PREDECESSORS, SLICK CITIES LOOK AND FEEL SMOOTH. BUT THERE IS A PRICE TO PAY. SLICK CITIES ARE BY NATURE STATIC. THEIR WALLED OFF SPACE IS UNYIELDING TO CHANGE. THE PUBLIC DOMAIN IS REDUCED TO THE VOIDS IN BETWEEN THE BUILDINGS. EXPLODED IN SIZE, THEIR ARCHITECTURE NEGATES THE NECESSITY FOR PLANNING BEYOND CONNECTING ARTERIES. THE STOREFRONT, THE INTERFACE OF THE CITY, IS BLINDED. THE STREETS, ONCE THE VIBRANT DOMAIN OF PUBLIC LIFE, ARE REDUCED TO TECHNOCRATIC TRANSIT SPACE. URBAN LIFE AS WE KNEW IT, SO DEPENDENT ON HUMAN INTERACTION IS DISSOLVED. NOW FEAR HAS ENTERED THE PLANNING PROCEDURES. THE CONGESTED POINTS ARE CROWD-MANAGED WITH THE INSERTION OF EVER LARGER PLAZAS AND WALKWAYS. PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC AND CARS ALIKE FIND THEMSELVES HURTLED THROUGH

VOIDS AND HIGHWAYS UNSUPPORTED BY THE LARGER NETWORK. CONGESTION IS INEVITABLE; HUMAN ENCOUNTERS UNLIKELY. THE FABRIC OF THE SLICK CITY IS STRETCHED APART. PLANNING HAS BECOME THE PRACTICE OF MOVING PEOPLE OUT AND VOIDS IN. THE EXPANSION AND FRAGMENTATION OF THE CITY ACCELERATES. split cities: CHINA’S SLICK CITIES ARE LOATHED BUT ALSO LOVED, BOTH AT HOME AND ABROAD. EUROPEAN ARCHITECTS CONDEMN THEIR SOULLESS SPACES, WHILE AFRICA, THE MIDDLE-EAST AND INDIA HERALD THEIR SCALE, SPEED AND RATIONALIZED SHINE. THE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA HOPES TO MAKE MUMBAI (CURRENTLY A METROPOLIS COMPOSED OF 60% SLUMS) INTO A CITY JUST LIKE SHANGHAI BY 2010. BUT THERE IS LITTLE ROOM FOR NOSTALGIA, NOR REASON TO GLORIFY CHINESE MODERNITY. FOR MILLENNIA THE CHINESE EMPIRE HAS USED CITIES AS A MEANS TO SAFEGUARD THE VAST EXPANSE OF ITS RULE. AS PERFECT BEACONS OF POWER THEY EXPRESSED THE DISTANT CONTROL OF THE HARMONIOUS SOCIETY. METICULOUSLY DESIGNED AND WALLED OFF IN QUADRANTS WITH LITTLE REGARD FOR PUBLIC SPACE THEY COULD BE COPIED EFFICIENTLY WHERE NEEDED. THESE WERE THE FIRST FAST CITIES, THE FIRST SLICK CITIES. TODAY SUCCESSFUL GROWTH CONTINUES TO BE A PRECARIOUS BALANCING ACT BETWEEN TIGHT CONTROL AND HECTIC RELEASE. EXCLUSIVE COMPOUNDS TEMPORARILY PUSH INFORMAL GROWTH ASIDE, WHILE IN REALITY THE WALLED ENCLAVES ARE ENGULFED BY THE VILLAGES OF THE CONSTRUCTION

WORKERS WHO BUILT THEM. SLICK CITIES NATURALLY GENERATE SCHIZOPHRENIC URBAN GROWTH. ACROSS THE RIVER OR TRAIN TRACK ON AN EMPTY PLOT OF LAND THE TOWN IS REINVENTED FROM SCRATCH. SELF-CONTAINED DESIGNS ARE IMPLEMENTED THAT IGNORE ALL PREVIOUS INCARNATIONS. A SPLIT CITY IS BORN: THE NEW CENTER RAPIDLY TURNS ITS BACK ON THE OLD CORE. PROMINENT SPLIT CITY MODELS INCLUDE: THE VERTICAL CITY (NEW LOOKS DOWN OVER OLD), THE RING CITY (OLD IS ENCIRCLED BY NEW), SPRAWL CITY (NEW SCATTERS AND FLEES FROM OLD) AND THE “BRAND NEW CITY”. THE MOST RECENT WAVE OF RESIDENTIAL SATELLITES ARE ACTIVELY BRANDED AND MARKETED AS NEW CITIES.

city organics: THE GOAL TO BUILD 400 NEW CITIES IN 20 YEARS IS NOT QUITE AS ABSURD AS THE ASPIRATION TO ATTEMPT THEIR DESIGN. ANY TRADITIONAL NOTION OF PLANNING WILL BE INADEQUATE WHEN URBANIZATION OCCURS FASTER THAN PLANNERS CAN MAP. IT IS DRIVEN BY CONSTRUCTIONS AT THE TWO ENDS OF THE SPECTRUM: THE MACRO-PLANNED AND THE MICRO-ORGANIC. THE DESIGNER IS PRESENTED WITH A FRAUGHT DILEMMA — TO PURSUE THE CLEAN MODERNITY OF THE ECONOMIC

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT DISTINCTION WHEN IN EFFECT EVERY TOWN, CITY AND METROPOLIS IN CHINA IS NEW. EVEN EXISTING CITIES ARE REGARDED AS TABULA RASAE WAITING TO BE CLEARED.

MIRACLE, OR TO STIMULATE THE HUMAN VIBRANCY OF CHINESE ENTREPRENEURIALISM. BUT THIS IS NO MORE THAN THE ILLUSION OF CHOICE. BOTH FORMS FEAR EACH OTHER YET FEED OFF EACH OTHER. WHILE WE DELIBERATE, AGGREGATED PROJECTS GROW THE URBAN LANDSCAPE IN THE FORM OF MORE MARKETDRIVEN UNINTENTIONAL DEVELOPMENT, OR MUD*.

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less fairly soon. To be keeping US$1.7tr in low yielding dollar bonds at a time when the dollar is entering what looks to be a long term wobble, and may be as much as 20% over-valued, while the RMB is perhaps 20% undervalued, seems perplexing. If exchange rates flatten out, China is set to straight lose over US$400bn. The reason for the government’s assiduous dollar-mopping operations has been its determination to keep the RMB cheap. By sterilizing all the foreign currency, the RMB is maintained at an artificially low level, thus maximizing the attractiveness of China’s exports. The backbite is that while exports boom, people within China don’t have money to spend, banks lack capital to lend, and the internal economy is stifled. Bizarrely the people who have really benefited from this tactic over the last ten years have been the Europeans and Americans, who have enjoyed low levels of inflation, and with the inflow of terrifically cheap Chinese products, have been comfortably curling up on sofas in US$1 t-shirts with US$3 toys watching dvds on US$15 players. Now, as Chinese demand for imports is hitting truly global levels and pushing commodity prices up, the doggedly low RMB only passes this burden on to the Chinese in the form of inflation (already starting to happen with the consumer price index for 2007 rising by about 7%). The true topsy-turviness of the foreign currency reserve is that in effect, the poor country which is growing fast — and so should be 

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borrowing (investing in its own capacity to make money) — is conversely lending to the rich country which is growing slow — and so should be lending (investing in high growth areas where the profits are good). Is the US$1.7tr a weapon to threaten America with? Will it become a Chinese slush fund for state-sponsored buyouts of foreign companies? 2008 saw the creation of a US$200bn Chinese sovereign wealth fund which has already been active among America’s ailing banks. But as was demonstrated by US Congress’ response when China National Offshore Oil Corp. tried to buy American owned Unocal in 2005 — and failed — the West won’t give up ownership of its cherries so easily.5 In the meantime, the majority of the reserves remain a big de- 5 A similar situation occurred with Chinese stakes in American ports. In preciating CCP wad. But compellingly, the government is only one of China’s super-savers, and not its most significant. Over half of China’s savings are in investments, chiefly the reinvestment rather than paying out of corporate profit. Much of this boom is focused on heavy industry — a process which has turned China into the world’s number one producer of steel, cement and flat glass,6 all of which it is now a net exporter of. The fact that China, 6 35%, 48% and 49% of global with its enormous underemployed rural population, is labor rich, while production respectively. it is also, with its scant ratio of land to people, resource poor, makes this level of investment into a sector which is extremely environmentally heavy yet creates relatively few jobs, a counter-intuitive choice. The market factor driving this is the enormous structural bias toward
particular, China may face walls as it moves to buy up more and more of the West’s most innovative technology companies.

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7 Investment levels in China are so high that it has become a favorite economist’s gag to ask why, given how much money is being driven back into corporate ventures, is growth so slow?

heavy industry which makes its development and operation much cheaper than it should be. Local officials, under stimulus from central government to maximize economic growth (not to mention tax and personal revenues) by acting entrepreneurially, enter into partnerships with industrial developers. The state-corporate venture then requisitions farmland for a pittance, sells it to itself at below market rates, expedites the building of necessary infrastructure, obviates expensive environmental controls, and arranges deals with coal mines to provide subsidized energy for its own highly energy intensive activities. The result is an explosion of very dirty, very energy inefficient industrial producers dotted across China, each of which, under their own local official, is competing to undercut the prices (and thus most often standards) of neighboring provinces. The proceeds for the local inhabitants are a marginal rise in job supply, a marginal amount of enforced relocation, and acid rain, polluted rivers, and contaminated ground. The proceeds for the industry are corporate profits which, because of the low interest rates offered by banks, as well as restrictions around investing abroad and the lack of a mature domestic private investment market, are mostly put back into building more heavy industry. The level of reinvestment is made exceptionally intense by the fact that many of these industrial firms are State Owned Enterprises (SOEs*), which, through what can best be described as a reform lapse, are not obliged to pay dividends to their shareholders — i.e. the state — or service their debt to State Owned Banks (SOBs), and thus are supremely cash flush at the end of each year.7 It’s a weird trick by which the state offers all of the

breaks to industry, and takes precious little of the reward. All of this expresses a massive weighting of China’s economic management toward the future. Growth is indeed screaming, but a very substantial whack of the trillions of dollars China is now earning is not making its way into the present. Instead the foreign exchange reserves and extensive industrial development represent a mortgaging of today for the sake of a perceived tomorrow. Deng Xiaoping’s celebrated surmise that ‘It doesn’t matter if the cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice’ has been a guiding tenet of the reform era. Given China’s enormous energy consumption, the bulk of which comes from coal and is consumed by industry, it is becoming increasingly obvious that whatever color the cat started out as, it is black now. The question that remains is, What is the mouse? Xiao kang*: shooting the moon? but the party always comes first. The promised tomorrow of the Chinese Dream is the delivery of the xiao kang shehui — literally “small comfort society”, but generally translated as “well-off society”. The Communist Party may be letting some people get rich first, but this only as a prelude to everybody getting reasonably rich. The greater transition is toward the attainment of a fully developed and fairly distributed level of 

certainty dream

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AT HYPERSPEED CHINA CAN BE ENJOYED AS A LABORATORY FOR URBAN GROWTH. WITHIN THE TIME-SPAN OF A SINGLE GENERATION IT NURTURES CONSECUTIVE IDEOLOGIES OF PLANNING. OBSERVING MUD* FORMATIONS FRACTURES THE PERSISTENT BELIEFS IN BOTH THE GRASS-ROOTS CITY AND THE ORCHESTRATED LANDSCAPE. AT STREET LEVEL CHINA’S NEW URBAN REALMS LOOK PERFECTLY MICROPLANNED WHILE THE SAME POLISHED ISLAND DEVELOPMENTS AT THE SCALE OF THE METROPOLIS MERGE TOGETHER TO REVEAL MACRO-ORGANIC SYSTEMS. THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF CHINA’S CITIES ARE DESIGNED IN DAYS; THE ENSUING MUD* CONFIGURATIONS THEN FIXED FOR DECADES. BUT, WHILE CHINESE SOCIETY SEEMS ENDLESSLY FLEXIBLE, THE INELASTICITY OF URBAN GROWTH PATTERNS DEMANDS THAT DEVELOPMENT EQUIP ITSELF WITH LONG TERM FLEXIBLE FRAMEWORKS. DEMOLISHING AND THEN RECONSTRUCTING THE BUILT VOLUME EVERY GENERATION WILL FLOUT CHINA’S EFFORTS TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY. IT IS NOT JUST ENERGY INTENSIVE — FARMLAND WILL BE PERMANENTLY LOST, WHILE THE CONFIGURATIONS THAT DEFINE CHINA’S FUTURE ENERGY NEEDS WILL BE CONSOLIDATED. midway: NEITHER LEAPFROG AMBITIONS NOR BIG SCHEMES AND OUTSTANDING OBJECTIVES ACKNOWLEDGE THE REALITY THAT CHINA IS NOW HALFWAY DONE. 2008 MARKS THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF CHINA’S OPEN DOOR POLICY AND SUBSEQUENT ECONOMIC RISE. IF

CURRENT GROWTH RATES CONTINUE, IN A FURTHER 30 YEARS CHINA’S GDP WILL OUTSIZE THAT OF THE USA. OTHER SIGNIFICANT HALF / HALF MARKERS ARE COMING UP, INCLUDING THE SHIFT IN EMPLOYMENT FROM PRIMARY TO TERTIARY INDUSTRY AND THE MOVE FROM PREDOMINANTLY RURAL TO PREDOMINANTLY URBAN SETTLEMENTS. BIGNESS AND COPY AND PASTE PRACTICES ARE ONLY THE MOST VISIBLE ASPECTS OF FLASH URBANIZATION. EQUALLY, AT THE BOTTOM END STREAMLINED NEW FORMS OF SPATIAL PRODUCTION HAVE EVOLVED. RURAL CHINA IS ALSO HALF WAY DONE. HERE TOO FEAR DOMINATES PLANNING. THOUGH CITY DEVELOPMENT IS ENCOURAGED, THE MILLIONS OF RURAL TO URBAN MIGRANTS ARE BARRED FROM SETTLING AND ARE SOON REFLECTED BACK TO THE COUNTRYSIDE. DISTRUST OF SLUMS OR POTENTIALLY UNSTABLE CONCENTRATIONS OF EX-FARMER COMMUNITIES HAS KEPT CHINA’S CITIZEN REGISTRATION SYSTEM IN PLACE. IT ENFORCES A BLACK AND WHITE DIVISION BETWEEN PEOPLE WITH URBAN OR RURAL STATUS. YET THIS DIVISION IS INCREASINGLY OUTDATED BY THE BLURRED SPATIAL CONDITIONS IT PRODUCES.

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CITY EDGES MELT WITH FLOATING WORKERS CONGREGATING IN THE VILLAGES JUST OUTSIDE THE CITY PROPER, WHILE REMITTANCES SENT BACK HOME SPUR VILLAGE GROWTH. A FINE HAZE OF NEARLY A MILLION VILLAGES COVERS THE LANDSCAPE AND ACCOMMODATES ALMOST A BILLION PEOPLE. PLANNING POLICIES INTENDED TO STIMULATE MODERN CENTERS ARE EFFECTIVELY URBANIZING CHINA OUTSIDE OF THE CITIES. BELOW-THE-RADAR DEVELOPMENT AND INCENTIVES LIKE THE NEW “SOCIALIST VILLAGE” ARE RADICALLY RESHAPING THE COUNTRYSIDE, AND FORMING A VAST SEMI-URBANIZED TERRITORY. CHINA’S MOST POPULATED AND FASTEST URBANIZING REGION SPANS THE CENTERS OF BEIJING, XIAN AND SHANGHAI TO FORM THE WORLD’S LARGEST URBAN FIELD: A MEGALOPOLIS TWICE THE SIZE OF FRANCE WITH THE AVERAGE DENSITY OF A MID-SIZED AMERICAN CITY. IN ESSENCE THE CAPITAL OF URBAN CHINA, IT CONSISTS OF A HIERARCHY OF CENTERS WITHIN A GRID OF VILLAGES WHOSE ECONOMIES HAVE TRANSFORMED TO SUPPORT THE URBAN CONTEXT. THOUGH MUTUALLY INTERDEPENDENT, THE COMPONENT PARTS OF THIS MEGALOPOLIS BETRAY DEEP SCHISMS. DRAWING IN UNWARRANTED FINANCIAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY, ITS CONSPICUOUS ECONOMIC ENGINES ARE KEPT STRONG. BIG SOLUTIONS SUCH AS THE SOUTH TO NORTH WATER TRANSPORTATION PROJECT PUMPS WATER ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO THE ARID NORTH AND ARTIFICIALLY MAINTAINS THE LUSH AND COOL OF ITS CITIES. BUT THE VILLAGES IN BETWEEN HAVE NO TAPS ON THESE PIPELINES.

creeping Xiao kang*: THOUGH PROPAGATING MASSIVE SCHEMES AND EXTREME PROJECTS AT THE PERIPHERY, THE CCP CENTERS ITS TRUST FOR THE FUTURE ON THE GROWING MIDDLE CLASS — A TRUST IN WELL-CONTAINED SELF-ORGANIZATION THAT FOR THE MOMENT SEEMS TO BE PAYING OFF. THE ‘HARMONIOUS SOCIETY’ PROJECTED ONTO THE FUTURE IS STEADILY CARVED OUT TODAY WITH EVERY SINGLE PRODUCER TURNED CONSUMER. CONFRONTED WITH A SIZZLING HOT ECONOMY AND SURROUNDED BY DIZZYING CONSTRUCTION, THE AVERAGE INDIVIDUAL PRESENTS TO THE PARTY STABLE PROGRESS. THE BENEFITS SHOULD SLOWLY CREEP OUTWARD FROM THE CENTER TO PERIPHERY TO REACH THE COUNTRYSIDE. HOWEVER, WHILE SOCIETAL SHIFTS FIRST SEEM TO RUN AHEAD OF SPATIAL ORGANIZATION, URBAN PATTERNS SOON REVEAL THEIR DOMINATION OVER HOW SOCIETY EVOLVES. AS CHINA’S ECONOMIC REFORMS UNFOLD, THE TENDENCY TO PRODUCE MUD* FORMATIONS ACCELERATES. THE GRIP THE URBAN CONFIGURATION HAS ON CHINESE SOCIETY TIGHTENS; THE DREAM TO DESIGN CITY OR SOCIETY SLIPS AWAY. parallel worlds: THE CHINESE DREAM IS AT ODDS WITH THE CCP’S GRIP ON POWER. WIDESPREAD URBANIZATION JARS AGAINST CENTRALIZED CONTROL. EXCLUSIVITY CLASHES WITH THE HARMONIOUS SOCIETY. ULTIMATELY THE DESIGN OF A SOCIETY CONTRADICTS THE EMPOWERMENT OF THE INDIVIDUAL. BEHIND THE SCENES

modernization and prosperity. At the core of this is the creation of a large Chinese middle class.
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half their paycheck to keep filling a money pot with a slow leak. The most obvious explanation for this is the lack of a welfare safety net. Without universal state healthcare, education, pensions or child support, Chinese citizens bear a heavy burden of responsibility, and at almost every point of their earning lives are likely to be saving against future need. Provision of these services, which the government could certainly afford were it to reorder current economic flows, would no doubt go some way toward easing the parsimony of its citizens, and freeing up a little more cash. But there is a deeper motivation to save, and a limit to how much people will trust a state umbrella. China has a history of vertiginous instability. This not only stretches back through centuries, but is a tangible constituent of the present. For one, rapidly shifting policies and massive corruption abuses combine to create an extremely uncertain environment for the China of today. Change is frenetic, and impacts frequently unforeseeable. Moreover, the execution of change does not stand on point of manners, and it is impossible to know that the place where you live or work is not going to vanish abruptly beneath a bulldozer, or that a situation requiring a large bribe won’t suddenly arise. Local officials continue to exercise summary power over dispersed and under-informed local populations, and frequently jockey or indeed forge law in accordance with the principle of revenue maximization. This is a China still very much in the operating theater, and while the 17th Party Congress corroborated the policy of

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This middle class is the new China that everybody is looking toward — both the Chinese who are aspiring to attain middle class status, and the rest of the world which is lining up to sell it all the lifestyle products it currently and so tantalizingly lacks. Depending on how you count, China’s middle class today numbers some 100 million. The 800 million Chinese shoppers in the making (equivalent to the total combined population of the US and the EU) unquestionably presents the biggest, brightest, and least saturated market on the planet. At some point, the international corporations are whispering, China will shed its current heavy-saver-heavy-investor skin, and the country will at last release some of that pent up money and live well. However this hasn’t happened yet — or at least, not on the scale people are waiting for. The reason is simple: the Chinese themselves, along with the Chinese government and Chinese corporations, are super-savers. Over 50% of household earnings are sequestered off, moving China away from being a nation of have-nots, and toward, somewhat confusingly, a nation of could-haves but prefer-to-saves. To a credit-addicted West,8 this is confounding. All the more so when it is remembered that the vast majority of these savings are held in deposit accounts which yield below inflation rates of interest. Such is the commitment to saving in China that people will set aside over 

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reform and the move toward a better ordered society, this is a move away from radically volatile conditions. Behind current modernization efforts, a very different China is in distinct living memory. People who experienced the Cultural Revolution (1966–76) knew a time when local anarchic groups — with governmental blessing — smashed up towns, used the remaining buildings as prisons, and took prisoners for seemingly arbitrary reasons — perhaps simply, having created the prisons, to have someone to put in them. It was not only chaotic, but insanely brutal in terms of the torture, executions and even tribal-style cannibalism that took place. The survivors, witnesses, and perpetrators of these events are now somewhere around their 50s. For many, personal experience also encompasses terrible famine, brought on through sheer governmental mismanagement. The hunger and violence of the last sixty years are not available for discussion in China, either through statecontrolled media channels, or within the national education system. Nevertheless, they create a present of extreme infixity for individuals, who have been forced to survive in a context of capricious arbitrators of a power structure from which they have had no recourse to rule of law, or ability to discharge democratically. Under such vulnerable circumstances, a preference for saving is almost psychologically instilled.
8 Recent levels of household spending exceed incomes in America. If employer pension contributions are excluded, this is true also of Britain.

economic impact of this is a huge cash vote in favor of current capital imbalances. China’s State Owned Banks simply would not be able to afford to sterilize so much foreign currency, tolerate so much inefficiently invested industrial lending, or bankroll so many underperforming SOEs* were it not for the rich supply of cheap credit lent to them by the Chinese themselves. This money is effectively bankrolling the banks, and thus the Chinese people are really paying on three fronts. They have in the course of the reform era come out of their grotesquely underperforming communes to work like crazy producing exports for the sake of profits which the government sits on in the form of depreciating dollars. At the same time they are suffering the most evil industrial pollution on earth for the sake of profits which the industrial producers reinvest in increasing industrial capacity. And then, of the leftover profits which do trickle down, they put half into funding these dollar-amassing and polluting operations. The people may seem to be getting scant present rewards for the phenomenally future-driven management of the country, but it is a future they are investing in on every level. The widely held conviction that Western-style democracy follows economic development with the same inexorability as day does night is one of the West’s fondest and shakiest attempts at historical masternarrative. What the last fifty years of IMF, World Bank, and UN intervention have certainly managed to disprove is the theory that economic development necessarily follows the installa
certainty dream

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The ironic twist to this story of fervid personal saving is that it is providing the bedrock for the system which, to some extent, it is hoping to inure itself against. Almost a third of China’s savings — equivalent to some 15% of GDP — are in household deposit accounts. The

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THE CHINESE DREAM IS SHIFTING. BUILDING CITIES WILL SHAPE SOCIETY, BUT A MODERN SOCIETY CAN’T BE SHAPED BY CITY BUILDING. THE RIGID STRUCTURE OF THE SELF-CONTAINED CITY AS A TOOL OF CONTROL IS CHALLENGED BY TWO DISTINCTLY DYNAMIC FORCES: THE MARKET AND THE MASSES. UNADDRESSED, URBANIZATION WILL CONTINUE TO GENERATE CONFLICTING REALITIES — A DISCORD AT THE HEART OF THE SOCIALIST MARKET HYBRID THAT RESONATES THROUGH CHINA’S BID FOR PROGRESS. ITS LEADERS ARE INCREASINGLY DEMANDING ON THE GLOBAL POLITICAL STAGE, YET INTERNAL DECISIONS REMAIN OBSCURED. CHINA IS THE BASIN OF GLOBAL PRODUCTION AND TRADE OF GOODS, YET ITS ECONOMY IS OPAQUE. IT IS OPENING UP TO INTERNATIONAL CORPORATIONS, YET ITS CITIZENS REMAIN BARRED FROM GLOBAL INFORMATION FLOWS. CHINA IS DREAMING UP PARALLEL WORLDS, AND BUILDING A GLOBALLY CONNECTED FORTRESS. the dynamic city: CHINA WILL UNDOUBTEDLY EVOLVE AND MATURE. ITS HAS SUCCESSFULLY NAVIGATED MANY OBSTACLES TO ACHIEVE THE LAST THREE DECADES OF CONTINUOUS GROWTH. A BUSINESS AS USUAL SCENARIO IS NOT IMPROBABLE. A GOOD PART OF CHINA WILL LIVE THE CHINESE DREAM, ACCOMMODATED IN BIGGER AND BRIGHTER CITIES THAN THOSE THAT EXIST ELSEWHERE ON EARTH (A SCENARIO OF PURE STATE CAPITALISM HYPOTHESIZED IN THE MAGAZINE AT THE END OF THIS BOOK).

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HOWEVER, A STRONG URBAN MIDDLE CLASS AS ENVISIONED FOR 2020 COULD CARRY A NEW SOCIETY. IN 2007 INDIVIDUALS IN CHINA WERE AWARDED GENUINE PROPERTY RIGHTS (PERHAPS THE MOST PROFOUND LEGAL CHANGE SINCE THE BIRTH OF THE REPUBLIC). WITH THE CONSUMER-HOMEOWNER PLACED AT THE HEART OF URBAN DESIRE MECHANISMS, FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS WILL SUCCEED OR FAIL IN RELATION TO PEOPLE AS OPPOSED TO STATE OBJECTIVES. UNWITTINGLY, THE MIDDLE CLASS MAY UNLOCK THE FORTRESS. TO RETAIN MARKET PALATABILITY, THE INDIVIDUAL WILL NEED TO BE OFFERED MORE THAN PERSONAL SPACE. DEMAND WILL INCLUDE CITYWIDE PERFORMANCE. AS THE URBAN DREAM TAKES SHAPE, IT HAS TO GAIN GROUND AGAINST GROWING URBAN EXPECTATIONS. COUNTER-INTUITIVELY, THIS WILL REQUIRE MORE COORDINATED PLANNING EFFORTS AT THE SAME TIME AS INCREASED HOMEOWNER STATUS. MICROPLANNED PROJECTS WILL NEED TO INTEGRATE WITHIN A COHERENT MACROLEVEL STRUCTURE. URBANIZATION WILL NEED TO BE STREAMLINED NOT FOR SPEED BUT FOR QUALITY, IN THE FORM OF EFFICIENCY AND COMFORT. BY ABOLISHING ANTI-URBAN POLICIES, CHINA CAN UNLEASH THE POWER OF ITS GROWTH OVER THE NEXT THREE DECADES AND MOVE TOWARD FUTURE-PROOFED SOLUTIONS. IN THIS CASE, TO SERVE PROJECTED MIGRATION, NO NEW CITIES ARE NEEDED. UTILIZING PREDETERMINED

beyond dreaming: THE RESEARCH THAT RUNS THROUGH THIS BOOK FORMS AN INVESTIGATION INTO CHINA’S NEW FOUND MARKET REALITY AND THE SPATIAL CONDITIONS IT PRODUCES. ANALYSES CUT ACROSS DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES AND THROUGH FIVE LEVELS OF SCALE (FROM NATIONAL

FLEXIBLE FRAMEWORKS, CITIES CAN EXPAND IN THEIR NATURAL DIRECTION WITHOUT LOSING COHESION. THE PRESSURE OF THE MASSES BECOMES A BENEFICIAL FORCE TO DEVELOP THE MIDDLE-SIZE CITIES TO TWICE THEIR SIZE, THUS CONCENTRATING EXPANSION ON THE MOST EFFICIENT SETTLEMENTS OF 2 TO 6 MILLION INHABITANTS. THIS WOULD ACCOMMODATE ALL POPULATION MOVEMENTS AND ALLOW CENTERS OF PRODUCTION TO EVOLVE INTO CREATIVE AND DYNAMIC CITIES. TO MOVE BEYOND THE WORLD’S FACTORY FLOOR AND TOWARD AN ECONOMY OF IDEAS, CHINA WILL HAVE TO HARNESS THE EXPANDING NEEDS OF ITS INDIVIDUALS. IF CHINA IS TRULY TO THROW OFF ITS COMMUNIST PAST, IT WILL NEED TO HAVE MANY DREAMS FOR ITS CITIES, AND TO ALLOW COMPETITION AMONGST THEM.

TO THE INDIVIDUAL) TO CREATE THE BASIS FOR DESIGN PROPOSALS OF WHAT, IN THEORY, CHINA COULD ATTAIN. UNCOMPROMISING AND OFTEN SELF-CRITICAL ALTERNATIVES AIM TO INSPIRE A NEW COURSE OF URBANIZATION. AS SUCH IT HAS BECOME AN INVESTIGATION INTO ARCHITECTURE’S OWN LONGSTANDING DREAM: THE DESIGN OF THE CITY. WHILE FOR CONTEMPORARY CHINA, AROUSED BY A LOVE FOR THE NEW, THE INABILITIES OF PLANNING AND DESIGN HAVE NOT BEEN OF GREAT CONCERN, THE NEW CHINESE CITY REPRESENTS ANOTHER UTOPIAN CONCEPT: A SOCIETY UNDER CONSTRUCTION. NEVILLE MARS

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tion of democracy. It is striking that China — far and away the most successful of the developing nations — has achieved its remarkable economic growth largely without the conventional “prerequisites” for capitalism (e.g. property rights,9 rule of law, transparency, trust), and mostly in direct contradiction of traditional IMF-World Bank “wisdom” (China has adopted neither rapid privatization of the state sector, nor keen suppression of inflation). Instead the CCP is very much running its own version of things — a “socialist market economy”, which could alternatively be termed bureaucratic or indeed state capitalism. It’s an oxymoron which emerges in the form of a whole series of China paradoxes. China is both the most globalized country in the world (in terms of trade and openness to foreign direct investment), and one of its most closed (in terms of the state control of media and the internet, NGOs, and official data). China is home to much of the world’s most technologically advanced architecture and urbanism (including the CCTV tower and Dongtan, set to be the world’s first zero carbon city), and yet is home to a predominantly rural population. China makes up 11% of the global luxury market, but in GDP per capita terms — even by purchasing power parity — does not rank in the global top hundred. And China is the world’s fastest changing society, and yet for nearly sixty years has had the same ruling political party. At the 17th Party Congress the CCP made it clear that while it would continue with reform, it did not intend to follow the path of 

Western-style development, referring no doubt, among other things, to multi-party representation. Within China, unofficial political organization or networking is strictly forbidden, and the Party certainly has no intention of allowing the populace to pass judgement on its leadership. When asked about democracy, the Party will reply, ‘We have democracy in China — democracy within the Party.’ Upsetting as this is to Western political teleology, it seems, at present, to be forging a strong path. In fact many of today’s xiao kang* are distinctly opposed to the idea of peasants voting for national government. Tens of thousands of protests do occur every year, but overwhelmingly these are grievance-driven and result in negotiated settlements, rather than being issue-driven, such as might lead to wider political restructuring. They are manageable. To the larger question, ‘Are people buying into the Party Dream?’ — or rather, given its savings-driven profile — ‘Are people saving into it?’ the Party can answer with confidence, ‘Yes.’ This Dream is all about prioritizing an enhanced xiao kang* future over capitalizing on a xiao kang* present. It is a shooting the moon operation. China today is poorer than it may be, but has high hopes. The whole of Chinese society is looking to the future — if only because, given Chinese history and much of the Chinese present, there is in truth nowhere else to look. Most of this future is intangible. But the clues are out there. Much is also under current production. There is one incontestable element: urbanization.

9 Without effective rule of law, property owners in China have occupied a somewhat precarious position. Possession of documents but not guan xi, or good relationship, with officials has been no guarantee of holding onto something. Urbanization processes have however driven change – see below.

10 Terrific investment in real estate and transportation infrastructure (US$400bn in 2006) make China its own number one customer for the enormous quantities of steel, cement and glass that it is producing. 11 A CCP euphemism for public protest. Land disputes – often stemming from (corrupt) governmental or government-sponsored land take – are the most common cause.

cities not suffrage! Urbanization is China’s answer to what it’s up to and where it’s going. Urban development has been a major engine for economic growth, and indeed industrial output, where the investment boom has been in no small way powered by domestic demand.10 Crucially, and in a much bigger way than idea-based concepts for reform, it has also been a catalyst for social progress. The traditional Chinese middle class dream, so strongly rooted in the vision of a family with a child in a house, has bonded hard to the new real estate market, and the growing sense of home ownership has provided a focal point both for “social instability”,11 in cases of land dispute, and for the long-awaited development of individuals’ rights. After years of mounting pressure, in 2007 citizens were awarded the same legal protection of their property as the state — arguably the most significant shift in Chinese law since 1949. Urbanization, not democracy, it turns out, is the driver for change in China. It is also the trip, and the much dreamed-of destination. But ironically for such a future-orientated society, the construction of this urban dream is being motivated by oppressively short term considerations. The radical mutability of the present, the near perfect absence of a reliable long term scenario, and the context of obscure and mercurial policy shifts, inevitably enforces among developers — and their local official partners — a “capitalize now” approach. Any intent to consider local integration is undermined by the fact that everything around is equally in flux, and high levels of consumer demand ensure

that suppliers compete chiefly on the grounds of cost and speed. The implications of this are all the more drastic for the fact that it’s a one shot opportunity. Once cast, urban configurations are to a large extent fixed, and cities are notorious for refusing rewind. Over the past twenty years it has become increasingly apparent that the world is a limited resource. Much of human development to date has simply not been aware of this (it always seemed so big), but the vicissitudes of globalization and a growing acknowledgment of climate change have set up potential outcomes which, though distant, are casting shadows back into the present. The 21st century will be one defined by its attempts to grapple with an angel of the long term. China’s urbanization is at the heart of its construction of a new society, and of the glorious future which the Chinese are currently and all so frugally awaiting. Given China’s contemporary role as both laboratory for urban development and leader of emerging economies, it is equally a core component in the construction of a global future, and therefore a global dream. The Chinese city may be in the thick of becoming the ultimate expression of not only spatial, but also economic and political desire. All the more reason to ask now, while the building is going up so fast, Is that in fact where we want to get to when we say we want to take each of these individual steps? All the more reason to dream harder. ADRIAN HORNSBY 

certainty dream

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puc*
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Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

people’s urbanity of china … and the birth of a megalopolis

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中华人民城
Saskia Vendel

4

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“中华人民城”引入了一个悖论。中国的城市基本上集中在 国土的三分之一处;而对2020年预测的人口增长和建筑增量 均显示,这一地区将达到连贯的城市密度,尽管它们的不均 匀。当中国朝着高度依赖郊区道路的方向大步前进时,城市 与农村的区别正在稳步消失。所剩的空间已经不够套用美国 的郊区式解决方案了。所以要发展以大型居住区为主的紧凑 的城市是非常关键的,这可以通过鼓励就业机会并刺激集中 发展的政策来实现—这不仅是为了效率更高、可持续发展的 布局—更是为了让中国朝着繁荣和先进的方向发展。

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. . . . . . . . . the world is urbanizing . china fastest . 930,000,000 chinese living in cities before 2030 . this means 1 new beij
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The urban population of China will approach one billion within the next two decades

3

Holland France

Russian Federation

Asia

US
4 肆

China

Europe

Nigeria India
5 伍

North America Brazil

6

South Africa

Urban Population in: 1960

Latin America

7

1990

2020 Africa
8 Source: United Nations, World Population Prospects, The 2004 Revision Population Database 捌

Australia 

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by population growth - economic growth . 35 x beijing = 2 x the total built volume of china . the new urban china will be driven ijing every year for 35 years
Floor space of buildings completed in China
2 贰

Total floor space of buildings in Beijing (2006): 543 km2
3

2000: 251 km2

2001: 299 km2

0 x100

National total floor space of buildings (2006): 17,450 km2
2002: 350 km2 2003: 415 km2 2006: 543 km2

Source: China Statistical Yearbook 2004, 2005, 2007, 2007
4

5

NATURAL POPULATION GROWTH

6

MIGRATION

}

URBAN POPULATION GROWTH

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+
39.2 x 23.2 公 分 

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WEALTH

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URBAN EXPANSION
dream

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a new society . economi anites by the year 2020 . china becomes an urban society! . 0,000 new urb - rural-to-urban migration . migration follows money . 400,00
壹 2,000 1,900 1,800

Estimates of China’s population vary greatly; projections for the year 2020 even more so.1
Projections total population 2020

2 1,700

China’s population will continue to increase in the coming decades, in spite of measures to curb population growth. In this book models are based on a total population of 1.55 billion and an urban population of 930 million by the year 2020. The sum of natural population growth and rural to urban migration will deliver 400 million new urbanites by 2020. This tips the balance, and in less than two decades moves China from a predominantly agricultural society to a predominantly urban one.

HI

G

1,500 3 1,400

one-child policy (1979) objectives – limit population to: 1.2 billion in 2000, 1.36 billion in 2010, 1.45 billion in 2020, 1.5 billion in 2050

research-based 1 estimate 2005

1,600

H

urban population 2030, 1.5% population growth scenario
LOW

1,300

1,200 4 1,100

1,000

hild e-c on

licy po

tiv jec ob

e

Projections urban population 2020

urban population 2030, 1% population growth scenario 2004

1. The independent population research institute, based upon a study of grain consumption, reports that the current population in the PRC is 1.5 billion. The Japanese Population Research Institution has come to the same conclusion based on a study of salt consumption.

2005-2019

2020

900 5

to t

700

al p

op ula

tio n

800

p rural po

ulation

GH

600 6 500

W LO

natural rural population growth

natural urban population growth

400

300 7
population (x 1,000,000)

HI

柒 200

on populati urban
100

0
1960 1965 1970 1975 1980

urban-rural split 2004: 41-59%
1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050

8

rural 58 % urban 42 %

rural 40 % urban 60 %

Sources: China Statistical Yearbook 2005, 2006; Feiner, J., Shiwen Mi, Willy A. Schmid, ‘Meeting the Challenge of Future Urbanization’, 2001; United Nations, World Population Prospects, the 2004 Revision Population Database, 2005; Worldbank, World Development Indicators, 2005, http://www.iiasa.ac.at, http://www.prb.org, http://www.chinapop.gov.cn

39.2 x 23.2 公 分  

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mic surge fuels expansion . people with more money move into bigg er apartments . live by themselves . buy cars . travel more . want more shopping . better faci
1
700

600

500

2

400

The growTh of The Chinese eConomy impaCTs upon urbanizaTion paTTerns in Two ways:

9% growth

8% growth 7% growth

300

As a result of social changes (fewer generations per household, rising divorce-rates, and a higher incidence of single occupancy households), the average number of people per household is decreasing. At the same time, the average size of houses is growing as people can afford more living space.
Composition of gross domestic product

200
GDP x 1 billion RMB

100% 80%

3

100

60% 40%

industry

1960

1965

1970

1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

2015

2020

2025

2030

2035

2040

2045

2050

0

20%
0%

b
agriculture
1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030

Source: China Statistical Yearbook 2004, 2005

1965

4

1. rural-urban wealTh gap augmenTs migraTion flows
160,000 152,000 144,000

2. expansion of fooTprinT per CapiTa
Living space per capita
40 30 25 20 15 10 5
m
2

Household size
7

5

136,000 128,000 120,000 112,000 104,000 96,000

living space per capita rural areas

6 5 4

number of persons 2030

building space per capita urban areas

3 2 1 0

0
1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025

1965

1970

1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

2015

2020

2025

2030

6

88,000 80,000 72,000 64,000 52,000 48,000

Number of vehicles (10 % GDP growth scenario)
140 120
income threshold for purchasing a car $6,000 annually

Paved roads and urban green space
35 30 25 20 15 10 5
m
2

7
GDP per capita (RMB)

40,000 32,000 24,000

100 80 60
x 1,000,000

16,000 8,000
1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985

40 20 0
1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030

paved roads per capita urban green space per capita

urban income per capita

rural income per capita
2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050

1965

1970

1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

2015

2020

2025

2030

1990

1995

2000

0

0

8

Source: China Statistical Yearbook 2004, 2005

Sources: China Statistical Yearbook 2005, 2006, US National Academy of Sciences and China Academy of Sciences, Personal Cars and China, 2003

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king for s feel the same and want to move to where the money is . fields are disappearing . rural labor surplus is massive . they go east loo cilities . migrant
yuan / year

1

WEALTH = DESTINATION
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18,000-20,000 16,000-18,000 14,000-16,000 12,000-14,000 10,000-12,000 8000-10,000 6000-8000 4000-6000 2000-4000 0-2000 no data 贰

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Per capita income of rural residents 2004

Per capita income of urban residents 2004

Source: China Statistical Yearbook 2005, 2006

RURAL-URBAN INCOME GAP = MIGRATION In absolute numbers, China’s middle and upper-middle classes have expanded rapidly. At the same time, they are looking to live at decreasing densities. The resulting flight to the suburbs is changing the shape of the city from its traditionally compact form to a more and more amorphous ruralurban hybrid. A new form of sprawl which combines scattered moments of density and extensive zones of low density is the result. Due to surges in demand for suburban typologies in 2004 19 km2 of villa park were under construction in Beijing alone. Migration is mainly economically motivated: the richer the destination, the stronger the pull; the lower the income, the stronger the push. Rural income has increased, but income disparities are growing. In 2000 agriculture made up only 15.9% of GDP, while accounting for 50% of the total labor force (National Statistic Bureau 2001). Economists estimate China’s excess rural labor GDP per km2 per year force at 150 to 200 million. At the heart of China’s massive rural labor surplus is an increase in agricultural productivity, and a severe reduction of the available arable land per farmer as a result of rural population growth and loss of arable land. Due to urbanization, over-intensive farming, and reforestation programs, 5,000km2 of arable land are lost every year.
2.8 0.6 0.5 1.6 2.3

yuan / km2 / year
>10,000,000 5,000,000-10,000,000 1,000,000-5,000,000 500,000-1,000,000 100,000-500,000 <100,000 no data Source: China Statistical Yearbook 2005, 2006 肆

4

5


3.8

2.9

6.5
3.8

4.6
2.2

6

4.9
3.7

7.5
3.6

5.2 5.7

9.0
5.4
>30% 20%-30% 15%-20% 10%-15% 5%-10% no data Source: 5th Population Census, 2000 柒

0.2

6.7
2.4

2.7

Number of migrants per province (millions) Percentage of migrants per province
3.9

4.4
3.2

3.4

8.6
5.9

7

Cultivated land per rural laborer 1955-1995
1955 1960 1965 1970 1975
0.9

25.3
1980

1985

1990

1995

8

0.59 ha.

0.62 ha.

0.44 ha.

0.36 ha.

0.34 ha.

0.31 ha.

0.26 ha.

0.23 ha. 0.21 ha.

Source: SSB, New China’s Agriculture Statistical Data, 2000

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WORK BUT DO NOT S TAY . MO VEMENT I NTO THE CITIES I S MOSTLY TEMPORAR Y . ROLL OVER MIG RATIO
2 3

1

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villa T Thehties e eig nd no he la dustrialisation in th g T g the rural in in leavunched durin la
slogan

离村 土不

N LEADS TO SPRAW L CLUSTE r si o n * RS AND C n ve ITY FORM vs Co BECOMES . scattere d and di scontinu

Prevailing policies disencourage the settling of migrants in megacities. This can in practice lead to the furtherment of sprawl. In particular, the hukou* registration system prevents the legal settlement of migrants in downtown areas, though easements have facilitated peripheral habitations. The result is that impermanent settlements blossom around the urban ring. Their semi-legal status does little to improve sanitation or basic facilities. Powerful developers together with local government destroy them almost at will.

ll ro

ge

According to generally accepted estimates the relation between hukou* and non-hukou migration is 1:5. Hukou* migrants move permantly (conversion*), while non-hukou migrants (or floating population*) eventually return to their place of origin (rollover migration*).

r mi gr a o ve T

5

leaving The vi llage noT The second slogan launch CounTryside ed late
r during the rural ind ustrialisation in the eig hties

离村不离乡
rural and urban migration
urban to urban migration: 20.5% rural to urban migration: 51.5%

i on

local, intra- and interprovincial migration
6

interprovincial intraprovincial

7
within the same district 45% 25% 30% urban to rural migration: 5% rural to rural migration: 23%

8

39.2 x 23.2 公 分 

*

Source: 5th Population Census, 2000

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poliCy sprawl* 1:
1

poliCy sprawl* 2:
Township-Village Enterprises [TVEs*]
In 2001 a measure was implemented to divert migration flows away from larger cities. About 600,000 rural residences acquired an urban hukou* through experimental reforms of the system. Instant urban status was granted in 20,000 designated “small towns” (towns of less than 100,000 people). Unemployed farmers and all those absorbed in the state’s extensive employment schemes were drawn by job opportunities in the TVEs* in and around these small towns, townships, and villages. 38% of the working population in the countryside (a total of 497m people) is engaged in non-agricultural activity (industry, construction, transport, retail, food). These are predominantly migrants, many of whom (138.7m) work in TVEs*. The success of the TVEs* is a driving force behind the scattered urbanization outside large cities. The average land use per capita in TVEs* was 555m2 in 1994, while the state-owned second sector needed just 52m2 per capita.

poliCy sprawl* 3:
Upgrade*
Upgrade* is a form of urban expansion which does not need to justify itself against population movements or the relationship between rural and urban economies. It is simply people moving into bigger apartments shared with fewer people, bringing about a massive reduction in people per m2 of built area. Without anything having to change in terms of population numbers, the city is building itself dramatically upwards and outwards. Money made in the city and sent home by migrants is a powerful contributor to the purchasing power of rural households. Investment of choice is the upgrade of the farm (modernizing houses and building roads) which is the basis of a rapid rural urbanization. Many migrant workers return home to run their own businesses, bringing with them new concepts which help boost local economic development. In this way, in a counter-intuitive process, migration to the megacity directly stimulates rural bottom-up urbanization.

poliCy sprawl* 4:
Zone Fever
The last 15 years have witnessed a boom in development zones. Local governments have set up numerous zones with fancy titles like “Economic and Technological Development Zone”, “High-Tech Development Zone” etc., and invested heavily to provide urban infrastructure such as land grading, electricity, water and roads.
贰 壹

Semi-Urbanized Villages [SUVs*]
Non-hukou migrants don’t have access to subsidized public housing, and renting on the private market is too expensive. Therefore they have to rent rooms or houses from farmers on the urban fringe. People with rural hukou* have more flexibility in building their own houses. In many cases farmers on the urban fringe illegally build more houses to lease to migrants. These developments are unplanned and the government does not invest in infrastructure like paved roads, sewage, or electricity. These villages are neither urban nor rural. Although the migrants are engaged in the urban economy, the quality of their housing is rural in nature.

2

An informal statistic puts the total area of development zones at 36,000km2. Most development zones are discontinuous from the built area and located on the urban fringe, sometimes at long distances from the city, where farms are expropriated and arable land transformed. This generates dispersed development. Socialist style planning still persists in the minds of local planners. Many zones are vacant and eventually return to farmland. In the mid-nineties 1,200 zones were cancelled. In February 2005 China Daily reported that 4,813 zones had been shut down — about 70% of the nation’s total.

3

nuous . m uch of th is can be traced ba ck to pol icies . d evelopmen t is push ed from t he fringe s of mega cities al l the way back to t he villag e . the r esult is that b
4

Now the country has 2,053 zones covering 13,700km2 of land.

5

6

townships and villages
7

36,000 km2 of planned development zones in 2003 Zones planned by the national government
Economic and technological development zones Industrial zones High-tech development zones 柒

Zones planned by the provincial government
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ing . all parts of society are building upwards and outwards at the same time . but a concentration exists nevert

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uneven landreforms

development zones rural population growth
3 叁

population growth

GDP growth

urban - rural income gap growth

employment in TVEs*
4

urban population growth

rural labor surplus

urban income growth

xiao kang* society, suburban upgrade*, doorstep urbanization* growth service space and infrastructure footprint per capita growth

hukou* reforms
5

hukou* migration to townships and villages hukou* migration to urban periphery non-hukou migration rollover* = conversion*

remittances
remitt ances

rural income growth

brickification*, upgrade*

semi urbanized villages*, floating villages*

TVE* growth, dispersed development in townships and villages

6

SCATTERED URBAN EXPANSION
7 柒

policy sprawl*

8

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rtheless . we look at where the expansion is occurring and see that megacities - cities - townships - towns - and villages are all concentrated in a minority o

Urban
2

growth next

in

the

15
in

years the
3

will

occUr cities

predominantly small in and

townships, the

not
4

megacities.
In fact, urbanization revolves around the small cities (<750,000 inhabitants). This is the settlement size with the least efficient footprint. Unlike large cities, which are carefully planned, construction projects in townships and villages do not have to be approved by government authorities. There is no spatial planning in its proper sense. If future urbanization continues to occur at this level the result will be an urbanity without the critical mass required to evolve into a system of compact mid-sized and large urban centers.

5

6

900
tio ula pop

225 200 175 150 125
Landuse per capita (m2)

800 700 600 500
population (x 1,000,000)

n1 997

400 300 200 100 0 hamlets and villages large villages / townships small towns medium sized cities large cities extra large cities
popu lati 30 on 20

100 75 50 25 0

7

8

Land use per capita (1997) and population distribution according to settlement types (1997 and 2030)
Source: Feiner, J., Shiwen Mi, Willy A. Schmid, ‘Meeting the Challenge of Future Urbanization’, 2001

2005 2015

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Major airports
1

Dominant air passenger flows

of the country . there is a specific re gion in the east where this development is in all forms taking place . separate it from china and you get . . . . . .
2 贰

Agricultural density
0 - 10 % cultivated 10 - 30 % cultivated > 30 % cultivated 3 non-cultivated

Population density (people / km2)
<100 100-250 250-500 >500

The combined forces of top-down and bottomup development define the total urban expansion. However these processes occupy only a small part of the country — an eastern region within the PRC in which resources, population, economy and infrastructure are concentrated.

Cities, towns and villages
4

Turnover per province (x100m RMB)
肆 0 - 1,000 1,000 - 2,000 2,000 - 3,000 3,000 - 4,000 4,000 - 5,000 5,000 - 6,000 6,000 - 7,000 > 7,000

5

Highways

Railways

6

7

National and provincial level development zones

Coverage of major mobile phone network

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area: 3,302,997 Km2 populaTion 2004: 1.263 billion

. puc . puc urban populaTion 2004: 530 million . puc . puc densiTy 2005: 382 p/Km2 . puc . puc . puc populaTion 2020: 1.488 billion . puc . puc urban populaTion 2020: 893 million . puc . puc 96% of China’s populaTion densiTy 2020: 451 p/Km2 . puc . puc 96% of China’s eConomiC aCTiviTies (gdp) . puc . puc 96% of China’s migraTion flows . puc . puc . puc 96% of China’s urban populaTion . puc . puc 96% of China’s arable land . puc . puc . puc . puc . puc . puc . puc . puc
2 贰 3 叁 4 肆 5 伍 6

0.96 x China

=

puC
people’s urbaniTy of China 

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Climate
1 Middle temperature zone South temperature zone North subtropical zone Middle subtropical zone South subtropical zone North tropical zone South tropical zone

Average annual temperature
°C 24 20 16 12 8 4 0 -4

Temperature gradient
-32 35 °C

Annual precipitation
1 501

January precipitation map
1 501

2

July precipitation map
3 1 501

Precipitation and runoff zoning
Rainy - water rich Moist - water abundant Semi-moist - transitional Semi-dry - water shortage Dry - drought

Dryness (ratio of annual evaporation capacity to annual precipitation)
Index of dryness <0.5 0.5 - 1 1-2 2-5

Distribution map of average water resources per person
m/s 1-500 500-1000 1000-2000 2000-3000 3000-5000 >5000

Distribution of land affected by desertification

4

Geological map
5 Quartenary Tertiairy Mesozoic Palaeozoic Proterozoic Archaeozoic Granite Basalt Basic - ultra basic rocks Fault

Geological hazard map
Ultra developed area Developed area Moderately developed area Slightly developed area Very slightly developed area Intense earthquake Collapse Landslip Debris flow Geofracture

Metallic mineral resources
W Sn Mo REE Li Al Ho Fe Ni Ti (Fe) Co Pb - Zn Au

Fuels, power, minerals and metals
Fuels Petroleum refinery Shale oil refinary Oilfield Gasfield Oil basin Major coal mine Electric power Thermal plant Hydro plant Transmission line

Major landuse categories
Cropland Forest Grassland Water 伍

6

considered as a country in its own right the people’s urbanity of china is much smaller and denser than you think . as an area usa = 3 x PUc . eurozone = 5/3
Land use
7 Paddy Irrigated field Non-irrigated field Timber forest Economic forest Sparse woods Bush Prairie and grasslands Hilly, mountainous grasslands Glacier Desert Gobi Marshes Saline-alkali land Cold desert Bare land Lake, reservoir Urban

Cropland
Cropland rainfed Cropland irrigated Only rice Double cropping Cropland mixed with other landuse

Grassland yield
High yield: > 2,000 kg/ha/yr Fair yield: 1,000 - 2,000 kg/ha/yr Low yield: < 1,000 kg/ha/yr No grassland

Grassland types
Alpine meadow High-cold desert High-cold desert-steppe High-cold meadow-steppe High-cold steppe Lowland meadow Marsh Temperate desert Temperate desert-steppe Temperate meadow-steppe Temperate high altitude-steppe Temperate steppe Temperate steppe-desert Tropical herbosa Tropical shrub herbosa Warm-temperate herbosa Warm-temperate shrub herbosa No grassland 

Grassland quality & yield
Good quality & high yield Good quality & fair yield Good quality & low yield Fair quality & high yield Fair quality & fair yield Fair quality & low yield Low quality & high yield Low quality & fair yield Low quality & low yield No grassland 柒

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india y . onl m2 e/k area: 9,631,420 pl 344,270,000 US population 2020:km 0 peo 40 over of sity en age d er PUC area: 3,302,997 km population 2020: 1,488,000,000 an av r es fo ak his m t area: 9,596,960 1,550,000,000 PRC population 2020:km ned . bi h com ot 5xb 1. than e e mor b will 20 in 20 on ulati op c’s p u yet p nd c.a x pu EUR area: 5,058,000 km population 2020: 575,977,000

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Bangladesh 1,258 Mauritius 679 Comoros 505 South Korea 499 Puerto Rico 477 Rwanda 469 PUC 451 Burundi 441 The Netherlands 416 El Salvador 406 India 405 Lebanon 398 Israel 375 Haiti 372 Reunion 371 Martinique 368 Sri Lanka 349 Phillipines 344 Japan 335 Vietnam 301 Pakistan 266 Guadeloupe 282 
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Source: United Nations, World Population Prospects, the 2004 Revision Population database, 2005

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Pakistan 266 Trinidad and Tobago 262 UK 256 Jamaica 253 Germany 231 Dominican Republic 219 Luxembourg 213 Italy 190

puC forCes us To reConsider The densiTy numbers generally aTTribuTed To China 

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500 population 2020 > 400 people / km2

600

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Population densities 2020
City states and islands smaller than 1,000 km2 are not counted Source: United Nations, World Population Prospects, the 2004 Revision Population database, 2005

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is
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stest . is urbanizing fa where it the exact places ssure in puc is under pre . arable cultivated land a’s most arable puC* under y lies over chin ue of densit s tiss pressure le . a continuou
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Population density (people / km2)
3 <100 100-250 250-500 >500

Agricultural density
0 - 10 % cultivated 10 - 30 % cultivated > 30 % cultivated non-cultivated

The struggle between urban and rural space becomes a particular concern when we focus on the land use within PUC*. The highest population density, the fastest urbanizing region, and the nation’s most productive agricultural areas overlap perfectly.

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Compact growth: urban population density at Beijing urbanized areas (11,520 p/km2) Built up urban areas: 77,170 km2
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Observations of recent urbanization methods make it clear that China will present a hybrid of extremely loose, car-dependent, suburban-style urban expansion, within which will sit compact architectural typologies. Projections based on densities ranging from the Beijing urbanized area to western suburban densities show the scale of the new urban landscape. The urban expansion projected onto the surface of PUC* shows a dramatic transformation of China’s inhabited space. Depending on the densities at which the new cities take shape, the ensuing urban landscape may cover as much as 33% of PUC’s* total area (EU: 8.4%; US: 2.62%).

Built up rural areas: 101,830 km2

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Suburban growth: urban population density at Beijing inner suburbs (4,188 p/km ) Built up urban areas: 212,273 km2 Built up rural areas: 101,830 km2

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Suburban growth, car dependent: urban population at LA density (2,500 p/km2) Built up in urban areas: 355,600 km2 Built up rural areas: 101,830 km2 Western model growth: population in US density (1,364 p/km2) Built up area:1,090,669 km2

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Land consumption within a 60% urbanized PUC under different urban density scenarios

8 Sources: http // www.demographia.com, Feiner, J., Shiwen Mi, Willy A. Schmid, “Meeting the Challenge of Future Urbanization”, 2001

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n could account for 1/3 of puc b y 2020 . spread t his as a loose ne twork ov er avail able lan d and pu c is con sumed co mpletely desert: 2% . as for est and grassland: 3.5% farmland give water: 4%
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developed: 6.3%

developed: 33 %

forest: 33%

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cultivated land: 38%

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other (marshes, sparse woods, bush, bare land, mining, salt pans, glaciers): 13.2%

2006
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2020
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100 %

arable world

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41.2 %

of the world’s total arable land needed to feed PUC in 2020

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19.6 % 11.3 %

of the world population is living in PUC in 2005 and 2020 of the world’s total arable land needed to feed PUC in 2005 of the world’s total arable land is in PUC

way to puc’s c hanging spatia l configuratio ns
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9.8 %

Meat consumption per capita per year in China
5 80

- lifestyle ch oices - consum ption behavior - mobility pat terns - the re st of the worl d will shift t oo . impact up

12 16 10 11 13 14 15

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meat consumption per capita per year (kg)

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An overwhelmingly vegetarian diet produced by modern high-intensity cropping needs no more than 800m2 of arable land per capita. A fairly balanced Chinese diet of the late 1990s, containing less than 20kg of meat, was produced from an average of 1,100m2 per capita. The typical Western diet (containing 80kg of meat per year) now claims up to 4,000m2 per capita. Implications of the last rate are clear. PUC’s* 2020 population eating a Western-style meat diet produced at the feeding efficiencies prevalent during the late 1990s would require about 600 million hectares of agricultural land: more than 40% of the world’s total.
Source: Smil, V. ‘Eating Meat: Evolution, Patterns, and Consequences’, 2002

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20

1960

1965

1970

1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

2015

2020

2025

2030

2035

2040

2045

2050

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Sources: China Statistical Yearbook 2005, 2006, http://www.uk.biz.yahoo.com

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100%

global biocapacity

84%
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of global biocapacity used by PUC in 2020

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19.6 % 17%

of the world population is living in PUC in 2005 and 2020 of global biocapacity used by PUC in 2005

Source: WWF, ‘Europe 2005, The Ecological footprint’ 4 肆

ations of economy and population within puc will huge . impact upon global ecology will be even bigger . dispersions and concentr pon global foodmarkets will be
5 伍 6.4 ha. 6.4 ha. 6.4 ha.

6 available biocapacity per world capita 1.5 ha.

The ecological footprint shows what area of biologically productive land and water a given population needs to produce all the resources it consumes and to absorb its waste using current technology. This demand on nature can be compared with the earth’s biocapacity, based on its biologically productive area — approximately 11.3 billion global hectares, which is a quarter of the Earth’s surface. The productive area of the biosphere translates to an average of 1.8 global hectares per person in 2005.

high income countries

high income countries

PUC

PUC

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2005

2020

footprint per capita of PUC and high income countries in 2005 and 2020

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agriculture

art iving he thr eals the rev - gdp lture - agricu try of indus eas yield ar igh posing h perim sed . su focu tion is oduc d yet pr otte ent is d lopm e . deve futur ine its ll def
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services
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jinghu*
京沪
Population: 1.5 m
Population: 1.5 m

Beijing

Tangshan
Population: 23 m

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The CapiTal of puC* . jia ConCenTraTion in a ConCenTraTion nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu

Baoding

Tianjin
400 km

300 km

Population: 1.6 m Population: 1 m

Handan Anyang

Jinan
Population: 2.5 m

Qingdao
Population: 2 m

200 km

100 km

Jining
Population: 0.7 m
0 km

Population: 0.9 m Population: 1 m

Jiaozuo

Zhangzhou

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2005 2020

ToTal populaTion: 385,000,000 densiTy: 794 p/Km2

ToTal populaTion: 474,300,000 densiTy: 978 p/Km
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Population: 1.5 m . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu Changzhou Population: 28 m . ji nghu Suzhou . ji Shanghai nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji ngh
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. the capital of puc is a continuous urban region of 485,000km2 connecting beijing - zhangzhou - shanghai . by 2020 it will consist of a total population of
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lture and u n of 590 people/km2 . agricu d a suburban basi n ridge of 944 people/km2 an o areas - an urba ies can be separated into tw it f 474 million . current dens
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urban forms nestle amongst each other to create a self-replicating rurbanized grain . as you zoom in sparsim developmental patterns reproduce themselves at eac
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less than 500m . the network is at once loose-kn to individual villages each expanding outwards . distances of separation drop to ach level of magnitude . down
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mega city very large city
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high rurban density suburban density agriculture high density agriculture forest

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knit and tight-spaced . as jinghu’s inhabitants come to enjoy the benefits of china’s economic growth they motori ze - they meat-eat - they move outwards - the
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hey produce more waste . the potential consequences for space and sustainability lead to the envisioning of a doom scenario . a different outcome can equally b
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be imagined . a dream of more compact urban structure s . an efficient road-rail-air backbone . consolida tion of fertile land . . . . . . . . . . . .
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CONCLUSION
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ROOTS INDUSTRIALIZATION (TVES*) AND OFFICIALLY PLANNED ECONOMIC AND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ZONES ACT AS PULL FACTORS FOR INVESTMENTS AND MIGRANTS AWAY FROM THE URBAN CORE. THE CONCEPT OF PUC* INTRODUCES A PARADOX. CHINA’S URBAN LANDSCAPE IS DISTINCTLY CONCENTRATED ON ONE THIRD OF THE NATION’S SURFACE. THE PROJECTED GROWTH OF BOTH POPULATION AND BUILT-VOLUME FOR 2020 REVEALS OVERLAYERED AREAS WITH THE DENSITY OF A CONTINUOUS URBAN REGION, YET WITHOUT SUCH COHERENCE. THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN URBAN AND RURAL CONDITIONS IS STEADILY LOST AS CHINA MOVES TOWARDS A HYPER-SUBURBAN ROADDEPENDENT LANDSCAPE. THE SPACE AVAILABLE HOWEVER CAN’T POSSIBLY ALLOW FOR SUBURBAN SOLUTIONS SUCH AS HAVE EMERGED IN THE US. STIMULATING THE COMPACT URBAN GROWTH OF LARGER SETTLEMENTS THROUGH JOB INCENTIVES AND POLICIES WHICH CONCENTRATE DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PIVOTAL - NOT JUST FOR A MORE EFFICIENT AND SUSTAINABLE LAYOUT - BUT TO ALLOW CHINA TO KEEP EVOLVING TOWARD A PROSPEROUS AND ADVANCED NATION.

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THE CONCENTRATION OF PEOPLE AND ACTIVITY WITHIN CHINA FORCES US TO RETHINK THE URBAN AND POPULATION DENSITY NUMBERS. WITHIN THE LIMITS OF PUC* THE COMBINED DEMOGRAPHIC, SOCIAL, AND ECONOMIC FORCES GIVE RISE TO HYPER-SPEED URBANIZATION ON AN UNSEEN SCALE. THE POLICIES INSTALLED TO KEEP THIS URBANIZATION AWAY FROM LARGE CITIES IS STIMULATING SCATTERED LOW LEVEL DEVELOPMENTS (POLICY SPRAWL*). MIGRATION TO THE LARGER CITIES IS OFTEN OF A TEMPORARY NATURE (ROLLOVER MIGRATION*), AND MAINLY CONTRIBUTES TO PERIPHERAL URBANIZATION. AS A RESULT, NEW FORMS OF URBANIZATION AT THE VILLAGE AND TOWNSHIP LEVEL HAVE EMERGED, SUCH AS DOORSTEP URBANIZATION* AND BRICKIFICATION*. THE INTENSITY OF RECENT GROWTH SUGGESTS VILLAGE MUSHROOMING WILL DICTATE EXPANSION PATTERNS FOR DECADES TO COME. THESE PHENOMENA REPRESENT THE MOST SPACE EXTENSIVE SETTLEMENT TYPES. IN ADDITION, BOTH GRASS
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CERTAINTY

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The iniTial basis for This researCh was The sTaTed ambiTion To build 400 new CiTies wiTh an average of 1 million inhabiTanTs eaCh by 2020

whaT we insTead observed was The emergenCe of a single megalopolis of over 400 million inhabiTanTs
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keep ’em coming
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Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

population and the urban crisis

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人口过剩论
Adrian Hornsby, quotes Bert de Muynck The Short Step, Kilometer Zero, 2005 (photo Ben McMillan) 400 Westerners wearing traditional Chinese blue factory uniforms walk through the 798* factory / art district of Beijing 

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在一千年后来分析21世纪,一个非常重要的事实是:世界人 口从1900年的16亿增长到了61亿。在2003年大约有30亿世 界人口生活在城市。在未来30年中,绝大部分人口增长也将 发生在城市,他们将被人口少于五十万的小型不发达城市吸 收。而中国作为目前人口最多的国家,应如何应对城市和农 村的人口增长呢?人是城市的建设者,也是城市的使用和消 费者,这一两面性给中国正在崛起的城市化和现代化带来了 诸多问题。面对这些挑战,中国的城市化能否向我们理想中 的方向发展呢?

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1. eXplosion of population
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2007

global urban population exceeeds global rural population: the world becomes predominately urban

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world population billions

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10,000 BC

8000

6000

4000

2000

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10,000 BC Dawn of settlements

POPULATION geometric growth

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FOOD arithmetic growth route of moral restraint, contraception, homosexuality route of famine, war, epidemic

1798 1909 ‘The power of population The Haber Process is so superior to the power The production of fertilizof the earth to produce er is no longer dependent subsistence for man, that on organic cycles (animal premature death must in dung, decomposed plant some shape or other visit matter etc.) and instead the human race.’ is manufactured on an An Essay on the Principle of industrial scale. Currently Population 1% of the world’s annual Thomas Malthus energy supply is consumed in the Haber Process. present

1939–1945 WWII No significant fall-off

1947–1991 The Cold War Humanity fears complete annihilation

8

past

less water fewer species older people bigger cities more desert more agribusiness less death more chimneys colonies on Mars? less thinking more insects … 

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2. eXplosion of architectural theory
Who does not feel an acute nostalgia for the types who could, no more than 15 years ago, condemn (or was it liberate, after all?) whole areas of alleged urban desperation, change entire destinies, speculate seriously on the future with diagrams of untenable absurdity, leave entire auditoriums panting over doodles left on the blackboard, manipulate politicians with their savage statistics — bow ties the only external sign of their madness? For the time when there were still … thinkers? Koolhaas, R. S,M,L,XL, (Monacelli Press, 1995) p. 199

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Below 30% urbanization, the balance between city and country feels organic — two mutually reinforcing identities. Above that percentage, the advance of the city triggers alarm: as its growth accelerates, it becomes artificial; modernization takes hold […] Between 1900 and 1980, when their cities more than doubled, Europe and America produced their key manifestos […] The stream stopped abruptly exactly at the moment where urbanization on both continents reached a plateau, around the ’70s: now tracts were written not about how the city should be constructed, but based on interpretations of the city as it existed. Koolhaas, R. Content (Taschen, 2004) [We see the development of] fast-growing industrialization, a fast-growing population, and a fast-growing urbanization. And one of the byproducts of this world is that architecture is coming to be considered as just another product, able to be produced almost fullblown by the same processes that now make other things for human use [… In response architects must develop] a willingness to see that industrialization, its processes and products, is neither panacea nor poison, and that the architect can cooperate with it without selling his soul — in fact, must cooperate in order to prevent the world from becoming a soulless wasteland. Borchers, P. ‘Future of Urban Environment: The Metabolist Group’ Progressive Architecture #45 (1964) p. 162

disap
nection

NOSTALGIA FOR THE PROPHET-ARCHITECT (even while he is still young)

4

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soul
DISSEVERMENT FROM PRACTICE as theoreticians unroll ever bolder more conceptual approaches (“we have deconstructed time” etc.), various “modern” projects fail (“project” housing in the US, peripheral point towers and associated urban degeneration, the collapse of Ronan Point in the UK, etc.). Practicians grow to distrust theory; theory relieves itself of any obligation to provide realizable, cost-effective solutions. Architects are regarded as either space suppliers, wilful experimenters with unprofitable technologies, or library tower mountebanks.

se of org

anic con

deteriora

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The Future of the City
NEW SOCIETY A surge in technology and the introduction of industrialized building techniques leads to utopian proposals for a massive scale rebuilding of the city. Whole new concepts of what a city can be are generated, reaching far beyond the direct concerns of architecture and urban design, and relocating the spatial debate onto a plane of philosophical and sociological questions. What can a society be? Who are its people? Hidden persuaders and strategies for allurement through design, aided by facilitators, enticements etc. are put forward to transform the inhabitants of an irrational mix of typologies into highly efficient standardized consumers housed in prefabricated units. Or the complete opposite … everyone becomes a free electron in the ceaselessly mobile urban system.

ting sen

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URBAN ALARM Density is generated by building upwards: steel, concrete. A panicked huddled populace suffers from acute fear of shadows, canyons, phantasmagoric visions of monolithic cities, continuous kilometers of reflective glazing. ’60s scientists wearing glasses with thick black frames research “ideal” community sizes. White rodents sniff inscrutably behind the bars of laboratory cages while sucrose solutions are measured out for them in glass beakers. Rats are “happiest”, it is discovered, in tower blocks of no more than 12 storys.

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3. disappearance of the architect We have an obligation to speed up, improve the quality of, and reduce the cost of, construction. in order to do so, there is only one path — the path of the most extensive industrialization of construction […] if an architect Wants to be in step With life, he must be an expert in cost-saving […] there are architects Who fail to take this into account […] this is architectural perversion.
KRUSHCHEV, N. PROJECT RUSSIA 25, PP. 12–17 

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PREFABRICATION the arguments in favor of prefabrication are simple: offsite mass production of modular building components facilitates a speed, volume, efficiency, economy and precision of outputs achievable only in large-scale factory environments. These components can then be transported to sites, craned into place, and locked together with great accuracy. The excision of complicated onsite procedures and the enforced downtime spent waiting for concrete to set massively accelerates the pace of construction, and thus allows further cost savings. In the face of needing to house a great many people in a very short space of time in relatively impoverished parts of the world, prefabrication offers the most tangible solution. It also offers the most monolithic. Arguments against the widespread uncritical application of prefabricated techinques across all aspects of architecture are equally simple: the enforced deployment of a limited vocabulary of parts which fit together according to standardized proportions will necesarily produce a monotonous urban environment, without any specialized localized individualized sense of place. Architects have been notably reluctant to embrace fully modular systems, not least because of the extent to which they close down avenues for creative expression. Reduced almost to the role of flatpack assembler, the architect despises the method, and denounces the result as “soul-less”. Ironically, at the same time and by the same means that the architect loses his sense of himself as an artist, he gains a hitherto unthinkable real-world power. Assemblages of prefabricated components are erected not only with astonishing speed, but also on an almost limitless scale. You just keep linking and stacking. For those who utilize the new technology, not only single developments but single buildings even approach the scale of urban design. And having reached that size, there is still no technical imperative to stop.

a need to bridge the gap between the single building and the overpopulated hyper-congested disintegrating urban context

paradox of attempting to supply unique products using mass manufacture

The very moment at which the city becomes the dominant global form for human habitation, it is faced with a double bind: it is expected both to reinvent itself in the most creative, atttractive and sustainable way possible, and to house the incoming millions in the most effective, sanitized and equal way possible. In taking center stage, the demands on the one hand of functionality, and on the other of liveability, are effectively redoubled. To compound this pressure, the nature of concrete and the state of the environment necessarily expect the city to get it right first time. Planners, governments and community groups all call for the benefits of prefabrication, while refusing to give up traditional ideas of detailed homes and distinctive neighborhoods.

MEGASTRUCTURE / METABOLISM attempts may be made to mitigate the impact of prefabriction or to cloak its message, but its relevance to the population debate is unshakeable. Rather than containment and reticence, a radical alternative is the full-tilt pursuit of prefabrication as an expression of the future city in its ultimate form. The Metabolist movement called for the argument around urbanization to be refocused from light, green space, and the static qualities offered to an individual dwelling onto group form, constellation, and the movement patterns offered to an individual user. Prefabrication methods are deployed to create large scale environmental megstructures which engulf the previous urban realm within a continuous three-dimensional city. Linear, systematized, multifunctional, demontageable, adaptable, extendable, moldable component parts create a space which not only allows but is predicated upon permanent change. The use of the space feedsback into the space itself, or rather, the space processes and digests its uses. Thus the city becomes a metabolic unit, whose operations of morphological reformatting are an expression of its own internal flows and densities. Within the megastructure, time and space have equal weighting, and duration. The city metabolizes all things which flow through it: information, capital, people, matter. Rigid masterplans as conceptualized by the Modern movement are rejected. Instead population changes become ripples through a mastersystem.

mobile architecture — ease of movement; use determined by users

The building is mobile insofar as any sort of use whatsoever by the user or a group must be possible and realizable. The layout will resemble a kind of grid with regular fixtures (the pillars). Below this grid is the irregular design of the radial buildings, freely meandering in relation to the use for which they are designed. Each volume used is not necessarily an obstacle to transformability, but a point of departure or a terminal station for certain inhabitants. The city, as a mechanism, is thus nothing other than a labyrinth: a configuration of points of departure, and terminal points, separated by obstacles. Yona Friedman on Mobile Architecture

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The architect is asked to design a different standard building type for every new neighborhood, industry is required to manufacture slightly different components, and construction is expected to vary somewhat from that in existing projects. Therefore genuine industrialization never has a chance. Bosma, K., Van Hoogstraten, D., Vos, M. Housing for the Millions — John Habraken and the SAR 1960-2000 (NAi, 2000) p. 91

dissolution of the home environment

A living unit is now based on only one generation and will eventually change into a personal unit. With the change in working conditions, working hours will be shortened. People will have three or four days for recreation. To have one’s roots in the city will itself be meaningless. Noriaka Kurokawa, quoted by Borchers, P. ‘Future of Urban Environment: The Metabolist Group’ Progressive Architecture #45 (1964), p. 168

John Habraken and the individual dwelling — possible mediations

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Looking at this in the context of current population growth and movements, which both suggest an urban explosion at the level of the smaller city (less than 500,000 residents), it is easy to see how the scale implied by prefabricated housing, and its development in huge quantities, will rapidly lead to a total transformation of those urban environments by architectural practices rather than by urban design.

In the guise of “urban design”, the exercise of architecture on a very large scale might bridge the gap between the single building and its disintegrating urban context. Massive physical forms are set against the “incomprehensible sprawl” of the simplistic, unfocused, statistical city of single-family dwellings on a million suburban lots. At that point of resolution and despair, the “city as a single building” became a thinkable concept and megastructure was its appointed form. Banham, R. Megastructure — Urban Futures of the Recent Past (Thames & Hudson, 1976) p. 32

A radical alternative: the concept of a division between support and infill or, in other words, a separation of mass-housing production into two parts – a communal part (the support) and a private area of responsibility (the infill). This differentiation recognized a desire to use industrial manufacturing methods to provide variation in millions of dwellings and to imbue ordinary dwellings with an individual character. However, Habraken’s proposition meant first of all a new role for the institutional client, who had to admit the occupant into the process, allowing him to assume responsibility and to regain control of the creation of both his (rented) home and the housing environment [...] Another important point that emerged was the difference in objectives hidden behind arguments for industrialized building, depending on in whose interest the process of construction was being served. Architects pondering on industrially built dwellings formulated idealistic and architectonic concepts, while contractors supported industrialization on the basis of competition, scarcity, and a maximization of profits. Bosma, K., Van Hoogstraten, D., Vos, M. Housing for the Millions — John Habraken and the SAR 1960-2000 (NAi, 2000) pp. 91–3 

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historic center with outlying suburbs and occasional towers neo-Corbusian landscape: cross-towers and freeways

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In the midst of technological step-change, ballooning theory, and housing demand x10 or more, the city has continued to grow in much the same manner as it ever did: private enterprise operating on the scale of individual lots. With a few notable exceptions, cities have not been defined by single unified visions, nor by a singular vocabulary of modular parts. This is not to say that repetition has not been at the core of much modern development. More that its expressions have been articulated by market forces rather than by pencil drawings. Those grand schemes which were once followed have yielded neither a competitive city, nor a desirable model. The planner invented himself in response to the appalling conditions of the urban poor in newly industrialized nations. Since then, self-projected planner-phantoms — wielding in either hand ultimate power and terrifying solutions — have given way to positions as either academics adrift from practice, or mere weak regulators. In the meantime, the city has developed faster, farther afield, and more profitably than ever before. In terms not only of raw population numbers, but also of proportion of GDP, cultural clout, and identity formation, the city has risen to dominate all space around itself. There is the city, and then there is its footprint (ecological, psychological, pathological etc.). It has taken a hold of itself, and done so according the rule of what typologies can be sold to which people. In the USA, the availability of cheap prefab facilitated the creation of the famously disaggregated American suburb. Europe mushroomed and modernized with a few cautious towers. Urban areas in much of the developing world have suffered the same ills as their now sanitized predecessors: cramped slums and proliferating waste. Conditions continue to be exacerbated by uncontrolled migration toward centers of limited economic growth. The international community lends money for infrastructure projects, which it then frequently contracts back to itself. Hyper-density in South East Asia has generated Corbusian typologies, though these are meted out in discrete private packets. In China, all elements are present at the same time as the greatest urbanization wave yet takes concrete shape. 

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HOUSING THE MASSES

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In China we can discern two evolutions that reflect the impact of population on the urban growth. Firstly there is an individual and explosive growth of the small cities and villages located all over China. Secondly there is the clustering and steady hybrid growth of mega-urban regions such as the Pearl River Delta, Yellow River Delta and Jing Hu*.

7 upping sticks and giving birth Among China’s huge “floating population” of rural-to-urban migrants were not a few who moved in order to give birth to more children. Unrestricted by urban work units or residence officials, peasant communities in the cities sometimes served as “safe havens” where couples could have births without fear of being fined — to the great frustration of local birth planning officials. […] Meanwhile, the youngest generation, having grown up in a media-saturated culture and in many cases having experienced city life firsthand, were living in imagined worlds that were urban rather than rural. Carrying modern urban culture, these returned migrants, now roughly one-third of all rural-to-urban migrants, are major forces for reproductive change in the villages. Greenhalgh, S., Winckler, E. Governing China’s Population — From Leninist to Neoliberal Biopolitics (Stanford University Press, 2005) pp. 222–229

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Almost all population growth expected for the world in the next thirty years will be concentrated in the urban areas. The smaller urban settlements (with fewer than 500,000 residents) of the less developed regions, will be absorbing most of this growth. Mega-cities, like Tokyo, Mexico City and New York will continue to dominate the urban landscape in some countries, but the majority of the urban dwellers will be residing in the smaller cities. The world’s urban population was estimated at 3 billion in 2003 and is expected to rise to five billion by 2030. The rural population is anticipated to decline slightly from 3.3 billion in 2003 to 3.2 billion in 2030.

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The future both short and long term yields a massive expansion of the urban population. While numbers and balances remain fairly stable in the most developed regions of the world, significant changes are expected to unfold across developing continents. The impact of this upon urbanization is twofold: the total population continues to grow, exerting a greater pressure upon existing settlements; moreover the distribution of that growing population undergoes a transformation, from predominantly rural to predominantly urban. There are both more people, and more people moving. That this wave of urbanization is taking place in those countries where modern metropolitan cites are themeselves in their nascence presents the world with the greatest exercise in urban design it has ever experienced.

source: World Population in 2300, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 0
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China is people rich. It is however resource poor. Or at least, it spreads itself thinly. Ratios of arable land per person, available water per person, hectares of forestry per person and so on all indicate that China has, comparatively, less to go round. The potential threat of overpopulation was apparent even to the pre-reform government, which from the beginning of the ’70s was implementing a “late, long, few” family planning policy (encouraging women to have children later, with longer distances between them, and fewer in total). This imperative was formulated in terms of almost stunning bluntness: ‘One is good, two is OK, and three is too many’. Such slogans represented a deep level volte-face for a leader who in the early ’50s was proclaiming the death of hunger, and equating population size with essential strength (Mao extended such thinking even to military strategy, responding to America’s nuclear dominance with China’s ability to pursue aggressive repopulation in the event of a holocaust). The slogans and voluntary campaigns of the ’70s saw total fertility rates drop from around 6 children per woman to 3. In 1979 a legal framework was screwed down in the form of the one-child policy. Since then, total fertility rates have stabilized somewhere around 1.9 — a little beneath the “constant rate” of 2.1 children per woman. However, the population momentum of previous decades (i.e. the long term consequences of baby booms, which necessarily a create youth-heavy population with a low death rate) continues to sustain population growth. It now meanders between 0.6 and 1%. What does this mean for the urban environment? In essence, that the supply of cheap migrant labor is a selfreplenishing well. Urban birth rates stay low, educational opportunities improve, economic favor increases. In contrast, rural birth rates remain high, and the phenomenon of China’s “thin spread” is maintained. The production of low-skill impoverished workers seeking an opportunity in the city continues unabated at the same time that the cities themselves become ever more alluring concentrations of wealth. The combination of high urban affluence and cheap and ready to hand construction laborers sets the scene for the city to build itself in almost any way it pleases. Idealism and prefab give way to mass manual labor. China is defined by its huge reserve of underprivileged people. They have been at the manufacturing core of the recent decades of sparkling economic growth. They are also still breathing down the government’s neck — a government instated by peasants in the first place, and which could conceivably be overthrown by them too. The partial relaxation of the hukou* system and the constrained facilitation of people flows are all part of a system desperate to keep the economic growth of cities — and thus their ability to provide employment — in step with the rate at which workers are arriving. Holding the value of the RMB down is equally a part of this: cheap labor, more contracts, better opportunities for job creation. This is a response which won’t change while the conditions to which it is responding remain the same. The way fertility rates are currently being managed has amassed a population momentum sufficient to prolong these conditions for decades yet to come. There’ll be no shortage of peasants coming to cities, nor of rich cities with markets primed for expensive private development. The explosions witnessed to date, as far as urbanization is concerned, are unrelenting. It is in fact a state of continuous explosion.

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The one-child policy, when looked at nakedly, is perhaps the single most impressive exercise of state will over individual liberty in existence today. Its implementation has provoked infanticide, enforced abortion, selective abortion (primarily of female fetuses), mass international adoption (“baby export”), enforced sterilization (around 40% of China’s married women have been sterilized), and mass criticism of what has been seen to be a blatant and searing infringement upon the right of the human being to reproduce. It hits at something very essential. When looked at practically and in detail though, a further set of implications emerge.
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Firstly, it is important to note that enforcement happens through economic measures: rewards for consenters; “social compensation fees” for flouters. In this light, the one-child policy could be retermed the secondchild tax. What is illegal is not so much having a second child as having a second child and not paying for it. By this, a couple’s right to expand their family is no more under threat than their right to any number of other expensive lifestyle accoutrements (a bigger house, a nicer car, more kids … these things are all related). It becomes a question of what you can afford. And indeed, some richer families simply have more, and pay up.
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This however is a specialized if incendiary occurrence. The real drive behind sustained population growth in China comes not from large rich families, but from the uneven application of the policy itself. Different rules exist for different people, and it is not just the wealthy who are maintaining tradition. Ethnic minorities are allowed 3 to 4 children, and there has been a corresponding rise in their proportion of the population mix (up from 6.1% in 1953 to 9.4% in 2005). More significant though is the rural / urban disparity. Rural families are generally allowed 2 children (most often with a 3–5 year gap between). As always, local implementation and the caprice of provincial officials skew both figures and practices from area to area, but there is a basic city dweller / peasant fertility ratio of 1:2. Thus one city child for every two on the farm. With the already privileged status and enhanced income of urbanites, this further aggravates the wealth gap. A city couple with three times the revenue of their peasant counterparts concentrates this wealth on one child. On the other hand, the rural family surviving on 1/3 of the income splits it between two offspring. All other things being equal, each new ruralite is furnished with 1/6 of the funds. But other things are not equal. Concentrating population growth in rural areas means more pressure on the already beleaguered rural economy. Furthermore, it augments a rural labor surplus now comfortably into the hundreds of millions.

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Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

wake up and smell the coal

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中国的能源困境
Louis Coulomb

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中国必须通过工业化和城市化来发展经济,大概有70%的能 源消耗增长会来自世界储量第三的煤炭资源。这并不理想。 除了煤矿远离经济中心,会有不可避免的运输瓶颈,碳亦是 构成温室气体的主要成分。天然气要环保些,然而储备有限 且运输管线更为昂贵。中产阶级的成长也意味着越来越多的 汽车,却也让中国成为第二大原油消费国(仅次于美国), 这将造成很大压力。从沙特这样的国家进口,地缘政治一旦 紧张就也成问题。当空气和水污染都已经空前严重时,中国 已经脆弱的生态系统还要承受GDP翻好几番将是巨大的挑 战。在此过程中,中国的城市的角色将空前地重要。

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tion unmatched by improvements in conversion efficiency. The modernized industries cropping up across the country from Sichuan to Shandong province are expected to reverse this trend in the long-term. Are the industrial mammoths of the Great Leap era still pumping out too much steam, or is it the spiraling energy demand of a rising and richer middle class that is tipping the balance? The question of energy and its relation to China’s progress is complex and multi-dimensional. How will China push ahead without locking itself into an impossible energy quandary? How will it wean itself off coal without ruffling too many foreign feathers as it shops for energy abroad? How can it continue to industrialize, to modernize and to urbanize with the energy sword of Damocles hanging precariously overhead? These are the issues China faces in the coming decades, and these issues will become more and more acute as China’s demographic landscape shifts: over 50% of its population will be living in cities by 2020. Will China’s cities be part of the energy solution or part of the problem?

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The thrust behind China’s terrific economic growth is provided by large injections of energy, derived primarily from fossil fuels. This energy is needed to run the fleet of 24 million vehicles currently in circulation; it is needed to steer the giant cranes that erect tower after tower in China’s megalopolises; it is needed to keep warm a population four times the size of Europe’s in a country whose seasonal temperatures span 60˚C; and it is desperately needed to generate the terawatt hours of electricity swallowed each day by an energy and resource-hungry industrial complex scattered from Beijing to Shenzhen to Chengdu, producing everything from tires to microchips, mostly for foreign customers. And the Chinese too are demanding more energy: hundreds of millions of hairdryers, refrigerators, ceiling fans, rice cookers and televisions all must be fed by a reliable source of alternating current at any time of night or day. Twenty years ago these amenities were virtually non-existent in Chinese households — today they are becoming as ubiquitous as they are in the West. A modern society does not experience regular brown-outs, much less black-outs, but if China’s population breaks 1.6 billion by 2050, it will have to add the current power generation capacity of Canada every four years1 to keep the lights on. Managing its gargantuan energy appetite is one of the major challenges China faces in the 21st century. Modern industrial societies are underpinned by energy, they are driven by energy, and they can not survive without adequate means to harness and reliably channel its most prominent form: electricity. As industrialization moves apace and more and more of China is becoming urbanized, its energy infrastructure and the reliability of its electricity supply are becoming critical bottlenecks. Historically China has been a country of coal. This is still very much the case today: with the world’s third largest resource base to draw from, coal accounts for nearly 70% of China’s energy consumption. But China’s energy sector suffers from a number of inherent problems:2 firstly there is a geographical mismatch between supply and demand. The bulk of China’s coal deposits are in the north of the country, while most of its economic activity is concentrated along the coastal regions of the east. Secondly, coal is a heavy pollutant and a major source of greenhouse gases. It is becoming very clear to the Chinese government that years of rampant environmental degradation and neglect is constraining economic growth and is now exacting an appreciable monetary toll. Reducing reliance on coal has therefore become of strategic importance. Needless to say, this cannot happen overnight. There are enormous problems attendant on readjusting a national energy mix. For one, China’s domestic supplies of oil and natural gas are limited (in relation to its population) and with international markets in both commodities as tight as they are today the problem easily slips into the geo-strategic sphere: in 2004 Saudi Arabia was China’s top foreign oil supplier — the political sensitivities are self-evident. A third inherent problem relates to the efficiency with which China is converting its energy inputs into, heat, electricity or mechanical energy. Energy efficiency is often related to economic performance by the so called energy intensity which indicates how much energy input is required per unit of GDP. Once a country has passed the initial stages of industrialization, its energy intensity tends to decline. This has indeed been the case in China: the period between 1980-2000 has seen a spectacular decline in energy intensity, but for the past few years a steady rise in China’s energy intensity has suggested renewed profligate energy consump0

1 ‘China In An Energy Quandary’ Asia Times On-line, August 28, 2003

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2 Andrews-Speed, P. ‘China’s Energy Woes: Running On Empty’ Far Eastern Economic Review, June 2005

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5 Energy Information Agency (EIA), Country Analysis: China, www.eia.org 6 Smil, V. China’s Past, China’s Future: Energy, Food, Environment (Critical Asian Scholarship, Routledge Curzon, 2004) p.17

close down a large number of these small mines (evident in Figure 2, based on the official record), but anecdotal evidence suggests that many of the “closed” mines continued to operate.5 At least one third of the 80,000 small mines have been opened illegally.6 The growth in coal output, since 1987, has come almost entirely from collective or individually owned mines (see Figure 2). The rush to open new mines without adequate technical or geological evaluation has led to a tremendous waste in resources, with predictable consequences: destruction of arable and grazing land, the intensification of topsoil erosion and increasing air and water pollution. Moreover, the mine spills dumped in rivers aggravate local floods by raising the river bed.7 Most of China’s reserves are not where the coal is most needed i.e. where industry is situated, as is evident in Figure 3. China’s largest coal deposits are in the north, while most of its economic activity is in the east and south-central regions. One obvious solution would be to produce electricity in the north, where the resources are, export the energy to the south in the form of electricity through high voltage transmission lines, but this ignores another problem: thermal power generation with coal-fired plants requires vast quantities of cooling water, and water is precisely what is in dire shortage in the north (a virtual desert), while relatively plentiful in the south. Plans for a gargantuan south-north water-transfer scheme, in which water will be channeled from reservoirs in the

Coal Any discussion of China’s energy begins with coal. Coal is the backbone of China’s energy supply and it has been since the earliest days of its industrialization. Nearly 70% of China’s primary energy consumption (by fuel) comes from coal. The dominance of coal in China’s energy mix becomes particularly striking when a comparison is made with the US: in 2004, coal accounted for just under 25% of US’ primary energy consumption.3 Chinese energy experts entertain no illusions that coal will cease to be the country’s energy mainstay for many decades to come. In relation to China’s sustained economic growth, an energy system analyst at the Energy Research Institute in Beijing commented:4 ‘We have to increase coal consumption. It’s not a good picture, but we have to do it.’ The International Energy Agency seems to agree, not that it should, but that it will happen: half the increase in global coal use over the next three decades is expected to come from China. Increasing domestic coal production is not an issue. During the late 1990s China even experienced a serious oversupply problem. Large-state owned coal mines as well as small unlicensed mines were developing excess inventory and many of these were even running at a loss. Stepping up coal exports became a means to deal with some of this surplus. The government eventually took measures to

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Figure 1. Energy Consumption by Fuel 2003 Source: BP, 2004 Statistical Review of World Energy.

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4 Quoted in Nature, Vol. 435, 30 June 2005 6

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Figure 2. Raw coal production. Source: China Energy Databook, 2004 Laurence Berkeley Laboratory

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south (including, eventually, the Three Gorges Dam) over more than a thousand kilometers — crossing the Yellow river — may put the option of exporting power to the south back on the table. China is also pushing the development of various new technologies to convert coal to liquid and gaseous fuels, not only to reduce China’s reliance on coal and its dependence on foreign sources of oil and gas, but also to mitigate the environmental impacts of coal. Sulfur — China’s principal source of air and water pollution — is removed as an integral part of the gasification process.8 The world’s first coal-liquefaction plant is being built in Inner Mongolia by the state owned Shenshua Group and is scheduled to be complete in 2008.

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The spectacular emergence of the automobile in the Chinese economy has intensified China’s affair with oil. From 1990, within a decade, the market for passenger cars grew by a factor of 10. This growth was further galvanized by China’s entrance into the WTO in 2001, which spurred local car manufacturers to launch a price war aimed at curbing competition from abroad in anticipation of lowered tariffs.9 And many more vehicles are on their way. The current figure of about 24 million is likely to rise to about 90-140 million by 2020; in terms of oil demand, transport would account for 57% of oil consumption compared to 33% today.10 China’s thirst for oil will not be quenched any time soon: the IEA predicts demand will exceed 12 million barrels per day by 2030 (see Figure 6); by contrast, the US currently consumes about 20 millions barrels per day. It is important to note that over 70% of China’s oil will come from imports by this date, exacerbating the geopolitical tensions already manifest. Whether this level of growth in China, alongside that of other energy hungry economies such as India, can realistically be satisfied is outside the scope of this essay. Suffice to say that the capacity of global oil supplies to meet expected global demand in the coming decades is currently the subject of vigorous debate. The jury is still out, and perhaps, ultimately, the verdict will not come in the form of projections from the analysts and economists of the world’s energy agencies, but far more curtly from real and possibly unmanageable supply shortages.

nal income and coal reserves Figure 3. Distribution of natio : reconcili (1995-1998) Energizing China Adapted from China Project e on mic growth, Harvard Committe environmental protection and econo Environment

9 Austin, A. ‘Energy And Power In China: Domestic Regulation And Foreign Policy.’ Foreign Policy Center, 2005 叁 10 US Senate, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Hearing on EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook for 2005 (3 February 2005). Testimony of Jeffrey Logan, Senior Energy Analyst and China Program Manager, IEA, ‘Energy Outlook for China: Focus on Oil and Gas.’ 8 CO2 emission, however, would not be decreased through this process unless it is separately managed e.g. by sequestration

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Oil China enjoyed a long history of energy self-sufficiency. This history came to an end in the late 1990’s when China become a net energy importer. This is not to suggest that China, like Japan, had insufficient energy resources of its own — its reserves of coal were still plentiful — but demand in oil began to outstrip domestic supply in 1993; its overall energy balance tipped a few years later. In 2003, China became the second largest consumer of petroleum in the world after the US. Its demand in 2004 stood at 6.37 million barrels per day (mb/d) — global demand was about 82mb/d. With limited domestic supplies of its own, imports have been China’s principal means to satisfy a growing demand. In the early 1990’s China’s imported oil came from a handful of countries, including Indonesia, Oman and Yemen. Today, this list is vastly expanded, with Saudi Arabia, Iran, Angola and Vietnam prominently represented. Foreign equity has also been a channel through which China has sought to satisfy demand: half of China’s current oil production abroad comes from Sudan. Recent unsuccessful attempts to acquire the American oil major Unocal is further evidence of China’s outspoken ambitions in this arena.

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Figure 5. Oil production by field ra 2004, Laurence Berkeley Labo 伍 Source: China Energy Databook,

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Natural Gas One question on which most commentators seem unanimous is the increasing importance of natural gas. The largest future growth in terms of fuel share in China is expected to come from this hydrocarbon, particularly for the generation of electricity, currently dominated by coal. The principal reason is environmental. Emissions of green house gases and other pollutants, such as sulfur oxides can be significantly reduced. Natural gas is also vastly more efficient. Modern gas-fired combined-cycle plants can convert about 60% of the energy contained in natural gas into electricity. By contrast, coal-fired plants convert only about 40%. In natural gas lies the potential 

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Figure 6. Oil demand projection k, 2004 Source: IEA, World Energy Ouloo

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Figure 7. Fossil fuel use in electr icity generation Source: China Energy Databook, 2004, Laurence Berkeley Labo ratory

to make China’s electricity generation far more efficient. Another very important reason for further diversification of China’s fuel mix are the transportation bottlenecks that have arisen from coal, in particular since 2002 following the steep rise in demand. As mentioned in the introduction, China suffers from a geographical mismatch between its energy resource concentrations and its centers of economic activity. This is also the case for natural gas: China’s gas reserves are as far if not further removed from the large cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou as are its major coal reserves. China’s largest deposits of natural gas are located in the western and north-central provinces. Of course, the difference is that gas transport by pipeline is virtually

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11 Ibid.

instant, if the infrastructure is in place. The 3,900km west-east pipeline, that connects western Xinjiang province to Shanghai, delivered its first cubic meter of natural gas in 2004. The project cost $24 billion and was a wholly Chinese undertaking (planned participation from Shell, Exxon-Mobil and Gazprom fell through).11 As with oil, China’s domestic natural gas supplies are limited. Gas imports are expected to account for 27% of primary gas supplies by 2030. An important source of gas import will be in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Natural gas becomes liquid below a certain temperature. Liquefaction permits much larger quantities of natural gas to be transported by

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Figure 9. Gross electricity prod uction Source: China Energy Databook, 2004, Laurence Berkeley Labo rator

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tanker from overseas exporting countries. A substantial number of LNG terminals are planned along China’s eastern coast. It is estimated that by 2011 installed LNG processing will account for 20% of installed capacity in the Asia Pacific.12 Natural gas faces an important commercial barrier: it remains expensive relative to coal, certainly without the inclusion of environmental costs. The perception of this high costs dampens demand. As indicated by Jeffrey Logan, China Program Manager at the IEA, in his testimony to the US senate in February 2005 ‘without strong market pull for gas, the entire natural gas chain will remain weak, no matter how much government tries to develop the market by administrative dictate’. Further demand for natural gas would provide the needed impetus to invest in upgrading the fragmented infrastructure, and to fill the knowledge gap that exists regarding how best to develop the natural gas market.

A 25-station project with a combined capacity of 15.8GW is being developed on the upper portion of the Yellow River. The environmental impact of China’s hydro development is particularly evident on this river, the downstream portion of which has been reduced to a trickle for most of the year, exacerbating the already chronic water shortage problems in the north. Droughts are endemic and desertification yearly sends dust storms sweeping east from the Gobi desert to Tokyo and as far as the US’s western seaboard. The construction of small hydro-stations has been an important application of energy conversion technique in China. The initial thrust came during the water conservation efforts of the Great Leap Forward. A total of 900MW was planned by 1958; although the endeavor was aborted when the Great Leap collapsed, small hydro remains a significant contributor to the electrification of rural China.

Non-hydro renewable energy
16 Logan, J. & Lew, L. ‘Energizing China’s wind power sector’ US Department of Energy, Pacific Northwester National Laboratory, March 2001, http://greennature. com/article600.html 17 French, H. ‘In Search Of A New Energy Source: China Rides The Wind.’ New York Times, July 26, 2005

12 Austin, A. ‘Energy And Power In China: Domestic Regulation And Foreign Policy.’ Foreign Policy Center, 2005

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15 An often ignored fact is that at least 10% of China’s total primary energy use comes from rural consumption of biomass in the form of crop residue and woody phytomass, usually burned as fuel. For a detailed discussion on China’s rural energy flows, see: Smil, V. China’s past, China’s future: energy, food, environment. 2004, p25-45

Despite its small showing, non-hydro renewable energy has not been ignored in China. It has enjoyed a great deal of attention at national energy policy level. At the same time, renewable energy has so much ground to catch up before it can make even a small difference in China’s energy mix, that it can only be considered in the context of a long-term energy strategy. Predominant renewable energy in China includes, wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. Together, they account for less than 1% of China’s energy mix.15 Wind already has a fairly good footing in China both in terms of installed capacity as well as domestic expertise. In fact, China has some of the best wind resources in the world, particularly in Inner Mongolia and the

north western regions in Xinjiang province, with an estimated exploitable wind resource in excess of 250GW16 (about 250 nuclear power stations). By 2002, 30 wind farms had already been installed with a total capacity of 468MW. And targets are to reach 20GW of installed capacity by 2020.17 To put this in perspective, total combined power generation capacity in 2002 exceeded 300GW. Establishing new technology goes beyond merely installing hardware. A domestic industry and a knowledge base need to be in place. Capacity building efforts, with foreign involvement (including the UN and the World Bank), have been pushing in that direction. Nevertheless, renewable energy still has a very long way to go before it can start to allay China’s energy and environmental ills.

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We can expect 1 to 2 new nuclear power stations per year for the next 16 years
Nuclear Nuclear power accounts for only 1% of China’s energy consumption. Yet China’s nuclear program is not young — it started in the late 1980s. There are three stations in operation, with a total capacity of 6.1GW, all on the eastern coastal areas. It is expected this capacity will be greatly expanded, on the order of 2GW (i.e. 1 to 2 new power stations per year for the next 16 years). A giant step in that direction will be the 6GW nuclear complex planned in Guangdong province, to be operational by 2010. New capacity will largely be replacing old coalfired power stations that will be gradually retired. Nuclear may become competitive with coal especially in the east of the country when the added costs of coal transport, desulfurization equipment and the rising cost of coal itself are factored in. The high capital cost of nuclear power generally keeps private investors at bay, thus nuclear power remains largely a state enterprise.
13 ‘The death of China’s rivers’ Asia Times On-line, August 26, 2003

Hydro
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While hydroelectric power represents only 5% of China’s total energy consumption, China stands unrivalled as the world’s greatest producer of hydroelectric power. Of the 45,000 large dams in the world, 22,104 are in China, 6,390 are in the US and 4,000 are in India. The most notorious of its hydro projects is of course the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River. With 26 separate 700MW generators giving a total capacity of 18.2GW (about eighteen large nuclear power stations), it is a symbol of China’s technical prowess and an object of great national pride. Equally, however, critics have heaped endless scorn on the project, claiming its aims are irreconcilable with the scale of the environmental impact: six hundred cubic kilometers of water from Wuhan to Chongqing is impounded primarily for the purposes of generating electricity; the displacement of people to make way for the project runs to 1.8 million.13 At least two more dams on the scale of the Three Gorges are planned for the Yangtze in Yunnan and Sichuan province. The aim is to double China’s hydropower by 2010.14 

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14 ‘Peasants bear the brunt of China’s energy plans’ Asia Times Online, August 27, 2003

捌 Figure 10. China’s energy intensity Source: China Energy Databook, 2004, Laurence Berkeley Laboratory 
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ENERGY INTENSITY AND THE CHINESE ECONOMY

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Figure 11. Energy end use by sector Laboratory Source: China Energy Databook, 2004, Laurence Berkeley

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19 Statistics on electricity generation are straightforward. Oil and gas production and imports statistics are generally quite accurate, but some statistics are far less reliable. Data on biomass consumption is based on estimates, but 80% of rural energy is derived from biomass. Further uncertainty lies in coal: tens of thousands of small, inefficient coal mines were “officially” closed in the late 1990s, and reported coal production showed significant decline. The reality is that many of these mines carried on producing coal all along, and that coal output did not fall nearly as much as the statistical data suggests. Recent rapid growth in coal production may simply be (at least, in part) a return to more accurate statistical reporting. For more detail see: Stinton, J.E., Comments on recent energy statistics from China, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, October 2003. On-line at Sinosphere

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18 For a detailed discussion of China’s energy intensity and statistical validity of EI data, see: Smil, V. China’s past, China’s future: energy, food, environment (Critical Asian Scholarship. Routledge Curzon, 2004) 20 Sinton, E. J. ‘Comments On Recent Energy Statistics From China.’ Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories, October 2003

China has been growing at a feverish 9% per year and is set to become the world’s largest economy within two or three decades. The ratio between the total primary energy consumption and GDP is a country’s “energy intensity” (EI); it indicates how much energy is needed to produce a unit of GDP. The idea that economic growth must be accompanied by growth in energy consumption will seem intuitively correct; the question is whether the growth in energy consumption is greater or less than economic growth. Generally, as a country develops, energy is used more and more efficiently and thus energy intensities will tend to decline as less energy is needed to produce the same unit of GDP. Looking at China’s energy intensity, particularly over the last 20 years (up to 2002), it has indeed been declining. However, this has not always been the case. During the 1950s, a Stalin-style expansion of energy intensive heavy industry led to a predictable rise in the EI. The subsequent rapid decline reflects the collapse of the Great Leap Forward, followed by the instability of the Cultural Revolution, but China’s EI resumed its steady rise after these events. The turning point came with the reforms of Deng Xiaoping: from 1979-1985 the country’s EI fell by 30%. This was the result of the combination of wholesale closure of old, inefficient factories, and the introduction of new technology. The EI continued its decline with a virtual free-fall between 1995 and 2000 of nearly 45%.18 Over the last few years, however, this trend seems quite surprisingly to have been reversed.

The energy elasticity of demand (the ratio of the growth rate of energy consumption over the growth rate of GDP) is another way to examine energy intensity. The value of this index has been about 0.5 for China for quite a number of years, but in 2004, following 2 years of rising energy intensity, it exceeded 1.5! (i.e. growth of GDP: 9%; growth in energy demand: 15%). In Figure 10 it is possible to see the beginning of this trend with a leveling off of the energy intensity in 2001. Leaving aside the debate over the statistical validity of current values,19 the recent overall upwards trend may reflect a regression in energy efficiency of China’s economy, which, if persistent, could have significant consequences on the course of China’s development and on its environment in the short term.

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ENERGY BY SECTOR In the long term, however, as China moves towards a less energy intensive industry, the energy intensity of its economy will decline. The breakdown of energy use by sector in Figure 11 provides a clear sign that China’s energy intensity can potentially be greatly reduced as its industrial sector accounts for nearly three quarters of total energy demand. And given that growth in other sectors relies on a supply of manufactured goods from the industrial sector, the latter is set to remain the dominant energy consumer in China for the foreseeable future.20 Note that residential and agricultural demand for energy represent a relatively small proportion of the total energy consumption.

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More than 50% of the growth in both steel and cement production in the world between 1983 and 2003 came from China The economic cost of environmental problems in China is currently estimated at 5–15% GDP.

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从1983年到2003年,世界上超过50%的钢铁及水泥增产 都来自中国 中国目前环境问题的损失估计占GDP的5-15%
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Industrial sector To manufacture a ton of steel requires over a ton of coal. China makes more steel (as well as other high energy products such as cement) than any other country in the world. More than 50% of the growth in both steel and cement production in the world between 1983–2003 came from China.21 This explains the vast energy appetite of China’s industrial sector.
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An important section of Chinese industry is in the form of TVEs (township and village enterprises – see glossary). TVEs have been shown to be very heavy and largely inefficient consumers, however they constitute an integral part of the Chinese economy. Small and medium scale enterprises, for instance, produced 80% of cement output, but because of their inefficiency, the tendency has been to close down as many small plants as quickly as possible, in favor of further centralization. A word of caution against dismantling this longstanding economic structure might be that small, but technically advanced plants in industrialized countries are equally if not more efficient than their larger counterparts, in addition to the fact that they bring added flexibility.22

Characteristic of the most intensive stages of industrialization is the demand for electricity growing faster than the total demand for all forms of commercial energy. Growth has been such that demand for electricity more or less doubles every decade (see Figure 9; consumption is matched by generation capacity, see Figure 13). In the first half of 2004, 24 out of China’s 31 provinces experienced blackouts. Suspension of power transmission to certain enterprises to prevent blackouts in residential areas was not uncommon. The growth rate in demand for electricity has been in the order of 9 to 10% in recent years. While investment in new power generation facilities has been lagging, investment in energy-hungry metallurgy, building materials and chemicals industries has been growing rapidly, completely out of step with lead time to build the necessary generation and transmission infrastructure.23 The Chinese government continues to aim to increase the country’s generation capacity, from its level in 2003 of 385GW to nearly 500GW by the end of 2005.24 Distribution and transmission capacity will have to be upgraded accordingly.

21 IEA, World Energy Outlook, 2004

23 Austin, A. ‘Energy And Power In China: Domestic Regulation And Foreign Policy.’ Foreign Policy Center, 2005

Figure 13. Power generation capacity Source: China Energy Databook, 2004, Laurence Berkeley Laboratory

24 Dadi, Z. ‘China’s Sustainable Energy Future; Scenarios of Energy and Carbon Emissions’ Energy Research Institute & Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, October 2003 22 Farinelli, U., Yokobori, K., Fengqi, Z. ‘Energy efficiency in China.’ Energy for Sustainable Development, Vol. 5, issue 4, 2001

Residential sector

In the first half of 2004, 24 out of China’s 31 provinces experienced blackouts. -

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在2004年上半年,中国31个省中的 24个都停了电

The residential energy use is relatively small compared to industrial consumption, but it is expected to rise dramatically as more and more Chinese move to cities and equip their homes with televisions, fans and, especially, power-hungry airconditioning. Room fans and air-conditioners have indeed shown the steepest rise in recent years (see Figure 14). The potential for efficiency gains on the residential front are enormous. Small improvements in homes and home appliances are magnified several millionfold. Refrigerators are particularly amenable to improvements. In the late 1980s China exceeded the US in the production of refrigerators, but insufficient thermal insulation, inefficient compressors and low quality gaskets made the Chinese models about 50% less efficient.25 Wall and ceiling insulation and double-glazed windows are not typical features of

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25 Smil, V. China’s Past, China’s Future: Energy, Food, Environment (Critical Asian Scholarship, Routledge Curzon, 2004) p.24

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gy end use by energy type Figure 12. Industrial ener eley Laboratory book, 2004, Laurence Berk Source: China Energy Data

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Figure 14. Electric appliance ownership Source: China Energy Databook, 2004, Laurence Berkeley Laboratory

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Figure 15. Stock of civilian motor vehicles Source: China Energy Databook, 2004, Laurence Berkeley Laboratory

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The potential for efficiency gains on the residential front are enormous. Small improvements in homes and home appliances are magnified several millionfold. 如果住宅及家用电器的小改造能被 数百万住户采纳的话,节能效率将 大幅度提升

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Chinese apartments today. Enormous contributions to energy efficiency could be made by fiberglass and thermostats alone — improvements which would significantly contribute to a lowering of China’s energy intensity.

Ministry of Land and Resource. The structure changed again in 2003 with the creation of the Energy Bureau under the National Development and Reform Commission. Though a worthy move to centralize energy policy, the Energy Bureau was not given the muscle it needed: it is currently staffed by about thirty people, while a comparable body in an OECD country would have hundreds if not thousands.28 Possibly in recognition of this problem Beijing announced in March 2005 that a national leading group under the State Council would be given the energy sector portfolio. Despite China’s one-party system of government, it has shown hesitance in the centralization of certain expertise and responsibilities, leaving many pressing problems and planning issues unaddressed.

31 Smil, V. China’s Past, China’s Future: Energy, Food, Environment (Critical Asian Scholarship, Routledge Curzon, 2004) p.188 28 US Senate, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Hearing on EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook for 2005

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Some commentators have gone so far as to say that the most important issue to be addressed in the coming years is not the question of possible oil supply shortfalls in China, but rather the efficiency of China’s power sector, in particular the generation, pricing and transmission of electricity.26 As demand for electricity continues to spiral up, a robust regulatory framework will have to be set in place to provide a transparent pricing mechanism, certainly as interconnection between grid networks increases and as the utilities shift from public to private hands. Without such a framework it is possible that much needed private investment will not be forthcoming. Moreover, with rapid urbanization, China’s changing pattern of domestic energy use will lead to sharp increases in electricity demand, a further factor militating in favor of greater coherence and efficiency in China’s electricity market. Uncertainty and incoherence is a problem not exclusive to China’s power sector. The energy sector as a whole suffers from a lack of consistent long term policy; this is reflected in the shifting nature of its institutional structures.27 Since 1992 China has had no Energy Ministry responsible for formulating national energy policy. Institutions have been created — it seems — almost ad hoc, often to be dismantled some years later. Until the mid 1990s, responsibility for energy-policy was effectively devolved to a small number of very large state-owned companies; they reported to the State Planning Commission (SPC) and the State Economic and Trade Commission (SET). Approval for all major investments and energy prices required SPC approval. In 1998, with the beginning of a major restructuring of China’s large energy companies, the energy portfolio was handed to three separate institutional bodies, including the 

car began to make significant inroads. More disposable income and easy loans facilitated by a government keen to see the car industry become one of China’s economic pillars have helped to drive this economic boom. But cars have also become a means to adapt to a quickly changing urban environment: designated government housing close to one’s place of work is an arrangement that is quickly vanishing. The housing sector is becoming increasingly privatized and the old state-owned factories have either been shut down or moved out of cities, often beyond the reach of public transportation. Furthermore, the government’s involvement in promoting the car industry cannot be overstated. What happened in the US during the ’20s and into the ’50s, when the interstate highways were built, is occurring in China virtually within a single decade. China had 34,000 km of motorways in 2004, more than twice the 2000 figure (and it had virtually none in the late 1980s). Its network is currently the third largest in the world, with half of it built in the past 15 years. By 2020 it is expected to double in size.30 The toll will be further loss of arable land, rising photochemical smog, and degradation of the urban environment.

by 2020. The nation’s already tattered ecosystem will undoubtedly suffer more and perhaps greater insult during this period, deepening the economic impact of China’s environmental degradation, currently estimated at 5 -15% of GDP.31 Efficiency improvements evident in China’s declining energy intensity, coupled with a shift of industrial activity from heavy industry to light industry are encouraging signs. But will China be able to raise the standard of living for its growing population without doing irreversible damage to the very ecosystem that will have to provide the primary inputs to sustain its improved quality of life? Water shortage is probably China’s greatest environmental challenge. In absolute terms China’s water resource is not inadequate. It ranks sixth in the world, but in per capita terms China falls to about a quarter of the global mean. The consumption trend of the last fifty years runs from about 100Gm3 in 1949 to about 557Gm3 in 1997; official projections for 2030 are: 664Gm3, not far from the estimated total available volume of 800-950Gm3. Moreover, as with its energy resources, a highly uneven distribution of precipitation makes China’s northern provinces (outside the zone of strong monsoon rains) particularly water strained. At the same time, this region contains about two fifths of the population and produces a proportional amount of the nation’s grain output. Irrigation dominates the China’s water use in a manner that does not reflect the level of scarcity. Beijing residents used to pay a flat rate amounting to about 10% of real cost; this was revoked in 1996, after which water prices were raised. Yet water for irrigation, which accounts for 80% of water use (50% in Beijing municipality), has remained virtually free. The urban impact on water resources is also severe. Beijing’s reservoirs currently contain less water than at any time since the 1980s. And the Ministry of Land and Resources has warned that a mega-funnel of receding groundwater has formed over an area as

26 Ibid.

Cars, cars and more cars When growth in sales hit a bonanza level of 75% in 2003, Beijing felt it had to step in to tighten credit rules on car purchases. Sales slumped a little subsequently, but China was nonetheless the third largest automobile market in the world in 2004 with 5 million cars sold (US: 17 million). Because of China’s immense population, the per capita translation is less impressive: 7 or 8 out of every 1000 people compare to the US’s average of 600. If anything this discrepancy between the US and the PRC underlines the vast expansion of cars we can expect in the near future in China. But growth is anything but geographically uniform. Beijing, for instance, a city of 12 million, has 2 million cars.29 The Chinese seem bent on following the American model, with each family owning a car. This could mean in the order of 300-400 million new cars (the total global fleet is currently about 500 million registered vehicles). Bicycles that used to fill the streets of all major cities are slowly but surely being relegated to the scrap heap. Shanghai, to great outrage, even dared to ban bicycles from its main streets to make way for its growing middle class of inexperienced drivers (the accident rate in China is abominable). China has followed a different course in the development of motorized mobility than its Asian neighbors, where the share of motorcycles per capita reached much higher levels before the personal

30 Ibid.

Environmental impact China’s remarkable development over the past four decades has unfortunately entrenched a much longer history of environmental abuse and neglect. From air pollution and water contamination, from widespread deforestation and the erosion of arable land, from acid rain and loss of biodiversity, China has reached calamitous levels on virtually every front. Although Beijing formally recognizes the extent of the degradation, and some important measures have been put in place to redress the worst mismanagements, the imperatives of China’s economic goals still prevail unequivocally over environmental concerns. China’s GDP quadrupled between 1980 and 2000. The plan is to repeat this feat

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29 The Economist, June 4th, 2005 27 See: Andrews-Speed, P. ‘China’s energy woes: running on empty’ Far Eastern Economic Review, June, 2005

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large as 40,000m2, resulting from the convergence of separate funnels underneath Tianjin, northern Henan and western Shandong. Beijing’s water table has dropped 9m since the early 1980s, and this effect is even greater in parts of the North China Plain.32 Not only is water scarce, but it is usually contaminated as well. Half the population, or a little over 600 million people have water supplies that are contaminated by animal and human waste. In July of 2004, on one of China’s seven biggest rivers, the Huai, a dark, noxious plume, stretched 133km downstream killing most fish in its path. Too much water extraction compounded by excess dumping of untreated waste were cited as the root causes. China’s State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) found that over 70% of the water in five of China’s seven major rivers was unsuitable for human contact. This problem is likely to become increasingly acute as more people move to cities. In 2004, only 20% of China’s 168 tons of solid waste per year were disposed of adequately.33 The air quality in China is equally dramatic. The following figures speak for themselves: Beijing’s mean annual total suspended particulate (TSP) level is about 500µg/m3. The World Health Organization’s recommended maximum, to be exceeded only 2% of the year, is 150µg/m3! Some cities are even worse:34 Mudanjiang in Heilongjiang and Langzhou in Gansu have mean annual TPSs of 600µg/m3. The World Bank estimates that China has 16 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities. Coal is the principal culprit, in particular with regards to sulfur dioxide emissions. Soon, hundreds of thousands of cars will be adding great swathes of photochemical smog to the mix. The list goes on: the cumulative loss of arable land due to erosion over the past forty years has exceeded the totality of farmland available in all of Germany, while China, with 21% of the world’s population in the year 2000, had only 9% of the world’s farmland.35 To blame, among other factors, are urbanization, and the encroachment of enterprise and large infrastructure projects such as the Three Gorges Dam. The margin between demand and the supply available from China’s natural resource base is much 
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narrower than in most other countries. This makes the proper management of this resource base critical. In 1998, SEPA was raised to ministerial level, environmental spending was increased, and the 10th Five Year Plan was promulgated setting ambitious targets for emission reductions. But its implementation is proving difficult in a sprawling, centralized bureaucratic structure. Analogous to the effete Energy Bureau, SEPA remains largely understaffed, and forced to vie for influence with other agencies such as the Construction Ministry that deals with water and sewage treatment. This competition stifles SEPA at ministerial level, while at the local level, on the ground, in SEPA’s many branches around the country, corruption makes enforcement very difficult.36 The book of China’s environmental abuses makes a long and rather alarming litany, and when it is not accompanied by a list of improvements and mitigation measures put in place in recent years the outlook seems unquestionably bleak. Beijing understands the scale of the challenge, but at the same time if it is to raise the country’s standard of living it must stay the course of industrialization and that means increasing resource consumption, which means more pollution, more water extraction, and more erosion of land. If it must be done, the key will be to do all of these things as efficiently as possible with the least detriment to the environment.
32 Section on water is based on: Smil, V. China’s Past, China’s Future: Energy, Food, Environment (Critical Asian Scholarship, Routledge Curzon, 2004) p.152-167

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36 The Economist, August 21st, 2004

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33 Section based on: The Economist, August 21st, 2004

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34 Smil, V. China’s Past, China’s Future: Energy, Food, Environment (Critical Asian Scholarship, Routledge Curzon, 2004) p.18

Quality of life and energy What does raising China’s standard of living mean in energy terms? Is it possible to identify a minimum yearly per capita energy consumption level required to achieve a quality of life that would be deemed acceptable by Western standards? And what is acceptable? There is no one single indicator that encapsulates quality of life. However, infant mortality, average per capita food availability, or levels of enrolment in higher education, for instance, can be used as proxies for what is experienced as quality of life. In the case of infant mortality, it is possible to achieve levels comparable to those in Italy, the US and Canada, at per capita energy consumption equivalent to about 2000kg of oil equivalent (kgoe) per year (on the lower boundary). Average per capita food availability follows a similar trend: 2000kgoe/year

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Droughts are endemic and desertification yearly sends 伍 dust storms sweeping east from the Gobi desert to Tokyo and as far as 陆 the US’s western seaboard 干旱似顽疾,逐年的 柒 沙漠化将沙尘从戈 壁滩吹到东京,甚 至是美国的西海岸

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35 Ibid. p.149

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39 Zhihong, W. ‘Economic development and energy issues in China’ Working paper prepared for KEIOUNU-JFIR panel meeting. Tokyo, February 13, 2004 2

is about the turning point beyond which diminishing returns become evident. Italy has about the same level of food availability and the same level of infant mortality as the US for about a third of the energy consumption! The United Nations Development Program combines four quality of life indicators in its Human Development Index. Here, once again, the same pattern emerges: 2000kgoe is about the level beyond which a fairly level quality of life is achieved based on the criteria of life expectancy at birth, adult literacy, combined educational enrolment and per capita GDP. Each country clearly has its various cultural, environmental or economic reasons for being more or less energy efficient37 and thus there is a range within which the various developed economies are situated, with Canada and the US at one end, and the European countries (largely) at the other. Within that range, quality of life can not be said to vary appreciably. What can be said, however, is that 2000kgoe seems to be about the minimum yearly per capita energy consumption needed to reach the level of economic security, physical wellbeing and access to education typical of developed countries. China’s per capita consumption in 2002, was about 800kgoe/year; this is more than twice the level in India, but only about half the global mean, and about a fifth of the Japanese level. To reach the threshold of 2000kgoe within the next few generations, given the expected increase in population, China’s total energy consumption will have to increase by a factor greater than 2.5. This means that China’s total primary energy consumption will start to be on a par with the US, making China a challenger for the top spot as the world’s greatest energy consumer,38 and hence potentially the greatest polluter in the world. Unquestionably there will have to be a trade-off between environmental conservation and quality of life in China, and the balance will be a very precarious one, indeed. China’s GDP per capita is currently at about $1000 (in purchasing power parity terms) and is targeted to

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Figure 16. Infant mortality versus per capita energy consumption Adapted from Smil, V. Energy at the crossroads (MIT Press, 2003)

37 Japan for instance, which imports virtually all of its energy, will necessarily consume less than Saudi Arabia

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Figure 17. Average per capita food availability Adapted from Smil, V. Energy at the crossroads (MIT Press, 2003)

quadruple during 2000–2020.39 Recall the section on energy elasticity of demand: since the early 1980s, and until recently, the energy elasticity hovered around 0.5. This means that for every 2% GDP growth, energy consumption in China grew by 1%. If GDP indeed quadruples by 2020 with a consistent energy elasticity of about 0.5, then total energy consumption will double, putting yearly per capita values at around 1500kgoe (given a certain level of population growth). But one must be cautious with these numbers: current energy elasticity values are above 1, and if this situation persists per capita energy consumption could be as high as 3000kgoe as early as 2020 for the same GDP growth! It is unlikely that a 20 year energy elasticity trend has suddenly and irrevocably been reversed, and thus this is indeed an extreme case, but it is possible. The outcome will be decided by whether or not China manages to steer its economy towards efficiency, by shifting swiftly to a higher share of light industry, rapidly introducing efficient and environmentally friendly technology, and not blindly replicating the technological trajectories followed by western economies in their development. “Leapfrogging” is the term often used to describe the process of circumventing tested paths with newer, more innovative ones. This applies as much to China’s urban environment as to industry, as cities will be home to over half the Chinese population by 2020. Avoiding the pitfalls of traditional urban design may be the difference between a low and a high energy society in the future .

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Figure 18. Human Development Index versus per capita energy consumption Adapted from Smil, V. Energy at the crossroads (MIT Press, 2003)

38 US total primary energy consumption in 2000 was about 3.3 Gtce/year. China’s was about 1.4 Gtce/year. A 2.5 fold increase would yield 3.5 Gtce/year

Energy conservation and China’s cities In 2003 over a quarter of total primary energy was consumed by buildings, through heating, air conditioning, ventilation, heating water, lighting, cooking, operating appliances, and running elevators. A total of 230Mm2 of energy saving buildings was built by the end of 2002, but that represented only 2.1% of urban

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41 Smil, V. China’s Past, China’s Future: Energy, Food, Environment (Critical Asian Scholarship, Routledge Curzon, 2004) p.202

Private passenger transport energy use per capita GJ/person

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building area. The rest of China’s stock of buildings is backward in energy efficiency terms: in comparison to developed countries, energy consumption for heat per unit of floor is about 3 times greater in China. This translates to excessive use of both heating and air-conditioning to compensate for this (heating and air conditioning accounted for two thirds of the total consumed by buildings): the peak load for air-conditioning was about 45GW, which is equivalent to about 2.5 Three Gorges Dams, a tremendous energy consumption that could easily be reduced by adequate energy conservation measures. This problem will only increase if it is not tackled today. The building area built by 2020 will be double that available in 2000. By 2020 energy consumption from buildings could be as high as 1,089 megatons of coal equivalent (Mtce), three times current levels and equivalent to two thirds of China’s total current primary energy consumption.40 In China’s 2004 energy strategy document, it is estimated that energy conservation measures could reduce this value by over a third. Moreover, in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the environmental impact, this same study indicates that both Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineers have identified the energy development strategy of “enforcement energy conservation measures” as requiring the least investment compared to other strategies including clean coal, renewable energy and nuclear power options. Energy conservation extends much further than buildings alone. Transport obviously is another area in which enormous growth in energy demand is expected in the coming decades. The choices made with regards to transport will directly impact the manner in which new as well as older urban centers evolve in China. The extent to which the personal car in particular is promoted as the primary means of urban mobility will play a key role in shaping urban China. The relationship between urban density and the yearly per capita gasoline consumption in Figure 19 cogently illustrates the influence of urban configuration on energy use, in particular oil for purposes of mobility. Diminishing returns limits the effectiveness of increasing density beyond a certain 

point, but certainly up to density levels achieved by most European cities, the reductions in per capita gasoline consumption are tremendous. Expanding and modernizing the public transport infrastructure should be a key objective of China’s energy conservation plan; the subway is the fastest and most efficient mode of transport for cities of more than 2-3 million people. Beijing, for instance, would have done better to improve its circular line rather than expand its multilane ringroad, now a major source of congestion and smog.41 Inter-city transport, could benefit tremendously from a network of high-speed trains: this would not only reduce the need for personal cars, and hence the China’s increasing dependence on foreign oil, but it would limit urban encroachment on China’s limited supply of arable land — suburban sprawl being the inevitable outcome of highly motorized urban areas. The rush towards industrialization in China has occurred with little to no regard for the process of urbanization. It seems urbanization has been viewed more as a consequence to be managed rather than a parallel and very important process to be steered and organized. Large factories are cropping up somewhat haphazardly around the country, attracting thousands of workers who are settled in temporary housing facilities on or near the site. Ad hoc civil infrastructure is often put in place to accommodate the transportation requirements of industry. This process, if left to evolve of its own accord could lead to extremely inefficient, low density, highly motorized semi-urban arrangements requiring disproportionately large quantities of energy and resources — a nightmare for a country that today is already struggling to secure its energy supply and maintain the integrity of its ecosystem.

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Figure 19. Urban density and private transport energy use Source: Data from Kenworthy, J.R. & Newman P.W.G. ‘Global Cities Database’ Curtin University

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40 For more detail on the subject of energy efficiency in buildings, see: China National Energy Strategy and Policy 2020: Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Beijing, 2004

Los Angeles Washington New York 40 Toronto Melbourne Sydney Montreal Stockholm Brussels Rome Munich Bologna Paris Tel Aviv Bangkok London Tokyo Amsterdam Seoul Singapore Curitiba Sao Paulo Tehran Cape Town Jakarta Guangzhou Beijing Shanghai Oslo 0 100 200 Urban density persons/ha
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CONCLUSIONS

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‘Historical perspective demonstrates that it takes a long time — usually half a century — for a new source of energy to capture the largest share of a market.’ — Vaclav Smil Complex energy systems are like species: they do not transform overnight to adapt to external disruptions; they evolve slowly. There is tremendous inertia to overcome, both physical as well as technical and commercial, before a new source of energy and its attendant technology takes the fore. China will be a coal-fired economy for many more decades. Even if it reduces coal’s share in the total primary energy consumption to 50%, within the next 20 years there may still be growth in coal production simply because China’s energy needs will continue to rise as the country pushes toward full industrialization. On the supply side, the infrastructure will be slow to respond as well: there are thousands of small collective and community-owned mining operations that depend on China’s coal economy for their livelihood. For many miners the switch to natural gas will mean they have to find something else to do. The social consequences of such a transformation are not to be underestimated: if it is poorly managed and China’s miners are left by the wayside civil unrest is almost guaranteed. But efforts at rapid nation-wide penetration of natural gas will be significantly hampered by the enormous investments required to upgrade China’s fragmented pipeline infrastructure on a macro level, and expand its intra-city network (for cooking and space heating), on a micro level. Moreover, future imports in the form of liquefied natural gas will require very expensive terminals and custom built tankers. Expanding oil supplies to satisfy, in particular, the transport sector will continue to be a critical component of China’s national development objectives. It seems China has taken keenly to the idea that a middle class is not a middle class without a commensurate fleet of personal cars. “Commensurate” in China means hundreds of millions. And cars are useless without roads, which mean further infrastructural encroachment on a dwindling supply of arable land. Renewable energy has been given only a cursory review in this essay because its contribution remains plainly miniscule. A furious effort to expand renewables would have to be launched for them to make a difference anytime soon. The plans now in place center on wind turbines and biomass plants. Minimizing the impact of its industrialization must be a key discipline in China’s modernization efforts. China faces a very serious challenge — one might almost say a perfect storm: its tremendous hunger for energy comes at a time when fossil fuels are becoming contested commodities at a global level, and issues of energy security are again prominent on political agendas around the world. It also comes at a time when its own ecosystem, after many decades of industrial abuse, has reached a dire state, leaving very little margin for error. It is a conundrum if ever there was one: to improve its condition and prospects, China must consume the very ground beneath its feet, but it must leave enough to stand on. If it does not, it may be forced to spend its hard-earned wealth and prosperity mending a country in continuous disrepair. Cities will be on the frontline in managing the environmental impact. Over half the Chinese population will be concentrated in cities by 2020. That’s more than 700 million people. Many new, smaller cities will be built to accommodate this swell of urbanization. Basic efficiency measures alone would make a tremendous difference, but multidisciplinary planning, co-coordinating industrialization and urbanization, is where China’s future lies.

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the green edge*
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Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

imagining beijing’s ecological future

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绿色先锋
Erich W. Schienke Ph.D., Neville Mars architecture: Neville Mars, Huang Wenjing

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中国的煤炭,正如中国政府在他们的21项议程中所叙述的 一样,可以在现有的环境条件下以更为环保的方式被开发。 这一目标已正式形成。尽管和其它的国家可持续发展的计划 很像,这个计划同样可以反映现阶段中国对西方现代化的态 度,以对自然与社会之间的传统文化观念。意识形态和政治 力量在不远的将来会塑造世界的生态环境。而中国环境的未 来,将主要依赖于这个国家和人民想要什么样的将来,以及 为可持续发展作出牺牲的认可。

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Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.346–7 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F–7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478–519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A–8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A

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“Beijingers enjoy breathing fresh air for almost two out of every three days”
– Chinese state media
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[BEIJING] Imagining Beijing’s Ecological Future

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China’s goal, as articulated by the Central Government in their Agenda 211 plans, is to be able live in a way that
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a thick haze of pollution lingers over Jing Hu*. Large pools of cool air settle near the surface, heavy with emissions from factories, power plants, automobiles, and millions of domestic stoves. the widespread burning of low grade coal, and the use of dirty petrol derived from cheap sour crude, further exaccerbates the smog problem. dust clouds swept down from the desertifying north regularly enter into the mix. Heavy pollutant concentrations cause passing clouds to hang onto their moisture, leading to conditions of low visibility–low precipitation. it is estimated that 75% of china’s city dwellers live below the country’s acceptable air-quality standard.

is more ecologically sound than that exhibited by the current environmental conditions and human impacts. This objective, now formalized, arises out of a variety of complex interactions between the State, provincial and local constituents, and international governance regimes such as the UNDP and UNEP. Though similar to other national plans for sustainable development, it also reflects developments that extend from China’s currently shifting attitudes towards Western modernization, and its (often conflicting) historical/traditional cultural attitudes towards the relationship between nature and society.2 While it is difficult to predict the outcome, this mélange of ideological and political forces will present as real world ecological consequences in the near future. How choices will be made about China’s environmental future relies mainly on the kind of future it imagines for the nation, its people, and their environment, including a recognition of the sacrifices that will undoubtedly be needed to achieve sustainability.
1 ‘Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which humans impact on the environment.’ http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/documents/agenda21/index.htm 2 The dichotomy between nature and society is itself more of a Western conceptual framework than a Chinese one, and so making such a comparison already presents problems.

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The concept of an “imaginary” has been developed in anthropology and political ecology as a means to describe the body of ideological, ethical, and rhetorical forces that scientists, planners, decisionmakers, and citizen activists (together referred to as “environmental subjects”) must engage with to accomplish in their goals. Imaginaries are higher-order discursive systems that allow local environmental subjects to work through doublebind situations, such as creatively turning a “no-win” situation, presented by greening versus development (traditionally a paradox), into a “win-win” situation. Basically, environmental imaginaries provide environmental subjects with ways of expressing problems and solutions in new terms, concepts, metaphors, and symbols. That is, locally situated environmental subjects are “tapping into” systems that are sustained at a higher-order of magnitude or on a larger-scale than might be apparent if reading only the local context: a mode of thinking particularly important to sustainability. Environmental imaginaries become a way to tap into new ways of understanding the world, and the invention of new modes to interpret what Kim Fortun calls the ‘languages for which there are no

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source: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17591 
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Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.346–7 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F–7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478–519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A–8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A

upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E

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indigenous idioms.’3 New environmental situations and political complexities beget new concepts that force the articulation of new terms. The concept of an environmental imaginary works to describe how environmentally charged concepts — such as a Green Olympics in Beijing, or xiao kang* (a well-off society) — are conceptualized in the context of broader Chinese interests regarding the co-construction of society and nature, or what Ma Shijun and Wang Rusong call the Social Economic Natural Complex Ecosystem (SENCE). Two instantiations of environmental imaginaries are currently in rapid and potent circulation throughout the Beijing development mindset, namely the Green Olympics in the shorter term (to 2010), and the “Green-city” or “Eco-city” in the longer term (2020 to 2100).

result for Beijing is at a relatively higher bar than it would be for developed countries. This push in capacity is driving the call for an increase in eco-environmental scientific analyses, and is putting intense attention on “greening” new development throughout the city. However, China’s expression to the world of its “ecospirit” does not end with the 2008 Olympics. In 2010, Shanghai will host the World Expo, which is going to be another large scale “green city” and “eco-friendly” urban development project. (“Eco-tourism” is also another very popular and contested instantiation of an environmental imaginary within the development of Chinese nature reserves.) While there has been much discussion of corporate “green-washing”, the “green-washing” of staterun endeavors appears to be an area which the central government is taking on fully. The extent to which China, and Beijing specifically, is capable of achieving the goals for a Green Olympics and beyond, will, in the global arena, determine how much of “going green” is a shift in political rhetoric versus a shift in fundamental goals and capacity building in the eco-environmental domain. It needs to be acknowledged, however, that this shift in rhetoric does not come without sincere and focused pressures from scientists and the public to pay closer attention to the costs of environmental damage.

SuStainability
可持续发展 (ke chixu fazhan) are the Chinese characters for “sustainable development”. Breaking the term down to its constituent parts, 可 (ke) means “able”, 持续 (chixu) means “continuous”, and 发展 (fazhan) means “development”. So, the term for sustainable development in Chinese implies the ability to develop continuously. Parsed out and taken up uncritically, this phrasing stands in contrast to how the term was originally used in the Brundtland Report, which defines sustainable development as development which ‘meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (Brundtland 1987). In evaluating the status and dynamics of various elements of China’s ecosystem and ecosystem services, the Central Government is currently very much concerned with its ability to develop continuously, perhaps more so than it is with the long-term ability to meet the needs of its vast population. The perceived threat to the Central Government seems to be that if economic development is not sustained then political unrest and instability are sure to follow. Successful approaches to sustainable development would need to secure both short-term gains in economic development, while at the same time investing in the long-term security of ecological resources and services.

enerGy
China’s energy sector is tremendous, and growing. In 2001 China consumed 9.8% of the world’s total energy output, and by 2025, it is projected to account for 14.2% of the world total (US DOE 2006). As Article 3 of the Electric Power Law of the People’s Republic of China states, ‘the electric power industry should meet the needs of the development of the national economy and the society and should therefore develop slightly ahead of the other sectors of the economy. The State encourages and provides guidance to lawful investment in the development of power resources and establishment of power-generating enterprises by economic organizations or individuals at home and abroad.’ It is no wonder that most of the funding from the US, the UN, and the World Bank has gone into China’s energy sector: energy capacity drives the rest of the country.

Water
Water quality and quantity is a significant factor for cities like Beijing and Shanghai, and becomes a major problem in small towns and villages with heavily polluting industries such as electroplating, MSG manufacturing, and smelting. Not far out of town the heavy use of fertilizers causes excessive run-off into local streams and lakes, where high levels of nitrogen and phosphates causes rapid eutrophication and die-off of fish and other aquatic wildlife due to low levels of oxygen. The water table in Beijing has reportedly fallen by approximately 50-60 meters since the beginning of major industrial development and expansion around the city.† This is unsurprising considering that Beijing is a city with about one fifth of the global average of fresh water supply per capita. A large northwest canal to the Yellow River is under construction; however, while the Yellow River rages massively in its more western reaches, it is dried up for more than half the year before it reaches the Bohai sea. Water-use efficiency is particularly low in China. ‘Due to unnecessarily huge irrigation quotas, water is wasted on a large scale. It is estimated that water use efficiency (WUE) is only 0.4. The WUE of channels in most irrigation areas is 0.40.6. In Northern China, agricultural irrigation seriously wastes water, with a WUE of 0.4-0.5 in most channels, and the WUE

Green OlympicS
‘Unlike the Sydney Olympic 贰 Games, Beijing’s Green Olympics will be an ecological event characterized by an age of globalization and information. It will need the support of harmonious ecological services, environmentally sound hightech, and the long cultural 叁 tradition of “man and nature be in one”. To combine the old tradition with the new transition to realize “New Beijing, Great Olympics”, a new integrative concept of eco-Olympics has been developed which consists of 肆 green Olympics, scientifictechnological Olympics and cultural Olympics, based on the principles of physical, economic and cultural ecology respectively.’† “Eco” here means a driving force, an action, a culture, 伍 a kind of vitality and an adaptive process leading to sustainable development. It is a kind of social behavior which pushes forward development while conserving the environment, and it is also a mechanism embodying the 陆 Olympic spirit of competition, symbiosis and selfreliance. It means internal harmony between structure and function, and systematic health in dynamics and cybernetics. The Green Olympic spirit needs not only morphological green (blue sky, green land and clean water), but

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Olympic hurdles For the city of Beijing, the driving force behind current infrastructural, economic, cultural, and environmental developments is, without a doubt, the 2008 XXIX Olympic Games. These Olympics are being promoted as a Green Olympics, which aim to align themselves with the principles of green energy, recycling, and sustainable development. This aspect of the Beijing Olympics has proved to be fertile ground for increasing public awareness of “going green” in China, and has become a touchstone for integrating eco-city thinking into the mindset of Beijing’s urban planners. Going green, of course, can be widely interpreted. Holding the Olympics in Beijing signifies the first time an Olympic Games is being held in a developing country since the 1968 Mexico City Olympiad. Holding a “green games” in China represents a different level of investment in capacity building than for countries such as Australia, the US, or the UK. Thus, the expected greening
3 Fortun, K. & Fortun, M. ‘Scientific Imaginaries and Ethical Plateaus in Contemporary U.S. Toxicology’ American Anthropologist (107, no. 1, 2004) pp. 43-54. 4 The title of this subsection refers to Liu Xiang, winner of the men’s 110m hurdles in the 2004 Olympic Games. He has become a nationalist symbol for China’s Olympic success. 

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Green-city to Eco-city The concept of the successful Chinese city has changed over the past 25 years from a centrally planned center of commodity production to a market-driven center of commercial production. The transition over the past decade from a planned economy to a socialist market economy (with “Chinese characteristics”) is the primary driver for this switch. With it comes a de-emphasis on producing commodities to meet state objectives, and a greater emphasis on allowing the market to determine the efficiency and types of production in
5 Among urban ecological planners working on Beijing’s Urban Master Plan 2020, a “green-city” is one that appropriately takes into account green space and green planning, including transportation, building materials, urban heat islands, etc. The term “eco-city” is used to express a conception of a far more ecologically-minded city — one that is in a sustainable relationship to all ecosystem services that support it. Most ecological planners I spoke to were of the opinion that while Beijing could become a “green-city” by 2030, it could not reasonably be expected to achieve “eco-city” status much before 2100.

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Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.346–7 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F–7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478–519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A–8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A

upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E

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urban centers, thus allowing certain regions in China to specialize rather than generalize their industry. Such an expected and observed growth in production specialization yields two significant results: first, specialization brings with it industrial modernization, which (arguably) eventually leads to ecological modernization; and second, inefficient and heavily polluting facilities are closed down because they are neither competitive on energy terms nor viable producers for the market. For example, the ISO 14000 family of environmentally focused management standards is becoming globally popular, and if a Chinese company wants to supply to another, usually offshore, company which already complies with these standards, then the Chinese firm will very likely also need become ISO 14000 certified. In step with other trends in municipal funding and other favors shown to Beijing compared to other municipalities throughout the country, the capital region rarely undergoes mandatory blackouts/powershutdowns. In an effort to reduce air pollution, major power producing plants have been moved beyond the current limits of the more urbanized areas in and around Beijing. And as a further effort to address energy shortages and pollution problems, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) has passed a national Law on Renewable Sources in March 2005. This renewables law, a remarkably progressive law for a developing country, has set the goal for 10% of all energy consumed in China to be derived from renewable sources by 2010.6 But Beijing’s long-term pressure to “go green”, beyond the 2008 Olympics and the 2010 renewables target, stems from more pressing realities such as severe water shortages, air pollution, land-use density, urban heat island effects, growing automobile ownership and traffic, and the congregation of inefficient industrial facilities. Addressing these issues requires a great deal more time for the market economy to focus fully, for rule of law to be firmly
6 According to the US DOE, this is also deemed to be an exceptionally important effort because China’s own oil reserves are only about 10% of the world’s average. 

established, and for better coordination of efforts across planning departments. These are all met with problems of corruption, inherent loopholes and legal paradoxes, vague policies, bad loans,7 lower technical capacity, outdated facilities, top-heavy bureaucracy, and the ubiquity of inefficient communication and data sharing.

FOOd/WaSte
Agricultural production has an extreme effect on overall water quality and quantity, though it is slowly being surpassed by industrial usage.† However, agricultural consumption also plays a significant role in contributing to the release of greenhouse gases, namely CO2 and methane. Food scraps are the largest component of municipal solid wastes (MSW), and are the richest in carbon release (during decomposition) amongst the MSW. Various studies have demonstrated that carbon output per capita increases as per capita GDP of a city increases.‡ This is, in part, due to a richer diet, in particular an increase in the consumption of meat and rice.§ An increase in transportation is also implicit in wider distribution of food, particularly since you no longer need to have a residence card, or hukou*, in a city to buy food there. __

Space
Outside of population growth itself, there are two primary factors eating up space in Beijing: the most notorious is the private automobile, followed by the expansion of floor space in new developments. As Huang points out, the ‘overall level of housing consumption in Beijing has increased significantly over time, from less than 4m2 of living areas per capita in the 1950s to 11.64m2 in 2001.’† The growth rate of automobile ownership in Beijing is also tremendous. At the current rate (2006), there are approximately 200,000 new cars on the Beijing roads every year, bringing the 2006 total to approximately 1.3 million private cars. According to statistics from the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau, there are approximately 1,000 new vehicles — including cars (~64%), trucks, motorcycles, scooters, etc. — licensed every day for the roads of Beijing. This does not count the extra licenses given out by surrounding Hebei province, which can be used anywhere outside of the 4th ring road. Simply making room for parking the cars is becoming one of the greatest developmental pressures on preserving green space throughout Beijing. Approximate calculations suggest that the surface area required to park the current car fleet of Beijing is approximately 26km2 (at 20m2/space). Setting aside multi-story car parks, this represents 3.8% of the entire surface area of Beijing within the 5th ring road. Based

[Water cOntinued]
in the catchment of the Haihe River is 0.45. In Northwestern arid regions, the irrigation quota is 16,537m3/hm2, 1.4 times greater than the average irrigation quota. In Ningxia, the irrigation quota is 32,550m3/hm2, 2.8 times greater than average. In northern China, the irrigation quota is 7,500–12,000m3/hm2, or 2-5 times greater than crop water requirement. Water wasted by agriculture is believed to exceed 10x1010m3 every year.’‡ By 2050, the projected water use for Beijing far outweighs current capacity. A much stricter system for charging for water consumption will help to curb waste; this entails better monitoring of use, and higher pricing of water per unit consumed. A much higher efficiency of water usage needs to occur in the irrigation system. For example, ‘even in the water short North China Plain, farmers produce on average only about 0.85kg of grain per m3 of irrigation water, compared to over 2kg in the US.’§

[Green OlympicS cOntinued]
also functional green (ecoservices, eco-institution and eco-consciousness). Furthermore, it seeks a dynamic green that brings man’s potential to its full play according to ecological principles. To achieve this, it is necessary to green not only the landscape, but also the process of production and consumption as well as people’s minds and behavior, which means a further sublimation of the Olympic spirit.

The green edge* The two environmental imaginaries, the Green Olympics and eco-city Beijing, produce very real results, particularly in motivating planners and politicians towards thinking more broadly and deeply about sustainability, green designs, public transportation, and energy efficiency. The current trend in urban development around Beijing, however green it may be marketed as, still has a long way to go before reasonable claims of sustainability can be met. For such shifts in development to occur would require not just a few key politicians to think green or have goals in accordance with sustainable concepts; rather, it implies a shift in the entire culture itself away from the direction it is currently heading — i.e. that of heavy consumption of disposable material goods and neo-liberal emphases on the success of the individual. There are no sincerely robust examples of urban-scale sustainability we can point to in any major urban region of the world, so we are not entirely sure what success looks like in these regards. However, in the absence of examples, environmental imaginaries provide us with conceptual frameworks and sets of goals that, hopefully, point us in the direction of what sustainable success might be. What is certain is that further experimentation is needed, both in enhancing education of the public about sustainability, and particularly in coming up with new designs for green living without erasing the valuable characteristics and traditions of living within a community setting. It is in this context that we introduce the concept of the green edge*, a term that not only refers to the perimeter of the urban development,
7 It is not uncommon for certain state-owned enterprises to be bailed out of bankruptcy for the 7th or 8th time.

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† Wang, R. S. ‘The Eco-Origins, Actions and Demonstration Roles of Beijing Green Olympic Games’ Journal of Environmental Sciences (October 2001)

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† Wang, R. S., Hongzhun, R. & Ouyang, Z. (eds.) China Water Vision: The Eco-Sphere of Water, Life, Environment and Development (China Meteorological Press, 2000) ‡ Luo, T., Ouyang, Z., Wang, X., Li, W. Carbon Discharge through Municipal Solid Waste in Haikou, China (forthcoming 2006) § Rice production is one of the biggest culprits in agriculturally driven C02 release.

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† Wang, R. S., Hongzhun, R. & Ouyang, Z. (eds.) China Water Vision: The Eco-Sphere of Water, Life, Environment and Development (China Meteorological Press, 2000) ‡ Ibid. § Ibid.

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Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.346–7 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F–7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478–519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A–8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A

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but also aspires to describe the very boundaries of conceiving sustainability and of living green. Perhaps the best way to understand the green edge* extends from landscape ecology, which has identified that boundaries in managed ecosystems, such as the border of a large wooded area in a park, need to be made complex and not linear. A complex boundary between vegetation types, it was discovered, provided better conditions for biodiversity. Such lessons should inform how green space is planned in areas undergoing new development as a technique for combating sprawl and integrating complex boundaries between human ecosystems.

The L-Building, which draws its inspiration from the traditional and highly successful Beijing hutong*, introduces the concerns of the individual to planning approaches which often, given the inevitable granularity of big building projects, forget the relevance of issues like community. This mode of thinking is then integrated into a larger scale development, the GBD proposal for an area of East Beijing near the fifth ringroad, which attempts to bring a degree of coherence to the city by considering future transportation routes, the availability of public services, and the recirculation of waste. By imagining greening on levels that are relevant to both consumer satisfaction and consumer greening, and city wide operational efficiency and city greening, the green edge is given a concrete form.

buildinG
China’s leaders appreciate the magnitude the Chinese urban landscape has in the ecological equation. The green objectives aimed at cities as formulated by the Ministry of Construction are impressive to the point of being almost unbelievable. By the end of 2010, all Chinese cities are expected to reduce their buildings’ energy use by 50%; by 2020, that figure should be 65%. Furthermore, by 2010, 25% of existing residential and public buildings in the country’s large cities should be retrofitted to become greener; 15% in medium-sized, 10% in small cities. Over 80 million m2 of building space should be powered by renewable energies. In China such astounding goals are not necessarily utopian. Still it is unlikely that in 2020 this much of China’s new urban residences will include serious sustainable measures when in 2005 it was less than 3%. The impact of China’s cities on the environment is hard to overestimate. Of the 15 billion m2 floor space in China only 1.5 billion are in cities,† yet here the real progress can be made. China’s increase in oil consumption until 2015 will be almost entirely for road transport; oil consumption for transportation alone is likely to increase from 0.8 to 3.5 million barrels a day.‡ As much as 28% of China’s current energy consumption can be attributed to residential use (expected to double by 2020). Include commercial use and the inert and gray energy stored in

[Space cOntinued]
on a 2002 study by Tsinghua University, if car-buying trends in Beijing match the rest of the country, the car population could top 7 million by 2020. 7 million parked cars would cover about 21% of the surface area within the 5th ring road. The seriousness of this problem is compounded by the falling popularity of the bicycle. Once the great icon of Beijing transportation, increasingly the bicycle is being associated with backwardness and economic disadvantage. The implications of an emergent middle class moving from bicycles to cars go beyond oil consumption to urban space consumption: a bicycle is estimated to require 2m2 per unit, as opposed to the car’s 20m2. The urban heat island effect (UHI)‡ is another significant factor concerning the density of built up areas throughout the city. UHI effects can impact the micro-climate of a city significantly, generating a difference of 10˚C or more from surround areas, and greatly increasing the demand for energy intensive air-conditioning in the hotter months. Various studies conducted by Xiao Rongbo demonstrate the correlation between Beijing’s high density of impervious surfaces and tall buildings and an increase in the occurrence of UHIs. This is an issue which can be planned for in the future, particularly by considering how to lessen non-

cOnSumptiOn
China should not develop in the same way as the US, with high consumption of resources and high emission levels. Otherwise, China will not be tolerated by the world, or even by itself. – President Hu Jintao As the world’s largest consumer the threat China poses is all but local. Spearheading the trend of low-cost production and intensive global competition, China’s success or failure to convert to a green economy will determine if new sustainable growth models can be realized across the board. If this doesn’t work for China, it will not work for India or the three billion other people in developing countries who are also dreaming the American dream. – Lester Brown, Earth Policy Institute.
伍 贰

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Appropriate Designs: Gao Bei Dian (GBD) and Hybrid Hutongs*
Urbanization is the single largest agglomeration of influences on China’s environment. Urban effects are found across all sectors of the economy, span multiple spatial and social scales, and influence even the far reaches of natural ecosystems in remote “underdeveloped” regions. The rise of the urban middle class in China is driving the desire for newer more luxurious building stock, for private vehicles, for increased consumer-orientated production, and for eco-tourism, which is transforming sleepy little towns into thriving magnets for urbanites thirsty for a bit of pristine nature. These forces are all major obstacles to the realization of China’s green imaginaries. Greening existing built-up areas is very difficult without deep investments in infrastructure or innovative approaches, such as vertical greening. This will likely come over the longer term, but near term payoffs are far more achievable and effective when looking at the greening of areas currently undergoing development. The two proposals here, GBD and the Hybrid Hutong*, attempt to address many of the problems as well as opportunities that are presented by the green edge*, i.e. thinking at the current plausible limit of urban greening.

Conclusion: Enhancing Community Capacity Towards a Sustainable Future
Successes towards sustainability will begin by asking in all sincerity, ‘What kind of collective life do the Chinese people imagine for themselves, and for others in the world?’ Implied in this are considerations about how much people are willing to risk, sacrifice, adapt, and innovate. How well the Chinese government is able to come out on the positive side of the question will most likely depend upon how equitably such sacrifices are distributed across China’s classes. Addressing that means facing the double-bind that promises of neo-liberalism’s emphasis on individualism encounters when faced with serious consequences for the environmental commons. While China’s one-child policy was a policy in favor of protecting “the commons”, it has paradoxically hastened the rise of what has to be one of the most individualistic generations China has ever seen. That’s not to say that individual success and wealth should be shunned, but rather, what such success means at an individual level needs to be profoundly reconsidered in the context of sustainability. Thinking in sustainable terms means accounting for the debts that need to be paid forward — ecological debts that are accrued every time a new housing development is established or new road is put down. However, this
Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

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There are no sincerely robust examples of urban-scale sustainability we can point to in any major urban region in the world. 世界上没有哪个大都市堪称 是可持续发展城市的典范

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splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.346–7 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F–7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478–519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A–8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A

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is not a cause without support, as sustainable terms are being translated into economic terms, such as with the use of ecosystem services, so they can be included in wider political-economic valuations. Comprehending what this means to an individual’s lifestyle choices, however, will require re-training individuals in how they go about their daily business. Individual happiness and wealth needs to be accounted for, but such happiness is tied into the well-being of the community as well. As Bryan Norton lays out in his work on sustainability, aligning community goals with environmental values becomes a driving condition for making effective sustainable choices. Establishing these values would include, as Norton argues, taking responsibility for future consequences, making a commitment to ‘future-oriented living’, evaluating how ‘citizens value parts of their environment at a given time’ by ‘focusing on everyday communication’, and developing an empirical foundation to help communities ‘posit a basis against which to judge public processes of adaptive management as they emerge and develop in real situations.’ If we want to put an investment into sustainable development that will affect both the goals of urban level sustainability and individual level consumption patterns, it would be best done at a community level, and focused on communications which increase the awareness of environmental values and practices through greener designs for residential blocks. Dwelling designs that support both environmental values and community participation will not only provide the conditions for moving towards a more sustainable urban/rurban lifestyle, but will also provide the foundations for a stronger civil society. It is these goals that are infused in the Gao Bei Dian and L-building designs for Beijing. The green edge* is the urgent context in which these building experiments need to be refined into successfully reproducible examples of sustainable design for the continually expanding boundaries of China’s cities.

[BuildinG cOntinued]
the buildings’ material and this adds up to over 40%. China’s entry into the World Trade Organization, its successful bid for the 2008 Olympic Games, and the country’s general integration into the world economy have all contributed to an absolute urban investment boom. The World Bank estimates that between now and 2015 roughly half of the world’s new building construction will take place in China. China’s Ministry of Construction estimates it will double its current building stock by 2020, predominantly for housing. This means 30 billion m2 will need to be constructed over the next 15 years. This is equivalent to the entire building mass of a 25 country large European Union. The building industry alone accounts for approximately one-third of China’s electric power use, and the process of demolition and building delivers 35% of the total greenhouse gas emissions and a host of indirect environmental problems. The total sum of all these figures is hard to establish but is likely to be the dominant factor in China’s energy and environmental equation. What should be emphasized is that China’s planning, construction and design are inextricably linked with its future energy needs. These industries will have a detrimental impact on the environment if they won’t or can’t adopt a sustainable strategy before this construction wave has been completed. __

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porous surfaces. __

† Huang, Y. Q. ‘From Work-Unit Compounds to Gated Communities: Housing Inequality and Residential Segregation in Transitional Beijing’ Restructuring the Chinese City: Changing Society, Economy and Space, Laurence J. C., Ma and Fulong Wu (eds.), Routledge (2005) ‡ Urban Heat Islands occur when a city full of blacktop and concrete absorbs and re-releases significant quantities of solar radiation. Greenery absorbs this energy and also, through respiration, keeps an area cooler.

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8 8 Norton, Bryan G. Sustainability: A Philosophy of Adaptive Ecosystem Management (University of Chicago Press, 2005) p. 360 

† China Statistical Yearbook, 2005. ‡ Cole, B. ‘“Oil for the Lamps of China” — Beijing’s 21st Century Search for Energy’ McNair Papers, U.S. National Defense University, (Washington D.C., 2003)

Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.346–7 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F–7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478–519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A–8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A 

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green metropolis

Pondering the Green Edge *
Erich Schienke – Neville Mars

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ES: What were the issues concerning you when you started the designs for the L-building and for the GBD Art and Design District? NM: As a foreign designer working in China, pushing a progressive sustainable agenda is one of the few added values we have to offer. China’s impressive green ambitions for 2020 have produced an array of studies, suggestions and guidelines aimed at reducing emission levels. This is important, but the magnitude of China’s problems demands a more profoundly integrated approach. And China, as it will double its building stock over the next two decades, has this unique opportunity.

At the outset of what is potentially a green revolution it is essential to aim for more then reducing the environmental impact with a myriad of greenification gimmicks. To achieve this, I believe efforts should include both ends of the scale, now largely ignored — the regional and the individual. My concerns on the regional scale relate to the increasingly suburban landscape that is forming. We have coined the term splatter pattern* to describe the vast urban expansions twaking place at village-level. Based on the premise that a significant proportion of future consumption is already determined once land use and urban form has been designated, this will constitute highly inefficient urban regions. The harsh reality China has to face is that even a collection

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Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.346–7 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F–7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478–519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A–8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A

upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E

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of good green buildings can deliver a bad city. The anxious socio-economic context facilitates the almost instantaneous shift from a red to a green society — at least on paper. But coherence between the sea of new building projects is much more difficult to realize. ES: What about individual level problems facing greening in China?

土地使用和城市形 态将决定消费模式
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home consumer diversifies this monotony will be disastrous for the lifespan of a notoriously short-lived housing-stock. Having completed a brand new urban environment at the scale of Europe in two decades, China would have to start all over again, green buildings or not. Ultimately the individual and regional scales affect each other. China has embarked on a social revolution that can be summarized as a shift from a single society of radical equality to a radically segregated society. The scattered urban landscape that is forming is defining the modern Chinese way of life. For those who can afford it, this equals a car-dependent suburban lifestyle. While massconsumption is on the rise for some, dismal conditions remain for many. Greenification schemes are mostly up-market, simply pushing primitive conditions to the edge of society. The fact that China has ventured on a path that is not socially sustainable will hinder its ambitions for environmental sustainability. ES: I agree that a massive transformation is underway, but within the context of Chinese history neither inequality nor difficulties of scale are in themselves new. Do you put the radical aspect of these changes down to speed and the numbers involved, or is there a fundamental morphological change happening? If the landscape is undergoing complete transformation, are traditional and even current forms being lost? NM: Traditionally Chinese cities were compact clear centers in the landscape. Even during the twentieth century cities did not expand beyond the reach of the bicycle. The neighborhood was integrated; work and living were closely aligned. Though not sustainable in a modern society this presents an ideal configuration on both the scale of the region and the individual home. Even today for the 200 million households that don’t have running hot water, economizing on energy
dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A–8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E

villa quarters
别墅区

studios
工作室

terrace apartments
带露台的公寓

museum
艺术馆

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剧场

creative offices
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宅基地

独创工作室

L-building
L-型建筑

hotels
宾馆
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NM: About the problems at the individual scale I am less skeptical. A green society is not the product of laws and guidelines alone. The individual, or rather the consumer, will define the success of most green ambitions. Like so many aspects of China’s modernization it’s the combined result of top-down government interventions and bottom-up incentives that generate the hyper-speed transition. China’s doubledigit economic growth can be argued to be at a standstill when the environmental squalor costs an estimated 10% GDP annually. At the same time air pollution is directly affecting the health of millions of individuals. According to the Chinese Academy on Environmental Planning (2003), air pollution is the cause of 411,000 premature deaths every year. This is particularly poignant when you consider that the average individual in China consumes only a fraction of what people in most Western countries do. We are faced with a rather paradoxical aim in terms of greenness: less to reduce individual consumption, but to serve and stimulate future green consumers. Chinese society is in the process of a complete transformation. The objective is to accommodate the xiao kang* or well-off middle class in a new urban environment by 2020. This means we have to conceive what the urban environment should be now. Though cities like Beijing seem to be modern, in reality they are realized with just another upgrade of a monotonous housing stock. High-end green efforts are mostly aimed at prestigious office towers and tend to overlook the challenge of the explosive residential realm. In crude terms the housing program can be reduced to dormitory extrusions* and villa parks. As the Chinese
Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.346–7 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2 over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F–7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478–519

galleries
画廊

eco-center
生态中心

停车场+观览山坡
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brandstore
品牌店

bridges between retail and leisure
店铺与休闲之间的连廊

program 布局

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is painfully easy; more so for the 20,000 villages entirely cut off from the grid. Ironically the lack of the most basic amenities and infrastructure has accelerated the spread of sustainable technologies. China is the world’s largest producer of solar panels, and the number of people still off the grid have made it the world’s largest consumer. In the countryside a staggering 50 million collectors have been installed. However leapfrog developments have uprooted the urban fabric on many levels. The compact city and the social setting of the traditional neighborhood are all but lost in the expansion of the Chinese suburb. China’s hukou* registration system divides the population into two distinct groups: urban and rural. This suggests two distinct spatial conditions: the city and the countryside. However the predominant development occurs on the threshold of these two and produces nothing more than a rurban* landscape — an indiscriminate fusion of rural and urban elements that lacks the qualities of either condition. To gain a grip on the landscape at least three basic conditions should be distinguished: rural, urban and suburban. The suburbs and the suburbanite define the residential median of China’s expansion. It is the most dynamic zone, with potentially the largest impact on the environment. Here the values of the traditional neighborhood and the compact city should be reintroduced. ES: And so the suburbs are the “Green Edge*” your designs refer to? NM: Originally the title of our research, the Green Edge*, was a cynical reference to one part of Beijing’s greenification scheme: a project that has edged major roads, particularly around international tourist attractions, overpasses, and the international airport expressway, with a thin sleeve of trees, plants and flowerbeds. In a notoriously dry city, this seems to be a water-thirsty fauna offensive to make Beijing look green from a car, while blocking the view onto dilapidated neighborhoods around the Third Ring Road. But we felt this name was more appropriate for the zone around cities with the particular green potential we have distinguished in our urban proposals*. The objective for this zone was to define 

the edge of the city in order to tackle sprawl. It became clear in China that the suburb has to be given a second chance — if only because of its success. At the moment the Chinese suburb is no more than an indiscriminate region where fortunate home-owners, the forcefully relocated, and ever more middle-class citizens are finding refuge. The trend itself is thoroughly global — people either want to live in the suburbs or can’t afford to live anywhere else. But here, for young real estate refugees*, the flight to the suburb is the Chinese Dream*. It too has its roots in an economic revival and the success of mass-consumption and individual transportation. But the Chinese suburb is still distinct

shoppers

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permeable surface

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from its American counterpart. The Chinese suburbs still contain real social diversity and a variety of spatial conditions. This may be only temporary though, as an unseemly form of over-planning* dominated by highways and industrial parks is pushing small-scale developments out to the periphery leaving behind a sterile and inaccessible landscape. Still I feel there is hope. Unlike American suburbia, the Chinese suburbs often present remarkably compact building typologies. This is a potentially invaluable condition that China should nurture to give quality to its urban periphery. Paradoxically urbanization, mass-migration and population growth can help to elevate the suburb to become an integrated part of a compact metropolitan environment. To achieve this, suburbia should be confined to clear boundaries. Where suburbia starts and stops however is hard to define. We have suggested any urban expansion

Nolli map

park route

sustainability route

shopping + leisure route

art route urban event route
Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.346–7 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2 over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F–7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478–519 dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A–8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E

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beyond the reach of high-end public transport should be considered unsustainable. The zone within the mass-transit system which is not part of the center we have coined the Green Edge*; a transitional zone between the city and the countryside. Freed from its derogatory appellation and its image as a refuge for rich and poor, this part of the suburb can take on the role of being the city’s green heart, accommodating a rich mix of social classes, densities, urban functions and green space. The Green Edge* introduces a highly sought after urban quality: lush residential environment with fast access to the center. ES: But aren’t suburbs normally perceived to be at the heart of the sprawl problem, rather than the green solution? NM: True — we are claiming green building projects belong in the suburbs of large cities — and we are aware that this statement is counterintuitive. China is currently in the grip of a satellite fetish*. Somehow with satellite towns suburbanization is not a concern. Building more satellites and celebrated concept towns should compensate for the inexorable expansion of China’s semi-industrial, semi-modern, semi-urban landscape: the satellite town has become the focus of an eco-exodus. And in principle it can work. China, the world’s most sophisticated developing country has signed a contract to build the world’s first completely sustainable city near Shanghai. Engineered by Ove Arup & Partners and located on an island it should be a successful, truly autonomous green city. However, most likely the countless other green planning projects will be less comprehensive and less autonomous. They will induce sprawl and demand longer commutes instead of enhancing the semi-developed periphery. This is why green projects belong in the suburbs, or rather the Green Edge*. The eco-exodus and the concept of a sustainable satellite are not new. They are reminiscent of the ideologies of New Urbanism (NU); a movement which proclaimed the invention of a socially refined, walkable eco-town of human proportion with historical trimmings back in the eighties. However as a socially environmentally sustainable vision NU and its offspring Smart Growth are impaired by their car-dependency and price tag. Their walkable qualities entail only the stroll from the house to the church and the barbershop. They lack the critical mass necessary to support high-end transit to the workplace. In addition they build on what was previously open space. This reduces New Urbanism to a gated community without walls; the result of carpet planning* with stylistic cues. Its most prominent examples — Celebration, Seaside, and The Glen — are tantamount to a privatization of public space at the town-wide level and create an encapsulated town rather than a mixed, interactive community.

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greenness must be marketable — i.e. must be both cost-effective, and have the attractive power to generate green consumers 绿色战略应与市场和谐, 它应有既省钱又催生绿色 消费者的魅力 

Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.346–7 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

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over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F–7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478–519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A–8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A

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Without the conspicuous walls of the Chinese condo their privacy depends on isolation, gentrification, and citizens’ decrees. Some of these are light-hearted enough — for example in Celebration it’s officially not permitted to be unhappy — but for China the success of 20,000 gated communities in the US presents a rather less frivolous scenario. As China progresses most likely similar desires for a neosuburban lifestyle will burgeon. In the dichotomist Chinese environment, compounds sealed off from society threaten the durability of the suburb. The split cities* they produce prohibit the assimilation of migrants and low-income citizens into the suburban society. ES: Okay, so tell me a little about the specific history of the actual designs themselves.

was surprisingly progressive. We met a developer who from a commercial standpoint supported our ambitions for sustainability and urban diversity. The assignment was for an art and design district in Gao Bei Dian (GBD); an area of rapid change in east Beijing near the Fifth Ring Road. We felt this was a good example of the kind of space we aimed to capture with the Green Edge* concept. The area is a leftover plot wedged between highways, train tracks, and semi-urbanized villages*, but with impressive green features. In the first stage the project was intended to be purely an art district with large art studios, loft apartments, and galleries and offices for the creative sector. As you know in Beijing recently dozens of areas have been designated for the creative industries*; sometimes this is an effective method to elevate suburban areas struggling with their industrial heritage. But often it’s merely a government label void of real meaning, and applied

to postpone any clear decision. This put us on the spot to answer the question if an art district could really be designed — would this kill the grass-roots qualities? Should artists be left to find urban niches themselves, as they have done successfully across the globe? Art districts come and go and nowhere faster than in Beijing, and this is only normal. But in Beijing they develop under strangely contradictory forces. Some like Dashanzi 798 have been acknowledged and flourish; others have been painfully short-lived and leveled without notification. This constant threat made us decide that a well-planned
Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.346–7 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2 over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F–7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478–519

creative district which would provide individual artists with a safe environment in which to live and work was worthwhile. But as the project evolved so did the assignment and even the actual site conditions. The reality of our central hypothesis of dynamic density* became all too apparent. Our challenge for the two designs we had made was to develop systems that would be flexible, yet diverse and detailed. The level of detail expected in a Chinese urban proposal approaches the
dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A–8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E

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architectural scale, and this unfortunately eradicates most flexibility from the design process. I believe this is one of the reasons why in China instant designs are commonplace. Our efforts to achieve extreme flexibility allowed us to safeguard the search for creative solutions. The systems we’ve engineered can withstand continuous alterations while maintaining their principle qualities. The two systems presented here are based on organic principles: one a backbone, the other a cell pattern*. ES: And how does this work out spatially? NM: The backbone or Strip* evolved from our desire to connect to the urban network via a public space at a time when the majority of realestate projects turn away from the public domain. Providing a space that offers both circulatory and locational qualities can be the basis for a dynamic and diverse street life. The reality of the Beijing suburbs, however, literally left us looking for loose ends to connect. The project site is naturally as cut-off from its surroundings as any walled community. In response we have designed a single strip that is both origin and destination; a distinctly urban zone that forms the backbone for urban development in one direction, and a clear demarcation from the surrounding ecological park in the other. These two aspects of the project — city and park — work together as one ecological system

that channels water flows and preserves energy. The ecological park replenishes the consumption of the urban strip. The park is a showcase for environmental design and encourages green consumers. The surface of the urban strip is almost entirely permeable and tapered to distort the perspective. From each end the total distance looks either very long or very short. Visitors are naturally drawn deep inside the area and then persuaded to wander through the park. The buildings are wrapped along the central axis or vista and connected by a continuous tensile sun-screen that protects the pedestrians against the hot Beijing summer. The built volume slopes down to offer maximum penetration of sunlight and an enhanced view over the park. Sustainable projects are generally only open to the south, but art studios require northern light. This provided an interesting opportunity to develop an intricate roofscape.

green buildings belong in the suburbs — or rather, the green edge* of big cities
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绿色建筑只存 在于郊区,或者说 是大城市的绿色边缘

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Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.346–7 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F–7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478–519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A–8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A

upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E

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Maximum buildable area at 50% = 66,000 M2

Jagged strips of industrial style light wells cut through the entire district. The windows face north, the south facing facades are covered with solar panels, the flat parts become terraces and walkways, the soft slopes are covered with vegetation. The natural qualities of the site have been enhanced with indigenous plants and natural installations such as the solar aquatic system and reed beds. Then the assignment grew, the site parameters shifted and the project gained a large amount of commercial and leisure program. The network of paths and designated routes we’d planned through the site became much more elaborate, while the available surface decreased. It’s an obvious solution to rely on tall structures to comply with Chinese building codes, and admittedly there are strong incentives behind the suburban skyscrapers we see emerging. But developed as single mega-compounds these environments more often resemble a form of Chinese Modernism* — large blocks on a map of endless undefined cross-hatched grass; an urban approach which is leaving neighborhoods oddly inaccessible behind vast empty spaces. Within the context of the Green Edge* we proposed to aim for a low-rise solution without compromising the density. Using cantilevers, bridges, decks, skywalks and extensive sunken retail streets and squares the available space is greatly increased. Cars are removed from sight and the distinction between above and below ground, the street and the terraces is permeated. To achieve this, a formula was created for a single cell of 2,500m2 to be developed by a single architect. These cells are then grouped together to form larger patterns which can adapt to specific conditions such as trees or a river. The Chinese puzzle pattern of plazas and corridors is the result. ES: Your proposals speak also about the social aspects of the design, suggesting even a resonance with ‘communist principles’, and offering a ‘soft transition’ from hutong* to skyscraper. How do you reconcile this with the market’s current fetishization of the new and apparent unconcern with demolishing previous environments? Communism in China has demonstrated a capacity to engage successfully in large-scale development projects, but this has not always produced an integrated approach to urban design. 

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Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.346–7 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F–7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478–519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A–8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A

upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E

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1 The development model for the L-building draws on the capacity of the many dadui* in the suburbs to realize their own buildings on their own land. 4

NM: If you look at things over a slightly longer term, there is absolutely no contradiction between marketability and social concerns for the user community. The L-building is an architectural response to our research at the individual scale. Green projects, and particularly housing, need to be marketable. We feel that an increasingly critical consumer of living space will not accept the plastic-wrapped boxes on offer today much longer. A housing stock that offers greater diversity with preferably more comfortable homes is in itself more sustainable. This means part of the problem is purely architectural. I realize this is a direct critique of the design education in China that still has not been able to adopt a more conceptual approach, let alone nurture the creativity of its students, but sustainability, marketability, and attractiveness ultimately all combine to form a triple bottom line for any development. The letter L in L-building embodies these qualities. L is the primary shape of the apartment, but L also stands for Luxury and for Loft. We have designed the units as lofts not merely as the epitome of the architect’s dream apartment, but as a space that can easily be adapted from one owner to the next. The apartments can be either completely compartmentalized or entirely open, and thus can be made suitable for couples, small families, or a new generation of single occupancy tenants born out of the one child policy. The L-building as a whole introduces the further aspect of social sustainability, often missing in China and in

developments will become increasingly important in China, as more and more people find themselves not only relocated, but also questioning the benefits of that relocation. Both the GBD Art and Design District and the L-building mediate between China’s traditional urban environment and the contemporary trend of upscaling*; between low-rise and the modern tower block. First the L-building complies with some rudimentary suburban desires — a large private garden and your car at the door. But as a mediumsized, collectively developed, owned, and operated form,1 the L-building also resonates with more traditional principles. ES: Traditional principles as in the courtyard?

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NM: Yes. It seems a contradiction and failed attempts prevail, but the Chinese courtyard or siheyuan* can be stacked. As a hybrid between a high-rise and a hutong*, the L-building retains the three essential qualities of a sizable garden, close connection to the neighborhood, and privacy. This is achieved by fusing the typology of the patio with terrace housing. The long walls of the immense terrace function as a courtyard on your rooftop. The protruding semicantilevered gardens catch the sun even when it sets behind the building. Walking to the end of your terrace you overlook the neighboring gardens, the park and the surroundings.

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the general discussion. Nothing is more desirable than an apartment with amenities such as running hot and cold water, a toilet, and a view. But for the inhabitant the transfer from the ping fang* — the simple derivative of the famous hutong* — to the modern tower block is often less rewarding as time goes by. The traditional Chinese neighborhood, including the danwei*, had an exceptional social coherence. Qualities of the ping fang* that were taken for granted, particularly the sense of community, are disappearing. Recreating a community for the individual within an environment of large-scale
Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.346–7 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2 over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F–7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478–519 dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A–8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E

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strip extended program  

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THE L-BUILDING
A hutong high-rise hybrid *
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floors ceilings walls windows doors

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The basic buiding block of the project is an L-shaped terrace apartment. The apartment is stacked in a pattern which is shifted diagonally. This shift makes it possible to introduce an entirely new housing type. 项目的基本建筑模式是 L型公寓楼。公寓都是 延斜线上移叠落在一起 的。这样的移动使一种 全方位的新的房屋类型 成为可能

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design Neville Mars Govert Gerritsen

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Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.346–7 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F–7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478–519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A–8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A

upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E

research and ecotech diagrams Kathy Basheva 

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In China, low-density “solutions” such as the eco-village are essentially green chimaeras
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在中国,比如”生态村”之类低 密度住宅的解决方案无异于狮 头、羊身、蛇尾的绿色怪物

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Before padding a city out with insulation, we need to imagine what living environments we actually want to inhabit 给城市绝缘之前,应该先 想明白我们希望在何种环 境中居住

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The outer sides of the L are closed; the inner side glazed. Apartments provide privacy for each other while terraces and interiors receive the maximum of direct sunlight. Orientation ensures shielding from prevailing winds. Views reach out to the park below.

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Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.346–7 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F–7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478–519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A–8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A

upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E

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Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

or fortification: the final formula

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Neville Mars, Saskia Vendel

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现代化与城市化的力量摧毁了古老的城墙,也同样兴建起城 墙与城门2.0。保安严守大门的高档住宅小区在这个国家此起 彼伏。不管墙外如何纷乱嘈杂,墙内总是芳草鲜梅、落英缤 纷。这样美丽的气泡正越来越多地充满着城市有限的空间, 资本的力量让它们以惊人的速度被繁殖、被炮制。不受青睐 的公共空间亦在被蚕食鲸吞。没有人再提起城市的本质是公 共空间,而它们正在堕落为美丽气泡之间的无人看管地带。 穷人与富人之间那道无形的墙正在物化。就在中国向世界开 放、其经济的能量辐射到全球时,先富起来的中国人却准 备——关起门来!

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lockdown [glo] p.682 5B hutong [glo] p.680 1B privatopia [glo] p.684 6B nerdistan [glo] p.682 3D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D golden ghetto [glo] p.678 1E

split city [glo] p.688 5A teletopia [glo] p.688 7C danwei [glo] p.676 4A eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D confusion [txt] p.286–327 checkmate real-estate [glo] p.674 4A, [img]

BURB p.2–3 carport [img] p.535 7H–8J purple jade villas [img] p.194 7A–8B decongested [txt] p.369–370

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Fortification: the final formula
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1 As stated in the 16th party congress 5

The gray brick and mortar walls, so distinctly Chinese and so beautiful, are being demolished; the old neighborhoods they encircle and the narrow alleys they delimit torn down. Of the 7000 hutongs* of 1949 Beijing, only 137 remain. The unremitting thrust of modernization and urban expansion has overhauled the old and replaced it with the new, and not only in Beijing but far beyond the coast and China’s boomtowns. This trend is in line with the nation’s objective to become a “welloff urban society”1 — a society that provides the foundations for a modern lifestyle, and offers the opportunity to become rich and independent. However, at the same pace at which the walls of ancient China crumble, new gates and fences are erected. Upmarket residential areas, built as fully-fledged gated communities, are bursting forth across the nation. As China opens up to the world and its economy stretches out, its well-off population is preparing for lockdown*. Around the world and in a variety of forms the phenomenon of fortification has made its mark: in South-America it is a village surrounded by barbed wire and cameras; in the US, communities for senior citizens are enclosed by deserts; in cases like Dubai complete cities even are being constructed as a continuous patchwork of fenced-off neighborhoods, controlled commercial compounds and mega-buildings. The fort typology is a response to an increasing demand for seclusion, a sense of safety, and community living. The words that have evolved to describe the nature of these
lockdown [glo] p.682 5B hutong [glo] p.680 1B privatopia [glo] p.684 6B nerdistan [glo] p.682 3D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D golden ghetto [glo] p.678 1E

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communities are as diverse as they are amusing: Privatopia*, Nerdistan*, Euroghetto*, Vertical Themed Community, Golden Ghetto*, Split City*, Teletopia* — all refer to enclaves where citizens have flocked together based on an ideology — a lifestyle — composed of either fear or hope. But more importantly the enclave should be understood as the typological success formula of market-controlled urbanization; most notably in areas of rapid growth. In the West this upsurge of walls has sparked a debate linked to social segregation and loss of public space. The public domain is reduced to (increasingly sophisticated) controlled commercial environments; spaces in between the enclaves are relegated to the status of leftovers. Increasingly inaccessible and of desperately poor quality, they only barely hold the city together. If the city is nothing more than a collection of islands and in between space its role as a communal environment is at stake. Nowhere has this formula been implemented more vigorously than in booming China. Neighborhoods with characteristics to fit any of these odd titles can easily be found, and although the debate never started within the context of China’s economic development, the consequences of fortification are more profound than in the West. As the privileged draw together behind walls, the new classes of China’s once
split city [glo] p.688 5A teletopia [glo] p.688 7C danwei [glo] p.676 4A eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D confusion [txt] p.286–327 checkmate real-estate [glo] p.674 4A, [img] BURB p.2–3 carport [img] p.535 7H–8J purple jade villas [img] p.194 7A–8B decongested [txt] p.369–370

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classless society are sharply delineated. Developers, landowners, investors, and residents have together invented a new territory within a territory. Entire networks of residential areas arise like interlinked modern fortresses, with private infrastructure, privatized services and self-governance. The gates and guards are just a symptom of a process of stratification that is less visible but evermore decisive for the spatial, organizational, and social order of China’s urban society. With every wall erected, it becomes more apparent that the enclave has claimed a central role in China’s urbanization process.

The modern Chinese enclave took shape with the arrival of the first group of Westerners in Beijing, shortly after the reform. The expatriates were not allowed to settle in amidst the Chinese population. Common homes or apartments were hardly available on the free market and of very poor quality. When housing legislation was eased, developers seized the opportunity to respond to the demands of the foreign employee with homes of Western quality and comfort. Built as small groups of lavish apartment towers, they were the first neighborhoods to be distinctly disconnected from society. When prominent Chinese, looking for privacy and luxury, began to occupy these apartments, both the free housing market and the Chinese gated community became a reality.

New identity In addition to the quest for security, the success of the closed community is driven by a quest for a modern lifestyle. The efforts of China’s wealthy to individualize and adopt a Western identity are enormous. The Chinese enclave, from its start as a refuge for expatriates has been surrounded by an aura of Western luxury and eminence. Chinese developers have successfully capitalized on a growing hunger for status by building on the gated community’s inherent qualities of safety, and cultivating a flair for contemporary foreign chic. Today China’s booming housing production is saturated with developers building only for the top of the market. The residential expansions are dominated by gated apartment buildings and gated neighborhoods. Through extensive market-research the group of potential home-owners is identified, categorized, and carefully targeted. For every echelon of the market a specific type of community has evolved. The combined factors of location, available facilities, architectural style — mainly variations of the so-called Eurostyle* — and building density define the status of the property. Even for the lower sections of the enclave market a sense of splendor and convenience have been achieved. Tall apartment towers are built in ever larger clusters. This leaves enough (financial) room to incorporate a number of facilities such as parking, club house and green space. Through this ingenuity the residential complex has developed into a range of new types; the tallest, largest, most compact and (if you include Hong Kong) most expensive exist today in China. These different types however are socially homogenous; fortification of market-driven real-estate has rendered the residential areas in China spatially and socially isolated.

New walls Even though in China the gated community is omnipresent, its appearance has hardly been recognized, let alone challenged. Rapid and uncontrolled urbanization consumes all attention, and gated communities are hardly remarkable in the new urban landscape. China has a longstanding tradition of enclosing and framing the urban fabric: the protected compound and the walled apartment buildings are not regarded as alien bastions, but as shining examples of regeneration and (unobtainable) Western luxury. In Chinese architecture and urban planning the wall has always been an important means to reify and underline the social structure. From the sequential courts of imperial China to the homogeneous strips of communist work units, the block has been used as the elementary component of society. The pre-communist city consisted of communities of the same clan, position, or occupation, and every individual was a member of a walled society. The life of the nobleman unfolded within the confines of the courtyard; life for the commoner was lived out within the crammed quadrants of the hutongs; and every Chinese farmer was surrounded and protected by the Great Wall. With the birth of the People’s Republic of China the gray walls were built in concrete and erected around the industrial compounds. No longer necessary to protect anyone, they provided workers throughout community with clear political boundaries. New security The danwei* meticulously eliminated all uncertainty for its residents and provided for most needs from cradle to grave. Issues of politics and the Party but also personal matters such as housing, recreation, education and approval for marriage were arranged by the work unit. In turn the resident was forced to live as part of the collective and to use the shared facilities such as toilets and kitchens. In two decades the securities of the danwei* were lost. With the unwieldy transition from a collective and totally orchestrated society to one dominated by market forces, the average Chinese saw all of what he took for granted being washed away. The Chinese peasant in particular is today left to fend for himself. He is not yet regarded as an individual, but he is fully responsible for his individual success and survival. Unremitting mass migration resulting in overflowing cities, insufficient public amenities, expanding suburbs and imminent social upheaval are the logical consequences. China’s gated communities have to be regarded within this framework. The new upper-class wants to dissociate itself from the masses and to break free from the chaotic and polluted urban realm, but is in reality completely surrounded by both. For those who can afford it, looking for new security behind the walls of privatized communities is a prophetic measure.

of autonomous residential districts and compounds. As such the enclave contributes not only to social segregation, but also affects the administrative structure. The national government even urges large residential projects to be built with the full array of fences and safety measures. Equipped with private security and governed by neighborhood committees, the enclave saves the state money and relieves it (at least in part) of its responsibilities to administer and maintain order. Their residents, once abiding by the laws of the danwei*, are now subject to house rules and social control established by a private enterprise. This makes the modern Chinese enclave as an administrative entity a compelling replacement of the danwei*. The private projects are used to spot-burn holes in the once completely state-owned carpet. The shift of power to private parties reinforces the fragmentation of jurisdiction. Vice versa, the fragmented jurisdiction stimulates the construction of gated communities. The responsibility of the different authorities involved in large residential projects is unclear. Moreover the number of contradictory and temporary rules and regulations contribute to the confusion*. This hampers the implementation of strategic plans made by regional (and national) government, and creates a hazardous milieu of obscurity and uncertainty for investors. Little room is left to engage in solutions of potentially greater social durability. Within the warped and disorganized urban context, clearly defined and fenced-off building sites are more appealing. The gated community has become China’s tried and tested investment model for minimum-risk residential development. The procedures to develop a residential compound do not contribute to clear-cut city planning either. The government allocates an area and invites a small group of investors to take part in the development. The area is broken up into different building sites and rough directives are defined such as maximum building height, buildable area, and the type of
split city [glo] p.688 5A teletopia [glo] p.688 7C danwei [glo] p.676 4A eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D confusion [txt] p.286–327 checkmate real-estate [glo] p.674 4A, [img] BURB p.2–3 carport [img] p.535 7H–8J purple jade villas [img] p.194 7A–8B decongested [txt] p.369–370

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New order The Chinese government encourages the construction
lockdown [glo] p.682 5B hutong [glo] p.680 1B privatopia [glo] p.684 6B nerdistan [glo] p.682 3D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D golden ghetto [glo] p.678 1E

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Marketing highlights of the Chinese gated community
Theme park with club house 主题公园 Interior and exterior swimming pool Schools, kindergarten 学校,幼儿园 Transit hub 交通枢纽 24 hours patrol service 24小时保安 Supermarket 超市 Post office 邮局 Beauty salon 美容院 Car wash 洗车房 Laundry 洗衣房 Gym 健身房 Restaurants 餐馆 Cafe 咖啡厅 Foreign language training 外语培训班 Intelligent systems 智能系统 a. Broadband in every household 宽带入户 b. Videos on request 视频点播 c. Long-distance appliances control 远 d. Satellite TV 卫星电视节目接受  e. Electronic patrol system 电子巡逻 f. Video talk back 视频对讲系统 g. One card ID system for gates and parking Greenhouse 温室 Vegetable plot and corn field 菜园麦地 Badminton court 羽毛球场 Table tennis room 乒乓球室 Tennis court 网球场 Tea bar 茶 Net bar 网吧 Reading room 书友沙龙 Shopping mall 商场 Plaza 广场 Musical street 音乐街 Food court 小吃街 Business corridor 商务廊 Recreation center 娱乐中心 Art plaza 艺术广场 Activity center 活动中心 Fresh market 菜市场 Bank 银行 Shops 商店 Billiards room 台球 Reading room 阅览室 Elderly activity center 老年人活动中心 Games room 游戏机室 Dispensary 医务所 Sauna and massage 桑拿, 按摩 Bath house 各种洗浴 Basketball court 篮球场 Public toilet 公共厕所 Walk in Business Street 商务步行街 Man-made lake 人工湖 Kid’s play center 儿童乐园 Fuel gas detector 燃气探测器 Smoke detector 烟感器 CCTV system 监控系统 Fire alarm 火灾自动报警 Background music 背景音乐 KTV 歌房 Pharmacy 药房 Chess and card room 棋牌室 Bowling room 保龄馆 Mini golf court 迷你高尔夫 Shuttle bus 班车 Landscape and waterscape facilities 景观, 水景设施 Playground and football court 足球场 Residents committee 居委 Cameo, sculpture 浮雕, 雕刻 Basement car park 地下停车场 Racked ball room 壁球室 Chinese pavilion 凉亭 

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facilities. Then, true to form, the developers withdraw into seclusion. The Chinese business tradition prescribes absolute secrecy and the conjoining sites are developed without any mutual consultation. As a result, although each developer has carried out their own delimited market-research, no-one has considered the sum of actual needs across the area. We have branded this dominant phenomenon Checkmate Real-Estate* — the product of a winner-takes-all approach which leaves the home-owner and the average citizen struggling for quality of shared space. Generally there is a surplus of commercial facilities, a lack of public facilities, and oddly mismatched infrastructure. In addition the market research has a very short focus — basically until the apartments are sold. With the demography of China changing fast, this will leave floor space and parking space in short supply. Insufficient connections reinforce the extreme isolation of the enclave. At the same time the homogeneous nature and inadequate facilities maintain the dependency on the city. Against the danwei*, which provided for all the needs of its occupants, the modern Chinese enclave is highly reliant on logistics and puts a severe pressure on the infrastructure from the city to often remote areas.

urbanization currently needed to accommodate the immense number of new citizens could even reinforce and restructure the dispersed condition.

However, as the economy grows stronger, predictably the built densities get lower. In the last two years the number of villa districts has exploded. In Shanghai alone real-estate developers have completed 59 gated villa communities in the last year (2004). And downtown construction sites have become increasingly expensive. For the upcoming middle-class a cheaper type of villa community has become available on land far away from the city. The consequences of this trend (increased traffic, disintegration of the urban network) have not been acknowledged. Yet this type of enclave is spreading fast, and small island communities are defining the urban mass around China’s mega-cities. Built as the gated version of the American suburb, they are fully dependent on highways and cars. The homes align themselves along the curving streets in strings of detached and semi-detached cottages with a small front and back yard and a carport*. Within the premises a select number of services are available such as a bank, a day-care center, a store and a clubhouse. One of the largest gated residential areas in the world based on this model has been built in Wuhan. Developed by a single company for a single community, it covers a million square meters. For its 200,000 occupants a range of services has been made available which include a complete package of social securities. Even though fully privatized cities are officially illegal in China, the gated community of Wuhan can compete with cities such as Celebration and Sun City in the US. The Chinese welfare state has paid the price for a wavering transition from socialism to a socialist market economy. Rapid but restricted expansion of the privatization of securities such as pension, health-care and education occurs from within the
split city [glo] p.688 5A teletopia [glo] p.688 7C danwei [glo] p.676 4A eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D confusion [txt] p.286–327 checkmate real-estate [glo] p.674 4A, [img] BURB p.2–3 carport [img] p.535 7H–8J purple jade villas [img] p.194 7A–8B decongested [txt] p.369–370

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Villa-enclave The initial prototype for the Chinese gated community was the compact tower. The apartments provided comfortable yet inconspicuous homes for an upper-class that couldn’t account for a large part of their earnings. Just like the secluded towers of cities in South-America, they generated small islands of extreme density in China’s otherwise loose-fit suburbs. From the point of view of sustainable urban development, these tower-communities for the upper middle-class are a blessing. The fact that both the average and the well-to-do Chinese urbanite lives in dense building blocks is a source of hope for China’s ever expanding cities. In a dream scenario, the
lockdown [glo] p.682 5B hutong [glo] p.680 1B privatopia [glo] p.684 6B nerdistan [glo] p.682 3D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D golden ghetto [glo] p.678 1E

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gated communities. For those who can afford it, the transition from welfare state to welfare city is smooth. More than the privatization of the housing market and the public domain it is the privatization of services and social security that constitutes the stratification of China.

blocks became available for the middle-class, residential areas for the upper-class with names such as Purple Jade Villas*, Woodland Villas and Golden Gardens began to flourish. Within the walls of these districts 80% of the ground is used for lakes, roads, gardens and parking. However, unlike the hyper-serviced tower blocks that have emerged in Hong Kong or the Wuhan welfare city, these gated areas are centers of unsatisfied demands. For most requirements the resident must leave the premises. To fulfill the full range of needs of these residents, a network of specialized facilities has formed around the gated communities. In similarly controlled quarters the best of what the city has to offer is assembled. A constellation of well guarded schools, sports and country clubs, shopping and restaurants form a complete support system. These clubs and societies are accurately

attuned to the lifestyle of their customers; with each wall the exclusivity increases, fending off anyone not in step with the exorbitant admission fees. This makes for an extensive network of private clubs for the suburban jet-setter: a succession of lobbies, lounges and lawns, all enclosed by gilded gateways exuding inaccessibility. Nestled in the periphery of the capital, this closed network has engaged in a struggle for space with the still expanding forest of basic apartment blocks. Many

Walls behind walls
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For the truly affluent, extraordinary security measures and a stringent set of rules are nothing to get distressed about. They voluntarily confine themselves to hermetically sealed suburban strongholds. North-east of Beijing thirty walled villa compounds are grouped strategically in relation to each other and the international airport. They are the ultimate Golden Ghettos* of China and set the standard for modern luxury and class. Their success seems to prove that as buildable land became scarce, abundance of living space gained importance. At the same time that compact tower

of the occupants of these flats used to live in hutongs*, but they had to make way for the center to be refurbished and decongested*. Evicted from their homes without sufficient compensation, they were effectively expelled from the center and their hutong* lifestyle, and forced to find refuge in the towers along the outer ring. However the cheaper flats of Beijing are not only wedged between highways and peripheral clutter, but squeezed also by the walls of clubs and villa districts. In the suburbs, the involuntarily confined end up face to face with the voluntarily incarcerated: China’s stratification is halfway complete.

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lockdown [glo] p.682 5B hutong [glo] p.680 1B privatopia [glo] p.684 6B nerdistan [glo] p.682 3D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D golden ghetto [glo] p.678 1E

split city [glo] p.688 5A teletopia [glo] p.688 7C danwei [glo] p.676 4A eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D confusion [txt] p.286–327 checkmate real-estate [glo] p.674 4A, [img]

BURB p.2–3 carport [img] p.535 7H–8J purple jade villas [img] p.194 7A–8B decongested [txt] p.369–370

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Topic: Economics Politics Sociology Ecology

Scale: National Regionaal City Block Person

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Energy Architecture Urban planning Other: ...

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The gated community has become China’s investment model for minimum-risk development. 封闭的社区成了中国低风险开发的投资模式。

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“hey fuck! where’d the city go?”
abstract dreaming / pouring concrete

Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

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靠!城市哪儿去了?
Adrian Hornsby

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逃离拥挤嘈杂的城市、回归田园牧歌才是高品质生活 的要旨,开发商如是说。他们信誓旦旦地要打破城市破 败不堪的局面,在都市中另辟郊区田园生活的蹊径。于 是他们把在城中兴建的高层与周边环境划清界限,在售 楼书上构筑了田园生活的图景。这些炮制出来的“非城 市”终究还是成了糟糕的城市的一部分。随着汽车的日 益横行,城市中的郊区田园生活不过成了开发商的又一 个弥天大谎。我们要思考的是,无论是自上而下的城市 规划还是自下而上的市场发展,都无法单独改变城市 的宿命。也许只有政府-开发商-设计师-居住者协商的 方式,突出连接部分的重要性,才能消除严重的社会分 化,让城市的功能升级。

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residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G–1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C

real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D

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a spatial rhetoric of aWe THE AXIAL PROCESSION OR APPROACH
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THE GATE DISTANCE - ELEVATION - SIZE SYMMETRY, REGULARITY, VISUAL SEQUENCE OF INDIVIDUAL DETAIL LANDMARKS AT STRATEGIC POINTS, CENTERS OF CIRCULATION SIGNIFICANT NAMES BOLSTERING HISTORICAL IDENTITY

Straining to deny yourself or Why our parents all moved to the suburbs
The notion of the city presupposes social stratification. At the moment of its inception, the city is already organizing and selecting: it is creating a spectrum of roles and assuming the non-equality of its individuals. It is making choices among them. The very idea of urban program is a convolvement of resources; an amassment of agricultural surplus and its redistribution among those who have not produced it. It is an expression of concentrations — of unevennesses and their arrangement; a zone of full-time specialists and organized relations. Inherent to any gathering of people are systems of their relative functions and collective behavior, and methods by which these are chosen. Through legal and managerial structures a hierarchy of these functions will emerge. And as personal power becomes weighted, almost certainly so will personal gain. The city is a point of collected differences, both from its surroundings and within itself. It is a setting for acts of assimilation and sorting — a location for stratification to take place. This much is scripted into its concept-code. Gone is the lone individual on the good ground. Concomitant with stratification is the city’s need to justify itself. The apparent inequalities — material, spatial, and in terms of power to direct — place an onus upon the city to explain its system of arrangements. Why this accumulation in this fashion? What advantage in this particular composition of forms? The hierarchy is called upon to give a concrete substantiation of its fitness, and the city, being a spatial entity, will produce a spatial response. Planning and architecture are deployed as exegetical structures — as attempts on behalf of the city to make itself physically legible to its inhabitants. It must be on the surface, showing itself. It must be made to seem to make sense. The city builds awe-forms to manifest to society its stable stratified success. The foci of power are physically magnificent, from which the city’s inhabitants derive a certain sense of rectitude. The individual acknowledges the presence of something greater-than-theindividual, of a collective power beyond themself. As this collective is the city, of which they are a part, they will take comfort in it, and draw identity from it. Control is achieved by displays of control, and thus the city draws meaning in. Impressive efficient access routes enhance and disseminate this intelligibility, as well as clarifying layout and rationalizing spatial sorting. Prominent awe-forms are located along them, and at their gates and intersections. The nature of the city’s stratification is visibly reinforced by moving through it — by its structures and infrastructure, and their spatial rhetoric of awe. However, at the same time that the city expresses order it is gripped by a pervasive anxiety. The straight lines the orthogony the expansive built surfaces are all the products of a dominance over pre-existing natural forms, which speak of power, but are also loud with dissociation. The millions of years in the open wild have bred into man a sense of beauty when regarding the natural world. It has been a selective advantage to experience hope and fitness when surveying those environments from which the urbanite is now cut off. The potential for alienation ensues. There is anxiety about the loss of the outside, and anxiety that the city is itself unnatural. There is the anxiety of the privileged concerning inequalities the city has thrown up, and a fear of too much exposure to them. It would be unbearable to know all of the city all of the time, or to be continuously within its mechanisms of display. Alongside processes of
residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G–1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D

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Beijing West Railway Station, 1996 Major railway stations are of particular importance to modern cities as they function as the exit or entry points for many citizens. They play the role of city gate — one of special significance in China where traditionally cities have 
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been built as a series of gates and enclosures. For literally millions of rural migrants, this building will be the first experience of the city. It is large but formally centralized, with an arch reaching over all those who come in or go out. There are many windows which are all identical and possess minimal individual features.

It opens onto a major arterial: six lanes of cross-traffic and a long straight wide road ahead. For the train traveler, now on foot, entry into the city is mediated by stacks of curling footways which transect multiple levels as the heavy vehicles go banging by. It is of bewildering complexity. It is bigger than you.

Bridges and tunnels also serve as moments of crossing into the city, and in this way take on a role beyond that of infrastructure. Contemplating different proposals, planners in Zhuhai expressed a marked preference for bridges in that they were visible.

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disclosure or physical legibility, to retain sense the city must also develop the quality of opacity. The patterns of city emergence must be apparent, but in degrees. There must be areas which are released from the areas around them. In this way the city develops grain, and with it processes of exclusion. Planning is not only sense-making through the provision of access but also through its curtailment; it is the mediation of the city’s open and closedness. It is necessary to be able to move between areas without moving through them. It is necessary for the city’s methods of showing itself to have a temporal aspect: for it to unfold itself sequentially and for its details to be the product of following them down. It is neither all there all at once nor completely shut away. The city recognizes the need for gradients of hiddenness. In this way the city gains its three objectives: i) To stratify: to gather, concentrate, and sort (goods, resources, skills, people). To be a location for stratifying operations and their productive use. ii) To make sense through acts of display: to allow access and reinforce stratification with its built forms, i.e. to control and draw in meaning (using awe, visibility, and expressions of a collective power which is greater-than-the-individual). iii) To maintain sense through acts of hiddenness: to mediate access and create areas of exclusion, i.e. to restrict meaning and assuage concerns that the city is unnatural.

BEIJING, June 9 — Authorities in Chongyi County, Jiangxi Province, seized seven beggars and mental patients and dumped them in a remote place to improve the downtown outlook, the Nanfang Daily reported yesterday. Five of them are still missing, the newspaper said, adding that the other two returned to Chongyi days after a Civil Affairs Bureau worker and four police assistants dumped them in a remote part of neighboring Dayu County on January 21. One of the returned victims, a beggar identified as A. Liao, said he was sleeping near a supermarket that day when a truck pulled up. Several men got out and forced him onto the vehicle. The truck stopped after a long drive. During the trip, a civil affairs worker gave them each a pack of biscuits, A. Liao said. They forced the seven people off, and turned back, he recalled. Guo Dongxiang, 61, is one of those missing. She reportedly has been suffering from mental problems for 20 plus years. Her son, Wu Longsheng, said his mother left home about 3pm that day and never returned. A bureau official said the civil affairs and public security departments did it to ensure the downtown is free of eyesores as instructed by the county government. ‘There’s no center for vagrants here, so we handled it as in the past,’ the paper quoted a bureau official as saying. www.chinaview.cn 2005-06-09 10:22:58

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hiddenness. Too much display can incur upon privacy and foment divisiveness; but if the city ceases to present itself, then it is in danger of decentralizing, and so losing the advantage of being a concentration of information and communication. If the city is all exclusion there is no relationship between the stratified bands and so no point in gathering them together. And so on. The unhealthy city is characterized by failures in its processes of sorting, showing and hiding, which most often result in outbreaks that offend the city’s sense. These are products of the city but are unassimilated to its structuring principles, and so become “eyesores” or displays of the “unnatural”. They interrupt the grain. For example a red-light district appearing in a residential neighborhood. Or a slum under a bridge. Unplanned disruptions threaten the city’s notion of itself as a locus of wholesome stratification. Overt displays of poor living conditions, homelessness, and an intolerable number of beggars are implicit criticisms of the orthogony within which they exist. The city is failing to sort these people, and they are blots upon it. The phrase ‘an intolerable number of beggars’ immediately poses the question of what that number is. How many beggars per hectare are tolerable, in which parts of the city, and in what countries of the world? Is more than zero in any place ever comfortable? Wandering in the Sanlitun area of Beijing with my friend and translator Carol Xiao I would often give a 1 RMB note to the vagrant streetkids there. ‘Don’t do that’ she would say. ‘Don’t give them that. They don’t pay any tax on it.’ ‘Jesus Carol,’ I’d say. They’d usually be about five. It

城市比你大
The healthy city is able to maintain sufficient equilibrium between these three forces to sustain growth. Their balance ensures efficiency and stability. Imbalances on the other hand stress the city and will impede its capacity for growth. Extreme stratification puts excessive strain upon the requirements for 
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Control statements made by impressive architecture are undermined by the presence of outbreaks from those who have not been effectively sorted by the power structure. They are not only an eyesore; they are an implicit criticism of the way in which the city’s stratification procedures are operating. In this picture a mother is being taken away by the police for not having a train ticket.

residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G–1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C

real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D

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would be 2am, with little hives of them around the entrances to westerner bars. ‘Jesus Carol,’ I’d say. The whole thing felt odd. It felt unnatural — that there was an unnatural process at work creating such an encounter. The same question of tolerable numbers can be asked about levels of crime. Or the presence of ostentatiously opulent buildings, and their proximity to absolute slums. How many such outbreaks can a city bear and still make sense? The unplanned disruptions that take place within an unhealthy city damage its sense of fitness, and exacerbate the anxiety that it is in some way unnatural. They are not only an isolated “eyesores” but have implications that reach out across the whole idea of the city. Beyond a certain threshold the city itself will cease to make sense as an ordering principle and instead be interpreted as a bad environment. Things like gathering, concentration, stratification, wide roads and hiddennesses — the principles of city-building itself — will be seen as evil influences. And the immediate consequence is that good forms are perceived as those which do not exhibit urban characteristics. The question of naturalness becomes one of how to escape from environments which the city is in a sense quite naturally creating. Under these circumstances, while still perhaps economically productive, the city is not somewhere one wants to live. This feeling is particularly keen among those engaged in raising families, who have a strong desire to do so in a naturalseeming environment. Ironically the unit most often regarded as the modular block of systems of collective living is the one most susceptible to urban anxiety. As the stratified extremes of concentrated collective living become more apparent, the control-forms more disrupted, and the assuagement techniques less and less able to meet the demands made of them, increasingly the family will seek refuge from the city. It will undergo an anti-urban propulsion, and want to relocate itself outside. And yet it does not cease to be the core component of the city, nor does it cease to be wholly dependent upon it. There is this difficult dual desire to be both benefiting from the advantages offered by stratified city situations, and yet to be free of their consequences. There is this tremendous will to leave, as the city reads as being a bad form, and yet this is not possible as its badness is so heavily relied 
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upon. Thus the desires become a kind of dream — an urban dream straining to deny itself. A dream of simultaneous acts of exit and engagement; a dream of moving out, but not too far. This dream took real-world shape as suburbia: the nonurban retreat for urbanites undergoing anti-urban propulsion. As the family group moved out the city became the fled center of a residential donut*. The widespread creation of twentieth century suburbia, and in particular that of the popularized American Dream suburb, was made possible by the combination of affordable automobiles, the provision of long-term low-interest mortgages, and cheap modular building materials. It was made desirable by intensely explicitly stratified inner city conditions. At that time the cheapest building typology was extensive low-rise single family homes, and these factors in combination gave a physical definition to that moment of dreaming. It was what the West could offer toward achieving incomplete escape from the urbanism it had come to regard as sick. In stark opposition to the city it offered non-collective living and non-collective transport. It was something outside of all that. And it offered individual homes on individual lots of a scale that individuals could either build or conceive of building. There was nothing visibly greater than themselves. If the city had instigated itself on the principles of gathering and sorting, impressive physical manifestations of power, and complex structures of access and hiddenness, the suburb struck back with dispersal, long ranges of low monotony, and streets which led on to nowhere at all, or to simple factual dead ends. Unlike the stratified city the suburb was composed of segregated homogenous communities. It was a spatial illusion of equality, with the continuous grain and exclusiveness that the disrupted urban condition was failing to supply. As a spatial entity it offered an abnegation of the balance of urban imperatives, but did so without providing a move toward something qualitatively different. It offered none of the rural attributes of self-sufficiency or open land or the unification of work and home. It could neither make sense on its own nor be a continuous part of something else. Instead it was the product of a series of denials — a movement away without moving toward. The dreaminess from which it stemmed did not produce a specific alternative. Rather it created something neither city nor

country; but a place none the less, and one defined by the act of trying to get away. It was the creation of an abtopia*.

the suburb as the spatial illusion of equality
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The suburb has sprung from the paradoxical desire both to be in the city and not to be in the city, and has forced both planners and real estate developers into the most gruesome contortions of rhetoric. Attempts to integrate the suburb into the urban tissue meet the continuous contradiction of ideals which lie at the root of the two forms: the abtopian* suburban urge produced by the dystopian interpretation of the city. The abtopia* will by necessity try not to be a part of the thing which it is in fact extending. It is a dream of self-denial which cannot give itself up. The current conditions of urbanism in China are deeply stratified and densely packed with unplanned disruptions, and thus create an ideal bed for dreams of abtopia*. The new wealth coming in and the rapid expansion of the middle class ensure that these dreams will find themselves spatial expressions: the real estate will be built. The question remains of what forms these dreams will build this time — what are the defining factors which will determine the physical manifestations of an idea which is only a movement away from place? That the Chinese are dreaming, and dreaming of abtopias* is apparent. The following is a translation of an advertisement for Fortune Island, a residential development between the Fourth and Fifth Ring Roads of Beijing. Fortune Island, an exotic name which reminds people of the mystery of the tree of Buddha, or the scent of the small banana tree, or beautiful girls in coconut bras and grass skirts. Being the most prestigious townhouse project in Beijing, after the noble first project, the refreshing second and the novel third, Jade City adopted this new water-view design for its fifth project, Fortune Island, which brings a breeze of oriental romance to the whole real-estate project. “beautiful girls in coconut bras and grass skirts” It sounds like the most remote idyll in the world casually dropped into its fastest growing capital city.

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郊区给人以平等的幻觉

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However, for all it is reviled it is notable that abtopia* or the suburb as we know it has reproduced itself everywhere upon the instant that circumstances have made it possible. Biologically it is highly successful, and hardy. Moreover the service-forms that have developed to nourish it have gone on to become the global chains whose products the world most wants to buy. Its predilection for long-range shopping in malls and fast-food eating beside parking lots has shaped the landscape of the world’s goods. Nor has it been without its utopian proponents — those who seek the ideal balance of its lawns and leafiness and its connection to urban benefits. But it has applied an enormous pressure upon extant urban tissue, and though cheap to build it has expensive ramifications. It is grossly inefficient in terms of land use, building materials, and heat consumption. Utilities and infrastructure have to be run over great distances to each individual house. There are large new precincts to police. Thousands of lonely streetlamps, burning deep into the empty night. Disaffected green men offering crossings to no one to nowhere. And most famously it has invented the traffic jam. Building itself frequently at densities too low to support public transport systems, and imposing long commutes upon its inhabitants, it combusts cubic kilometers of fossil fuels for its residents to move at speeds less than that of a bicycle.

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residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G–1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C

real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D

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The Chinese residential urban development, or chiburb*
Dreaming of soft clouds off a pillow of solid rock

Soft Cloud verdure water-features tranquility small winding roads villa and car spacious living own house residential enclave

Hard Rock pollution dryness noise grid systems and heavy traffic inadequate public transport cramped conditions communist collectivism prominent industrial and political buildings

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When I stepped off the plane in Beijing in March there was a strong wind. It was blowing right across me. I hadn’t slept for maybe 30 hours — throughout the flight an argument I’d had with my girlfriend before leaving was going round and round inside. I think I’d exhausted my fury long before, and from then on in it had been just swirl. I came down the steps and on the concrete turned to look out at Beijing. I could see only a gradient of dust and distant cranes. The wind blowing at them. On the bus on the way to the main terminal we all stood looking south as the wings went tapering by, and nose-cones and semaphore-men, all of us looking for Beijing. Beyond only ever the gradient of dust, and the looming of distant cranes. The level of pollution in Beijing is really something else. There are emissions, but it’s more the airborne particles you feel — some of them wind-driven all the way from Mongolia, some the construction dust of the city itself. Everyday I’d cycle home and pull the gunk from my eyes, stand and listen to myself breathe. Feel a screw somewhere tightening. One time I saw them demolish a three-story building simply by punching holes round the base and standing back. It collapsed and threw a huge cloud up and across the Dongzhimennei Dajie, just south of the Lama Temple. You can go round the CBD anytime you like and write your name with your finger on the windows of brand new glass skyscrapers. They say they’re going to have to do something about it by 2008 or it’ll be the slowest Olympics on record. They say there’ll be marathon runners stopping by the side of the road, holding onto their lungs. Beijing is extremely dry and dusty and noisy and polluted, and real-estate marketing has responded to

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verdant, the tranquil, the cut-out of green space within which urbanism stops. The new residential developments in Beijing are literally fenced off from the world around them — walled and guarded enclaves of non-city in the city, sudden tropical islands in all that concrete dust and beeping. By expressing a series of denials of the new private blocks hope to meet the inhabitants’ dreams of abtopia*, and thus become the form for the Chinese suburb. They are examples of how urban program may be reformatted to sell to anti-urban demand. Historical factors in China add further lacquer to the suburban ideal. The move into a private suburb-home is not only one away from the noisome city, but also away from former communist collectivism. The suburban family home is the runaway antithesis of the Maoist danwei* (where husband, wife and children were accommodated separately, and meals were organized according to worker-groups and eaten in canteens). The isolating aspect suburbia is elsewhere accused of can in China be the soft cloud dreamt of off the pillows of worker-dormitories. It is freedom from physical or societal megastructures. It is a clear statement of property ownership and a point of independence from controlled city objectives. It is a rebuttal of industry dominated landscapes, and the divide it enables between work and living space highlights the new individualism. It is its own thing. However, the real estate market in China is not that of the 1950s in the west, and the cheapest typology is no longer extensive low-rise abtopia*. The suburban dream

du[oXygen]st

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this with promises of reversal. If the existing urban condition has immediate harsh qualities then the easiest form of allure is to offer their opposites: the 
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residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G–1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C

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as it manifested itself in the US was determined by personal cars and long reaches of cheap land around smaller cities. In China however the city is already vast, and lack of land and the complications around securing it from the government make it an expensive concern. Moreover there is the problem of what kinds of projects the government will be prepared to back. On the other hand, cheap labor and advancements in technology have significantly brought down the cost of constructing multiple story buildings. These conditions make high-rise inevitable, and thus the private developer is caught in a bind: he has to build towers, and sell them as suburban living. It’s a ludicrous position, giving rise to the ludicrous presentation of Fortune Island. The residential enclave does not try to be part of the city but apart from the city; does not try to interact with its surrounding environment but to seal itself off and sear its interior of urban qualities. They are isolationist building projects whose priority is the exclusion of the city rather than their place within it. The multiple story blocks create an anxiety of association with the tissue they are trying to reject, and thus produce a more extreme reaction against it. They proclaim themselves to be HIGH in all things nonurban while being LOW in all things urban. They are like standing soup cans, perfectly enclosed, wearing proud health labels. Their non-interaction with the city is expressed by a radical unconcern with related services, or the infrastructural implications of putting those people there. The residential enclave forms itself around the desire for abtopia*, and worries less and less about physical realities. Indeed as an increasing percentage of the apartments are presold, before construction is complete or sometimes even begun, its obligation to worry about physical realities is greatly diminished. It can be profitable purely at the proposal level, and subsequent construction is cheap. It becomes almost a concept product, where the built form is secondary. The brochure is more important than the development’s concrete existence in the city. The design is more about feel or style than actual form or function. The project is no longer directed toward urban growth, but toward selling an idea of suburbia. It is about producing advertising materials which carry the sense of clean air, space, quiet, tranquility, without necessarily achieving them. They become exercises in 
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illusion. Rich green lawns from genuinely tropical places are cut and pasted into the marketing images. The tower facades are colorfully tiled to create contrast from the typologically similar concrete monotonies of communist era block-building. The congested grid of physical Beijing is rejected in favor of little winding lanes within. The developments associate themselves with abstract qualities — fortune, royalty, romance — and companion non-places — paradise, dream-house.

Some titles given to Beijing chiburb* developments Fortune Island Chateau Regency Fragrance Park King’s Garden Villas Natural City Silver Lake Villas Le Leman Lake Villas Lee Garden Apartments Somerset Fortune Garden

Following sportive activities or just to regenerate what better than pure oxygen? Here in a warm atmosphere and some light music guests can relax absorbing pure oxygen. — Lee Garden Service Apartments Beijing, Oxygen Bar

In Beijing I lived in a residential enclave of twelve twenty story towers in the Chaoyang District. They were bright and tiled with blue and pink stripes, looking less like a forest of chimneys* than a line of standing sweets. There were two gates, both of them guarded. Vehicle entry was via the south-east gate, off a minor road, from which you passed along a one-way street and round a roundabout to exit through the west gate onto the Jiuxianqiao Lu, a major road. By denying vehicle access at the major access point — i.e. the Jiuxianqiao Lu — the system cleverly minimized through-traffic. Inhabitants would generally pass in or out on foot, and transportation by car would occur only once outside the compound. In this way even though the compound was, infrastructurally, very much car-dependent, relatively few cars ever drove through. It retained the feel of being traffic-free, while contributing significantly to the traffic problem on the Jiuxianqiao Lu. Obviously the noises heard and the air breathed were the same on either side of the wall, and were no doubt worse than before the enclave was built and all that extra traffic created. However, inside the wall you had the feeling that traffic was a problem that existed outside. It was a Chinese suburb-style illusion.

But the most interesting thing about the road system didn’t strike me until I had been living there for several weeks. It was not the one way system but the roundabout. A roundabout with one entry and one exit on a one-way street is, I realized, completely meaningless. If there is only one direction of flow there is nothing for a traffic system to negotiate. You can go one way round the roundabout or the other it makes no difference, but you can’t meet anything else on it. The other cars can only ever be behind you. And so what was it doing there? It took up a considerable amount of space — there was the band of road all the way round and in the center a circle of sparse dry grass several meters wide. Moreover it cut a much larger space between the two groups of towers into two, leaving odd offcuts on either side. Because both of these were always near the road they were of low recreational value, and thus although there was a sense of space, there was very little usable space. The fact that the space wasn’t really usable, and that there was seldom traffic on the roundabout, ensured that it was generally empty, and so it gave off an impression of low density, tranquil, quiet and so on. The same was true of other spaces between the towers. But not only did the roundabout suck up an otherwise potentially populated space, it created a curvy street. While serving no traffic function, it promoted the illusion of slow village-style suburbia, where winding roads come together at a small roundabout beside a green.

In Beijing the paradoxical tensions within suburbiadesire have reached new extremes, and have snapped out in expressions of overt oxymoron. It is like pressing the north ends of two magnets together. There is no such thing as urban nonurbia, as residential settings which are inimical to public transport and free of the blocked arterials they exacerbate, as selfsufficient moments of pure enclosure, as program which does not relate to the city it is dependent upon. These dreams of soft clouds need the roads and services and employment they shun. They need the collective aspects of the capital they deny. They are inevitably connected to the solid rock which has produced them. Chinese urban abtopia* is taking shape as a string of disconnected high-rise enclosures with suburbia-illusions whose real world effects are the deterioration of external urban quality and the provision of a senseless internal peace. This is the current look of the chiburb*. It is astonishing that the most rapid urban growth the world has ever seen is taking place while being conceptually at odds with urbanism itself. Moreover it is at odds with the urban reality it is creating.

real estate becomes a concept product, where the built form is secondary

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房地产已成为概念化商品,形式相 对次要

As with other forms of abtopia* the chiburb*, within its guarded limited pockets, is mostly unstratified. It mostly represents a single higher income bracket.
residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G–1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D

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there is no such thing as urban nonurbia
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反城市化狂热并不存在

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residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G–1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C

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The construction of permanent real estate in China is being managed chiefly by private developers, whose interest is necessarily in profitable ventures. They will bend form and suppress function in order to attract available capital, which is concentrated in a new but narrow middle class. This class is the dreaming lung behind the real estate bubble. It is composed of those looking to buy apartments in which to escape the city with its harsh conditions and density of sense-offending outbreaks. However the concentration of capital is a poor representation of housing demand. The majority of people seeking accommodation in the city over the next twenty years and hoping to be sensefully stratified will be rural migrants. They are a small proportion of the capital available for real-estate projects, but a great many bodies. At present many are housed in prefabricated dormitories on construction sites or near factories, in the restaurants, shops and brothels where they work, or in patchwork slum-type dwellings in peripheral villages. They are given no special place in the dream, but if they are to be included in the city some planning will need to be done for them. I remember in June cycling along parallel to the construction site where they are extending the Beijing Airport Expressway. They were digging pillar foundations, and points for a tree-lining. Every twenty meters or so there was a migrant digging a hole in the dust, wearing blue factory trousers and light black plimsoles. Squinting, sweating. The handles of their spades were raw tree branches stripped of bark, and the heads popped out of a thin steel sheet. The heads were heart-shaped, with a pressed central channel for reinforcement, and a stem where you stick the tree branch in. So these migrants in their bare chests were digging holes in the dust in the brute sun as cars went flashing by. And me on a bicycle. Pile-holes for the elevated airport expressway. ‘Wow,’ I said to myself. ‘It’s just like the building of a Great Wall.’

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residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G–1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C

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The changing urban fabric
The City of Zero Liminality* and Real Sub-urbia*
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At the same time that the city is having to consider how to house its stratified dreamers, it is coming to terms with another of its most natural products — that of congestion. The drive to gather, to concentrate, to control, and to allow certain routes of access by necessity involves larger numbers of people trying to get in and out of a smaller number of places. It is an implicit condition of interrelated areas of different densities — an implicit condition of urbanism itself. Developments in telecommunications have obviated the need for certain trips, and yet have occasioned the grounds for many more, and often longer. Moreover recent shifts in lifestyle and employment practices have led to more frequent changes of living and work places. The two are now much less

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residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G–1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C

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likely to be closely related, and the modern urbanite will regard an easy route to work as a piece of rare felicity rather than a basis for where to work or live. Especially as the work-places themselves have been moving too. Due to the growing expense of central locations many companies have chosen to relocate further out. Decentralized developments in turn generate more decentralized activity, and increasingly even routes between non-central locations see rush hours. As urban growth and unpredictable movement patterns independently accelerate their collecting intensities, the transport system finds itself inundated with more people wanting to move further more frequently in more diverse directions. For this the automobile is ideal. It is fast, instantly available, and independently directable. However, while travelers on foot demanded perhaps 0.5m2 of circulation area each, once in cars they need at least 10m2, and much more if they are to move at any speed. Suddenly the streets are over twenty times too small, and horrifically congested. The city’s power to gather and sort is hit, as is the sense of control. Axial processions and grand buildings lose the aspect of being greater-thanthe-individual as a group of individuals have brought

their systems to a standstill. Suddenly facing the equivalent of a stroke the city is forced to rebuild itself at lower densities on a larger scale with wider access routes. The spacing out of things alleviates certain high-points of pressure but increases distances. Nobody would think to walk to work anymore, and besides, the streets have become roads. They are noisy and dangerous and difficult to cross. Moving along them by any means other than by car becomes unappealing, and increasingly the experience of travel is characterized by stepping out of a work or living or service space and into a taxi or parking lot. The areas around things begin to deteriorate, and the desire to pass through them diminishes. The difficulty involved in making a series of stops at different locations and the disinclination around having to walk between them favors mono-destination shopping. These are large-scale non-local amassments and lead to the closure of many more local service providers. Linear arrangements of shops and restaurants fall into decay as business moves to bigger more distant centers behind vast parking lots. And so a further class of urban trip is motorized and starts to apply pressure to a wider area of roadspace. The roads are scaled up again to support supply networks to the service centers. Although the costs of

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all this extra road building and car use are transferred to the inhabitant in tax and health problems, the size of the big goods marts and the volume of their sales allow them to lower their own product prices. Seeing this, the inhabitant is delighted with progress. He sees immediately how visible expenses have been shaved down and feels he is getting bigger bananas for less money. As he drives back through the local area, vacant shop fronts create a sense of disuse, and it seems even a little threatening. Certainly dirty, and poorly maintained …. There are odd outbreaks, or eyesores, and the swirling litter associated with them. Perhaps someone is selling peppers on a smutched cloth or newspaper; their green skins alternately dark with exhaust grease, and pale with dust driven up from unfinished sections of the road. Nice inhabitants do not wish to be found along here, or stood waiting at the bus stop. Rather they hole themselves up in residential developments. They build walls. The rest of the shops outside give way to the wasteland and bus services are cancelled. Families keep their children in, except when they take them out to somewhere else. With the complete abandonment of the local the city is forced to compartmentalize itself. This place here for this one thing: here living, here shopping, here park (with entry

fee) …. Each compartment is independently sealed. Everyone who can is now living in a chiburb* to get away from the roads, the outbreaks, the pollution. Besides, with the demise of both continuity and locality there is nothing outside left to be lost. The separation of use-areas means more long trips are required in and out of distant destinations. The scale is further exaggerated, and city-travel by anything other than car becomes impossible. Even the widened roads are now stressed, and have to be upgraded again. This time with people regularly driving 20km or more it is necessary to build systems which facilitate higher velocities. They make the leap to six lane arterials, and in between what were once the capillaries of public streets are swallowed up into private development — chiburbs*, business parks, megamalls, etc. The arterials cut through the city with sheet walls to either side. There is no longer such a thing as the crossroads; only flyovers, slip lanes, stacked junctions, asphalt clovers. They move onto twins of concrete pillars and cease to have any contact with the program they pass by. Buildings formerly along their routes shift back, retreating from their drone and foulness and leaving them to run down evacuated corridors.

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residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G–1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C

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They become long strings through nothingness. Stopping once and standing back to look at them, trying to imagine where he grew up, the chiburbanite* is aghast at their scale; terrorized by the speed of things passing. Being so small and soft he has no way to negotiate such structures and so is forced to give them up. He looks around once (the vibrations are numbing his sense of touch). Only blank spaces echo darkly. And was there something moving in there? He returns to his vehicle. There is a plastic bag rucked against the front tire. The in between parts of the city have ceased to exist for him. He closes his door. They’ve been sucked away. Instead experience of the city is a sequence of sealed environments. The chiburbanite* goes from one specific location to the next via a car interior. Throughout he maintains his own atmosphere. There is no contact with the transition — with the city itself. There is only a time gap. From room to elevator to car seat to elevator to room. The idea that things are connected in space is a purely conceptual concern. It can represent costs, but has no physical reality into which a chiburbanite* can fit. The city has become a solitaire board — a discrete number of positions. In this model the marbles can sit in any one of the dimples, but in between is impossible. The in between space has all been flattened, and is hard. The solitaire board city is a City of Zero Liminality*. However, as the chiburbanite* progressively cedes liminal space, it is increasingly taken over by those left unassimilated by chiburban* grain. While the city rebuilds itself in concatenations of exclusive walled enclosures, those who are being excluded are forced to take up residence among the leftovers. Unable to participate in a city which has transferred itself entirely to delineated abtopias*, they form a parallel city in its abandoned zones. Under the hardtop, in between the dimples. This is the Real Sub-urbia*, existing literally beneath the urban area, under its transport structures, finding shelter among the concrete legs. There is the top-level urban scheme, and beneath it is this second sub-urban inhabitation. Without the economic means to travel by car and in a city where public transport has evaporated, the real suburbanites situate themselves wherever there is work, in temporary dwellings which shuffle along 

behind sites of temporary labor. As each new arterial is built it draws along shanty towns of migrant construction workers, living at the head of its shadow. Liminal villages go up and disappear as new chiburbs* are undertaken and then completed. The areas beneath flyovers become the kitchens and bike shops of Real Sub-urbia* — their stoves troughs of discarded steel; their water run off from the road. New hutongs spring up among the weeds surrounding concrete spaghetti junctions, and laundry lines are strung between the safety barriers. The sheltered avenue below an elevated highway is the site of a linear market. Real Sub-urbia* is the dark strata beneath the City of Zero Liminality*. The City of Zero Liminality* and Real Sub-urbia* together are the crudest possible expression of the city’s stratifying urge. There is no attempt made to justify or unfold itself. Nothing is either shown or hidden — it is only either part of your city or not according to within which chiburb* or under which concrete stack you live. Those parts which are alternately given over or totally inaccessible have no relevant existence. There is no inter-relation. There is no sense to any of it as a whole. In a way the entire entity is a series of disruptions to the sense that was once there. What is left is a set of stratified locations. No integrated planning has been done for it. It is simply nakedly abjectly there.

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The solitaire board offers a discrete number of positions but no in between.
residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G–1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D

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abstract visionary / organic emergence
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There are essentially two strains of urban planning. There are two ways of thinking about it, and all schemes and policies at heart emanate from one or the other. They are indicative of two almost pre-conscious positions about the nature of the human being. The first is founded on a belief in expertise and the power of ideas. Type I urban planning is confident of man’s dominance over nature and therefore allows itself to take place in abstract fields. It believes that the key concerns of collective living can be assimilated into the world of thought, reorganized, and then put back into the natural world. It believes that citydwellers’ needs and desires compose a single body of information which the planner, through diligence and specialist knowledge, is able to comprehend, and turn into rational data. With strong thinking the planner is then able to perform operations upon that data, and consequently to construct appropriate schemes for those people. Because of the planner’s diligence, specialism, and capacity for strong thought, he will provide better systems for those people than they would for themselves. He will have derived the correct forms. Type I approaches maintain that man is capable of large-scale thought and mass organization. Indeed it is Type I’s belief that man’s ability to think in the abstract is his special attribute — is what sets him apart from the natural world and gives him dominance over it. In this way Type I approaches often have transcendental resonances. They lend themselves to bigness and to visionary projects. Type II thinking distrusts this grandiosity, and will reject attempts made to dissociate man from his immediate environment. Type II planners believe that the source of man’s genius is his ability to adapt to his surroundings, and to adapt his surroundings to him. Man is at his best acting among the circumstances in which he finds himself. His best ideas are creative responses to specific conditions. Abstraction will fail to net the complexities of a real world situation — will 
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often forget some huge and vital component — and so will create weirdly incongruous propositions, or universal answers hopelessly misapplied. Not only will abstraction blank local problems, it will miss the chance to exploit local advantages. According to this way of thinking there are no correct forms — only individual solutions. Those best fitted to do the solving are those actually in direct contact with the individual environments. Rather than believing in lone experts, Type II planning places faith in localized creative ingenuity. People, with their superior understanding of their own desires and needs, and their true contact with where they are, will sort out their own housing better than rarefied planners. The Type II planner’s role is more to facilitate this process, regulate it where necessary, and occasionally if required perform conservative surgery. In this way Type II approaches tend to be less visionary, and lean more toward multiple smaller cellular projects.
ABSTRACT VISIONARY everyone is identical to each other but not to the planner, who is pre-eminent ORGANIC EMERGENCE everyone is a planner, being encouraged into flight

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Type I Tendencies People don’t know what they want or how best to organize themselves visionary projections expert prescriptive, directive city beautiful heavenly formulation plan fetish for new technologies abstract theory geometric regular forms, lines compartmentalized functions big higher densities high rise institutionalized response large-scale government intervention organizational ideas left wing (paternalist) east (Soviet development)

Type II Tendencies People are better off making decisions for themselves emergent patterns non-expert conscriptive, facilitative romanticism of local earthly evaluation scheme fetishism of past survey, research following natural contours various forms, twists mixed-use areas small lower densities low rise greater diversity private enterprise, private developer market ideas right wing (conservative) west (Anglo-American development)

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These two modes of thought about urban planning align themselves fairly swiftly with certain movements in the history of ideas, certain forms of government, and certain urban typologies. The scope of Type Istyle schemes requires strong centralized power structures, confident in their ability to execute proposals, and imbued with a degree of visionary zeal. They will be keen on technological advancements and the idea of progress, and will favor geometrical forms and long clean lines. There will be a slight inhumanity to the schemes, or at least an idea of highly ordered collective living — something like a beehive or an ant hill. Its vogues have included the Renaissance, with its new delight in mathematical progressions; the colonial city; the post-war applications of modernresidential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G–1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D

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The harmonious city must first be planned by experts who understand the science of urbanism. They work out their plans in total freedom ... once their plans are formulated they must be implemented without oppositions. —Le Corbusier

Perhaps the most powerful way of improving the fit of our environment, however, is to put the control of it in the hands of its immediate users, who have the stake and the knowledge to make it function well. If users are in control ... then a good match is more likely. —Kevin Lynch

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residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G–1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C

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ism — especially in the Soviet Block — when people were full of big ideas; and Maoist China (though here with greater focus on agrarian-industrial settlements than on cities). Type II thinking has associated itself more with the Garden City, Broadacre City, Victorian Romanticism in Britain (though not in its colonies), the American Dream, and recent trends focusing on cultural studies and the regeneration of the local. Rather than governmental intrusion it favors private development, and market-management via zoning and infrastructural layout. It takes the market to be a practical rather than theoretical representation of people’s needs and desires. While the collectivist thinking of experts and visionaries has most often stacked people in towers, the individualist decisions of people themselves have been more often toward individual houses on individual plots of land. The twentieth century has frequently set the Type II suburb-home with its own little garden against the Type I Le Corbusian parkland of towers. What is most striking about both these ways of thinking is the intense alienation that is associated with their two most natural recent expressions. While trying their hardest to please, Type I and Type II planning initiatives have met hard rain, and their attempts to force the city’s stratifying operations to make sense have most often resulted in very divided environments. They have produced landscapes of frozen islands which have been heavily criticized. However relatively few cities stand dominated by one to the exclusion of the other, and most are composed of a variety of typologies and historical directives. Neither way of thinking has achieved a method which is widely applied without regret, and more often it is matter of tendencies. The current feel of China is toward Type II. Deng Xiaoping’s dictum ‘Learn from facts’ is a clear kick against grand interventionist policy, and toward a less visionary approach. It is toward a Type II style indeterminacy and faith in low-level opportunism. Let things come to exist, and its users will pass judgment, it proclaims. Learning from facts can be seeing what people build and buy, how the market behaves and the city develops, and perhaps only guiding as required. This suits the current policy of 

yet there is no expert formulating their position in the city or their integration into its fabric. Equally there is no process of organic emergence by which the chiburb* inhabitants integrate the development themselves by the process of using it. They are simply all moved in there at once after the thing is built. The scale of the chiburb* ensures that it is abstracted from the direct expression of local interests, and yet it has no abstract visionary plan within which it takes its place.

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economic advancement through market capitalism, and the celebrated Chinese aptitude for entrepreneurialism. However the scale and speed at which urbanization is happening in China is in a sense inimical to the notions of local involvement and organic emergence upon which such an ideology is based. While the developments are directed by private interests, they are a long way from being expressions of private individuals with a strong sense of the area being developed. The somewhat anarchic ideal of groups of liberated individuals taking the city into their own hands and building for themselves is rather lost in the giganticism of private developers building blocks for upwards of 3000 people. What happens is that the essential principle which would guide such planning strategies — i.e. the representation of local interests via their direct participation — is lost, while the sense that planning on a bigger scale is no longer necessary is retained. There is still the appealing liberation from high-level abstract interventionist policy, while the counter-idea of low-level input from experienced users is swallowed up. Type I planner-thinking is carefully avoided, while the basic collaborative elements of Type II planner-thinking are excluded from the process. In effect it comes closer to being a policy of no planning at all. It has been devolved away from top-down planners and yet scaled out of the reach of bottom-up planners. Thus in China we see the rather puzzling situation of Type I style building projects being produced under Type II style management. The chiburb* developments are very much Le Corbusian towers in parkland, and

LANDSCAPES OF FROZEN ISLANDS two famously alienating environments often found side by side

of roads is only what “conservative surgery” Type II planners are able to perform. The separation of useareas and the deterioration of transitional tissue all follow quite naturally. And yet again its ultimate form — its bigness, its inhumanity, its clear formal divides — look more like the product of Type I visionary (if dystopian) thinking. Looking at it, it is much harder to believe that people actually in situ would build for themselves such manifestly unfriendly forms, and abnegate so completely their local environments. The space has been collectively abstracted, even though there has been no centralized abstracting mechanism to make that happen. It has come about as systems are built which allow local residents, who under Type II schemes should be the local planners, to abstract themselves from the processes of their urban environment, and that urban environment then rapidly becomes abstract to them. Actions which in their collected mass determine how the urban situation develops itself, are on the individual level the single acts of inhabitants removing themselves from the city, and getting into chiburbs* and cars. City-wide this translates into the city rebuilding itself with such swiftness and on such a scale that it is soon impossible to relate it to anything the inhabitants had ever thought of or could recognize. The city as they last saw it disappeared behind their backs. Carol Xiao, with whom I wandered the streets of Sanlitun at night, once told me about coming home to Beijing after six months in New York. They were building the fourth ring road around that time, and a new section of it now cut through the area near where she had always lived. She passed beneath the highway and looked around, somewhat confused. There were gray roads curving down and quadrants of leftovers from the demolition. Cars were passing overhead. She picked her bag up again and walked on, but found she couldn’t find her way home. Quite literally. She couldn’t find her way home. She just didn’t know what things looked like anymore.

Equally the City of Zero Liminality*, with the loss of its transitional areas and the creation of its dark twin Real Sub-urbia*, come about as a Type II phenomenon. There is no emanating abstract expert insisting on this form; instead it emerges organically as individuals make decisions, and the city makes responses. There is a simple low-level abstraction of the process of transport, when people decide to remove themselves from the city and get into cars when going from one place to another; and there is a residential abstraction taking place as people move into chiburbs*. The subsequent upscaling

residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G–1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C

real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D

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The somewhat anarchic ideal of groups of liberated individuals taking the city into their own hands and building for themselves is rather lost in the giganticism of private developers building blocks for upwards of 3,000 people -

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当开发商纷纷要建超过3000人 居住的小区时,那些有点儿无 政府主义的自由主义分子试图 掌控城市命脉、按他们的想法 建造城市的理想则被”大”淹 没了。

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residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G–1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C

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The City of Zero Liminality* as the Chinese Dream*?

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The chiburban* inhabitants of the City of Zero Liminality* — i.e. its upper strata — simply do not experience it at all. While there is lots of movement, there is no spatial aspect to the program between departure and arrival points. The transit occurs, but without the city’s involvement. In the meantime the lower strata are not able to move at all, having been excluded from the transportation network by not having access to a vehicle. For either group the city becomes only its static positions, and is experienced as a static collective. Without the passage of people the once continuous urban fabric starts to disintegrate, and already the city is losing itself. There is stratified gatheredness, but all separated out. Everything is greater-than-the-individual but with no collective focus. There is unilateral access and exclusion but with no city component to it. There is no point at which the city is showing itself: there is no display, nor is there a temporal unfolding of its environments. The low-level abstraction processes of abtopia* desire and widespread use of the motor car in conjunction with Type II planning approaches of an inappropriate scale have led to an excess of hiding. Exclusion becomes the dominant feature of such a city — people the city excludes, and areas which the city is excluded from. If it is to maintain itself, the city must maintain the contact between its inhabitants and the urban fabric. It must maintain its role in acts of transportation, and must have transitional areas. For if the stratification of the city is to make sense, it must be able to relate its different levels to each other in space. If you can live in a city without being aware of it you cannot interact with its organization. And it is through transport — through moving through the city — that such an interaction occurs. The transitional area within the city is the space for dynamic pos-

sibility and the notion of unplannedness — for the creative use of particular local spaces which Type II systems pride themselves upon. While the two points and the movement between them is planned, the exposure that occurs during that movement is what the local can exploit. It gives the movement — and thus the city — the quality of being dynamic. Going from one place to the other is full of the potential for unplanned interactions. You see things you were not consciously looking for, and become aware of the gatheredness of the city and the nature of its gathering. The city is speaking itself as you travel through it. The transitional area is where the city can express an identity — a sense of place and itself — and maximize the accessibility of random urban experience. In this way the city profits from its initial function of stratified gathering. Contact between the city and a car is the collision of two environments, whereas on foot it is the unfolding of one. In the dynamic city everything is fascinating — every movement through the city is loaded with exposure, unpredictability, creative potentials. It is about the fertility of linear access routes rather than their destinations. And transitional tissue is important not only between departure and arrival points, but equally across each transition. Each change offers the potential for dynamic quality: from apartment to leaving the building, from building to public street, from street to public transport to service center and so on. Hard borders such as walls and gates provide little space for possibility and can be intimidating and discourage entry. But soft borders offer moments in which to experience the change in environment, and to linger between states. Movement becomes a dynamic series rather than a transposition from one point to another. Traveling through the city
residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G–1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D

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there is no longer a painful feeling of unnaturalness; instead there is a process making sense. Both congestion and stratification are conditions of urbanism. They cannot be solved at the city-wide level — there can only be enclaves of their inexistence, which transfer the pressure elsewhere. These enclaves can be regarded as non-urban contributors to urban stress, or interruptions in the dynamic flow. How strong the stratification itself is and how distant its extremes, are not things that can be controlled by urban planning. Societal reform is as much a part of dealing with unplanned disruptions or outbreaks as better zoning is. However the way in which a society’s stratification expresses itself and even develops is closely related to the urban forms it takes. For a society itself to be dynamic it must ensure a spatial relationship between its stratified

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In the dynamic city everything is fascinating — every movement is loaded with exposure, unpredictability and creative potentials
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desirable. However a degree of integrated larger thinking — an adjustment of tendencies in the direction of Type I approaches — is already occurring. The government is strong and centralized and equipped with considerable powers of execution. It already owns all of the land and is therefore necessarily involved on a partnership level with all private developments. Beijing is currently rebuilding itself almost anew from the dust, and given the strength of economic growth and the concentration of power, is capable of doing so in any number of different ways. One version of events is the untrammeled continuation of Business As Usual. But it will be the government’s growing role in the public-private partnerships which will be able offer a different future. Their involvement, not only through zoning and

inhabitants continue to move through. While being able to think on the abstract level themselves, their citizens will remain grounded. It will be the wider concerns brought into the partnership by the government which will curb illusory abtopian* projects, and hold the city together through the development of meaningful transitional space. Such a partnership will build low cost housing as well as high, and maintain shared access routes. It will make the dream make sense.

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bands. The current conditions for dreaming in China, and the reliance upon Type II planning when the urbanization is happening so fast, is leading toward a City of Zero Liminality* with an underclutter of Real Sub-urbia*. To avoid this progression some shift in approach is required. And so what is the alternative? A complete move to visionary planning is not at this stage in China’s development conceivable, or even

互动城市的一切都绝 妙无比——每一瞬间 都充满了新鲜、不可 知和创新的无限可能
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regulations and approval, but also actively in the fields of market steering and planning initiatives will be able to negotiate the planning vacuum between top-down and bottomup approaches. They will be able to bring a coordinating perspective onto the different developments, and stratified groups, and their inter-relation. It will be their role to ensure that urban conditions sustain dynamic transitional tissue which its

residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G–1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C

real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D

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Topic: Economics Politics

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

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BEIJING BOOM TOwER
这个城市能否再抵挡15年的肆意扩 张? 建筑本身能体现城市问题的规 模吗? 多功能的巨型建筑能防止社会 被分隔的问题吗? 主题:现实的美梦还 是未来的噩梦?
“将来从这里望过去,要看到处处都是烟囱”                 毛泽东,北京,1949年。 五十年以前,中国的城市是以网状单位为发展基础而建造 的。小的车间包围在欣欣向荣的大工厂的周围,一直不断的扩 张。低密度和平均的人口分布可以防止出现腐化的资本主义 城市,消除了对城区边界扩张的可能性并且城市的主角是工业 厂区而不是购物中心、写字楼以及豪华建筑。这半个世纪以前 的社会主义发展理念已经完全过时了,在北京尤其显著。一排 又一排的新式公寓成为新型大都市的标志。房产热已经成为 国家兴旺的一种驱动力量,那些玻璃宝塔似的建筑成为新型的 烟囱,是大量制造出来的现代城市生活形态。然而随着新中国 的成型,随之而来的缺点也越来越明显。城市的巨变带来了拥 挤、阻塞城市现状。过盛的机动化以及社区隔绝成为城市的交 通瘫痪以及社会封闭的源头。随着花园式别墅和高档公寓的大 门和监控器的增加导致了公共场所的分化。建筑以及公共设施 已经逾越了人类生活模式所需。巨大的建筑已经垄断了城市规 划的思想。这种新的城市主义的基石究竟在哪里?肆意扩张,排 斥和抄袭搬用的建筑方式。这就是现在城市飞速发展中中国人 要面对的现实。精品生活梦工厂是建筑抑制城市的最后一种尝 试。它可行么?加入讨论的行列吧。设计师,开发商的研讨会主 题:现实的美梦还是未来的噩梦。 艾德瑞・红斯宾:动态城市基金刚刚完成了可以说是历史 上最大的一次住宅区模型。主要的设计理念是什么?为什么做 的这么大? 奈维尔・马尔斯:这个项目仅可容纳12500户居民在此居 住。这里的公寓式普通家庭面积的两倍,并配有大量的现代化 设施及公共空间。这代表了独立化的趋势及对舒适的城市生活 空间的不断向往。精品生活梦工厂即将证明这两者可兼得:居 住在城市的中心,并且拥有足够的空间,及豪华快乐的乡村式生 活。这适合普通居民,投资商以及整个城市。这时那些被隔离 开的花园式住宅无休无止的扩张才可能被抑制。 你的项目展示了一个中国首都北京的约六公顷范围的城 市模型:它展现的是大于曼哈顿10倍密集度的,共有5000个公寓 的社区。对于一个城市,如果要具备齐全的公共设施以及花园 是需要很大花费的。 奇怪的是这个城市已经变的不健全了,可它还是吸引很多 人。为了改善这种不健全的状况,我们需要建立一种高级公共 交通系统。我们所建造的精品生活梦工厂只占用可用资源的二 分之一面积。这种概念叫做:“闲置空间”,为真正意义上的花 园留下了足够的空间,同时从自家走到地铁站的距离也是可以 被大家接受的。当未来需要更多发展空间时,这些闲置空间就 可以派上用场了。 为什么你要创造一个新型住宅区?在北京,我们到处可见 到巨大广告牌,展示着即将落成的花园式住宅社区。看起来很 不错。 当前的房地产项目本质上讲是反城市的。他们被构思和 销售成为高层的花园式社区;隐藏在公用绿地的高塔。这种想 法与现实中与日俱增的城市压力和迅速扩大的中国城市需求是 完全不协调的。 所谓的不协调是什么概念? 他们引发了一系列的问题。首先现代的中国城市社区已 经成为一个完全被隔离的区域。在大层面上它使以前社会主义 的城市跳跃式增长,私有化。而其结果就是自然的层化。其次 住宅区(和基本设施)的规模已远远超出了城市规划的范围,后 果是一连串被包围的领土,一个被社区大门和柏油路隔离的社 会,使整个城市不再连续。除了这一连串禁闭的现象,这些依赖 汽车的情况使北京陷入交通瘫痪。在广告栏中宣扬的绿色空间 其实是交通地带的一小块圈地,而不是任何有质量的公共的空 间。对住在旧式住宅,并每天面对污染及拥挤的城市问题的居 民来说,这些广告是极具说服力的。但是他们提供的却是一个 错误的概念。 那BBT又是什么呢? 是当前情况的逻辑结论。一个制造生活的机器是居民参 与到了一个迅速发展的现代化国家中,并用他们的方式工作。 BBT是迎合市场需求而大量供应的理论结果:一个在主要城市 中心的郊区性空间。我们想调查建筑是否能够实现这样的要 求;城市中心是否能够维持一种郊区的生活方式。我们要研究 的是建筑师是否能够意识到这样的需求,他们是否能意识这样 的城市扩张对于人们来其实是一种牺牲,我们需要明确未来的 生活水平是否能经受的住环境改变的冲击. 每个人都可以在这里有个家。人们所需要付出的代价是 一个拥挤繁密的环境。在建筑的低层部分配有人工技术手段来 保障隐私权以及阳光。相反每个人都拥有大量的私人空间和公 共的空间,所有的复式结构公寓都是建立在豪华商铺及服务的 系统之上,停车场地,两个地铁站,8个公共广场,不同于广告中展 示的那样,BBT没有围墙。它彻底将公共空间改变成了有着半商 业性的流动广告的楼层。对于层化的市场要求,是通过隐私的 递变度实现的。这个递变度贯穿整个大楼,由下至上并通过内 部的桥梁网络连接在一起直接通向各套公寓。这证明即使房产 开发商们不喜欢他们混淆在一起,社会中各阶层的人也能舒适 的生活在一栋综合性的大楼里。

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THE THEORETICAL PRODUCT OF THE MARKET RESPONDING TO ALL FUTURE DEMANDS: SUBURBAN STYLE LIVING IN THE HEART OF CHINA’S CAPITAL.

ARCHITECTS: NEVILLE MARS, SASKIA VENDEL INTERVIEwS: ADRIAN HORNSBY, CHARLIE KOOLHAAS
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*CAN THE MIXED-USE MEGASTRUCTURE COMBAT OUR SEGREGATING SOCIETY?
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Fifty years ago the Chinese city was set to become an orderly grid of danwei*: small worker units packed around the bases of glorious factories, extending on past the edges of the horizon. The low even population dispersion would eradicate the potential for corrupting bourgeois downtowns, and the skyline would be dominated by monoliths of industry, rather than malls, offices, or exclusive residential blocks. Half a century on this concept of communist planning is wholly outdated, and nowhere more so than in Beijing. Rows upon rows of glittering apartments demarcate the envy-skyline of a vast metropolis. The housing boom has become the driving force of the nation’s optimism — its glass towers are the new chimneys, massproducing modern urban lifestyles.

*CAN THE CITY WITHSTAND 15 MORE YEARS OF UNCONTROLLED EXPANSION?

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*CAN ARCHITECTURE EVEN COMPREHEND THE SCALE OF THE URBAN PROBLEM?

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However as the new China is taking shape, the drawbacks of modernity are becoming apparent. The sudden transformation of the city proves to be dense, congested, and ultimately unrewarding. The products of excessive motorization and fortification are urban gridlock and social lockdown*. Housing blocks and villa parks with their gates and cameras incrementally fence-off the public realm. Buildings and infrastructure have exploded well beyond the human scale. Big block architecture has taken over urban planning. What are the cornerstones of this new urbanism? Sprawl, exclusion, and copy ’n’ paste architectural remedies. This is the reality of the building boom at hyper-speed for half a billion new urbanites. BBT is architecture’s final attempt to tame the city.

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“… one of those wacky billboards along the 4th Ring Road showing a villa on a green field with a tower already protruding behind — that’s anti-urban sentiment”

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BBT CONCEPTS Stacked villa Green illusion Urban dream Vertical neighborhood

Start intervieW adrian HOrnSby – neville marS

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Guarded luxury Gridlock accessory Skyline view Valet parking Anti-urban Pro-urban Infinite shopping Luxury gradient Privacy gradient Sun gradient Floating squares No walls environment Consumer lifestyle engine Sprawl free concept Spare Space concept Pockets of potential Coarseness

AH: Why did you develop a new residential block? Across Beijing we find huge bright billboards advertising the arrival of large modern housing in vast green settings. They look comfy. NM: The current projects express an approach which is, essentially, anti-urban. They are conceived and marketed as pieces of “garden-city”: fully metropolitan villa retreats, high-rise

towers hidden in parkland. You only have to look at the names of some of them: Fragrance Park, Natural City, Somerset Fortune Garden. Incontrovertibly urban zones are being repackaged as moments of rural serenity. The very notion is at odds with itself, and completely incompatible with the reality of increasing urban pressure, and the rapidly expanding Chinese cityscape.

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bbt Site
As Mao predicted, Beijing has developed as a forest of chimneys, only not the factory exhaust pipes of thousands of production units, but the endless repetition of the residential tower blocks. These are the new engines at the heart of China’s consumer society.

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12,500 PEOPLE 5,000 APARTMENTS 6 HECTARES OF LAND 10X MANHATTAN DENSITY!

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tower footprints

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THE CHINESE TOWER BLOCK HAS DEVELOPED ALONG TWO TRACKS; SEMI-CONNECTED TOWER WALLS FOR THE LOWER MIDDLE-CLASS AND SINGLE TOWERS FOR UPPER MIDDLE-CLASS ...

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default

Le Corbusier

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EVOLUTION OF AN APARTMENT TOWER
THE NUMBER OF APARTMENTS CONNECTED TO THE CORE HAS STEADILY INCREASED. IN THE BBT THE CRITICAL POINT IS REACHED FORCING THE CORE TO SWELL AND BECOME AN ATRIUM. ACCESSED BY SMALL BRIDGES, THE APARTMENTS BREAK FREE …

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AH: Incompatible — in what sense? NM: There are a number of problems being generated. First of all the contemporary Chinese block has become a fenced-off enclave — girt by walls and accessed only through guarded gates. It operates as an isolated plot carved out of the city. As developments like these step-repeat their way around the ring roads, we see the incremental privatization of the surface area of Beijing. Whole blocks of public streets just disappear. Add to this the scale of the blocks, and consequently that of their infrastructure, and you get ribbons of fortified compounds opening onto six lane arterial highways. The cityscape is broken up into segregated units, and the size of those units has exploded beyond the scope of local planning. A kind of inhuman coarseness emerges in the urban texture — not only on the physical level, but also on the societal. The economic thrust of these units is towards pure crude geographical stratification. The volume of land they take up is wholly disproportionate to their window of accessibility, and so creates map-bands of income homogeneity. The gates function on many levels. In addition to this phenomenon of lockdown*, the flashmotorization which accompanies such car-dependent typologies presents cities like Beijing with the scenario of total gridlock. Even the photoshopped green-space of the billboards is more circulation area than community space of any real destination quality. For people living in outdated Chinese homes, and confronted daily with the problems of a congested polluted city, these images are highly persuasive. But what they offer is a false concept.

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Model: Premiere in DCF studios Beijing, Dashanzi 798 DIAF – International Art Festival, 2004 Millennium Art Museum; In the line of flight Curators Zhang Ga and Alex Adriaanse V2 Guangzhou Triennial 2005, Guangdong Museum of Art Curator Hou Hanru Scale Material Size Parts 1:100 PVC on a wood and steel base 2 x 4.2 x 2.7 m (w, l, h) 29 towers; largest diameter 0.75, height 2.20 m, 2 podium blocks: 1 x 4 m 40

Movies BBTV Duration Format Color Sound Duration Format Color Sound Duration Format Color Sound 4.30 minutes DVD PAL Yes No 4.30 minutes DVD PAL Yes Yes 4.30 minutes DVD PAL Yes No

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PROJECTION

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www.burb.tv/view/Beijing_Boom_Tower

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BBT is the theoretical product of a genuine market attempt to supply according to demand: suburban luxuries in the center of a major city. In BBT you can have your cake and eat it. The 12,500 inhabitants are accommodated in apartments on average 200% larger than common homes today, most of them with big balconies, and all supported by a full retail and facilities system. There’s drive-in parking, 2 subway stations, and 8 public squares. Moreover, we have built BBT on half the available land. The Spare Space concept sucks up offcuts situated around towers and amalgamates them to make at one end a real park, and at the other a building so compact it puts the subway within walking distance of all of its inhabitants. Thus the current trend in China of increasing individualism and space demand can be met. The design indicates the kinds of sacrifices which need to be made to ensure future living standards in a compact integrated urban environment.

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Ah: AND sO whAT Is bbT?

NM: The lOgICAl
CONClUsION OF The CUrreNT ChANNels OF DesIre.

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overall structure
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high above the parking lot 3 different living typologies linked to different transport systems: high-end, elegant stacked villas (directly connected to the parking level) middle class living blocks (connected with express elevators to the subway) lower middle class social slabs (connected with escalators to the ground floor) some towers are divided into cheaper and more expensive apartments according to: - accessibility: the easier to access, the more expensive - sungradient: the more sunlight you get, the more expensive your apartment

the complex can be divided into 3 sections, based on sun orientatien and tower type: A: most expensive section, is orientated totally towards the south and contains mostly stacked villa towers B: middle priced section, is orientated partly towards the south and contains all kinds of tower types C: cheapest section, is orientated towards the North and contains the biggest hub towers

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just above the parkinglot in between the different towers squares are unfolding directly accessible from the different squares are a range of facilities (sauna, swimming pool, clothing stores, KTV, bars, restaurants, etc.)

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spare space 40% of the total building site is kept building-free, providing ample room for greenspace

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parking level Clearly divides building into above and beneath: with sunlight and without beneath parking level A walless city – people can walk in and out freely Big Box retail inside the tower roots

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small shops and offices on the outside of the tower roots giving the customers the possibility to shop in a half-open space.

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AH: What sacrifices and how integrated? Is BBT not only for the wealthy? NM: No. Unlike the billboard projects it has no bounding walls. We think of BBT not as a building, but as a genuine vertical neighborhood. Everyone can obtain a home here, but the sacrifice they make is life in a very condensed environment. The structure incorporates a number of inherent gradients which necessarily relate to comfort and to unit-cost. Among the upper levels networks of interconnecting bridges allow communication between bright and airy penthouse suites. But as you descend lower down the towers, increasingly you are forced to relinquish your access to natural light and privacy. There are 60 floors to drop through, and it is at the lower levels that you find the cheaper apartments. This is reinforced by the infrastructural scheme, where three decks service three different economic clusters. Pedestrians and cyclists pass underneath among markets and foodstalls. On the second level are the subway stations, and links to the main retail center and atrium buildings. Car owners enter from the highway direct to the third level, composed of open decks and express elevators to luxury apartments. This separation of flows based on mode of transport is a subtle yet effective way to enforce a degree of locale discrimination, by which different consumers are naturally guided to their most appropriate retail environment. It works for shoppers and shopkeepers alike. Throughout the block public space is reinvented as a continuously flowing semi-commercialized fully conditioned public podium. 

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AH: 5,000 apartments on 6 hectares of land at ten times Manhattan density. 12,500 people implicitly compartmentalized according to the car they drive — or don’t have to drive — and the fraction of the day they get to see. That sounds as close to dystopia as utopia, as much nightmare as dream. NM: And maybe it is. The project aims to reveal what the modern desires call for, and how radical the consequent measures need to be. It should be apparent that the desires themselves are as sordid and inhumane as their natural product. Beijing cannot withstand another 15 years of uncontrolled expansion. Copy-paste architecture cannot even begin to comprehend the scale of the urban problem. AH: And so as a design statement BBT aims to provoke these visions of future scenarios? NM: The goal is to stop people from ignoring or hiding from the urban condition, and to annihilate the anti-urban approaches currently in vogue. Instead we need to use all the urban means possible. Only by acknowledging the urban pressure can you respond to it. AH: And if that response turns out to be BBT?
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NM: Our next step is to re-engineer the city … 

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DY DE NA NS MI ITY C !
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l block has e residentia “Th int that ed to the po explod as taken hitecture h arc planning.” over urban

E A ILL SE “WE W EY S HIMN T OF C FORES HERE” FROM
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. . . 3 social clusters
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undisclosed aspects of the bbt
Charlie Koolhaas’ written inquiries Dear Charlie, this e-mail interview sounds like a nice idea, but not this long list of questions. Can we have some foreplay?

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Neville darling, i will do this interview personally as i have been slightly more intimate with your work than Rem recently. i don’t usually bother with foreplay but i’ll give it a go just to keep you happy (i read in Cosmo that that’s my job as a woman, and god knows i need employment). So with the last question we sent you, maybe you thought it was premature but i don’t believe in beating around the bush, i wanted to know about what it means to you to be an European architect in China. Particularly as architecture, as seen in the Chinese media especially, is so the domain of the old white male intellectual in a turtle neck. i think that your BBTV film was about this, you played up the monotonous creepy side of this persona … why did you do that, what was your message to the Chinese (maybe this is a broader question relating to the project as a whole) was it that they should mistrust the unemotional rationalism of European “planners” who will lead them down the road of a depersonalized and totally predictable life? and is this a European life? or are Europeans restricting life here to what they would/couldn’t in the west? Okay maybe we can get to this later on in our interviews, lets go back to explaining the stereotypes: please describe the person presented as the “Mastermind” of the boom tower project? Why is the BBT project a European project? if the architect in your film had been Chinese what would he look like? in what ways would the project have been different - would the Chinese architect have had the same intentions but have inadvertently added some unexpected surprises that would make living there slightly richer? i want to get straight onto this subject because i hope this starting point will lead us in interesting directions. Also the persona that you portray is very much the persona that my dad has to fight against when Chinese people criticize his involvement in China and the CCTV building. So i am very interested in why you would potentially make working here more difficult for yourself, or are you offering yourself as a happy alternative to this? If you like ask me some questions too, so we have a two way; like all good foreplay should be. love, C 
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Well, the man in the Sci-Fi office is the mastermind of the Beijing Boom Tower. Most people find him creepy because he is omnipresent. He has designed a building so crafty it is effectively controlling your life. But don’t be fooled, for architects and planners all he represents is a fetish. He tickles our senses. The idea to design something perfect and total, no questions asked, turns architects on. What’s truly scary about him is his conviction. He believes in architecture as a solution for society. And in order to realize such an immense and intricate structure he needs to believe in this and in himself. He needs to be a megalomaniac. But his lack of self-criticism has undermined his projects and his ideas. A new understanding of the market led him to believe he could accommodate all of society in a single building by offering enough variety. The 29 towers protrude from a podium crammed with an array of facilities shops and entertainment - an endlessly refined gradient of social classes and wealth as the new distribution strategy for an ever more segregated Chinese society. Not a building, but in fact a city inside the city, designed as a Chinese-Western hybrid. Let’s say Market Modernism. I must admit this presents a very a tempting model, and one that would go down well in China. Local architects have asked me where BBT would be built without blinking their eyes. In reality the super structure above the podium - the towers of the building - aren’t much denser than common residential blocks in China. And they are surely more spacious inside. The real problem that occurs in the BBT is that people don’t seem to have a choice. Or rather they are presented with endless choices and seem to be compelled to partake in their consumption. China as you know is all about status. Getting rich is still glorious. The BBT offers plenty of opportunities to move up if you do get rich. But all progress has to take place within the structures of building. Like the Chinese society there is no opportunity for real change. The city as a whole - Beijing in particular - grows, changes and adapts constantly. In China demolition is of no great concern. It allows China and its cities to evolve at lighting speed. But built as a complete and ideal entity the big BBT can only be realized and demolished in its entirety. It either works or it doesn’t. The process of trial and error which a region like the Pearl River Delta is famous for is negated. Western (as you call it European) architecture is bluntly super-imposed on the fertile Chinese cityscape. Mr. Mastermind is from old Europe. He represents the ideals of Modernism, modern architecture even. Architecture has become the trophy wife of the Chinese economy. He can’t be Chinese, as China until recently simply didn’t have its own modern architecture – universities for one still only produce 

draftsmen instead of designers. The Howard Roarks of China are emerging but in real estate development. This is where the money is, and certainly where the innovation is. The BBT too feeds on this very Chinese skill. We have meticulously maximized light, living and retail. In that sense it’s very Chinese: architecture on a calculator. With China’s urban population bursting we felt it was important to explore the feasibility of an entirely artificial landscape. If the architect would have been Chinese the BBT would have been exactly the same, only with square towers. I was really interested in this Chinese method of making public space private, and also the innocence behind this. In England privacy always implies something slightly subversive - do you think there is a subversive side to this in China. What are they trying to get away from? are there things that the Chinese need privacy for that Europeans don’t and vice versa? The architects of communist China went to painful lengths to eradicate all sense of privacy. Anything personal - a home, a thought, a secret - was subversive: not being fully integrated within the collective body was counter-revolutionary and a serious offence. Husbands and wives were accommodated in separate communal dormitories, and everyone ate together in large dining halls. Right from the start there was a harsh schism between the Party and the People. Even today your connections to the Party are crucial for your success in business. China is still a system inside a system. An army of black Audis swerves around the streets of bureaucratic Beijing. The room next door in the restaurant is noisy with the laughter of drunk rich middleman. But at least China is using its progress towards prosperity to reinvent itself. As money seeps down to other social strata a new society is forming. China is shedding its communal past and embracing individualism in the form of more subtle forms of privacy and collectivity. (Private rooms are the success formula in bars, clubs and restaurants. The privacy offered is particularly rewarding after a brief encounter with the crowd as you pass through the dining hall or club lobby. You leave behind the people waiting outside, on the dance floor, at the private tables and in the red upholstered cubicles. A long winding corridor reunites you with your friends in a suite that’s looks like a mini version of the entire club, with your own bar, dancers and KTV.) The regimented society of the communist era has naturally progressed to form a sophisticated gradient of privacies and increasing opulence. Only the housing sector still depends on a very crude form of segregation. The different residential compounds, like the rooms in the club, represent well-defined niche markets. But bluntly fenced-off from the street and disconnected from each other they lack any real communal space. No dance floor, no winding alley to your home. The streets of Beijing, once a vibrant public realm, offer no solace: 

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ak 2i like just to walk around its nice there are lots of shops | 15 this place is so much bigger than my previous place its got two levels, a big bathroom, and a super big big room | 10 i used to go visit my boyfriend everyday but since he has moved up he doesnt like to see me anymore so now i take walks by myself i see 贰 all

converted to highways they are occupied only by the black cars with tinted windows and the odd trash cart. All the fun is inside.
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The buildings have grown bigger to absorb the street life, but not quite big enough to accommodate everyone. Through sheer size we hoped to address these problems in the Beijing Boom Tower. A building fit for all, with public squares, parks and retail spun together in a giant loop of continuous communal space. Safety is the common argument for China’s fetish for walls, but the sense of security - or rather of threat - they present is misleading. The modern compounds of today force you through an archaic sequence of checkpoints manned by sleepy guards. A status symbol at best, this is all that is needed in a country where stealing from the rich requires a mammoth act of courage. BBT has no walls - a comprehensive CCTV (closed circuit television) system covers the entire public domain. Every step you take is captured from every angle. The movie of your life inside however is not just stared at by lax guards or shady police. All the homes in the BBT can zap to any camera in the building, move it around, and zoom in. Instead of watching China Central TV-news or Channel 9, you can take a virtual stroll around the parks and shops, making sure all is fine. This is the future of Chinese social control. The heart-warming but suffocating social environment of hutongs* and courtyards is re-engineered and replaced with an elaborate network of anonymous individuals watching over you. The podium looks amazing. If it’s true you can find your way freely from the street all the way to the upper decks then what’s this passage like? It seems the three hollow towers are at the center of three distinct clusters connected with bridges, why? The large pedestals supporting the towers interlock to create crevices opening onto the street. In the center they form a dome-shaped space as a flip-verse of the podium: an urban grotto that contains all the polluting facilities and cheap thrills a large city needs 

to survive - from garages to red-light districts, wholesale and mass-entertainment. The balconies and ceilings are shaded red-blue from the neon logos. Occasional triangles of daylight spill through from punctures in the parking deck above. Two levels thick, it slices the entire structure in two, separating the underworld from the top of the building; dark from light, the fortunate from the rest. But one can climb further and pass through the parking deck. Big box stores in the base of each tower punch right through the podium. For the middle-class entering the building by train the ordeal of transition is greatly reduced. Coming by car instant elevator access is granted to the entire podium and to all residential areas. The apartment towers are connected with bridges to form three distinct clusters, each with a hollow tower at the core. These clusters present another social gradient by creating different neighborhoods, served by different levels of facilities beneath them in the podium. The hollow towers contain additional vertical infrastructure, and enclose an enormous atrium, which serves as the heart of each neighborhood. The biggest tower can be seen as sixty story social housing slab that has been wrapped around itself to form a hollow tube of elevators and circular hallways. All this additional vertical infrastructure and all the bridges work together to offer the upper level homes the ultimate form of luxury possible in an apartment building - a private elevator. The precious core space in the slim tapered skyscrapers is used for express elevators to the penthouses. To reach the lower level homes you will have to pass through the bundle of elevators in the atrium tower and across the skywalk that connects to your house. This is the context that prompts real ambition. In the Boom Tower moving up in the world can be as simple as buying a bigger home: a skyscraping bungalow, a duplex with sun-terrace, or the double-suite-double-parkingcombo. BBT is high-rise heaven! You can enter at the ground floor and not look back until you’ve reached the top. It is the ultimate life-style engine providing the thrust behind China’s freshly liberated consumer economy. 

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Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

the internal logic of spatial production

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政策性扩张
Chang Liu

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在中国,至少是在政府高层,处理从环境到经济、从社会不 平等到城市扩张等重大问题的雄心是惊人的。然而让地方政 府执行这些政策则是巨大无比的挑战。仔细研究应对城市快 速扩张的策略,其指导方针和政策的已如丛林般密集,且常 有自相矛盾之处,从而不可能被一一正确执行。政策本身在 蔓延,由此可以推断的是,用来阻止蔓延的政策反而加剧了 城市的蔓延。

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policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

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0.0 Beijing: Impressions and Contradictions

polis also comes to mind). It is characterized by a clear distinction between the urban and the rural, and by smooth density gradients, a single center, and a diversity of uses and outputs. There are several problems associated with this assumption when looking at China.

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Slightly to the north of the Forbidden Palace, in the heart of Imperial Beijing, stands the hill of Jingshan. It was created using construction spoil from the building of the palace itself, and at 62m in height, once offered the tallest vantage point in the surrounding low plain. Looking back from its summit, the spatial logic of the ancient city is suddenly revealed. Golden roof tiles shimmer conspicuously atop the palace buildings. Beyond them stretches a careful reticulation of small lanes and gray siheyuans (the traditional courtyard buildings), all aligned on a powerful north-south axis. This dry gridded perfection is detailed with a myriad of swaying leafy canopies, balancing nature against order. A series of major roads carve the program into squares, and traffic is ferried along perimeters, while the parcelled hutongs* within all face inwards, and retain a neighborhood sense of calm. The resulting fabric is the spatial expression of a Confucian ideal: hierarchical order in the context of cosmological harmony. However, if you raise your eyes a little beyond this eloquence of roofs and paving, you find the vista obscured by a ring of encircling dust.

Western cliché of monotonous suburbia, it is along the urban periphery, past the 4th Ring Road, that Beijing is at its most spatially heterogeneous. Residential towers with facades clean out of the plastic wrapping rise up out of a disordered scree of one story constructions. Migrant enclaves* scrap with peasant housing in between sudden blazing walled communities. The air is busy with the beeping and bustle of 24/7 street vendors, steamy restaurants, sidewalk kitchens, and sleazy hairdressing salons.i Authentic features of lively rural townships are thrown into paradoxical juxtapositions with urban high rise and five lane arterials. You speak to a local of Dahongmen, on the southern route out of Beijing, and he tells you that ten years ago this was a rural village of fewer than ten households. Such contradictions and astounding pace of change is just a brief glimpse into the countless complex spatial consequences of China’s simultaneous social, economic and spatial restructuring since the reforms of 1978.

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1.0 Introduction
The current debate on the issue of sprawl is central to any contemporary understanding of the post-Fordist / Keynesian / metropolitan etc. city. However, while there is no shortage of literature dedicated to it, there has been little agreement as to the causes, characteristics, effects, and methodological approaches to sprawl. But what continues to be implicit in any attempt to define a particular spatial expression as “sprawl” is a presupposed idea of an axiomatic “norm”. This norm tends to be conceived of along the lines of a compact monocentric city, handed down in some form or other from the ancient urban settlements of Mesopotamia (the Greek
i Hairdressers in contemporary China are like massage parlors in the West — often a front for the sex trade.

TODAY BEIJING IS OVER 10X THE GEOGRAPHICAL SIZE OF IMPERIAL BEIJING AND GROWING, FAST!
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“Ideal” cities of the past did not experience population hyper-expansion as brought about by the onset of industrial revolution. Most studies on sprawl tend to ignore rapid population growth and the inevitable demand it makes both for more space, and for a changing socio-economic relation to space. Ancient Chinese cities display a much greater degree of planning than more organically-developed European cities. Developments in transportation, manufacturing methods and economic transactions mean that the functions and lifestyles within urban and rural contexts bear an increasing resemblance to one another. The ideal of a monocentric compact city does not take into account the fact that in recent decades urban patterns in many cities across the globe have been growing towards polycentrism. The result of this is that certain standard measures of sprawl, such as travel time to a geographic city center, become misleading when applied to polycentric realities. By overemphasizing spatial features in the identification of sprawl one tends to categorize all discontinuous program as sprawl. This is not really useful in China where often leapfrog developments are part of a national strategy for engineering rapid urban expansion.ii Thus any static-shot assessment of sprawl becomes inadequate, as discontinuous sprawl-like tissue may in fact be an early stage in the
1 Walder, A. G. ‘The state as an ensemble of economic actors: some inferences from China’s trajectory of change’ Transforming Post-Communist Political Economy, Nelson, J.M., Tilly, C., Walker, L. (eds) Washington, DC: National Academy Press (1997) p.432-452 ii Inconclusively and within no specialized framework, the urban discourse has at various points associated mono-functional developments, lowdensity developments, out of town retail centers, discontinuous or leapfrog developments and development zones, gated communities, suburban sleeping towns, brandscapes, ExUrbs, downtown shopping malls, hypermarkets, land speculation, automobile dependency, even suburban growth, over abundance of infrastructure (infrasprawl*) and new, usually out of town CBDs with sprawl.

creation of an effective new district (speedsprawl*). Furthermore, due to the unique policy environment in China with regard to the definition of urban and rural land, urbanization tends to happen on an in-situ basis in the villages, often creating discontinuous arrangements (splatter pattern*). Because of the many ways in which sprawl deviates from the idealized classic urban form, it has developed a host of negative connotations which make objective observation and assessment difficult. In the post-reform era Beijing’s rapid urban growth has blurred the boundaries between healthy urban development and urban sprawl, increasingly challenging pre-reform conceptions of the urban and the rural. The government was faced with the immense task of turning a Soviet-style centrallyplanned economy into a competitive market-driven economy. The execution of such a change had to be accompanied by a radical transformation in the spatial organization of cities and their populations. Legislation restricting labor mobility, such as the hukou* system, which defined the pre-reform era, was accordingly relaxed, but in a staggered and often gray fashion. Alongside this a series of experiments relating to the ownership and use-rights of land were introduced, through which the government developed a pragmatic and sometimes ad-hoc approach, creating and amending urban policies as they saw fit. This has resulted in a definition-resistant state of flux for the urban realm. The persistence of a strong party-State since the economic reforms of 1978 has rooted and integrated itself into the Chinese market economy. As such, the “institutional amphibiousness” of China’s Statemarket relations has blurred the boundaries between the public and the private sectors of society. The Chinese State can be viewed as ‘an ensemble of diverse economic actors’1: government officials often
Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

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今天的北京已超过了紫禁城面积的 十倍,而且还在迅速膨胀!

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In the midst of this perpetual cloud something extraordinary is taking place. In stark contrast to the 

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

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behave as entrepreneurs, corporate management teams, silent partners and investors in the market economy.2 Such activities are commonly found in East Asia and have been referred to as the ‘developmental state’.3 Globally, there has been a transition from the Fordist PCMP to a post-Fordist economy. Accordingly there has been a transition from the traditional role of the Keynesian welfare state (under which governments operated as management teams, intervening in the market only in times of failure) to a post-Keynesian workfare regime or neoliberal ‘entrepreneurial state’4, with governmental institutions actively facilitating and participating in market-level economic competitions on various institutional levels.

On a spatial level, this environment has created a wealth of interesting and diverse landscapes, typologies and unique social relationships, including: semi-urbanized villages (SUV*) rural urban syndicates (RUS*) floating villages* ethnic migrant enclaves* villages-within-cities* These spatial phenomena are economically significant as they cunningly fill the gap left behind by the inadequacies of the state-led formal economy, at the same time as pushing the boundaries of legislation and spatial capacities. Although some bear the trappings of shantytowns, they provide the essential services and cheap labor that allow their adjacent formal development to function more efficiently. It is therefore necessary to be very flexible and innovative in identifying sprawl in the highly dynamic contemporary economic and policy environment of China. To describe this simultaneously induced and selfconflicting developmental pattern and the policies which have shaped it, it is necessary to understand the institutions and processes which have generated those policies.

2 Laurence, J. C., Ma & Fulong Wu ‘Restructuring the Chinese City, Diverse Processes and Reconstituted Spaces’ Restructuring the Chinese City, Routeledge (2003) 3 Castells, M. ‘Culture, organizations, and institutions: Asian business networks and the developmental state’ The Rise of the Network Society Blackwells (1996) p.195–205

often simply interpreted as belonging to a process of “Westernizing”. In accordance with this - so the interpretation runs - they are operating within a clear teleological framework whose logical product is the convergence of spatial form with Western cities.

the West. In China, globalization and its spatial consequences are strongly mediated by local forces and processes embedded in China’s cultural, historical, economic and political systems. This section looks briefly at some of the more important macro-systems and their influence on spatial production.

4 Goldsmith, M. ‘Local Government’ Urban and Regional Policy, Brookfield, Pierre, J. (ed.) VT: E. Elgar (1995) p. 49–66

Chinese culture and social formation takes its ‘primary structure and dynamics from the interplay of tributary modes of production (TMP) and pettycapitalist modes of production (PCMP).’
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2.1 The Chinese Political Economy

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a pragmatic and ad-hoc governmental approach to urban policy has resulted in a definition-resistant state of flux for the urban realm
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中国文化和社会组成的‘主要结构与 互动关系是由面向中心权力的生产与 小型资本生产的相互作用决定的’
6 Gates, H. China’s Motor, A Thousand Years of Petty Capitalism Cornell University Press (1997) p.19

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急功近利而无序的城市规划政策造 成了如今无法界定城市边界的局面

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Under such dynamic conditions two distinct positions from which the urban environment is being shaped have emerged in China. One is the conspicuously organic, bottom-up process of in-situ rural urbanization (or doorstep urbanization*) and peripheral urban development triggered by rural migration to cities. The other is the state driven development, where the urban government’s practice of expropriating rural land at the urban periphery for development has precipitated an inevitable clash between two opposite and sometimes opposing processes of development*. The human cost of such conflict is well publicised in Western media, where a number of land disputes have ended up in violence on a scale not seen since the “incident” of Tiananmen Square. 
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2.0 The Chinese Political Economy, Territorial System and Administrative Hierarchy
Despite the cacophony of technological progress that marks modern China, aspects of the systemic and structural logic that sustained the vast Chinese Empire remain remarkably intact. It is here that many Western observers fail to gain a deeper insight into the inner workings of China by focusing on the material transformations and superficial phenomena without adequate understanding of Chinese culture. Contemporary developments in Chinese cities are
5 Laurence, J. C., Ma & Fulong Wu ‘Restructuring the Chinese City, Diverse Processes and Reconstituted Spaces’ Restructuring the Chinese City Routeledge (2003) 7 Ibid. p.270

It is undeniable that in recent years the forces of global capitalism have left their mark on Chinese cities, manifesting themselves in a multitude of familiar spatial typologies — the gated community, the shopping mall etc., and, arguably, urban sprawl. In this light the convergence theory appears credible. However, implicit in such a view is the idea that local urban forms undergo transition to superior Western norms, and as such globalization equates to homogenization. This is a conspicuously Western view, based on overemphasizing the immediately recognizable elements of a “foreign” city, and in the act of foregrounding them, concealing the complex local reality. In many cases spatial typologies which are ostensibly global can be produced by a number of distinct local processes.5 Thus even when these forms do appear, they work on a significantly different level from spatially similar counterparts in
hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Marx’s ‘Asiatic mode of production’ heavily influenced the way in which China’s past economy has been perceived by the West and had a marked effect on the thinking of the Chinese Communist regime itself. Due to Marx’s limited knowledge of China, he wrongly presumed China’s indigenous economy to be similar to that of the Indian subcontinent, where the social formation was dominated by a tributary mode of production ( TMP) and a hierarchical class structure. Marx misread China’s indigenous economy as belonging to a precapitalist ‘natural economy’, where ‘subsistence producers locally trade small quantities of surplus goods as a convenience rather than for profit’6. Recent work by anthologists and historians has shown that a petty capitalist mode of production (PCMP) existed in China since the Song Dynasty (960-1270 AD), where mass production of commodities for profit, lineage based corporations, waged labor, printed money and even private property all began to flourish. In short, China had a PCMP in operation from a bottom-up level for toward a thousand years, and it has shaped much of the evolution of Chinese culture. The American anthropologist Hill Gates interprets Chinese culture and social formation as taking ‘its primary structure and dynamics from the interplay of tributary modes of production ( TMP) and pettycapitalist modes of production (PCMP).’7 Under the TMP, government bureaucracies integrated
Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

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intricate streets, many too small for a car, thread among one story homes and family run shops. this area, photographed in 2005, has now been largely demolished.

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policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

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residential towers with facades clean out of the plastic wrapping rise up from a disordered scree of one story constructions. this image shows an area under development along the fourth ring road of beijing. the two low rise buildings with blue roofs are temporary dormitory blocks which house the migrant construction workers for the adjacent site. unlike the suv*, which can be integrated into the urban fabric, this mini floating village will disappear as the surrounding buildings reach completion.

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policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

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themselves into economic production both as a tribute extraction system and a production management system. This led to the stratification of the Chinese society, in turn naturalized by Confucian ideology. Under the PCMP, where the logic of profit-making predominates, counterideologies and practices contended against tribute extraction. The TMP, i.e. the government, saw the PCMP’s activities as a way to increase its revenue. At the same time it sought ways to control and even on occasions curb it, regarding PCMP as a potentially destabilizing mechanism operating within the established order. The dynamic interplay between the two modes polarized each other. ‘Where extremes of authoritarianism came to characterize Chinese officials, exaggerated commoditization characterized the general populace’8. Such features have persisted into the twenty-first century, shaping many of the dynamics and idiosyncrasies of the Chinese economic miracle and the modern Chinese identity. The Communist Revolution continued and reinforced the TMP while failing to eradicate the PCMP (which the Chinese Communist Party mistook as capitalism proper), as witnessed by the persistence of black markets in the pre-reform eraiii, surviving even the Cultural Revolution. Since the economic reforms of 1978, the PCMP has blossomed. Within the space of ten short years township and village enterprises (TVEs*) proliferated to become the primary driving force behind much of China’s “miracle” economic growth throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Hill Gates sums up the underlying strain in the Chinese social economic structure better than anyone else: ‘For the last thousand years, petty capitalism offered an additional, non-tributary sphere of economic action to many, probably most, Chinese people […] Chinese commoners sought economic niches left vacant by the TMP, acting with clever dishonesty towards its principles and practices, ingeniously recycling for their own uses the sanctity
iii The distinction between capitalism proper and petty capitalism is that capitalism expands endlessly through the reinvestment of profit within a context of capital mobility, while the PCMP’s heavy reliance on patrilineage means that profit is accumulated, with each member standing to profit from death of successive generations. In addition, profit produced under the PCMP in China is heavily extracted by the TMP. 

accorded to such key institutions as patrilineal kinship. Petty-capitalist practice in China began and remains secondary, subversive, contorted, dangerous — and liberating.’ Such a relationship is as true of China today as it was a thousand years ago, and many of the emergent spatial forms in China are a result of this dialectical tension.

2.3 Territorial Administrative Structure in China Once in power the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) integrated its governing regime into the existing territorial administrative hierarchy with minor alterations. Five main territorial administrative tiers formed the hierarchy of the government. They were, in descending order of scale and political power: The central state in Beijing. The provinces (sheng), which were the four municipalities (zhixia shi) — Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing — and the autonomous regions (zizhi qu), which were autonomously governed areas of ethnic minorities. Cities (shi), counties (xian), and county level towns (chen zhen). Towns (zhen) and townships (xiang). Villages (which come under the direct jurisdiction of their county or xian) On a sub-urban level, large cities were often subdivided by districts (qu), which were in turn further divided into streets or neighborhood offices (jedao banshichu) and residents’ committees (jumin weiyuanhui). These were the lowest effective reach of the state and state surveillance.
11 Cartier, C. ‘City-space, Scale Relations and China’s Spatial Administrative Hierarchy’ Restructuring the Chinese City Laurence, J. C., Ma & Fulong Wu (eds). Routeledge (2005) 12 Lieberthal, K., Oksenberg, M. Policy Making in China: Leaders, Structures and Processes Princeton University Press (1998) 13 Laurence, J. C., Ma & Fulong Wu ‘China’s changing urban administrative system: spatial restructuring and local economic development’ Political Geography (2005) 14 Cartier, C. ‘City-Space, Scale Relations and China’s Spatial Administrative Hierarchy’ Restructuring the Chinese City Laurence, J. C., Ma & Fulong Wu (eds). Routeledge (2005)

presents sizeable organizational and jurisdictional problems. Since 1978, the city level administrative hierarchy developed into a compellingly complex system with four administrative ranks within the scope of being defined as a city. Centrally administered municipalities Province level cities Sub-province level cities County level cities In addition to this classification by administrative ranking, cities are also defined by their administrative characteristics or legal status. This forms a parallel organizational parameter, itself broken into three categories. Province level cities Cities with districts (sub-province or prefecturelevel) Cities without districts Thus a city may rank only as a county level city (class iv), while possessing the status of a city with districts (class b). Furthermore, there are currently six different categories of special status for select cities. These include, among others, the four municipalities (Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing), the special economic zones (SEZs*), coastal open cities, and cities designated to experiment with new economic programs.13 This complexity is a result of the ‘state periodically changing the criteria for defining administrative units, especially cities […] in order to promote political and economic goals.’14 An example of such territorial fluidity is that while in 1978 only 2,173 towns existed, in 2000 there were 20,312. These were for the most part “upgraded” from townships by a process of definition tweaking.
Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

2.2 The Cultural Legacy of the Chinese Territorial Administrative System China has its own unique territorial system which remains strikingly well preserved from its ancient origins in the Qin dynasty (265-420 AD). The basic territorial administrative unit — the xian — was first introduced by the Qin as part of state land reform. Since then a general ‘two level structure dominated the imperial territorial administrative system in the relation between the imperial capital and the provinces’9. The sheng, or province, was introduced in the Yuan dynasty (1260-1368 AD), being a unit constituted by a collection of smaller xian. In the Imperial era the local or xian administration had relative fiscal and administrative freedom. However, they were obliged to channel resources upwards to the central government in a tribute based pyramidal fashion without expectation of any (financial) return. This lack of material recipricocity created a great deal of contention between local administration and central government — the two spheres of real power in the administrative hierarchy of China. Together they formed the cultural / conceptual framework for the Chinese territorial administrative system over the last millennium, persisting beyond the Communist Revolution under the guise of the central state, as supreme manager, and the jiceng danwei* or grass-roots working unit, as the lowestlevel operator. This dichotomy has prompted the remark that ‘between these two (central and local) spheres of real power […] there was much administration but little authority.’10

8 Ibid. p.43

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9 Fitzgerald, J. ‘The province in history’ Rethinking China’s Provinces Routeledge (2002) p.11–40

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In terms of organizational structure, there were many similarities with the Soviet Union. Both shared a strong vertical imperative; however the ‘Soviet Union was more hierarchical in its organization, whereas the Chinese state structure has emphasized both “horizontal” (shuiping) and “vertical” (chuizhi) features of structural organization.’11 This meant having a wide range of bureaucracy at every level of the administrative hierarchy. As a result, ‘governing institutions in China, like administrative units, are also typically understood in terms of rank at the province level, prefecture level, county level and so forth.’12 On the one hand this structure arguably provides greater political and territorial control, but given its bulk and complexity
hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

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10 Shue, V. The Reach of the State Stanford University Press (1988)

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policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

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3.0 The Legacy of Maoist Era Beijing (1949-1978)
Cities in China are popularly referred to as “postsocialist” — a description which, though in many ways inadequate, is not without a grain of truth. The socialist command structure and planned economy of the Maoist era created a context for urban development which was notably distinct from its market-driven counterpart in the West. Although much of this has since been dismantled on a policy level, its physical legacy remains, with the consequence that developmental patterns in the postreform era have taken place upon foundations and infrastructure laid in the pre-reform era. Therefore, revisiting the pre-reform logic of production (both socio-political and spatial-economic) helps a great deal in understanding post-reform urban conditions.

a system of land tenure, without the possibility of land exchange, land value was effectively nullified. It dropped from commodity status, and use patterns changed accordingly.

3.2 Danwei* Based Unitary Urbanism and its Spatial Impact on Beijing In order to facilitate the transformation of the pre-1949 market economy into a soviet-style planned economy, the CCP nationalized all urban institutions and enterprises and reorganized them into administrative work units called danweis*. All city dwellers belonged to a particular danwei*, which would provide them with a job and a home, both within a special danwei* worker compound (a dayuan*). The city was composed of these cellular compounds, each owned by the various danwei. This made up the CCP’s vision of a hive-like city, where every individual was directly organized within a collective, involved in some form of state-directed productive enterprise, and set within a clearly defined hierarchy centered on the CCP. Although the different danwei* performed different functions they were organized in a similar manner. What they provided for their workers was not just the assurance of work (the iron bowl — a Chinese euphemism for a job for life) but they also organized living space, leisure, health-care, food provision, education, entertainment etc. — danwei* with better revenue even had their own sports grounds and theaters. But the central concept was that every danwei* supplied its workers with all the amenities needed to live comfortably. In reality, the fact that different danweis* had different budgets and operational costs meant that working for one danwei* or another would lead to very different treatment and status. Nevertheless, this organizational structure, in conjunction with a newly introduced urban residency permit or license called hukou*, effectively eradicated the need and capacity for labor mobility within Chinese cities. Throughout and after the land collectivization programs of the 1950s, the State proceeded to allocate collectivized land to danweis* free of charge (the land tenure system) and for an indefinite period. Although
15 Yang, C., Wu, C. Zhong Guo Tu Di Shi Yong Zhi Du Gai Ge Shi Nian (Ten-Year Reform of Land Use System in China) Zhong Guo Da Di (1996)

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the danweis* had full land-use rights they did not own the land or have any power to make land transactions (constitutionally banned). The location and amount of land allocated to a danwei* depended on its political connections as well as the political environment in which socioeconomic functions and productions were planned and organized. In effect many danweis* were able to pick and choose where, what and how to build. With the disappearance of the land market and the free allocation of land to danweis*, the previous need to build on economically favorable land (especially for large valueadded sectors like retail) in order to optimize economic performance (which is a major contributor to urban compactness in cities with land-markets) was dissolved. During the period between 1958 (end of major land collectivization) to 1965 danweis* began to engage in the large-scale construction of offices, workstations, factories, warehouses and in particular dormitory-style 5-6 story residential blocks, all in a relatively low density inefficient manner. The potential impact of this upon the city’s transport infrastructure was not felt at the time as there was little need ever to travel outside the danwei*, and car ownership was virtually non-existent. It was during this period that Beijing experienced its first wave of rapid urbanization and expansion, and also its first taste of sprawl. The central government, under the guidance of Soviet advisors, undertook the transformation of old city (the area delimited by the old city walls, where the Second Ring Road now lies) into a new administrative and productive center. They issued clear directives to danweis* to build new constructions inside the old city, but in actual fact most of it ended well beyond. This apparent contravention of central government decree was the result of a myriad of conflicting policies. In May of 1954 Dong Zheng, the head of the Beijing Institute of Building Affairs, delivered a report highlighting the problems which dogged the Soviet proposal of building inside the old city. He said, ‘Since
policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

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3.1 Tugai and the Introduction of Land Tenure System: Radical Departure from the ‘Feudal Past’ The CCP regarded private land ownership as one of the main systems of exploitation of the peasant proletariat. Their mandate therefore, in their destined role as facilitators of the class struggle, was its definitive eradication. Soon after taking power in 1949 the CCP embarked upon the implementation of a series of radical policies aimed at a comprehensive overhaul of the manner in which land was distributed and managed. The regime instigated a land reform program called Tugai, by which land was confiscated from rich landlords and either held by the central state or allocated to local groups. ‘By 1958, all land was either state or collectively owned. Urban land was state owned, whereas farmland was collectively owned with a few exceptions.’15 The new Constitution banned all land transactions and land was allocated to danweis* free of charge. The consequence of this was that, although there was 

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16 Department of Party History in Beijing City Planning and Design Bureau ‘Building Management Around 1954’ Important Affairs In Party History (1995) p.1

the liberation, two thirds of new build has taken place outside of the old city — the furthest constructions standing 16km from Tiananmen. This contradicts our “compact development” principle “to expand from near to far, from inside to outside.” Objectively there are many practical problems.’ Chief among these as noted by Dong Zheng was the problem of demolition and relocation. He said in the report, ‘in 1952 the Bureau of National Political Affairs issued a directive stating new constructions must not affect the livelihood of existing citizens. But Old Beijing has a building density average of 46%, rising in certain areas to 70%. It is impossible for the demolition of old neighborhoods not to affect ordinary citizens. Secondly, danweis* are reluctant to spend the money, time and effort required to deal with this difficulty and prefer to build on the periphery of the city.’ In the same report he also pointed out, ‘Danweis* applying for building permission usually demand large tracts of land which are appropriate and have good views. They also want to save money and time: they don’t want to get involved in neighborhood demolition, and would rather be allocated land that is immediately buildable, with large reserves for potential future development. As a result, new constructions take place throughout the surrounding area, and the city has become like a scattered game of Go.’ ‘Up to the end of 1953 only a third of the new buildings have been located within the confines of the old city. Many of them are hidden in hutongs*, leading some people to remark that they “don’t know where all the new buildings went to.”’16 This is not without irony since among key reasons for adopting the Soviet proposal to transform the old city were cost and compactness. It was reasoned that building within the old city would minimize expenditure by utilizing existing infrastructure. However, given that complications around building in the old city led to the widespread dispersion of new construction, the actual demand for new infrastructure proved to be massive. As the city spilled
Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

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over its old walls it ran out in all directions all at the same time along low density curves. This marked the beginning of Beijing ringing*.
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3.3 Dayuan* (The Big Yard) – The Spatial Manifestation of the Danwei* Unitary City Once the initial phases of reordering and construction had seized Beijing, the dayuan*, or literally big yard, emerged as the predominant unit of sub-city level spatial organization. These were the spatial manifestations of the danwei* — the physical worker compounds (complete with housing, schools, etc.) which the various danwei* set up and ran. A single danwei* could be managing a number of dayuan*, but each dayuan* would itself function as a complete entity within the urban context. The city was thus cellularized into walled up discrete pockets of land, each of which would have their own internal circulation, and a limited number of exits and entrances onto the boulevards running between them. Traffic would be forced to circumvent these blocks, which given their size (up to 80km2) significantly hampered flow, and led to a street pattern of infrequent but very large roads. Moreover, the power maintained over them by the individual occupying danwei* lent little cohesion to the city as a whole. Even into the 1990s the dayuans* accounted for 88% of total land use in Beijing, and due to the political influence enjoyed by certain danwei*, became a major headache for urban planners. In the pre-reform era with institutionally limited worker mobility it was conceived to be “natural” that danweis* built their individual hive-like units. The benefits were to protect the inner peacefulness and autonomy of the neighborhood from through traffic, and to help foster a sense of community and territorial danwei* identity. People often referred to themselves as belonging to a particular dayuan* — for instance it was not uncommon to hear people say they are from the Petroleum dayuan*, meaning they work for or are the relatives of someone working for the Ministry of Oil and Petroleum. As mentioned before, different danweis* varied significantly in prestige and wealth, and so association with one or another was a means of identifying social status in a largely homogenous society. The imperative to facilitate better circulation in the post-reform era of greater mobility has led to the construction of many routes which cut through these dayuans*. Nevertheless, the basic format of larger roads at lower intervals persists, and makes its impact felt upon
19 Wang, J. Chen Ji (City Journal) Sanlian (2003) p. 82 20 According to Marxist theory, to ensure the victory of the urban working class over the bourgeois capitalists in the inevitable class struggle, it is necessary first to ensure their number

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The consequent urban form we have now is endearingly referred to by Beijing locals as tandabing*, which translates literally to spreading of the pancake. This spreading was further exacerbated by the fact that danweis* had no economic incentive to return allocated land they did not need (officially this was against the law, but was widespread and remained unpenalized). Vacant disused lots were simply walled up and left, while further building might go on around or beyond them. The contradiction of government plans and the built reality as executed by the danweis* is a good example of the central vs. local duality at the heart of the Chinese administrative system. Although the central government had ultimate decision-making power, due to the lack of intermediate levels overlooking the spatial organization of the city, its ultimate form was determined much more by the collective behavior of local organizations. Each of these received the centrally formulated directives, and yet interpreted and carried them out according to their own discretion. The failure to build a compact city in prereform China is partially attributable to the 1,000 year old dichotomous governing structure.

21 Wang J. Chen Ji (City Journal) Sanlian (2003) p.60–73

current traffic conditions. Compared to Western cities like London and Paris, Beijing has very similar roadto-built environment ratio of around 23%. However it has been estimated that in terms of traffic circulation efficiency Beijing falls behind by as much as 35%. The key to this seems to lie in the fact that Paris employs a much more detailed network of narrow single direction traffic lanes. These are thought to be much more efficient — avoiding flow obstructions caused by cars turning left, and greatly reducing the deadtime required to allow pedestrians to cross.

to organize industry, and align it to state production quotas and redistribution systems. The second was that ‘The capital of socialist countries must also be a major industrial base.’19 The ascendant thinking at the time was that in order to secure the predominance of the urban industrial working class,20 their number (as a percentage of the city) must be ensured, and large-scale industrialization must proceed. Furthermore it was determined that Beijing must be the economic center of China, and only then would it be fit to be the capital.21 Once Mao gave Liu Ren, then deputy party secretary of Beijing, a real scare by asking him after watching the 1953 National Day parade ‘Should we relocate the capital?’22 He apparently felt that there weren’t enough workers in the parade.

22 Ibid. p.241–255

3.4 Industry Fetishization and Its Post-Reform Ramifications ‘Only when we revitalize and develop INDUSTRY in our cities, turning cities of consumption to cities of production, can the people’s regime be consolidated.’17 — Mao Zedong The American educated architect Liang Sicheng recollects that once, soon after the CCP’s triumph, he accompanied Chairman Mao to Tiananmen to discuss the future plan of Beijing: ‘once atop Tiananmen Chairman Mao pointed south and remarked, from now on there will be a forest of chimneys to the horizon […] I wasn’t convinced. I thought to myself, China being so vast, agricultural and industrial production doesn’t necessarily have to happen in Beijing […] It should preserve its historical city structure and architectural style and atmosphere.’18 Liang made several proposals to the administration advocating the relocation of the administrative center to the west of Beijing, thus preserving the city’s historic core. However, in spite of his tireless efforts, the regime, with the help of Soviet advisors, began to remold the city along the lines of Stalinist industrialized monocentricism. The first principle was the ‘Transformation of cities of consumption to cities of production’ — i.e. the city becomes an opportunity

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17 Delivered as part of a report by Mao Zedong on 5 March 1949 at the 2nd Convention of the Central Committee 7th National Congress of the CCP in Xibaipo Village, Hebai

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under a climate of prioritizing industrial development, resources of capital and labor were channeled into heavy industry to the detriment of all other sectors including agriculture, housing, and the urban environment
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failure to build a compact city in pre-reform China is partially attributable to the 1,000 year old dichotomous governing structure
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18 Liang, S.C. Cultural Revolution Confessions (1968)

在工业发展的资源优化期,资本与 劳动力纷纷流向破坏农业、房地产 以及城市环境的重工业
Political slogans of the immediate post 1949 period ran ‘production first, living second’ and ‘when production grows an inch, livelihood grows an inch’. Under such a climate of prioritizing industrial
Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

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中国在改革之前未建成高密度城市 的原因要部分归究于千年来的中央 与地方的二元管理结构
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policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

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development, resources of capital and labor were channeled into heavy industry to the detriment of all other sectors including agriculture and the urban realm, creating a huge imbalance as compared with trajectory of most developed countries. The root of this problem lay in the PCMP under socialism. Once the state had demolished both the consumer market and the land market it had to assume the role of producer, purchaser, planner, and redistributor, not to mention investor. In the absence of a land market, or any real way of capitalizing on land value, investment in housing or urban infrastructure offered virtually no return. These options therefore presented themselves as significantly unattractive areas in which to reinvest surplus. A severe lack of investment in urban infrastructure and housing ensued, resulting in poor quality housing across the city, and a general deficiency in infrastructure. In the 1980s many low-rise areas still shared public taps and toilets (a single facility with running water and WCs served an entire run of housing). This persisted into the early nineties, and is still common in parts of Beijing today. Balanikov, one of the Soviet advisors, pointed out in his report of 1950, ‘Beijing doesn’t have major industry, but the capital city should not only be a center of culture, science and artistic activity but also a major industrial city. Right now the industrial worker population only accounts for 4% of the Beijing total, while in Moscow the figure stands at 25%. In this respect Beijing is a city of consumption: too much of the population is not working class but made up of merchants.’ In the same report, against Liang’s plan of relocating the administrative center and creating a dual centric city, he advocated building the administrative organs inside old Beijing, centering on Tiananmen. Again from the 1950 report: ‘First create a major traffic route or a square, for example Tiananmen Square, already full of historic significance, for the purpose of parades both military and domestic and also for national day celebrations. This will further increase its significance. The square therefore should be the center of the city.’23 This meant large parts of imperial Beijing had to be torn down, provoking a response of disgruntlement to open hostility from Liang (who 
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was the pre-eminent authority on ancient Chinese architecture). The Liang camp subsequently came to blows with Soviet advisors over their respective plans for Beijing. Liang pointed out that the Soviet advisors didn’t realize the ‘historical and architectural value of the old city.’ Unfortunately the regime at the time saw the old city as a vestige of ‘feudalist’ values and went along with the Soviet proposal, with dire ramifications for the historical identity of Beijing. Mao’s personal preference must have had huge leverage in the ultimate decision to follow the Soviet plan over Liang Sicheng’s proposal. One of the most significant and lamentable alterations to the old Beijing cityscape was the demolition of its once magnificent city walls. In the Nanning Conference of January 1958 Mao remarked, ‘The buildings in Beijing and Kaifeng [an older imperial capital of China] make me ill-at-ease.’ He went on to note that ‘The value of “antiques” is a matter of perception: if one has to cry [referring to Liang Sicheng’s stubborn refusal to go along with city wall demolition] about the demolition of a city-gate and the creation of new openings, then it is a problem of political awareness.’ At a stroke Mao undermined the architectural expertise of Liang and made the problem a political one — a field in which he had ultimate jurisdiction. The outer city wall was razed during the ’50s and the main city up-rooted in 1965 to make way for the Beijing underground and Second Ring Road.24 The destruction of the city wall was driven largely by Mao’s personal misguided notion of the old. In his memoir, the deputy chief of the Beijing Planning Bureau recalls that even though many top ranking officials including the then Mayor of Beijing publicly supported the demolition of the city walls, this was mainly to get in line with Mao. In private they were very chary, and were seeking out alternative plans. Over this period heavy industry came to produce 63.7% of the total revenue in Beijing, and 120 out of 130 industry departments were located within the city bounds. This was an unprecedented phenomenon, unique amongst capital cities of the world. As a result the total number of chimneys in Beijing peaked at a staggering 14,000, producing considerable pollution.25 Industrial land use rose to as high as 20-30% of total land use. This compares to 5.3% in Hong Kong, 6% in Seoul,

26 Bertaud, A. and Renaud, B. Cities Without Land Markets: Location and Land Use in The Socialist City The World Bank: Policy Research Working Paper No. 1477 (1995)

and 5% in Paris.26 The industrialization of Beijing is now generally considered to have been a misguided failure. Wang Jun reports, ‘Beijing under a lack of water and mineral resources over-pursued rapid industrialization, resulting in many difficult problems, and due to the Beijing-Tianjin dual economic development formulae, it also led to the recession of Tianjin.’ Mao Zedong and the Communists’ fetishization of heavy industry are still very much felt in the post-reform period. In 1991, 13 years after the end of Maoist era, a large percentage of industry was still located in the city center. This even though in 1983 the central government and Ministry of State Affairs issued a paper which clearly defined Beijing as ‘the national administration and cultural center’, and stated ‘no more heavy industry will be located in Beijing in the future.’ In 1999 the Beijing City Council made the decision to start relocating factories, and over the following 6 years 134 polluting industries were moved out of the city center.27

secondly a transport option. Equally, the motivation to build roads at excessive widths came as much from a military as an architectural perspective — the idea being that they would then serve as emergency landing strips and make shift helicopter pads. Cables were buried beneath the asphalt to prevent exposure and easy destruction. It was further reasoned that in the event of a nuclear strike on Tiananmen, generous road widths could help prevent the spread of fire.28

28 Wang J. Chen Ji (City Journal) Sanlian (2003) p.291–295

4.0 Hukou* System: Labor Mobility and the City
Water flows down to lower places, but people flow up to richer places — old Chinese proverb 4.1 Historic Roots

27 ‘The Great Relocation of Industrial Enterprises’ Beijing Daily 29 May 2001

3.5 Sino-Soviet Split, Strategic Military Planning and the Construction of the Beijing Underground Throughout the planning and construction of Beijing the question of strategic military advantage also loomed large. Towards the end of 1950s the Korean War came to an end, and the relationship between China and the Soviet Union became distinctly sour. Nuclear war was, in many people’s minds, just over the horizon, and responsive strategic planning became an imperative. Sino-Soviet relations moved through suspicion and mistrust to a full break down in 1960 amidst personal animosity between Mao and Khrushchev, and a series of territory related disputes. Following the border incident between China and the Soviet Union in 1969, the government mobilized the masses to dig anti-air raid shelters all over Beijing. The proposal to build the Beijing underground was presented to the central government as first and foremost a military strategy, and
hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

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24 Ibid. p.241–255

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29 Dutton, M. Street life in China Cambridge University Press (1998) 30 ‘Surveillance of society was achieved by a system of periodic reports on good and bad household behavior; awards were given for praiseworthy deeds, while crimes resulted in hanging a placard in front of the offender’s house. The population enumeration function of the system worked by requiring families to post a door-plate with data on household members by name, age, and particular characteristics such as disabilities, or “out-standing contributions to the nation”.’ (Dutton, M. Street life in China, Cambridge University Press, 1998)

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Like many other administrative practices in China, the hukou* system is derived in its current form from organizational structures already centuries old. It traces its roots back to the baojia system — a form of household administration and population registration that first gained popularity in the Song dynasty (960-1279 AD).29 The baojia system essentially acted as a means of state surveillance down to an impressively micro-level — grouping households into packets of 10, then 100, then 1,000, and encouraging mutual surveillance on each successive level.30 The system was adapted and reused by proceeding dynasties all the way through to the Guomindang’s (or Kuomintang’s) Republic of China. This history of a political administration which permeates all levels of life was not lost on the CCP. Soon after the 1949 the Maoists began planning the more “scientific” hukou* system as their own update upon the baojia.

23 Ibid. p.82–86 25 Ibid. p.66–72

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policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

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4.2 The Role of the Hukou* System in the PreReform Era
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The hukou* system was first implemented in 1958. Its purpose was to provide a residential license or permit system which would ensure that people were only able to work and live in those places designated to them by the state. It effectively segregated the rural from the urban, and reduced all labor mobility to that which was organized officially. The benefits included a greater degree of precision as to where and how the population was located and managed. One major disadvantage was that in creating this rural / urban schism, the supposedly “classless” society was rigidly separated out, with people living in large metropolitan centers enjoying the best access to services, followed by smaller city dwellers, and so on all the way down to the village. Those who held an urban hukou* were employed by a danwei*, and put into direct contact with better education, free health care, higher incomes and cheap public accommodation, subsidized food, a pension, a job for life and so on. Those who held a rural hukou* on the other hand were effectively excluded from all of these. The irony being that while the CCP were demolishing the old city walls, and other historic emblems of segregation, new invisible walls were being erected in their place. The hukou* system of population management was integral to the CCP’s regime. Having abolished consumer demand, the state was itself responsible for product distribution, profit and surplus, and the reinvestment of that surplus. This meant economic growth and indeed shrinkage was entirely reliant upon the State’s ability to channel surplus into new means of accumulation. Factories had to rely upon the state to purchase their products, and as excessive production could lead to state over-accumulation of products which, without market consumerism, could not necessarily be easily converted back into capital, there was a serious threat of the disappearance of state investment into unhelpful quantities of whatever it was the factories were producing. Because livingstandard-driven rural to urban migration could easily lead to a scenario of uncomfortable pressures piling up upon the state to redistribute enhanced 
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levels of production, it became increasingly important to control this kind of movement. The hukou* system effectively prohibited the migration of individuals, and by maintaining a rural-urban dichotomy, the CCP was able to manage closely the behavior of the industrial sector of the economy.

4.3 The Hukou* System Post-1978 ‘Large labor markets are the only raison d’être of large cities’ — Alain Bertaud The role of the hukou* system is extremely complex in post-reform China. Virtually all bottom-up spatialdevelopment around the urban periphery is in some way influenced or directly attributable to the hukou* system. Furthermore, its continuing hand in the ruralurban dichotomy is increasingly presenting difficulties of a political nature to the CCP. Since the hukou* system inevitably blocks most forms of self-determined access to socio-spatial, political and economic advantages, it is unsurprising that many of the new spatial entities we see emerging upon the urban fringe, including migrant villages and SUVs*, have formed as a result of a strategies to circumvent its restrictions. Much of the lowest strata of China’s new urban phenomenon can be seen as an expression of hukou* resistance, and facilitated — if impaired — rural to urban migration.

34 National Bureau of Statistics

31 Rural land is still ‘collectively owned’ and each household with a rural hukou* can legally build three fangzi, which can mean anything from a single roomed shed to a 3 story mansion

The split between the rural and urban economies, enforced by the hukou* system in the pre-reform era, has been in part maintained by its persistence post-1978. A dual market remains in terms of access to goods, the prices of goods, services, and, most importantly from the perspective of migration, wage difference. A poor month’s pay in the city can match that of a year’s income in the village, and as such presents an enormously strong attractor. Moreover, given uneven pricing, what this money represents to a migrant when taken home makes it even more appealing. By taking advantage of ambiguous property rights31 in rural areas, what appears in the city to be a very low wage can, via remittances, be building a large house in the village (a symbol of prestige in rural China). In 1985 the state relaxed the stringent restrictions around working in the city by introducing temporary registration. However, gaining the right to settle in the city remained elusive, and in many instances — not least in Beijing — city authorities still engaged in waves of migrant expulsion.32 The hostility of the local authorities to migrant settlements, coupled to the altered hukou* system, has created in China a unique pattern of temporary migration. Unlike the industrialization which occurred throughout much of the West during the 19th century, where entire families relocated to cities, in China most migrants are single, aged between 18 and 30, and come to cities to work for a period before returning home to their original towns and villages to marry. This type of rollover migration* has been cited as one of the contributing factors to the continued success of the TVEs*, where money and skills gained in an urban environment return to rural settings, and engage in what could traditionally be regarded as more urban activities. It has also greatly contributed to the astounding rate at which rural China is urbanizing in-situ.33 Since the latter end of the 1990s, further relaxations to the hukou* system and a rising private economy have resulted in an increasing number of rural migrants finding employment in cities without the need even
hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

of a temporary urban hukou*. These migrants have been characterized as a floating population* — arriving and starting work within a context of impressive economic liberalization, and without official registration. The jobs come mainly from construction, house keeping, and the restaurant / service sector. By 1998 the floating population* in Beijing numbered around 3.2 million — roughly 30% of total population.34 Thanks to housing reforms and illegal constructions, there are an increasing number of ways for members of the floating population* to stay in the city for more extensive periods of time. Subsidized public housing and access to free services (healthcare, education etc.) is still not available without an urban hukou*. However, such rules are showing signs of being relaxed, and in 2005 official channels opened up for the rural population to settle permanently in the city. This still involves transferring to an urban hukou*, and is usually achieved through the purchase of an urban property (above a certain price, of course) — a route still out of reach for the vast majority of rural migrants. For those unable to gain an urban hukou* there are 3 practical housing options. The first is an SUV*: accommodation in housing provided by peasants in villages close to urban areas. In the 1997 migrant population census in Beijing this accounted for 13.65% of the migrant population. The second option is cheap housing in the inner city. The housing reforms of the mid-90s saw the privatization of public housing, and an emergent housing market has been able to offer accommodation to migrants. This comes usually at a higher rate than in an SUV*, but has the advantage of better access to a wider range of employment opportunities. In 1997 it accounted for a further 13.71%. The third option is housing provided by employers, and includes the floating villages* created by companies to house their workers (often either near a factory, or on or near construction sites). Although free to live in, these developments tend to be extremely crowded,35
Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

32 Liu, X., Liang, W. ‘Zhejiancun: Social and spatial implications of informal urbanization on the periphery of Beijing’ Cities 14(2) (1997) p.95–108

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virtually all bottom-up spatialdevelopment around the urban periphery is in some way influenced or directly attributable to the hukou* system
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33 In-situ urbanization is not unique to China but has counterparts in other south east Asian countries, where the term desakota is used. The term was coined by McGee, T. (1989, 1991) who identified these morphologies with Bahasa Indonesian, combining the word for village (desa) with that of town (kota). 35 In the course of field trips we witnessed up to 30,000 migrant construction workers in one of the floating villages* in Wangjing. Workers were crammed within areas no bigger than 80x80m with virtually no amenities.

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所有城市边缘自发的居住区都直接或 间接地是户口制度的产物

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

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and often poorly provided for. Nevertheless, this has been the predominant form of migrant housing in Beijing, accounting in the 1997 census for over 60% of migrant population. Migrants in China pose a paradox. On the one hand they are the driving force behind China’s renewed cities — both physically building most of the new constructions, and supplying the workforce behind much of the economic growth. On the other hand, their living situations are often squalid and unsanitary, and the result of their often ad hoc en masse settlements are significant strains upon the urban grid. It is a cruel irony that they are generally regarded by the city authorities as a blot upon that magnificent new urban fabric to which they themselves have contributed so much.

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Perhaps the most prominent amongst these migrant enclaves* is Zhejiangcun, where the Zhejiang migrant population is predominantly involved in the apparel industry. Zhejiangcun is located outside the Fourth Ring Road on the southern urban periphery. With a peak population in 1998 of 80,000, it is one of the largest migrant enclaves* in China. The built environment is dominated by two to three story apartment complexes, migrant compounds, and older one story courtyards organized in a very dense fashion amongst narrow alleyways and streets. Most of these constructions have been built by the local rural population, whose freedom to engage in what has been an extraordinary transformation of a formerly quiet peripheral settlement has depended largely on a unique institutional loophole in the policies relating to rural and urban land. Since 1949, by constitution all urban land is State owned and all rural land is ‘collectively’ owned. Thus two different processes govern urban and rural land, and the urban authorities have no right to build on rural land. Since the economic reforms of 1978, through extensive land reform and the development of legal frameworks, urban land transactions have been relatively well facilitated and protected by the law and state. However, no such framework has yet been put in place for dealing with rural land. The introduction of the household responsibility system has meant that individual households are able to negotiate land-use rights with local authorities for an extended period of time. In order for cities to expand beyond their previously defined territory they are obliged to expropriate37 land from farmers, who are in turn given fixed rate compensation. Expropriated land has to be designated ‘urban’ in order for authorities to gain the right to build upon it. This means that rural land which lies along the urban boundary, and yet has not undergone expropriation or conversion, is effectively outside of any urban planning, regulation or legal process. According to policy, with a rural hukou* a household can build up to 3 fangzi (which roughly translates as building). With such a vague definition, a fangzi can mean anything from a one room shed to a 3 story mansion, and in the absence of anything more precise from the state, it has

been left to the discretion of local rural authorities to decide what is fitting. This gap in state regulation has been much exploited by the rural population on the urban periphery for the purposes of building extensive dormitory style complexes to rent to migrants. The large scale success of these operations have allowed a great many peasants to give up agriculture and become property developer-landlords. The local rural authorities have overseen this process with absolute complicity, benefiting from vastly increased tax revenues, and, in a number of cases, actually investing in such constructions themselves. The unrelenting stream of migrants has facilitated the spread and profitability of such schemes, and these ‘rural’ administrative areas have witnessed a sudden flurry of low rise development. In the midst of this rural concrete blossoming, the local administration has had to fulfill only a fixed tax quota (see 5.2 Fiscal Reform for more detail), leaving a significant volume of revenue leftover for reinvestment. In the case of Zhejiangcun this has led to the development of a huge entertainment complex among the new apartment compounds and dormitories. The nearby urban authority, which confusingly also has a degree of jurisdiction in the area, has tended to view such developments as sprawling ghettos, and makes periodic threats to demolish them. However, in reality little is done as they have to reach into their own pockets to pay for demolition, and do not stand to gain any real financial reward for doing so, not to mention the increased risk of civil unrest. In rare cases rich migrants have even ‘illegally’ leased land from peasants and built apartment complexes or big compounds to accommodate fellow migrants from Zhejiang themselves. This has resulted in some courtyard style two story complexes with central atriums, drawn from the architectural vocabulary of Zhejiang province itself. Illegal activities and increasing environmental strain have prompted many quarters including the media to complain, culminating in 1995 in a violent confrontation between the local urban authority, bearing renewed
policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

demolition plans, and the inhabitants of Zhejiangcun. Some demolition did take place; however many Zhejiang migrants simply moved to the next village out. Since then relations have much improved and Zhejiangcun is now semi-officially recognized — or at least the local urban authority turns a blind eye. Part of this recognition lies in the success of the Zhejiangcun apparel business and subsequent reinvestments made by Zhejiangcun business leaders in new ventures in rural municipal Beijing. To the delight of the local urban authorities, these have generated significant employment opportunities. Many other migrant enclaves* did not have such luck. During the fall of 2005, DCF conducted a series of fieldtrips around Zhejiangcun and witnessed first hand some of the extraordinary successes of the local rural population. Interviews were conducted, and among stories we encountered one of the most striking was that of Mr. Wang and his long standing friend and neighbor Mr. Qiu. They were both brought up in the area and have been living there for over 40 years. However, although their homes border each other, Mr. Wang falls into a different municipal district and has an urban hukou*, while Mr. Qiu holds a rural hukou*. They described how just over ten years ago, in 1995, the area surrounding Dahongmen, where Zhejiangcun is now situated, was a wheat field with only ten households in the vicinity. All of them were one story courtyard dwellings. Today the difference between their homes tells the story of how migrants have changed the fortune of their lives. Mr. Wang still lives in his courtyard house with his family and his daughter’s 8 dogs, under the shadow of this neighbor Mr. Qiu’s massive 2-story complex, complete with huge plasma screen TV, mahogany paneled interior, chandeliers, massive terrace, garage, and attached section of flats for letting, which Mr. Qiu tells us he designed himself. He explained the reason for building a 2 story compound so high: current local policy sets a 2 story cap on new constructions, and yet with no regulation in place to
Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

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4.4 Case Study: Migrant Enclaves* in Beijing The Chinese State has a long history of treating (private) business, particularly southern Chinese business (the basis of entrepreneurialism in China), as a source of fiscal income rather than as an engine of wealth. This led to harmful practices of excessive taxation and favoritism, breaking the rules of fair competition. Without the state reliably enforcing property rights and fair market practices, the Chinese entrepreneurial culture has over the centuries evolved a strong sense of trust in kinship and local connections as a means of organizing economic activities and transactions — effectively bypassing the state, and embedding market mechanisms in socially constructed networks.36 Since the market reforms of 1978 China has witnessed a massive resurgence of such networks, and we see place of origin and kinship connections playing a major role in the formation of migrant communities and business networks. Often entire migrant villages are composed of migrants from a single region in China who are engaged in one type of business. Beijing in particular has witnessed the emergence of several such ‘villages’ or enclaves over the years. Due to fiscal, environmental and a whole host of other reasons they are much despised by the local authorities, who have tried to get rid of them with varying degrees of success. 
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37 This process has created alarming political tensions between urban and rural areas as compensation rates do not follow market values. This imbalance has been the focus of a wave of recent rural unrest in China. 36 Castells, M. ‘Culture, organizations, and institutions: Asian business networks and the developmental state’ The Rise of the Network Society Blackwells (1996) p.195–205

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[suv*]
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location: beijing, south, outside the 4th ring road peak population: 80,000 demographic: overwhelmingly populated by Zhejiang temporary migrant workers architecture: predominantly 2–3 story apartment complexes constructed informally by the local rural population thanks to a unique policy loophole

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policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

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define how high each floor can be, and cognizant of the local authorities’ capacity for change, Mr. Qiu gave each floor generous ceiling heights with a mind to a possible subsequent conversion to three shorter floors, thus future-proofing the building for a potential 50% gain in letting space. In pre-reform China having an urban hukou* meant an automatic privilege, but as we have seen the table have indeed turned, at least for Mr. Qiu. However, despite rapid urban construction and the urban lifestyle which inhabitants of Zhejiangcun are now wont to lead, due to the lack of formal infrastructural investment many roads remain unpaved, clean tap water has to be collectively shared, and sewage and drainage systems are all left wanting. Such are the characteristics symptomatic of villages close to urban centers, although not all of them have migrant populations originating predominantly from one particular part of China. They are collectively referred to by the scholars Deng and Huang as SemiUrbanized Villages (SUVs*).

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rapidly assimilated into a recirculation of urban wealth. However, the relationship is not regulated and often leads to vice and crime (gambling, aforementioned hairdressing parlors etc.). Moreover, due to population explosion and the lack of infrastructure on the SUV* side, these developmental clusters can also lead to rapid environmental degradation. Consequently the local administration is prone to regard such developments as ‘eye-sores’ and sprawl, and strategies adopted to deal with them are rarely significantly more enlightened than wholesale bulldozing. This is a lamentable end to the RUSs*. Although they do exhibit all the civic defects outlined above, they are also dynamic, lively, and fleeting, and provide customized responses to the gaps and incoherencies endemic in official developmental plans. The SUV* component provides a flexible resource base from which missing services naturally spring forth from — for example, a migrant on a moped with a covered shell, who offers you cheap fast transportation for short range journeys. These convenient caddies* supply an effective patch for the wide areas in between transport terminals, and by occupying a comparatively small area of road space, alleviate traffic, as well as bringing a much needed liveliness and diversity to the rather austere uniformity of new urban developments.iv There is a massive potential for these emergent spatial forms to evolve into healthy and integrated urban tissue given the right infrastructural investment and regulation.
iv Unfortunately the drivers of these que bi le (literally lame twat happinness), are often reluctant to work during the day as they operate under the constant threat of police removal and vehicle confiscation.

39 Tang, W.S., Chung, H. ‘Urbanrural transition in China: beyond the desakota model’ China’s Regions, Polity and Economy: A Study of Spatial Transformation in the Post-Reform Era Li, S.M., Tang, W.S. (eds.) Chinese University Press (2000) p275–308

5.0 Decentralization, LandUse Reform and Fiscal Reform: Towards a Postmodern Heteropolis
‘It doesn’t matter if it is a black cat or a white cat — if it catches mice, it is a good cat.’ — Deng Xiaoping38

5.1 Cities as the Driving Engines of Growth In 1982 the then Premier Zhao Ziyang explicitly promoted city-led development.39 Such an openly pro-urban policy found support on all levels. Soon after that, in 1983, the State Council passed the policy of letting ‘cities exercise leadership over xians’ and there followed the wholesale abandonment of collectivized communes and daduis.v Since then, understanding the new advantages available to cities, many counties have pushed urbanization in order to gain city-status. In 1988 alone 47 xians were redefined as cities; in the year before that 2940 made the changeover. The total number of cities has been on the increase ever since. This shift taking place on the administrative and official levels of recognized cities corresponds well with bottom-up activities, where the post-1978 blossoming of TVEs* has led many rural townships and villages out of the orbit of the rural economy, and increasingly involved them within networks of economic production and consumption which operate beyond the boundaries imposed by traditional divisions between cities and xians. Thus the process of their economic expansion was taking place via a series of transgressions of outdated administrative models, and with economic expansion now at the forefront of the political agenda, it was clear that it was the models that needed to change. The extensive rescaling of the previous sheng, xian and xiang three tier administrative hierarchy firmly placed cities at the helm not only as the driving engines of economic growth, but also as centers of political influence (on the down side this led to a further weakening of the already neglected rural sphere). The act of reconfiguring the administrative hierarchy and making the tiers more permeable
v The dadui, or village level administration, is the lowest level in the rural administrative hierarchy of China. Literally meaning ‘big production team,’ the daduis of the pre-reform era were collectivized units of agricultural production, and enjoyed tremendous local decision-making power. As collectivized farming was replaced by the household responsibility system, many dadui took on the role of organising local enterprise and pooling collective investment — processes which have contributed greatly to China’s economic rise. The term dadui is rarely used nowadays; in this post-reform incarnation they are better known as TVEs.

38 Speaking in 1962 on his views regarding the emergence of private rural responsibility system which proved to be much more efficient than the party doctrine of rural collective communes. This eventually lead to his downfall during the Cultural Revolution, which branded him as a ‘Rightist’ 40 Ding, R. S. ‘Local Regime Construction’ Contending Series of Social Science, Volume: Politics and Law Cao, J. Y. (ed.) Shanghai People’s Press (1991) p.115–121

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4.5 RUSs* (Rural Urban Syndicates) and Missed Opportunities Due to the rapid urban expansion of Beijing, with increasing frequency official development projects (mainly residential) come within close proximity of SUVs*. This clashing of top-down and bottomup developments has sparked new possibilities for urban relations which suggest ways in which rural migrants might be integrated into the official urban fabric. The resultant urban interaction has been colloquially referred to as Chenxiang Jiehebu, which roughly translates as Rural Urban Syndicate (RUS*). These are two separate modes of urbanization driven by completely different processes. However, when they meet at the urban periphery a very interesting dynamic is created, and often a form of symbiotic mutualism is developed by which the SUV* component of the RUS* responds to the needs of the often underplanned official development with a vibrant informal economy. The influx of a newly enriched Chinese middle class enjoys the benefits of local services, and the flow of migrants is 
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In 1978, two years after the turmoil and devastation of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) came to an end with the death of Mao Zedong, the pragmatic new leader Deng Xiaoping commenced the instigation of a massive administrative, economic, and spatial restructuring of the ideologically driven political system left over from the Maoist era. Inefficiencies ‘nurtured’ under the socialist mode of central planning became apparent, and extensive reorganization was undertaken on all fronts to make way for a new PCMP. The transformation of the cities from sites of production to sites of consumption had to be made, and to facilitate urban ‘growth engines’ the territorial administrative system was rescaled to privilege the urban. State power was decentralized, and fiscal responsibility localized. Market institutions were set up on all levels and TVEs* emerged. Land use reforms rescaled urban administrative relationships and made land use more flexible. A legal framework for land transaction was established. The adoption of the ‘open door’ policy in 1979 ended China’s decade long isolation from the West and consequent engagement with the global economy. On a domestic level, the state policy of cities leading xians firmly placed the urban realm at the center of new strategies for growth.

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policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

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is clearly a means employed by the Chinese state to adjust its spatial practices in order to propel economic development and better channel the flow of resources. City-level administrations enjoy special financial and fiscal rights. The direct result of this has been competition among the different xians to attain citystatus, which is achieved largely through urbanization and investment in urban infrastructure as well as attracting investment. Such intra-governmental competition has played an important role in the rapid urbanization of rural China, and in furthering economic growth. In China, space is no longer a derivative outcome of the PCMP but is actually the ‘state strategy and solution to the sustenance of the new regime of accumulation.’41 In other words, in China, urbanization and urban restructuring — i.e. the handling of space, and the definitions and privileges applied to it — is the primary means by which government institutions of all levels push for economic growth, and contest for political territory.

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on central government, without grants distributed through the central administration, there was little local institutions could do in terms of medium to large projects. This accorded with the socialist regime, as without a consumer marketplace to respond to unplanned demand, unplanned expansion could place unwanted pressure on the state redistribution system, while offering little by way of financial reward to local administration. Thus there was little incentive for spontaneous local expansion, and in order to facilitate growth advanced planning conducted via the state was wholly necessary. With the introduction of the market in 1978, the state was required to take on a different role, disarticulating its policies from many spheres of direct action, while simultaneously engaging with the market on all levels throughout the hierarchy. Financial responsibility and decision-making power was gradually released to lower levels, and horizontally distributed to less central bureaucracies of the state hierarchy. With the state emphasis on the city as the driving engine of economic growth, and the state policy of ‘cities leading xians’, more local administrations began to implement their own policies and techniques for fostering urbanization and economic development. This resulted in an environment of “total urbanization” on multi-scalar levels. As such, the Nanhai xian (in Guangdong Province) local administration coined the slogan ‘driving forward on five wheels’ (wugelunzi yiqizhuan), meaning simultaneously at the scales of county, township, district, village and individual. Appropriately enough, Nanhai xian is now a city. In the case of Beijing, this spatial competition between different qu or districts has led to a number of similar development zones being built simultaneously in different locations. Thus while Chaoyang District along with the municipal administration is loudly publicizing its CBD, Xiecheng District is busy constructing its massive Financial Street. On a local level, and within the context of the village, both the danwei* and the individual have embraced the possibility of forging new social and economic connections across different tiers. This has been facilitated largely by mass migration to cities and towns. The dual process of a top-down disarticulation of state centralized power and bottom-up socio-economic

participation has brought about an inevitable meeting in the middle. This meso-level of organization finds it most compelling expressions along the urban fringe.
42 Ding, C. Land policy reform in China: assessment and prospects University of Maryland (2003) Routeledge (2003)

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41 Laurence, J. C., Ma & Fulong Wu ‘The Chinese City In Transition’ Restructuring the Chinese City Routeledge (2003)

To witness the effect of having multiple scales of actors all flexing their spatial muscles simultaneously one only has to look to the profuse spatial heterogeneity and fragmentation occurring at the urban periphery of contemporary Beijing. There, within the same square kilometer you can find luxury entertainment complexes equipped with pools and tennis courts hard up against migrant enclaves*, motorways, middle class gated communities, makeshift garages, supermarkets, brothels, alleyway complexes, enclosed dayuan* army residences, one story courtyards, temporary retail stalls where some migrants also live in, busy retail streets for both high and low ends of the consumer spectrum, hospitals both official and unofficial, and a whole host of floating villages*.

eventually adopted across the country, closely resembles Hong Kong’s land leasehold system, where again foreign investors can gain access to land by leasing it for a certain period. Investors are asked to pay up-front for land-use rights, fees and rents.42 Over the following decades land-use systems have been evolving in China. One of the first things the administration did was to introduce a landuse fee on foreign enterprises and joint ventures. The bureau of land administration, established in 1986, is responsible for and in charge of land policy reform, land allocation and acquisition, the monitoring of land development, comprehensive land-use plans, and the implementation of land laws. In an attempt to develop the land market in China, the Land Administration Law was passed in 1986, legalizing the private use of state-owned land by private companies and individuals. In 1991 the State Council pronounced ‘The Provisional Regulation on the Granting and Transferring of Land Rights over State-Owned Land in Cities and Towns’, setting the concrete legal framework for land letting, transferring, rent, and mortgage and land-use rights.43 Interestingly the Constitution had banned any transference of land-use rights in 1982, which was amended in 1988. In 1989 land-use tax was introduced, and all danweis* and individuals were obliged to pay tax for the use of land in cities, towns and industrial and mining districts.44 The rate of land-use tax depended on city size and profitability. In 1993 a land value increment tax was introduced. Under the new legislation parties and individuals involved in transactions of land-use rights gained a net profit of more than 20%. This policy, effectively encouraging the transfer of land-use rights, was aimed at the massive spatial inefficiencies left by the Maoist era. Creating conditions which made it profitable to transfer unused land, it optimized land use and promoted urban and economic development.
Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

5.3 Evolution of Land-Use Rights and the ReEmergence of a Chinese Land Market
43 Valletta, W. The Land Administration Law of China of 1998 and its impacts on urban development. Proceedings of the 2001 World Congress of Urban Planning Shanghai (2001) 44 as Ding, C. Land policy reform in China: assessment and prospects University of Maryland (2003)

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in China, space is no longer a derivative outcome of PCMP but the means by which that regime is fed and furthered
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44 Ding, C. Land policy reform in China: assessment and prospects University of Maryland (2003)

在中国,城市建设不再由经济决 定—城市建设主导经济
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5.2 Decentralisation, Multi-Scalar Urbanization, and Meso-Level Socio Spatial Convergence In the pre-reform era, although the ‘local’ enjoyed relative spatial freedom in its carrying out of central government orders, it was denied the opportunity to expand on its own initiative. Seeing as the fiscal system was organized in a pyramidal order focused 

Foreign investment has flooded in since adoption of the ‘open door’ policy in 1979. The Chinese Government had to revise its long-standing land tenure system in order to accommodate an increasing demand for land. In order to experiment with the market economy the Chinese Government instigated a series of special economic development zones (SEDZs) along the east coast to attract foreign investment in the early 1980s. Initially there were only four: Shenzhen, Shantou, Xiamen, and Tianjin. Many policy experiments took place in these SEDZs before the results were rolled out on a national scale. To allow foreign companies to gain access to land a land leasing system was introduced, and companies were allowed to lease government owned land for fixed periods of time. The state retained ultimate land ownership, and thus land-use rights and ownership were effectively separated, opening up the possibility of a land-use rights market. This system,
hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

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policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

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rural urban syndicate urban: tiantongyuan (tty) population: 30,000 location: beijing, north, outside the 5th ring road demographic: relocated beijingers, people from dongbei (area in the north of china)

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tty is the new build component of the tiantongyuan–dongxiaokou rus*. an expansive development housing many relocated families from the hutongs* in the center of beijing, it offers a clean modern environment, but far out on the 5th ring road in a formerly undeveloped area, it lacks vitality and local services.

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policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

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tty2: urban rumor locals recount the secret story behind the development of tty: the developer, a mr tian, was a friend and laoxiang (someone hailing from the same hometown) of the then deputy head of the department of construction and industry. keeping himself apprised of plans related to the positioning of the olympic village and supporting infrastructure, mr. tian learnt of a major new highway set to pass right by a rubbish dump. by promising free houses to local officials (a common practice among developers, referred to as tail units*), he was able to purchase the land for a mere 90,000rmb (us$12,000), gain permission to build a large new development of “affordable housing”, and, naturally, turn a terrific profit.

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policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

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rural urban syndicate rural: dongXiaokou (dXk)

location: beijing, north, outside the 5th ring road demographic: minority local rural population, majority migrants from diverse parts of china
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dXk is the suv component of the tiantongyuan–dongxiaokou rus*. formerly a quiet rural setting, the area has been transformed by adjacent developments. the massive centrally authorized tty sparked a bottom-up response: local residents started building and renting to migrants, who themselves built more, bringing in more migrants. this thriving informal local economy provides tty with much needed life and diversity. as it develops, through its own organic logic dXk is able to become a self-sustaining community. however due to the fact that the local migrants are unlikely and unable to stay on a permanent basis, there is little regard for the environment.

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policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

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dXk2: sad demise? as an unauthorized development dXk exists under the continual threat of demolition. while home to many thousands of migrants and their local businesses, it lacks proper infrastructure (transport, electrical, sanitation etc.), and the majority of its buildings are thrown up without reference to fire regulations or qualified structural engineers. as a result, such suvs* can come to be regarded by local officials as blots upon their jurisdictional maps. in the summer of 2005 dXk was partially demolished to make way for a prospective new development. however as soon as the bulldozers left, the peasant construction teams re-entered, and dXk was rapidly rebuilt for a new wave of rural-to-urban migrants.

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policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

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The new legislation gave the danweis* an incentive to hand their accumulated excesses of land either back to the state, to developers, or to develop the vacant plots themselves, prompting increased landuse efficiency in existing danwei* owned areas. More efficient land-use patterns emerged across Beijing as ‘land-value’ based on land rent began to demarcate urban function. Traditional retail centers like Wangfujing and Xidan witnessed a renaissance as a result. As the state maintained land ownership it also monopolized land supply. Although the market managed the resale or transfer of land-use rights, and so to some extent determined their value, the initial sale of land-use rights, and therefore the volume made available to the market, occurred solely through the state. This mixed system of a relatively free market operating within constraints laid down by an ultimately dominant state is the basis for China’s current “socialist market economy”.

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to make up for the shortfall local governments had to increase financial gain within their jurisdiction. Since revenue in cities came mainly through tax upon enterprise, facilitating business growth and attracting investment became a top priority. This made local governments overly keen on developing transport and communications infrastructure, often at the expense of social infrastructure like parks. The most profitable means to extract revenue from land in China is through the sale of land-use rights, and so the local administration pursued a course of supplying new development land through the highly contentious process of development zoning and the subsequent expropriation of rural land. This was facilitated by the state exercising eminent domain over the use and conversion of rural land. The incredible rate at which these development zones were created in the 1990s has been referred to as ‘zone fever’. According to Hok-Lin Leung, a scholar on urban planning, ‘every administration, provincial as well as municipal, has bypassed central government to create their own “development zones” and embarked on an orgy of development and competition, each setting up its own tax policies, subsidy schemes and land policies.” Spatially this created a renewed wave of inefficient land use. Many such zones were discontinuous from the existing urban program, and the over supply of land meant many remain sold and fenced in, but undeveloped. This further exacerbated the splatter pattern* witnessed on Beijing’s urban periphery. The central government has recognized the myriad problems with such a developmental pattern and have at times issued directives putting new zoning practice below province level on hold. However, such practices continue unabated, and probably won’t change unless a new precision emerges in the fiscal relationship between central and local government. Such strong commercial interests surrounding urban development and the strength of the local government sideline any attempts at urban planning beyond those which are first and foremost economically motivated. On the one hand these conditions are very favorable for the stimulation of local level economic activity. On the other however, the longer costs are often hidden. One obvious problem is the erosion of the effectiveness

of environmental planning. The official urban plan of Beijing drawn up by the Urban Planning Bureau featured a green belt separating inner Beijing and outer Beijing. In reality, over 80% of the first green belt has been consumed by developers, and second green belt (planned as an amendment for the failure of the first ring) is already 40% gone and rapidly diminishing*. In such a spatially competitive and flexible environment even international businesses can lose out. One such well-publicized example is the forced relocation of Beijing’s flagship McDonald’s restaurant. ‘In Beijing, McDonald’s signed a 20-year lease agreement for what was the world’s largest McDonald’s […] However in December 1995, 2 years into the lease, McDonald’s noticed bulldozers leveling the structures adjacent to the Great Palace. To their chagrin, Hong Kong-based Li Ka Shing, one of the world’s wealthiest men, was backing a commercialresidential redevelopment site two blocks away from Tiananmen Square and this meant Ronald had to pack his McNuggets and leave. Industry experts say that McDonald’s should more or less accept this as a “part of doing business in a country whose rulers have placed a higher emphasis on rapid redevelopment than on contractual niceties.” Though they complained quite publicly and managed to get a weak promise from the administration to receive a future comparable site, McDonald’s appears to understand that this is the risk of doing business in China.’ — Ian Hunter, ‘Big Mac in China: And the Cattle Grew Restless’ Anomalies Project (Stockholm School of Economics & European Institute of Japanese Studies, 1997)

5.5 Rural Land Losses and the Introduction of the Farmland Protection Act The state’s dominance in the field of land supply has made the expropriation of farmland for conversion into urban land (and the subsequent sale of landuse rights) a highly profitable activity for urban administrations. However it has caused large areas of fertile farmland to be lost to urban development and zoning practices. In 1988 Land Management Law was introduced to impose an annual land quota for the conversion of farmland to prevent excessive losses, and to protect against environmental damage. However, alongside fiscal restructuring and the changing priorities of local governments, these issues only ever attained a certain level of importance, and excessive land conversion continued. Between 1986 and 1995, agriculture lost more than 1,973,000ha to non-agricultural uses. It is thought that this figure, supplied by the China Statistical Bureau, may well be significantly low as it fails to acknowledge the large number of unauthorized transactions. The rapid depletion of farmland has caused alarm amongst top officials, and eventually in 1994 the State Council passed a set of Basic Farmland Protection Regulations, more popularly know as the Farmland Protection Act. The act strictly forbids conversion of highly productive farmland into construction sites. This however has contributed much to the already discontinuous nature of the development zones and new urban areas set up by local governments. Development plans which encounter protected farmland have simply moved further out and built themselves on the other side, causing higher infrastructural cost and spatially inefficient structures. Beijing’s urban periphery has become a patchwork of agricultural and urban development, prompting the term splatter pattern*.

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5.4 The Fiscal Reform, “Zone Fever” and Green Belt Retreat In the pre-reform era central government controlled almost all revenue and expenditure. Between 1949 and 1953 44% of the total fiscal revenue went to the central state. After 1978 various reforms led to a fiscal contracting system whereby local government only had to hand-over a fixed quota or a percentage of their fiscal revenue to higher-level government. This contract was subject to adjustment and negotiation. Effectively, this gave local government an incentive to stimulate the local economy as this would now generate more revenue for themselves. However, such concessions stipulated the fiscal revenue to central government. In 1994, the central government introduced a tax assignment system to increase central government’s share of the tax revenue. As a result, the central government revenue increased from 22% in 1993 to 55.7% 1994. The local governments’ greatly decreased share of fiscal revenue meant that many were spending more than they where able to bring in. In order 

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policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

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6.0 Conclusion
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The spatial restructuring of the Chinese City is deeply rooted in the changing regime of accumulation, and the changing administrative structures which surround it. This process of transformation is driven by changes in macro-level policies, and by interactions with local social, political and economic forces. Some of these draw deep from Chinese history, exhibiting characteristics which derive from territorial structures centuries old, and the basic central / local dualism at their core. The constant tension between the TMP and PCMP is more pronounced and confusing in the post-reform era as the boundary between the state and the market has become blurred. The transformation of Beijing should not be interpreted as “transitional”, which implies a convergence with the spatial pattern of existing market-driven cities. Instead, the process of interaction between domestic and global forces, and between top-down and bottom-up processes, is highly vibrant and open-ended. Under the dynamic environment of policy sprawl*, the traditional notions of urban sprawl produced in the West, where state / market, and urban / rural relations are more defined, fails to provide an adequate understanding of the growth of Chinese cities. Policy sprawl is the result of the pragmatic and often ad-hoc approach of the Chinese administration when dealing with new demands on space. By retaining its dominant relationship to land while allowing a degree of market definition and flexibility, the Chinese state has managed to integrate the ingenuity of the local economy into nation wide policies of spatial production. By clearly setting forth cities as the ‘driving engines of growth’ the Chinese Administration opened up an unprecedented wave of urbanization on all levels. This appears to have been the state strategy in facilitating a new political economy. 

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At the urban periphery where the fastest and the most heterogeneous development is happening, the emergent spatial pattern and its efficiency will be highly dependent on any potential ‘resolution’ between the two dominant competing modes of urbanization and socio-economic interest. These can be characterized as state or formal-economy driven projects, and local or bottom-up developments. At the moment, such ‘resolution’ is the wholesale demolition of the space formed by bottom-up economy. As demonstrated in the case of the RUS*, where rural and urban phenomena developed into a symbiotic relationship, the potential for formal urbanization and local bottom-up urbanization to work together to produce healthy, efficient and lively urban tissue is completely missed by such demolitions. As urbanization continues to be the ‘driving engine’, the most pressing question for Chinese urban policy makers, planners and architects is, how can architecture and planning integrate such complex emergent forms and make them work for the Chinese economy, rather than allowing them to deteriorate into the shanty towns that haunt so many of the world’s rising economies.

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陆 stamp of the Jin dynasty (1115–1234)

stamp of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644)

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stamp of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911)

stamp of the Kuomintang government (1911–1949)

stamp of the Chinese Communist Party (1949–present)

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stamp of China’s Coming Out Party (2008 Olympics)

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222–223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F–7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

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[policy sprawl*]
1. sprawl created by policies which though aimed at reducing sprawl in fact augment it 2. policies which themselves sprawl — opacity created by sprawling policies obscures the possibility of “legal” development and facilitates widespread abuses on the part of corrupt officials and their private partners
TOWERING CHINA domino installation, 5.2m x 3.7m DCF / Neville Mars 

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the floating village* is chinese public-private collaboration perfected: streamlined deployment of a massive no-wages, no-demands workforce (reminiscent of the communist era) constructing government endorsed urban mega-projects for a fiercely competitive real-estate market. while the village itself is endlessly mobile, those within it are locked in place. this photo shows a floating village* completely surrounded by the brand new wangjing skyline.

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dynamic density*
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Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

re-engineering the city

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动态密度
Neville Mars text: Neville Mars / Adrian Hornsby research: Elaine Ho, Yue Hongdan

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城市有它自己的逻辑。这意味着我们可以试着去了解它;也 意味着我们将无法控制它。在北京,所有谨慎规划的社区和 整洁设计的新区加在一起不过是一块更大的饼。当它被摊 得越来越大时,它会逐渐异化为一个个被基建设施包围的 孤岛。越来越宽的高速公路分裂着城市中心。这不仅制造了 交通拥堵,而且降低了行人与公交乘客的可达性。修改北京 的法律似乎是解决交通拥挤的唯一方法。但是这可能吗?动 态密度这一章探寻的是如何遵循城市本身的意愿,自然地调 整城市密度,从而为一个可达性更强的北京创造一个新的 中心。

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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MONSTER METROPOLIS
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FORMS WITHIN THE MODERN CITY ARTICULATE A COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE. SUCCESSIVE GENERATIONS OF DESIGN SOLUTIONS ARE REMAPPED ON TOP OF ONE ANOTHER WITHIN A CONTINUOUS CHANGE-RESPONSE-ADAPTATION CYCLE. AN EVOLUTIONARY PROCESS ENGENDERS THE NOTION OF AN ORGANIC FORCE. THE CITY BECOMES A ”BEAST”: POWERFUL, DISAGGREGATED, INTRACTABLE, OPERATING ACCORDING TO A LOGIC OF ITS OWN, AND WITHOUT REFERENCE TO AN OPERATOR. DISTRICTS BECOME ORGANS, HIGHWAYS ARTERIES, URBAN GROWTH THE EXPRESSION OF A DISTINCT AND MONSTROUS WILL. RAPIDLY THE URBANIST FINDS HIMSELF LOCKED IN BONDAGE TO HIS OWN CLICHÉ. EFFORTS TO TAME THE BEAST ARE REMEDIAL; OVERARCHING DESIGN IDEAS SUBJUGATED TO CONDITIONS IMPOSED BY A SOPHISTICATED METROPOLIS.

YET THIS MONSTER ANALOGY IS IN CHINA ESSENTIALLY PASSÉ. SHEER SPEED OF CHANGE HAS EFFECTED A RADICAL BREAK. CITIES ARE EITHER CREATED ANEW OR REBUILT UTTERLY. THERE CAN BE NO EVOLUTION TO FLASH DEVELOPMENT. INSTEAD A CORE PROFITMOTIVE DRIVES MULTIPLE HYBRID VENTURES IN THE PRODUCTION OF ONE-GENERATION-URBANISM. THE MASS INDIVIDUALIZATION OF SOCIETY, IN COMBINATION WITH FRESH OUT-OF-THE-PLASTIC MARKET MECHANICS, STRIPS THE PROCESS OF ANY SUPERIOR ORDERING PRINCIPLE. NEO-CORBUSIAN LANDSCAPES ARE BEING BUILT, BUT ON GROUNDS OF PRAGMATISM NOT IDEALISM. THOUGH DENSE, PROJECTS ARE PERFECTLY UNINTEGRATED, AND THE RATIONAL CITY IS NOT ACHIEVED. STATE CAPITALISM REPLACES SLOW EVOLUTION AS THE PRIMARY MANUFACTURER OF SPATIAL CONFIGURATIONS.

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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OPERATING UNCHECKED AND AT HYPERSPEED, SUPPLY IS NOT SUBJECT TO MATURE DEMAND. SPATIAL PRODUCTS COMPETE ON THE BASIS OF THE CITY THEY ARE SUPERSEDING (READ DEMOLISHING), NOT ON THE FUTURE CITY THEY ARE COLLECTIVELY CREATING. THE DESIGNER NOW WORKS ON THE LEVEL OF THE HYPER-METICULOUS — MICROPLANNING THE CHROME-FINISH ON THE BELLS OF 1,200 DOORS; THE WINDING ROAD WITHIN THE GATED COMPOUND — WHILE THE SUM OF THESE METICULOUSLY DESIGNED MOMENTS — I.E. THE SYSTEM ITSELF — REMAINS UNDESIGNED. INSTEAD THE CITY IS THE SPATIAL DERIVATIVE OF MARKET-DRIVEN UNINTENTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: MUD*. MUD* IS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING URBAN FORMS FASTER THAN PLANNERS CAN MAP THEM, CITIES ABSORB THEM, OR CONSUMERINHABITANTS REJECT THEM. THE POTENTIAL NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF MUD* LOOM LARGE DUE TO THE ESSENTIAL INELASTICITY OF REAL ESTATE PROJECTS. WHILE THE ”INVISIBLE HAND” THOUGHT

TO GUIDE CAPITAL MARKETS IS ABLE TO KEEP TURNING, MUD* FORMATIONS ARE CAST IN CONCRETE AND RESULT IN STATIC CONFIGURATIONS. A SINGLE ITERATION OF THE BOOM-BUST CYCLE WITHIN CITY-BUILDING WILL HAVE LONG TERM CONSEQUENCES FOR CITY SHAPE AND PERFORMANCE. MUD* DEFINES THE ULTIMATE FORM. FRAGMENTATION BECOMES THE ULTIMATE THREAT. THE PURPOSE OF THE CITY IS TO FACILITATE DIRECT CONTACT BETWEEN LARGE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE. IF THE CITY CEASES TO REMAIN LINKED TO ITSELF, IT FAILS. A BODY WHICH OVERSEES THE WELFARE OF THE CITY AS A WHOLE, AND THE PROFITABILITY OF THE CITY AS A WHOLE, WILL NECESSARILY CONSIDER THIS ITS PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY. THEREFORE ANY OVERARCHING THEORY MUST ADDRESS THE KEY ISSUE OF MAINTAINING FLOWS. THE ORGANIZATION OF DENSITIES THROUGHOUT THE URBAN REGION IS PIVOTAL TO THE EFFICIENCY OF TRIP-PROCESSING AND TO THE SAFEGUARDING OF URBAN INTERACTIVITY. AT THE HEART

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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OF COMPREHENSIVE URBAN DESIGN IS A METHODOLOGY FOR LOCATING DENSITIES INTELLIGENTLY.
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MODERNISM EXHIBITS A DENSITY FETISH. CULTURAL CONSCIOUSNESS GRANTS IT A METROPOLITAN AURA. THE ICONOGRAPHY OF ADVANCED SOCIETY, LEANING CUPIDINOUSLY TOWARD SCIENCE FICTION, INVARIABLY ASSUMES ULTRA-DENSE STRUCTURES OF CLOSE-KNIT MATHEMATICAL BRILLIANCE, THROUGH WHICH INHABITANTS SURGE AS MULTITUDINOUS AS ELECTRONS. THE AVERAGE RESIDENTIAL CONSUMER HOWEVER, DESPISES DENSITY AND MOVES TO THE SUBURBS. HIGH DENSITY INTERVENTIONS WITHIN EXISTING CITY

FABRIC OR SATELLITE SUPPORT TOWNS HAVE PROVED NOTORIOUSLY UNSUCCESSFUL. WHILE BOOSTING THE DENSITY OF PEOPLE PER SQUARE KILOMETER, THEY FREQUENTLY DIMINISH THE DENSITY OF SERVICES PER PERSON, AND VITIATE DIVERSITY. ANALYSIS OF PREVALENT URBAN DISTRIBUTION PATTERNS SUGGESTS A NORMATIVE DENSITY CURVE WITH TWO ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS. FIRST: HIGH PERFORMANCE DENSITY IS COMPOSED OF A CONTEXTUAL MATRIX OF DENSITIES, INCLUDING PEOPLE, PROGRAMMATIC MIX, AND FUNCTIONALITY. SECOND: DENSITY OCCURS WITHIN A TEMPORAL CONTINUUM OF URBAN EXPANSION AND SHIFTING DENSITIES. PLANNING DENSITY CANNOT BE REGARDED IN TERMS OF STATIC ACHIEVEMENTS, BUT INSTEAD MUST INCORPORATE AN UNDERSTANDING OF FLUID INTERACTIONS IN BOTH SPACE AND TIME: DYNAMIC DENSITY*.

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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DYNAMIC DENSITY* (DD) CONCEIVES OF AN OPTIMAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FOOTPRINT AND POPULATION. URBAN EXPANSION PATTERNS ARE INTELLIGIBLE AND SHOULD CONFORM TO STAGE OF GROWTH MODELING. SCALES RUN FROM VILLAGE TO METROPOLIS, AND FROM RURAL TO URBAN ECONOMY. THE RESULTANT FRAMEWORK PROVIDES OBJECTIVES IN TERMS OF SIZE, SHAPE AND URBAN TEXTURE FOR DEVELOPMENTS ACROSS A WIDE REGIONAL NETWORK OF HIERARCHIES AND INTERDEPENDENCIES. THIS FACILITATES FUTURE PLANNING. IN PLACE OF REMEDIAL MEASURES (E.G. TRANSPORTING DENSITIES OUTWARDS), DD SERVES TO RENDER URBAN FLOWS MORE EFFICIENT. THE CITY AND ITS NEW CONSTRUCTIONS ARE EVALUATED USING ACCESSIBILITY AS THE BENCHMARK OF QUALITY. DD FORMULATES A TWO-TIERED APPROACH: DYNAMISM — PLANNING IN FLEXIBLE FRAMEWORKS THAT ANTICIPATE CONTINUOUS CHANGE EVEN AFTER COMPLETION DENSITY — PROMOTING COMPACTNESS AS AN UNAMBIGUOUS DIRECTION TO COORDINATE CHINA’S PLANNING EFFORTS. DD* GOALS ARE FREQUENTLY UNATTAINABLE IN CITIES THAT HAVE FORMED UNDER SYSTEMS OF SLOW EVOLUTION. DEFENSIVE HISTORICAL IMPERATIVES HAVE FOCUSED MORE ON INCULCATING A POLITICIZED SENSE OF PLACE THAN ON INTEGRATING THE INEVITABILITY OF FLUX. THE SITUATION IN CHINA NOW IS DIFFERENT. DENSITY ITSELF IS IRRECUSABLE. POPULATION AND BUILDING
CUNNINg CITY BURB p.26 SPONgEMALL BURB p.53 COURTYARD VILLA BURB p.30 gBD p.160 BBT p.251 BOLONI HOTEL p.510 STAY WITHIN THE gREEN EDgE*

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DENSITIES ARE AMONG THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD, AND MUD*DEFINED INTERACTIONS PRODUCE NATURALLY COMPACT TYPOLOGIES. APPLYING DYNAMIC PLANNING LOGIC TO THE PHENOMENON OF MUD* OFFERS THE OPPORTUNITY TO HARNESS CHINA’S PREDILECTION FOR HIGH-RISE HIGH-SPEED DEVELOPMENT AND SET IT TOWARD THE PRODUCTION OF FUTURE-PROOFED CONFIGURATIONS. IN STARK OPPOSITION TO EVOLUTION’S MULTI-GENERATIONAL URBAN MONSTER, FOR WHOM THEORETICAL APPROACHES TO DENSITY ARE NOT BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE, IT BECOMES CONCEIVABLE TO BUILD CITIES WHICH ARE FORWARDS COMPATIBLE: URBAN STRUCTURES CREATED BY FLASH VENTURES, WHICH THROUGH AN UNDERSTANDING OF DD INCORPORATE WITHIN THEIR FABRIC THE POSSIBILITY FOR FUTURE ADAPTATION. IMMEDIATE INSTANTIATIONS OF MUD* FORMS CAN BE HARSH, BUT ANTICIPATE FURTHER CHANGE. READ-RESPOND OPERATIONS ARE PERFORMED AFTER THE FACT OF CONSTRUCTION, BUT UPON LAYOUTS WHICH ENVISAGE SUBSEQUENT EVOLUTIONS. WHAT TRADITIONALLY HAS BEEN PATCHWORK BECOMES REFINEMENT. WHAT INITIALLY APPEARS TO BE BRUTALLY INORGANIC BECOMES HUMANIZED AND COLORIZED. THE SHEER THRUST OF HIGH-SPEED URBANIZATION BECOMES A MEANS TO SURPASS THE NATURALLY MONSTROUS CITY. DD MAKES THE MONSTER WORK FOR YOU.

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PROMOTE CITIES Of 1 TO 2.5 MILLION

NO NEW CITIES

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PUC p.53

L-BUILDINg p.176

DISCOURAgE BRICkIfICATION p.672 PROTECT RURAL AREAS

[village 村庄]

[town 城镇]

[city 城市]

[metropolis

都市]

[xiao kang* grid 四百新城见小康]

[Super Satellites 超级卫星城]

[Jing Hu* urban field 京沪都市圈]

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DD IN ACTION TYPOLOGIES SIT WITHIN SPECIFIC POINTS OF THE DENSITY CURVE AT EACH DEVELOPMENTAL SCALE. THESE WORK IN CONJUCTION WITH POLICIES WHICH CURB NON-DYNAMIC EXPANSIONS. 

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71

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DCF PREMISE
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DD* MODEL
# DYNAMIC QUALITIES REQUIRE FLEXIBLE PLANNING SOLUTIONS # SPACES PRODUCED UNDER CURRENT CHINESE HYPERSPEED ARE STATIC # COLLECTED TOGETHER THESE FORMS RESULT IN MUD* # HYPERSPEED DEVELOPMENT WHICH ANTICIPATES CHANGE CAN LEAPFROG MUD* — ABNEGATE PATCHES — INCORPORATE DYNAMIC DENSITIES

# URban DEnSIty IS PhySICal anD haS a gEogRaPhICal loCatIon # URban DEnSIty haS ShaPE, anD a tRaIt oF DISPERSIon # DEnSIty IS thE RESUlt oF ItS ContExt anD It gEnERatES a ContExt # DEnSIty DynaMICS aRE tRaCEablE # It haS a SPEED anD a DIRECtIon

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# density is dynamic!
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# compact yet comfortable integrated yet fleXible

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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Exploding Beijing
CASE BEIJINg: DD RE-ENgINEERS THE CAPITAL
-EXPLODING BEIJING: ACCELERATING FRINGE / DISINTEGRATED CENTER

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MAPS OF BEIJING CANNOT BE MADE FAST ENOUGH. THE SPEED OF RENEWAL DEFIES ANY STATIC REPRESENTATION. EVEN A PERFECT DATASHOT FROM SPACE WOULD BARELY CAPTURE THE REALITY OF A CITY IN TRANSITION. GROWTH BECOMES STEP-CHANGE IN THE CONTEXT OF JUDDERING POLICY SHIFTS AND AN ENVELOPE OF EXTREME TIME COMPRESSION. THE CITY LEAPS SIMULTANEOUSLY OUTWARDS, INWARDS AND UPWARDS. WHILE THE GOAL IS COMPLETE METAMORPHOSIS, IN REALITY THIS IS NEVER ACHIEVED. EVEN A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING ABOUT WHAT SHAPES WILL EMERGE REMAINS ABSENT. IMPACTS UPON URBAN SOCIETY ARE NO LESS RAMPANT OR CAPRICIOUS. FURIOUS OUTBREAKS OF THE NEW CITY THREATEN TO CHOKE THE WHOLE, OR DERACINATE IT ALTOGETHER FROM ITS OWN SENSE OF PAST AND PLACE. OPULENT CEILINGS RAISE CHANDELIERS FROM THE RUBBLE. MIGRANTS PICK OUT BRICKS FOR THEIR OWN MAKESHIFT VILLAGES. A BALLOONING POPULATION OF XIAO KANG* AND INTERNATIONAL URBANITES RUSH TOWARD THE NEW DOWNTOWN NODES OF WORK, LIFE, AND LEISURE. AT THE SAME TIME LOCALS ARE BEING SWEPT UP AND RELEASED OUT IN THE SUBURBS. THE TWO GROUPS GLANCE AT EACH OTHER AS THEY CROSS UNDER THE SHADOW OF A WRECKING BALL. THE NEW URBAN FABRIC IS DENSE, YET COMMANDEERS AT ONE END WIDE TRACTS OF ARABLE LAND; AT THE OTHER EATS INTO THE HISTORIC HEART. STARCHITECT MEGAPROJECTS ARE CONCEIVED AND INSERTED AT DESIGNATED POINTS TO PROJECT THE IMAGE
dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258 coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537 dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321 zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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OF THE CAPITAL CITY OF A FUTURE SUPERPOWER. MULTILANE HIGHWAYS LACERATE THE CENTER. CUT-OFF TISSUE IN BETWEEN IS THROWN OUT IN CHUNKS TO THE MOST RAPACIOUS OF ACTORS WITHIN A STILL TEETHING REAL ESTATE MARKET. ALL ALONG THE URBAN FRINGE, WAVE AFTER WAVE OF RESIDENTIAL MEGABLOCKS, GIVE RISE TO ENTIRELY NEW SUB-CITIES. THE COMBINED PRODUCT IS AN EXPLODING BEIJING: ONE FRAGMENTING OUTWARDS WHILE DISINTEGRATING AT THE CORE. THE CONCENTRATIONS OF URGES AND OUTBURSTS — GLITZ, SHANTY TOWNS, WALL STREETS, MODERN AMENITIES, NEON, LUXURY, STREET VENDORS, OLD STYLE MAOISTS ETC. — IS AS BEWILDERING AS THEIR FRACTURED SOCIO-SPATIAL INTER-RELATIONS. EXCLUSION IS EVERYWHERE AND OF EVERYTHING (PEOPLE, WEALTH, POLICY IMPLEMENTATION, RULE OF LAW), AND DIVISIONS APPEAR WITH THE SAME HARSHNESS AND IMMEDIACY AS ALTERATIONS TO THE STAGGERED SKYLINE. CRITICISM BOTH FROM OFFICIALS AND CITIZENS FOCUSES ON SEVERE CONGESTION AND RISING REAL ESTATE PRICES. BUT WITH CHINA’S CONTINUING RECORD-BREAKING LEVELS OF INVESTMENT AND TOTAL LOVE FOR THE MOTOR CAR, THERE IS LITTLE TO SUGGEST ALLEVIATION ON EITHER FRONT. UNABASHED, LOCAL PLANNING DEPARTMENTS CONTINUE TO OK (READ PARTNER) EVER MORE STRATIFIED AND DISPARATE PROJECTS. AT THE HEART OF BEIJING’S CURRENT CONTRADICTIONS AND SNAP RELOCATIONS IS THE FRAUGHT SHIFT FROM MONOCENTRIC RING CITY TO POLYCENTRIC MULTICITY. SHANGHAI HAS PURSUED A POWERFUL SATELLITE MODEL; THE PEARL RIVER DELTA AN OPEN MARKET REGIONAL NETWORK. BEIJING IS AT THE HEIGHT OF ITS AMBIGUITY AND BLUR. AS SUCH, IN THE MIDST OF PERIPHERAL BALLOONINGS, COARSE UPSCALING, CONGESTION TO THE POINT OF DYSFUNCTIONALITY, HAZE, AND BLATANT SPEED, IT IS THE ESSENTIAL CASE STUDY FOR DD.

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258 coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537 dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321 zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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BEIJINg: PORTRAIT Of A CITY BEIJING IS MUCH BIGGER THAN YOU THINK, AND EXPANDING MUCH FASTER THAN OFFICIALS ADMIT. THE DEFAULT WESTERN VERDICT IS THAT IT SPRAWLS. BUT SPRAWL IS A TERM FREQUENTLY BANDIED, YET SELDOM SUBSTANTIATED WITH A DEFINITION. IT HAS BECOME A CATCH-ALL PEJORATIVE FOR UNWELCOME URBAN EXPANSION. IN ONE SENSE THERE IS IN FACT NO SPRAWL IN THE CHINESE URBAN CONTEXT. BEIJING SITS AT ONE END OF THE LARGER METROPOLITAN FIELD OF JING HU* — A CONTINUOUS (SEMI-)URBANIZED

REGION WITH AN AVERAGE DENSITY OF 944P/KM2. THIS FIGURE IS COMPARABLE WITH A MEDIUM-SIZED AMERICAN CITY. ON THE LEVEL OF PURE DENSITY, JING HU IS SPRAWL FREE. HOWEVER, ANALYSIS OF BEIJING REVEALS A NUMBER OF NEW FORMS WITH DISTINCT QUALITIES, SOME OF WHICH IMPACT NEGATIVELY UPON THE URBAN DYNAMIC. PASSING FROM THE HISTORIC CENTER (THE BLACK HOLE) OUT THROUGH THE SURROUNDING URBAN CORE (THE PERICENTER) INTO THE RURBANIZING FRINGE (THE GREEN EDGE) AND THE WIDER FIELD OF GRAVITY, WE HAVE IDENTIFIED THESE FORMS AND EVALUATED THEM AGAINST THE ESSENTIAL CRITERION OF CITY ACCESSIBILITY. A –SPRAWL SUFFIX IS USED TO INDICATE RISK.

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71

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Sprawl has become a catch-all pejorative for unwelcome urban expansion. DCF sprawl derivatives describe and evaluate specific characteristics of that expansion which impact negatively upon accessibility.
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‘摊大饼’已经成了一切不受欢迎的城市发展的总称. 我们这里所 说的’摊大饼’指的是会影响到可达性的那些城市蔓延.
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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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1. BEIJINg: RINg BY RINg — A TYPOLOgICAL SECTION
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BEIJING IS A CITY DOMINATED-DEFINED-DIVIDED-CONNNECTED-SERVICED-NAVIGATED-RATIONALIZED AND MOST COMMONLY DESCRIBED BY ITS RING ROADS. THE CONCEPT FOR A RING AND RADIAL SYSTEM CAME INTO EXISTENCE IN THE 1950S, AND CLEARANCE WORK STARTED IN 1965. HOWEVER, THE CONTINUOUS BELT HIGHWAYS OF TODAY HAVE ALL BEEN COMPLETED DURING THE POST-REFORM ERA. PLANNING STRATEGIES PREDICTED THAT THE FOURTH RING ROAD WOULD SERVE AS THE EDGE OF THE CITY CENTER, THE FIFTH LINK SUBCENTERS, AND THE SIXTH CONNECT SATELLITE TOWNS. REALITY QUICKLY OVERRAN THE SKETCHES. BY 2007 THE CITY CENTER SPILT WELL BEYOND THE FIFTH RING ROAD IN ALL DIRECTIONS. BEIJINGERS TALK RINGS ABOUT THEIR CITY TO TELL EACH OTHER WHERE THEY ARE (”NEAR THE NORTH THIRD RING ROAD”, ”BETWEEN WEST THIRD AND FOURTH” ETC.). THE RINGS ALSO MAP THE TYPOLOGICAL AND POLITICAL HISTORY OF THE CITY.

hutongs* carry an undeniable social quality, and provide the essential context for the city’s historic sites and traditional identity. Bulldozing and redevelopment, dating from the 1990s, has eaten away large patches of the old fabric. A new wave of interest, inspired in part by cultural heritage foundations, but also by monied foreigners seeking a more ”Chinese” environment, has recently rehabilitated the value of the courtyard home. However, although large parts of the center are now officially protected from demolition, renovation-restoration-mod-con makeover projects are pursued without sensitive regulation, and rapid and often crude transformation of the historic environment continues.

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Second to Third Ring Road THIRD RING ROAD: 4km long; 2.9km2 surface area The Maoist reconditioning of old Beijing maintained the cellular principle but redrew the cells, this time carving the city into separate units controlled by different danwei*. Each danwei* integrated home, work and leisure within the confines of the cell, thus negating the need for commutes. However the units themselves expanded, directed by their own individual needs and ambitions, and with little regard for overall city form. Development was frequently land-inefficient and uncoordinated. At the same time that the car-inspired American consumer was driving out past the urban periphery to build a new suburbia, China too, under a productionist logic, was pushing beyond its city-boundaries. Ironically before cars or roads were introduced on any major scale, Beijing already found itself encircled by suburbs. A single housing typology was deployed: six story soviet-style walk-ups, all facing south.

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The First Ring Road At the center of historic Beijing lies the Forbidden City, itself encircled by the Imperial City (a collection of lakes and parks), in turn set within the old inner and outer city. A defensive city wall (now the Second Ring Road) once girt this basic structure of an annulus of citizen dwellings around the preserve of the emperor. The origins of Beijing’s ring-based transit system lie in the 1920s, when a 17km ring tram line was constructed to connect key points throughout the non-imperial wall-bound area. The disassembly of the tram lines in the 1950s reduced this once clearly defined route to a collection of road surfaces. Gradually these ceased to carry any special significance. Nowadays, the First Ring is little more than a question: ”What is it? Where did it go?” Within the Second Ring Road SECOND RING ROAD: 32km long; 1.4km2 surface area

Third to Fourth Ring Road FOURTH RING ROAD: 65km long; 4.7km2 surface area The reforms which started in 197 marked a new era for Beijing — one of land values, investment in infrastructure, and real estate projects. Beijing’s already distended spatial configuration fueled big road thinking. The new highways of the 190s, including the Second and Third Ring Roads, lashed Beijing with asphalt. The nascent development market responded with highway tower mass housing: slabs, crosses and hash shaped extrusions*, footed on large roads, reaching 25 stories, and wholly car-dependent. The dramatic upscaling of both building and street resulted in a new urban coarseness.

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Central Beijing is still dominated by hutongs*. A clear grid of major avenues demarcate cellular congregations of tight single story dwellings, themselves clustered around courtyards and along roads barely wide enough for a single car to pass. Historically this structure indicated celestial order; today it forces the bulk of traffic down a limited number of invariably busy intercellular arteries. The cultural and indeed economic value of the hutongs* is a source of no little controversy. Inhabitations are mostly cramped and basic, with many homes relying on communal toilets for elementary sanitation. However, the 

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

Fourth to Fifth Ring Roads FIFTH RING ROAD: 9km long; 5.5km2 surface area The sudden rise of Beijing’s super rich, in conjunction with the emergence of profit-driven development opportunities, rapidly led to a bevy of luxury residential compounds. These bear many of the same features as

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coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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Low-rise Walk-up High-rise

Coarseness of residential Beijing *

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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their predecessors (from danwei* blocks to highway towers) — cellularity, non-integration, homogeneity and essential monolithicism — and yet the pronouncement of these qualities in the young market context is that much harsher. The compounds’ walls and guards reinforce economic disparities with physical divides. The building process is one of seal and sear, by which a single block is fenced off, scorched of all previous qualities, and an international luxury imaginary is imported and materialized on site. Lying at some distance from central Beijing, these exclusive gated communities, with their idiosyncratic reinterpretations of the Eurovilla or the Chinese watergarden (though never so traditional as to forget several generous carports), lay value claims to American suburban lifestyle, yet further stress the already ailing transit arteries.

speed of development around beijing 25 km2 50 km2 100 km2 per year

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Fifth to Sixth Ring Road SIXTH RING ROAD: 190km long; 13.km2 surface area Beijing’s relentless onslaught into itself — razing old neighborhoods to erect new build — throws both tissue and residents outwards. Mass redevelopment of the old city creates a reverse stream of former locals in need of new housing. Equally, new wealth and opportunities draw waves of migrants, and generate ad hoc program in cheaper locations. Beyond the Fifth Ring Road, among starkly delineated compounds and the slow concrete curves of elevated highways, mass creations of affordable housing unexpectedly arise. Monofunctional program quickly generates a bottom up response. Entrepreneurial zeal and obscure regulatory environments provide a fecund base for informal villages, which quickly emerge to service enormous underplanned developments, each housing thousands of people, and yet providing little else. As the perimeter of the city keeps creeping outwards, former villages are engulfed, and all along the rurbanized fringe buildings suddenly start gaining stories. Within the spreading mass, temporary pockets appear — worker enclaves specific to construction sites; brief floating villages* inside the restlessly shifting city.

new town jingjin

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Beyond the Sixth Ring Road As Beijing’s formal expansions bleed into booming villages (themselves upscaling) and bustling factories (with significant worker populations compounded on site), the question arises as to where the city actually stops so as to define where it can be stopped. The influence of the capital is still apparent, with new roads being built and logistics networks developed. But at this remove the gravitational force exerted on the commuter by the center is weak.

TS DEVELOPMEN BAN CORE ND THE UR D THAT THEY BEYO SPEE EXNG AT SUCH ARE EMERGI OF SEEPING D* LOGIC AFY THE MU FROM GRAVIT DE K FREE N AND BREA RE. THEIR PANSIO BAN CO E OF THE UR THE TIONAL FORC CT REVEALS Y N IN EFFE BAN GRAVIT RAY PATTER SP ELD OF UR OF THE FI SCOPE RSA. AND VICE VE DUSTRY PARKS, IN BUSINESS ExAMPLES: LLAGE BOOM HOTELS, VI RKS, HTDZS, PA

SPEEDSPRAW

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tianjin
2020

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Predominantly through land appropriation for development zones urbanization in the region will accelerate to 100 km2 per year by 2010 and beyond. – Beijing Planning Commission

* * *

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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BUT SERVE ERISTICS BIG OFL CHARACT ER CITY. BIT SPRAW MAY EXHI TO A LARG SERVICED, THE CITY RANSITION ND UNDERHE T S TO T BRUTAL A E NECADDITION E WITHIN SUPPLY TH LY APPEAR SARY PHAS Y L S AY QUICKL AY INITIA AS A NECE SIC INFRA RIALISM M OPMENTS M ENEU EVEL NG IN BA R ISSUE. FICIAL D TS LACKI AL ENTREP HEALTHY T SETTLEMEN Y AND LOC T NFORMAL TO BECOME BUT DENSI ANSION. EQUALLY I ABSORBED URBAN EXP AND LIFE. ESSARY COGNIZED CHANGE OF CAN BE RE OTENTIAL FIRST GES THE P STRUCTURE ACKNOWLED TIONAL AT L* MONOFUNC TRANSPRAW SITY AND TICULARLY H PAR SHEER DEN G THROUGH D GENAN*, THOU UBCENTER. HAS FORME N TONG YU TIA VIBRANT S U* A RUS* ExAMPLE: GHT RAIL BECOME A G XIAO KO D TO OF THE LI H DON E NSHIP WIT SUE OF HAS EVOLV E OPENING C RELATIO O THE TIS . WITH TH OTI RATED INT DIVERSITY THE SYMBI ELY INTEG ED LOCAL G NHANC ER IS LAR ERATING E E SUBCENT MASSIV LINK, THE BEIJING.

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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Intentionally and unintentionally Beijing is moving away from the monocentric city model
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无论是否有意识,北京正与单 中心的城市模式渐行渐远规 模的房地产项目则不断将小 规模的自发性开发推向边缘
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地带.

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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2. BEIJINg: HOME
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BEIJINg HAS LONg SOUgHT TO DECONgEST THE CENTER BY MOVINg PEOPLE OUT. LAND REfORM HAS BEEN USED AS A TOOL TO fACILITATE THIS PROCESS. THE CHIEf PRODUCTS HAVE BEEN MASSIVE DEVELOPMENTS WHICH STRETCH THE PERIPHERY, AND THE LOSS Of DOWNTOWN IDENTITY.
-MOVERS AND SHAKERS (FROM RENOVATION TO RELOCATION) Unlike say New York or New Orleans, New Beijing is being built right where Old Beijing used to be. There was a city there already when they started, and as a result, the much-vaunted building boom of the last decades has equally been a demolition boom. Whole sections of the former city have disappeared. When the Urban Planning Museum unveiled an enormous 1:750 scale model of Beijing 2020, residents flocked less to see what was new than to find out if their homes had been swallowed up by the future. One of the main factors facilitating the progression of bulldozers across much of the old city has been its own parlous state of maintenance. Older buildings prone to deterioration inevitably suffered during the years of political instability leading up to the Communist accession to power in 1949. Thereafter the establishment of public ownership disincentivized inhabitants from the practices of ”good husbandry” (most commonly associated with proud homeowners). Governmental responsibility for the aging housing stock proved insufficient in a context where repairs, let alone modernization, were not only onerous and expensive, but equally lacked any clear reward. By 1990 50% of inner city houses were deemed dilapidated. The House Transformation Program was initiated with a renovation objective in mind. A lack of funds and a lack of beneficiaries other than the actual residents (on the whole simple Beijing families with little political clout) made early progress slow. However in 1992 the Beijing government opened the trade of land use rights to profitable real estate venture, thus introducing market logic to a situation of poor homes on potentially valuable land. Private developers started to take an interest. . .. A small project in Debao neighborhood in 1993 involved the insertion of a number of commercial units into a Transformation Area. The sale of the new build recuperated the bulk of the renovation costs, thus firmly establishing the developmental value of land locked up underneath old houses. Traditional Beijing hutongs* were forced into an increasingly precarious position: for one, their poor state of repair meant they were commonly regarded by local officials as backward, an eyesore, and costly to address; furthermore, they were occupying land oozing latent profit. The outlook worsened in 1994 when a major restructuring of the tax system funneled a greater proportion
dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258 coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537 dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321 zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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of tax revenue toward central government, and encouraged local governments to be more entrepreneurial in dealing with the shortfall. Suddenly finding themselves dangling, the sale of land use rights was an obvious place to turn. In the name of tackling the poor state of existing housing, commercial developers were invited in, essentially to remove the former families, level their homes, and start building more profitable program. To ensure a healthy governmental slice, a strong emphasis was placed upon office and commercial space; and in order to accelerate this process of wealth generation through House Transformation, extremely favorable conditions were created for the development of Transformation Areas (the total volume of which within the four inner city districts strikingly rose from 1,577ha in 1993 to 2,210ha in 1995). With the land coming in so fast and easy, and with the value of the new build shooting up, returns for developers were such that real estate quickly became one of the most attractive sectors in the continuously booming economy. Thus through a series of policy shifts, what initially looked like an expensive public works program became a major driver of economic growth, and a means toward the realization of urban capital. In essence, it became a producer of MUD*. The backlash of this economic surge was that a policy whose origins lay in an objective to deal with poorer citizens’ leaky roofs and disintegrating windows was leased out as a tool to facilitate the cheap fast mass removal of thousands of downtown families. A couple of examples: under the green light of House Transformation, the Hong Kong real estate tycoon Li Kai Shing took on 10ha of downtown Beijing, just to the east of Tiananmen Square. In six months the area was evacuated, 1,00 families relocated, and the original houses wiped. In their place now stands the Wangfujing Oriental Plaza: a steel and glass megacomplex of shopping malls, office buildings, five star hotels, and service apartments. In West Beijing, one sixth of the inner city was emptied out — including 14,000 families — again in the name of House Transformation, in order to develop an area which would shortly be renamed Financial Street. Still under construction in 2007, Financial Street has explicit aspirations to become Wall Street China. With its towering skyscrapers and tackling cranes, it is a paragon of New Beijing. In the years 1991–2003 it is estimated that 500,000 Beijing families were relocated. Occasional ”nail families” refuse to go, and mesmeric photos still turn up in the Western press of a single house engulfed by a vast construction site. But for the most part, people take the compensation, and move further out to new cheap mass housing. For the moved, living conditions generally are more advanced on a simple developmental scale, though undeniably something else is lost.

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MONOSPRAWL*
URBAN EXPANSION THAT EXERCISES PRESSURE ON THE ACCESSIBILITY OF THE CITY BY GENERATING AN EXCESS OF FREQUENT TRIPS OF SIGNIFICANT LENGTH DUE TO INTERNAL INADEQUACIES. COMMONLY THESE ARE NEWLY DEVELOPED AREAS WHOLLY DEPENDENT ON OTHER AREAS FOR THEIR OWN BASIC NEEDS. THEY ARE MONOFUNCTIONAL, SOCIALLY STRATIFIED, LACK VITALITY, AND, OVERWHELMINGLY, ARE CAR-DEPENDENT.

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ExAMPLE: VILLA PARKS*, REFORM HOUSING

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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More roads, more traffic... Beijing is caught up in a self-fulfilling prophecy
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路更多,车也更多,北京陷入了自我 应验的预言的怪圈

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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Costs to the city arising from congestion are equally alarming. Average vehicle speeds on the main streets of Beijing dropped to 12kmh in 2003, with lows of 7kmh, effectively throwing drivers back to biking speeds. Traffic affects the central ring roads for 13 out of 24 hours. This not only presents substantial direct losses in terms of fuel and man hours, but also degrades city accessibility. Places are often simply too arduous to get to. Professional and recreational decisions are restricted accordingly, leading to significant business losses.

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From any position Beijing casts a pattern of blind spots — places too inaccessible to treat as regular destinations. One has to conclude in daily life that much of the city is out of reach. 3. BEIJINg: CAR
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BEIJINg HAS PURSUED A POLICY Of MASSIVE HIgHWAYS IN THE MIDDLE Of THE CITY. THE CHIEf PRODUCTS HAVE BEEN CONgESTION AND COARSENESS.
-JAM

不管你在北京的哪里,城市都是有盲点的 - 总有一些地方不 能轻而易举地到达.我们不能不承认,对于居民的日常生活来 说,北京的大部分地方都是够不着的.
A key contributor to Beijing’s poor performance in terms of traffic is the city layout, which both historically and currently displays a tendency toward cellular structures, with marked schisms between large intercellular roads and small intracellular roads. Hutongs*, communist dormitory compounds, blocks of dormitory extrusions*, gated communities, and the big office towers of the CBD and elsewhere all internalize large areas of road surface which are either closed off or unamenable to through traffic. Consequently, vehicles are all driven down a limited number of larger, more arterial roads. These tend to be two-way and multi-lane, with regular traffic knots at left turns and around compound exits and entrances. Crucially, these points of first contact with urban public space are gruesomely inhospitable. Most contemporary developments are either car orientated by design, or simply lack a competitive public transport option. Developers continue to break new ground in the suburbs without reference to a larger urban plan, and infrastructure is constantly playing catch up.

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Building a massive road system in Beijing — even at a time when car ownership was rare – proved to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The summary evictions and constructions of the ring road building in the 190s were the prelude to the flash motorization that started in the mid ’90s. People were seduced into cars, but equally they were pushed. Extreme disruptions to the city fabric made by the new super-roads rendered alternatives increasingly impossible. Distances got bigger, and the urban environment markedly less friendly to bicycles, or pedestrians trying to cross a road to get to a bus or subway stop. Add to this the allure factor — the status attributed to car owners in China — and the result has been unequivocal: Beijing’s vehicle fleet doubled from 1 to 2 million in the years 1997 to 2003, topped 3 million in 2006, and is expected to exceed 5 million well before 2020. Road building however has not been able to keep pace. In spite of massive efforts, including a doubling of paved surface area in the post-reform period up to 1999, maintaining former car-to-road space ratios is simply not feasible. Nor is it desirable. Inner city rings have consumed vast areas of downtown space, created stark divides between neighborhoods, and impacted severely upon air quality, not least in dense residential areas. Exhaust fumes account for over 50% of Beijing’s pollution, making it the world’s most polluted capital, with distinct corridors of dirty air hanging over the major routes. Respiratory issues are pandemic across the city, with lung cancer being the number one cause of death.

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’The contradiction between real estate development and traffic regulations is the biggest problem now facing Beijing.’ — Wang Qishan, Mayor of Beijing (2004)

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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INfRASPRAWL*
IMBALANCE BETWEEN ARCHITECTURE AND INFRASTRUCTURE RESULTS IN INFRASPRAWL*. THIS CAN BE DEFINED AS, ON ONE HAND, DISRUPTIONS OF SPATIAL PATTERNS CREATED BY EXCESS INFRASTRUCTURE, AND ON THE OTHER, INFRASTRUCTURE THAT CONSUMES MORE SPACE THAN IT CAN SERVE OR GENERATES MORE TRAFFIC THAN IT CAN PROCESS. THE CITY KEEPS GETTING BIGGER, BUT USEFUL TISSUE GAIN IS MINIMAL - THIS IS COMPARABLE TO A RELENTLESS PURSUIT OF BUILDING HEIGHT, WHERE ACCOMMODATING ADDITIONAL UPPER FLOORS WITH ELEVATORS MEANS SACRIFICING SPACE AT THE BOTTOM TO SHAFTS. INFRASPRAWL* SUGGESTS A SIMILAR OPTIMUM APPLIES TO THE FOOTPRINT OF THE CITY AND ITS INFRASTRUCTURAL NETWORK. ExAMPLE: THE COMBINED SURFACE OF BEIJING’S RING ROADS COVERS AN AREA SUBSTANTIALLY LARGER THAN THE ENTIRE DOWNTOWN.

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total 2 28 km
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ring 2 1.35km2

ring 3 2.92km2

ring 4 4.68km2

ring 5 5.47km2

ring 6 13.81km2
dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258 coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537 dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321 zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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4. BEIJINg: SOCIAL

MUD*
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INTRODUCTION Of MARkET REfORMS HAS fOCUSED ON URBAN DEVELOPMENT AS A MAJOR DRIVER Of ECONOMIC gROWTH. THE CHIEf PRODUCT HAS BEEN CRUDELY STRATIfIED CITY ISLANDS WHICH fAIL TO INTER-RELATE.
-EXPANSION AND EXCLUSION

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The uncompromising overwriting of dense areas of Beijing in order to instate the ring road system has had radical consequences for the urban texture. Flyovers and clover leaves drew apparently arbitrary lines across old neighborhoods, introducing sudden divisions, cutting off odd quadrangles, and isolating the pedestrian within unnavigable skeins of road. To connect the different patches, thousands of footbridges have been erected, and tunnels dug.
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At the same time, individual building projects have ballooned in size, disbanding the notion of local neighborhoods. Social interaction and commercial services have been displaced outside the residential realm in pursuit of large-scale compounds for the new middle class. The concept of suburbia is offered at high-rise density and executed with blatant copy-paste efficiency. Large wall-like congregations of towers encircle a small communal space on top of a parking garage. These are the new building blocks of Beijing’s remarkably coarse urbanism. In the cases of Tian Tong Yuan* and Wang Jing, single step developments accommodate populations approaching 500,000 people. Operating on such a scale, typological decisions rapidly define the masterplanning of an area. The new residential compounds act as single stamps, and yet their size makes them urban elements. They are inserted with minimum regard for circulatory ramifications or urban facilities, forming suburban bubbles within the downtown, and stark high rise at the fringe. The sum of these Chinese stamps, loosely jostled among highways and leftover space, comes to define the city, reducing urban design to the practice of bloated architecture*. The tendency of the stamps to be directed at single income brackets has also led to increasing social segregation. Expanding economic divisions within contemporary Chinese society find expression in fortified real estate projects, and while the introduction of a housing market has been a major growth driver toward the xiao kang* society, with it have come jagged housing inequalities. These are all the more striking when it is considered that communist standards of accommodation parity (at least among workers within individual danwei*, if not across the city or across the urban / rural divide) are for many within living memory.
dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258 coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537 dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321 zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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SPRA WL C REAT DUCE ED S THEM PRAWL BU BY POLI C SELV ES A T IN FAC IES WHI POLI CH W RE S T AU CIES E G PRAW O DEVE LING MENT IT, RE INTEN LOPM BSCURES . OP DED ENTS AND THE PART TO R ACI P P AND OF L EFACI OSSIBILI TY CREA OLICIES OCAL LITA W TED TY O OFFI TES F AC BY E HICH CIAL ExAM WIDE HIEV XCE S AN PLE: SPRE D TH T TRY AD A ING ”LEG SS EIR INTO HE HUKOU BUSE PRIV * SY S ON AL” TION TH ATE STEM PART THE OF T E CITY P NERS LAGE . S HA HE RURAL PROPER W ROBLEMAT S FU HILE IZES SHIF FRIN RN TING GE ALLO MIGR WI ANTS ARE TEMP ISHED BE . ILLEG ’ SURR ORAR AL R NG THE IJIN OUND Y DW ENTI URBA ENG WI ED A NG W ELLI NIZA TH A ND U ITH RIM LTIM NGS. THR OF C IN VILATEL ONST Y SW OUGH EXP ANTL ALLO Y WED. ANSION THES E

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For some old Beijingers housed within the more powerful danwei*, post-reform welfare structures have encouraged the purchase of their previously stateowned apartments. However for those drawn to the city by new opportunities and without the appropriate hukou*, the market is much less affordable. In addition to large scale estates for low to medium income inhabitants (such as Tian Tong Yuan* and Wanjing), and the upmarket gated ”plazas” of flashier towers or villas (and the top end of Beijing real estate has entered the global elite of super-exclusivity), at the bottom end, illegal and uncoordinated development is profuse. Migrant worker housing may be attached directly to specific construction sites. Equally it may develop informally in response to an official urban expansion project (as with Dong Xiao Kou*), or operate as an illegal suburb bubble in its own right (as with Zhejiangcun*). Often these different faces of stratified Beijing are spatially dislocated. Sometimes they are wedged cheek by jowl in crammed sub-centers, leading to bewildering juxtapositions of dilapidation, wealth density, and communist history. Within such contexts, new expensive multi-story compounds dissever themselves from the nearby lower buildings by height and access ways, leading to a 3-D stratification* effect. The various strata correlate directly to a particular relationship with public space, whereby basement shanty-towners rely on their feet, commieblock residents traipse to the subway and back, and inhabitants of gated communities are permanently shielded from the urban realm by the windscreens of their cars. For the time being Beijing’s famously over-heated real estate market shows little sign of cooling. With apartment prices continuing to rise at 20–30% per year (well in excess of stagnant wage growth), the haves are not only maintaining their distance from the have-nots — they are in fact pulling ever further away. This accelerating economic disaggregation is another, this time socio-economic, aspect of exploding Beijing.

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*
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*

>10,000RMB/m2 ,000–10,000RMB/m2 6,000–,0000RMB/m2 4,000–6,000RMB/m2 7 <4,000RMB/m
2

Updated from Huang, Youqin ”Housing Inequality in Transitional Beijing” (2005)
nannies

Income homogeneity in Beijing has given way to income bracketing among residents. Apparently mixed income areas belie the reality of extremely segregated space. High rise commands higher rent, with separate movement envelopes through public space. At the building level, tower basements are colonised by migrant workers.

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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THE OffICIAL RESPONSE
AT THE HEART Of ALL PLANNINg STRATEgIES HAVE BEEN TWO gOALS: ENCOURAgE gROWTH — CURB CONgESTION. THESE CONTINUE TO DOMINATE CURRENT PROPOSALS, EVEN THOUgH METHODS HAVE CONSISTENTLY PROVED TO BE AT ODDS WITH RESULTS.

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-BEIJING 2020 — MASTERPLAN In 2004, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning produced the revision to the 1993 Beijing Master Plan for the year 2020. The objective was to create new guidelines to accommodate the city’s unprecedented expansion and tackle inefficiencies that had accumulated since the introduction of market reforms. Confronted by a city that seemed to be growing recklessly and even randomly, the first comprehensive plan for Beijing — including elements aimed to respond to market (and market-like) urbanizing forces — was formulated. The result was the ”Beijing Spatial Development Strategy”. Further tweaking has yielded the contemporary planning proposals, which are focused on three key points. 1. High intensity development is to be promoted eastwards toward the metropolis of Tianjin, and, as an environmental counterbalance, low intensity development is to progress westwards toward the mountains. This forms the structure for the ”Two Axes Two Corridors — Multicenters” plan. By this, Beijing aims to retain its traditional north-south and east-west axes, and gain two corridors on either side of the center (running north-east to south-east, and north-west to south-west), which focus development, connect up and strengthen outlying polycenters, and thus relieve congestion in the downtown area. The Eastern Development Corridor is to be a dense straight of highly urbanized land incorporating both residential and business program along an arc of new satellite cities. The Western Development Corridor is to remain low density, with a focus on high-tech, eco-industry, culture, entertainment and leisure. 2. Designated cultural, historic, and environmental sites and open spaces are to be protected from (further) urban development. 3. The principle of ”develop transportation infrastructure first” is to guide planning, and land development is to be confined within the capacity of the transportation system. Development of transportation infrastructure is focused on three modes: i. A massively upgraded road network, encompassing country roads, village streets, linkage routes, and expressways. The explicit aim is to bring node to center trips down to a one hour drive. Expressways are to be built connecting every suburban district and country center to the central downtown area, and linkage routes are to run from subordinate towns to country centers. ii. An extensive subway and light rail network. 20 lines comprising 561km of track are to be up and running by 2015 (from 4 lines of 142km in 2007). iii. An improved and diversified bus service. The wide reaching ”Bus Service for Every Village Project” is to be continued, ensuring comprehensive bus services for all urban and rural residents of the Beijing area. Within the city proper, the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) will serve to reduce traffic by addressing the positioning of congestive bus stops. The BRT will be assisted by a centralized intelligent taxi data system, which will serve to minimize the number of empty cab journeys. * 

Two Axes — Two Corridors density curves 2000, 2005

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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REALITY CHECk
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CONTEMPORARY APPROACHES CONTINUE TO ExPRESS THE SAME ESSENTIAL CONTRADICTIONS: DECONgEST THE CENTER BY ENfORCINg LONgER TRIPS; STAUNCH MOTORIZATION BY fEEDINg IT MORE ROADS. THE PLANS MOVE OUT PEOPLE WHO DON’T HAVE CARS, BUILD BIggER BLOCkS AT BIggER DISTANCES, AND ExPECT PUBLIC TRANSPORT TO SOLVE COMMUTINg. THIS WILL NOT PROVE EffECTIVE. THE ILLUSIONS DRAWN UP WILL HIT A HARD REALITY IN THE fORM Of INACCESSIBILITY: THE ESSENTIAL PHENOMENON WHICH CHARACTERIZES MODERN BEIJINg. -WHILE BEIJING IS ADVERTISING ONE FUTURE, CURRENT REALITIES ARE STRAINING IN ANOTHER DIRECTION. THE HISTORY OF BEIJING PLANNING / REALITY MISMATCHES IS ONE OF ACTUAL GROWTH CONSISTENTLY OUTPACING NOT ONLY PLANS, BUT THE RATE AT WHICH THOSE PLANS ARE BEING DRAWN. PROJECTIONS ARE OUTDATED ON RELEASE AND LOOK LIKE OLD MAPS. PLANNING IS REDUCED TO POSTPLANNING: A MIXTURE OF WISTFUL THOUGHTS AND POLITICAL PROPAGANDA. DISPARITIES BETWEEN BEIJING AS A SUBJECT FOR URBAN DESIGN AND BEIJING AS A RAPIDLY EXPANDING MEGACITY ARE EXACERBATED BY THE PRIORITIZING OF ECONOMIC GROWTH (OFTEN REAL ESTATE DRIVEN) OVER DESIGN OBJECTIVES; THE INFORMALITY AND OBSCURITY SURROUNDING EACH AND EVERY INDIVIDUAL DEAL BETWEEN PRIVATE DEVELOPERS AND LOCAL OFFICIALS; AND THE LARGE, EXTREMELY ACTIVE, AND CONSISTENTLY IGNORED INFORMAL POPULATION. THUS THE CHIEF AGENTS OF SPATIAL PRODUCTION ARE DISENGAGED FROM CITY-WIDE PLANNING PROCESSES, WHILE PLANNERS THEMSELVES REFUTE THE MUD* PROCESSES BY WHICH DEVELOPMENT IS ACTUALLY OCCURRING. AS MUD* CONTINUES TO ADD MATTER TO THE REAL BEIJING, A FAKE BEIJING IS EQUALLY UNDER PRODUCTION. FAKE BEIJING 200 IS A GLOBALLY MARKETED CITY. IT CONSISTS OF A LIMITED NUMBER OF STARCHITECT BUILDINGS (”BEIJING IS MODERN”), UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES (”HISTORICAL SEAT OF IMPERIAL POWER”), AND THE VERDURE WALLING OF INFRASTRUCTURE (”GREEN 

CITY, SUSTAINABLE CITY”). IT IS LENT FURTHER SUPPORT BY VIRTUAL BEIJING 2020 — A CITY WHICH EXISTS ENTIRELY ON HARD DRIVES, AND IS VISITED VIA CGI FLYTHROUGHS OF IMPECCABLY METROPOLITAN DISTRICTS (GLASS WRAPS, STEEL DIAGONALS, ELECTRONIC MUSIC ETC.). FAKE BEIJING BRANDS ITSELF FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS, FOR TOURISTS, AND FOR ITS OWN POPULATION — PLACATING UNREST WITH THE PROMISE OF AN ENTIRELY NEW CITY — A NEW FUTURE — LYING JUST BEYOND TOMORROW. BUT FAKE BEIJING IS ENGAGED IN A CONSTANT AND EXPENSIVE PROCESS OF SAVING FACE. IT DEMANDS ENORMOUS CASH INJECTIONS FOR ITS HUBRISTIC MEGAPROJECTS (THE OLYMPIC STADIA, CCTV, THE NATIONAL GRAND THEATER ETC.). SHABBY AREAS ARE PUSHED OUTWARDS. ENORMOUS VOLUMES OF WATER ARE DRAWN IN FROM OUTLYING CATCHMENT AREAS AND DISTANT DIVERTED RIVERS TO MAINTAIN THE THEATER SCREEN OF LUSHNESS. 30 YEAR OLD TREES ARE TRUCKED IN, STOOD UPRIGHT, AND CONNECTED UP TO AN AUTOMATIC HOSE ... CLEARLY THIS IS NOT A MODEL OF SUSTAINABILITY. TISSUE BETWEEN THE GLOBAL MEGAPROJECTS IS BECOMING COARSER AND HARSHER, AND THE WATER TABLE (NOW 90% CONTAMINATED) IS AT AN ALL TIME LOW. FAKE BEIJING PREENS ITSELF IN THE MIRROR AND WAITS FOR THE OLYMPICS. ALL THE WHILE, REAL BEJING IS SUBJECTED TO SPLINTERING FORCES.

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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jianwai soho Architectural projects have increased in scale to the point they arrogate the role of urban planning
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建筑项目的规模之大,
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大得挤占了城市规划的 角色

cctv
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third ring road

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90% urban ground water polluted

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tonghui yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 tian tong river bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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Top-down megaprojects periodically push small informal developments further
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out to the periphery.
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自上而下的巨型项目和大量中等规
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模的房地产项目则不断将小规模的 自发性开发推向边缘地带.

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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POPULATION — OBSCURINg MILLIONS
INITIAL PERIOD Of RAPID ExPANSION 1949–1957 First period of Sino-Soviet planning for Beijing’s population. Boundaries are redrawn and population limits set. Limits exceeded 3 new plans developed aimed to restrict population to between 5 and 6 million Real population 7.2 million (up from 2.7 million in 1953) Growth plan indicating development strategy for Beijing metropolitan area through to 2010: population limit set at 11.6 million Real Population growth: 10.–13. million Of the additional 3 million, roughly 70% can be accounted for by the influx of migrants

REALITY CHECk I: MAPPINg gROWTH
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1957 195–1965 1959 1992 1991–2001

HISTORY REVEALS THE TOTAL INEffICACY Of ALL PLANS TO DATE, AND THE SIMPLER TRUTH Of UNCONTROLLED UNCOORDINATED ExPANSION, AMONgST WHICH THE fAILURES Of SATELLITES AND gREEN BELTS ARE A CASE IN POINT. PLANNINg MEASURES HAVE IN fACT SERVED ONLY TO AggRAVATE THIS PROCESS.

CONTINUINg RAPID ExPANSION

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CURRENT 2020 fORECASTS 2007

1959

1983

Beijing Spatial Planning Strategy suggests a population of 16–1 million Analysis based on availability of water sets the limit at 1 million Estimates for population size in 2007 suggest the 1 million cap has already been surpassed.

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”If 1.6 billion is used as the total national population in 2020, the method predicts a Beijing population of 26 million in 2020. If the floating population is included based on its current percentage of the total population, then the Beijing population will be between twenty-four and thirty million people by 2020.” – Chengri Ding, Yan Song & Knaap, G. ’Growth Scenarios for Beijing 2020: Technical Report on Beijing’s 2020 Comprehensive Plan Revision Process’ Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (2005)

fOOTPRINT — PLANNINg THE PAST
1950 1990
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Area within the historic city walls defining the metropolitan footprint of Beijing: 62km2 Area of Beijing metropolitan area: 430km2 (c.7x) Growth plan indicating development strategy for Beijing metropolitan area to 2010 released. Contemporary footprint already exceeds expected growth. Footprint runs beyond 2010 proposal

1992 2000

1991

2000

SATELLITES — fROM 40 TO 3
195
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Plan released including proposal for 40 new satellite towns around Beijing 24 satellite towns built covering 100km2 of land and housing almost 1 million people Plans released promoting further satellites as a means to curb congestion Plans continue to pursue a decongestion-via-population-dispersion strategy. From the original 40 satellites, then 24 satellites, the focus is narrowed to 14 existing satellites. The expectation for 2010 is for these satellites to grow in population to 1.94 million (increasing population share from 14.% to 22.7%1) Contemporary plans acknowledge that of the 14 satellites only 3 (Shunyi, Tongzhou and Yizhuang) are investment-worthy. Nevertheless, the ’Beijing Old City Transformation and Relocation Plan’ continues to propose relocating residents from within the Second Ring Road out to the satellites.
1 Chengri Ding, Yan Song & Knaap, G. ’Growth Scenarios for Beijing 2020: Technical Report on the Beijing’s 2020 Comprehensive Plan Revision Process’ Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (2005) p.20 柒 陆

195–197 192 1992

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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DESCRIBINg gROWTH: THE SHAPE, DIRECTION & TExTURE Of BEIJINg’S DENSITY DYNAMICS
PANCAkE MODEL (SPREADINg OUT) IN SPITE OF REPEATED EFFORTS TO CONTROL POPULATION AND FOOTPRINT GROWTH, BEIJING CONTINUES TO EXPAND. BEIJING’S MUD* FORMATION HAS BEEN OBSERVED BY FIELDS OUTSIDE OF URBANISM. ANALYSIS OF BEIJING USING GRAVITATIONAL, ECONOMIC, AND NUCLEAR MODELING YIELDS A SINGLE RESULT: BASIC UNIDIRECTIONAL OUTWARDS SPREADING. THIS PATTERN, WHICH SEEMS TO ELUDE PLANNERS, IS ONE MOST RESIDENTS OF BEIJING KNOW ALL TO WELL. THEY DESCRIBE THEIR CITY BY REFERRING TO ONE OF THE LOCAL SNACKS — THE TANDABING — OR BIG SPREADING PANCAKE. THE INFRASTRUCTURAL RINGING OF THE CITY IS SIMULTANEOUSLY PROOF AND CAUSE OF THIS PATTERN. IT ACKNOWLEDGES THE PANCAKE, SUPPORTS IT, AND ENABLES FURTHER PANCAKE-LIKE EXPANSION.

RAISIN BREAD MODEL (ExPANDINg) THE CITY IS UPSCALING AS ARE ITS ELEMENTS: ITS ROADS, ITS BUILDINGS, ITS URBAN BLOCKS. BEIJING BECOMES A UNIVERSE IN WHICH EVERYTHING IS SIMULTANEOUSLY SWELLING. WITHIN THE EVER COARSENING TISSUE, POINTS BECOME MORE DISTANT FROM ONE ANOTHER, LIKE RAISINS IN A RISING LOAF.

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DONUT MODEL (HOLLOWINg OUT) PROTECTIONS COVER THE HISTORIC CENTER, CREATING A DEVELOPMENTAL HOLE. SIMULTANEOUSLY HIGH RISE FOR THE NEW MIDDLE CLASS FOOTS ITSELF ALONG EXISTING HIGHWAYS, CREATING AN EXPANDING RING OF NEW BUILD. SLICK ARCHITECTURE AND PRIVATIZED COMMUNAL SPACE LENDS THIS FORMATION A GLAZING OF MODERNIZED APPEAL.

COOkIE MODEL (fUSINg TOgETHER) FEAR OF THE BIG CITY HAS MOTIVATED POLITICIANS TO PROMOTE SMALLER SETTLEMENTS, AND DIVERT METROPOLITAN GROWTH INTO PERIPHERAL SATELLITE CITIES. BUT DOES SMALL EQUAL STABLE? LOCATED TOO OFTEN TOO FAR FROM THE CENTER TO PROVIDE AN ATTRACTIVE CONNECTION, MOST OF THE PLANNED SATELLITES HAVE FAILED. BUT SUCCESSFUL SATELLITES ARE AS MUCH A CAUSE FOR CONCERN. UNDER THE PRESSURES OF MASS MIGRATION AND SUPERHOT REAL ESTATE, DEVELOPMENTS ON CHEAP LAND NEAR THE CENTER SWELL FAST. FOLLOWING THE GRAVITATIONAL ANALOGY, EACH SATELLITE SUFFERS ITS OWN DENSITY DECAY ALONG THE FRINGE. INSTEAD OF MAKING DISCRETE SHAPES, THE SPREADING FRINGES TOUCH AND FUSE, LIKE COOKIES GROWING TOGETHER ON A BAKING TRAY.

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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Counterintuitive curve: from the center outwards Beijing’s buildings get bigger; density drops
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DENSITY

Floating Village* HEIGHT: ½ story (bunk beds)

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有悖直觉的曲线:从市中心向 外,北京的建筑越来越高,密度却 越来越低
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Hutong* HEIGHT: 1 story

Modern Tower Development HEIGHT: 30 storys

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Dormitory Extrusion* HEIGHT: 20 storys

Dormitory* HEIGHT: 6 storys
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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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REALITY CHECk II: MUD* DOMINATION
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WHERE PLANNINg HAS fAILED, MUD* HAS NOT.

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-A FAR CRY FROM THE VISION OF OFFICIAL PLANS, BEIJING IS DOMINATED BY MUD*. MUD* DOES NOT RESPECT LIMITS. MUD* DOES NOT HOLD TO SATELLITE PLANNING. OVER THE LAST TEN YEARS THE CITY BEYOND THE FIFTH RING ROAD HAS EXPANDED MORE THAN 25%, COMPRISING A POPULATION OF 6 MILLION — A 40% SHARE OF THE ENTIRE CITY. MUD* HAS EATEN THROUGH THE FIRST PLANNED GREEN BELT AND STARTED ON THE SECOND. BY WORKING FASTEST AT THE FRINGE AND WITH NO IN BUILT REGARD FOR OVERALL CITY FORM, MUD* HAS CREATED A LARGE DISAGGREGATED URBAN MASS. APPLICATIONS OF PLANNING ARE PERFORMED AFTER THE FACT RATHER THAN IN ANTICIPATION OF THE FUTURE. THE CONTEMPORARY POSTPLANNING RESPONSE TO MUD* IS MORE MULTICENTERS AND MORE INFRASTRUCTURE. THE TERM ”MULTICENTERS” DEMONSTRATES AN UPDATE FROM ”SATELLITES” — IT ACKNOWLEDGES AND AIMS TO ENCOMPASS THE LARGE DEVELOPMENTS WHICH HAVE BROKEN OUT ALONG THE BEIJING FRINGE. BUT STILL, IN ESSENCE, THE MULTICENTERS REPRESENT THE LONG MAINTAINED AND EVER UNSUCCESSFUL AMBITION TO DECONGEST THE CENTER BY MOVING PEOPLE OUT. THE INFRASTRUCTURAL COMPONENT IS NO MORE PROGRESSIVE. THE PROPOSAL FOR THE WORLD’S LARGEST SUBWAY NETWORK, IN COMBINATION WITH THE WORLD’S DENSEST INNER CITY RETICULATION OF HIGHWAYS, IRONICALLY PROMISES TO RENDER THE CITY OUT OF REACH TO MILLIONS OF ITS INHABITANTS. THE INEVITABLE PRODUCTS ARE MORE CONGESTION, MORE COARSENESS, AND LESS AMENITY. PLANNED STATIONS WILL BE INACCESSIBLE, AND THE TRAFFIC SITUATION WORSENED. LANDING AN INFRAHYBRID ON TOP OF EXPLODING BEIJING WILL NOT PROVE EFFECTIVE. IT FAILS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE TEXTURE OF THE CITY IT INTENDS TO SERVE. THE PERIPHERY OF THE CITY WILL CONTINUE TO RUSH OUTWARDS, WHILE THE CENTER BECOMES EVER MORE DISRUPTED AND ATOMIZED. * * *
dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

Planned Greenbelt 1

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Greenbelts actively contribute to outward expansion and fragmented tissue patterns. Local parks and private greenspace such as on the Lbuilding offer more rationalised solutions. Beijing’s first greenbelt was consumed by urban development before it left the drawing board. In an attempt to outpace urbanizing forces a second greenbelt has been planned. It is so large and vague it lacks any meaning in the spatial context.

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Planned Greenbelt 2

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coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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Beijing’s stretched perimeter and planned infrastructure do not match up. The concentration of subway stations is in the center. Half the population lives in suburbs well beyond reach of this system.
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To accommodate a Beijing

28 m
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population of 20 million by 2020 at Fourth Ring Density would require a 28m expansion of the current perimeter

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foot / bike access to subway network in 2020

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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Density per ring

INTEgRATED PLANNINg - DD
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UNDERSTANDINg AND WORkINg WITH MUD* IS PARAMOUNT. AT THE CENTER Of MARkET fORCES IS THE MARkET NEED fOR ACCESSIBILITY. IT’S NOT A MARkET If YOU CAN ONLY gET TO ONE STAND.

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CONTEMPORARY BEIJING CONTINUES TO PRESENT A STEEP DENSITY CURVE WITH HIGH LEVELS OF CENTRAL MASSING WITHIN THE FIFTH RING ROAD THE PLANNED NEW SUBCENTERS (RED) AND SATELLITES (LILAC) PROPOSE SHARPLY DELINEATED POINTS OF HIGH DENSITY. THIS FAILS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT GEOGRAPHICAL SPREADING WILL MOST LIKELY RESULT IN AN OVER FLATTENING OF THE DENSITY CURVE.
Suinyi 0.9m

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Yizhuang 0.7m

Tongzhou 0.9m

Source: www.alain-bertaud.com
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’LARGE LABOR MARKETS ARE THE ONLY RAISON D’ÊTRE OF LARGE CITIES’ – Alain Bertaud, ’The spatial organization of cities’ (2004)
OffICIAL gOAL population 18m
dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258 coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537 dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321 zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

historic center reduced to 0.9m urban core
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4.9m 2.7m 5.7m

sub-centers satellites

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Planned additions 
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small townships 1.8m (+2m in rural areas) 

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In spite of higher operating costs and logistical complexities, and often straight in the face of policy, cities continue to grow. The return benefit is growth of the labor market. The power of large labor markets offsets associated costs to such an extent that global megacities have risen in size, GDP and population to the point that their influence rivals that of their domicile nations. The disinclination of governments to accept the megacity is irrelevant in the face of its market power. On these grounds the continuing expansion of Beijing — in particular expansion of the working population — can be regarded as more grist to its mill. However, the key to understanding the large labor market is that for it to provide the return — i.e. for the efficiency gains of the enlarged market to generate profits over and above the cost of the required additions to infrastructure and civic services — it must be unified. For the labor market to operate effectively, employers and employees within it must be able to compete with each other across the board. As soon as it becomes fragmented, and the fragments cease to compete, then further expansions present the city with costs, but no competitive gain. In effect, the new tissue is more expensive than it is worth. Preventing fragmentation of the labor market requires that it be mobile. Any job must be accessible to any worker from any part of the city.

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Source: ’An Artificial-Neural-Network-Based Constrained CA Model for Simulating Urban Growth and Its Application’, Qingfeng Guan, Liming Wang (University of California, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2005)

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MARKET -D MENT O RIVEN UNIN TEN CCURS. NING A IN SPI TIONAL DEV ND DES IGN AT TE OF SLICK ELOPECT LE BOTH C V ITY AN PLANDEVELO EL, AN UNC D P OO PM EXISTI ENTS CONTI RDINATED SL ROJN NG CI EW OF TY, A UES TO UPSC THE S ND BR ALE TH UB EAK G E AMORPH URBS. THE ROUND INVARI OUS EX IN AB PA URBAN GRAVIT NSION WITH LE RESULT: IN A F Y. IELD O F
dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258 coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

MUD*

Sprawlconstant: Following the gravitational analogy, we can imagine a sprawlconstant, describing an intrinsic density decay along the border of every urban entity. Both when the border gets longer (being streched or fragmented) or the pull between two entities gets stronger as they grow larger or closer together, this decay is augmented.

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dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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Given market demands for mobility, it is unsurprising that MUD*-dominated expansion has clung to the monocentric core, and produced the tandabing (or pancake) rather than the planned satellites. Polycentric models with excessively specialized movement flows infringe upon the city’s ability to crossconnect. However, a single tighter layout which incorporates subcenters will allow some trip structuring, and yet preserve city-wide mobility. Larger cities tend to polycentrify, and as has been observed by Fengjian and Zhou Yixing2, during the post-reform era of rapid growth, Beijing has progressed from the monocentric city of the 190s to a 1990s bi-nuclear city before becoming fully multi-nuclear in the 21st century. The fastest growth in term of added built volume has been along the Fourth Ring Road. Initially development focused on the north-east side, catering to the influx of foreigners with high-end compounds. Today equally on the west and even in the south vast areas are being upgraded from dormitory blocks to lower-middle class dormitory extrusions*. This has created a clear ring of residential development. Simultaneously a top down stepping-stone offensive of large specialized districts backed by the central government has spurred the diversity and growth of this ring — most notably Zhongguancun, the CBD, Financial Street in the west, and the Olympic Village. These large-scale initiatives have been able to attract investment (as well as, particularly in the case of the Olympics, draw on enormous governmental slush funds) and boost employment, and by retaining proximity to the center, benefit from rather than disrupt the enormous reserve that is Beijing. Together these subcenters start to form a powerful new ring development. If we respect the imperative to preserve Beijing’s historic center — in effect creating a hole — we see a new center developing around it: an urban donut connecting the different nodes of work, home and leisure.

2 Fengjian & Zhou Yixing ’The Growth and Distribution of Population in Beijing Metropolitan Area: 192-2020’ (2003) 叁

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accessibility considerations must factor in both travel time and travel distance 可达性= 所耗时间+路程

Density model showing urban configurations of increasing average distance between residents. The first situation closly corresponds to Beijing of the 190s. The last situation shows a business as usual scenario of ongoing suburbanization. DD aims to consolidate growth in a dense ring around the center.
Source: Alain Bertaud

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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FEAR OF DENSITY AND CONGESTION HAS REDUCED CHINESE CITY BUILDING TO MOVING PEOPLE OUT AND ROADS AND URBAN VOIDS IN. THE RESULT: MORE FRAGMENTATION, LESS ACCESSIBILITY ....

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TOWARD A PERICENTER
THE PERICENTER fOLLOWS NATURAL MUD* ExPRESSION. PLANNINg EffORTS SHOULD CONCENTRATE OPTIMIZINg THIS EMERgENCE TOWARD AN EffICIENT fUTURE fORM.

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-Dense concentrations within Beijing are not to be regarded as the problem but the solution. The mandate of the planner is to work with this imperative. Under the communist system of state allocated jobs and housing, the two were necessarily unified, but bureaucratically mismanaged. By far the greater proportion of the world has now adopted a free-market approach, apportioning the responsibility for living and working choices largely to the individual. There is no city in existence to suggest that under such conditions of relative free movement, people won’t move freely in all directions: i.e. that residents will pay any attention to planning hopes for independent selfcontained elements within a larger urban framework. To quote Bertaud: ’the utopian concept of a polycentric city as a cluster of urban villages persists [only] in the minds of planners.’ In the real world, satellite-driven polycentrification leads inevitably to fragmentation, granulation, and disintegration, which in China comes with coarser urban fabric and outbreaks of monosprawl*, infrasprawl* et al. Random commutes persist, only in an ever more congested context. On the other hand, real world economic clustering has proved highly desirable. Natural concentrations of growth which remain within an integrated context form the basic structure for metropolis building. Beijing, with the developments along the Fourth Ring Road, is moving toward this inherent shape. Yet the transition is not without risk. It is important to guard against excessive specialization of districts, or to allow areas to become dominated by giant buildings positioned within massive set-backs serviced exclusively via large roads. Maintaining pan-directional ease of movement is key, with density being a vital part of any successful public transport system. To keep Beijing’s latent ring of subcenters fully accessible, and to curb the motorization-congestion tendency, it is necessary to transform it into a pedestrian orientated zone. Making the area where most people live, work, and travel also one which they walk through will ensure mixed and diverse programming, and a lively and naturally safer environment. 
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Beijng 2020 1,62 km2

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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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THE PERICENTER – A DD PROPOSAL
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DENSITY ZONINg STREAMLINES THE SHAPE Of THE CITY. DYNAMIC gROWTH TAkES PLACE BETWEEN THE THIRD AND fIfTH RINg ROADS. HIgH-SPEED PEDESTRIAN-ORIENTATED INfRASTRUCTURE SERVICES THE NEW TISSUE. THE PERICENTER BECOMES A THRIVINg CORRIDOR Of DIVERSE URBAN ACTIVITY, ABSORBINg COMMUTES, AND CONSOLIDATINg PUBLIC SPACE. THE STREETSCAPE IS REVIVED AS THE CITY’S TRUE URBAN INTERfACE. -DD analysis of Beijing proposes refocusing development on the zone where MUD* is already most active — i.e. between the Third and Fifth Ring Roads. The existing booming subcenters should be integrated within a continuous new center: the pericenter. This will offer the requisite space for growth within the current urban footprint. At present the density curve flattens across this zone. By raising pericenter densities to inner ring levels, it will be possible to accommodate a Beijing population of 20 million inhabitants without further pancake-like spreading. Providing space for residents and migrants within the city proper and successfully integrating the floating population will be key to controlling sprawl formations in the outlying areas of Beijing. Furthermore, pericenter development will alleviate congestion within the historic center by increasing the number of destinations located in the subcenter belt. Commuters will be absorbed into the pericenter, and through-traffic rerouted along it. The fact that the pericenter adheres closely to the current market-driven patterns makes it far less radical than the proposed satellite towns. It promises to form a unified coherent structure incorporating both top down and bottom up developmental forces in the territories where they already operate. Officially driven ventures, public-private collaborations, and low level entrepreneurial activities are all integral. The outwards creep of residential megablocks can be capitalized upon to create a clearly defined ring of high density. Recent developments such as Tian Tong Yuan* literally stop on a line of twenty story towers. Here the urban fringe is in fact a wall. This can be used as an extremely effective city edge — inspiring growth to infill the pericenter rather than pursuing more distant developments of diminishing density. Shifting developmental pressure away from the geographic center has an important historical precedent. In the early years of the PRC visionary planner Liang Sicheng, foreseeing the impending conflict between the narrow streets of Beijing and modern traffic practices, proposed moving the admin-

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Official 2020 expansion

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Green Edge*
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Collected together, the proposed expansions under the 2020 plan exceed the current acknowledged footprint. Effectively an entire new Beijing is added. The Green Edge* is the area beyond the urban core (as defined by the Fifth Ring Road) which is covered by the 2020 high-end mass transit plan. It aims to fulfill demands for both fast access to downtown areas and lower density suburban qualities. Combined with existing city tissue, the Green Edge furnishes Beijing with an area capable of accommodating a Beijing of 20 million inhabitants without impairing city accessibility. 
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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

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coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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istrative center west and preserving the historic city core. Guided by Soviet proposals, which stressed the propaganda potential of Tiananmen Square, the CCP rejected the plans, and blacklisted Sicheng. The plans have since been recirculated and discussed in different forms. Relocating public buildings (of which there are over 400 in Beijing) to the pericenter will have two major impacts. Firstly, as trips related to official business account for a large proportion of single to low occupancy vehicles, the move will pull a major traffic contributor out of the center. Secondly, as governmental buildings can be forcibly repositioned to a fully planned location, they can be used to seed underdeveloped parts of the pericenter and drive up land values, thus incentivizing a market response. This forms the basis for the birch theory: significant hardy trees are planted in a degraded area to create the habitat within which other flora can then grow. Engendering flows of people and money fosters the creation of interprogrammatic mix among the specialized nodes. The pericenter should not be composed just of social housing and business districts, but be fully diverse, and appeal to the tourist, the shopper, and the general user. The pericenter is to be promoted through two mechanisms:

TURN YOUR PANCAkE INTO A DONUT
MICROPLANNED MEGAPROJECTS INDIVIDUAL ACTORS WITHIN GUIDED ENVIRONMENTS SATELLITES EXPLOIT THE GREEN EDGE* ILLEGAL MIGRANTS ENCLAVES FOSTER RUS*: INTEGRATE MIGRANT POPULATIONS HEIGHT / SETBACK / PROGRAMMATIC REGULATIONS LIBERATED ARCHITECTURE

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1. To create a future-orientated compact plan, DD proposes a series of zones. These provide clear boundaries, with recommended densities and typologies suitable for different areas within the urban footprint. The zones act as a framework for steering future-proofed development while still apportioning considerable free reign to market players. BEIJINg ZONES BLACK HOLE* - HISTORIC CORE PERICENTER* – The New Dynamic Center of Beijing GREEN EDGE* – The Green Edge is the area beyond the pericenter but within the public transport footprint. It aims to offer a green moderately dense environment. FIELD OF GRAVITY* – Beijing’s functional urban region 2. The pericenter’s true dynamic quality is to come from a fully integrated pedestrian-orientated high-speed public transport system. This will run in a loop through the pericenter to form a zone-backbone. By connecting the pericenter up to itself, a clear locality is given, encouraging both physical development and an enhanced sense of place. As higher densities and ease of access cluster along the ring, a new identity is formed — that of a modern city center wrapped around the historic core. Beyond the pericenter buses will continue to dominate public transport (predictions for Beijing’s future suggest that as much as 0% of trips in 2020 will be bus dependent). This is the greenest and most cost effective solution for the greater municipal area of Beijing given the bus’ low vehicle to passenger weight ratio, and continuous flexibility of route planning. The pericenter will defuse the scenario of severe bus congestion in a single central location by spreading the focus of numerous bus routes from a vast region along the whole of its length. Buses coming into Beijing from the Green Edge* and more distant nodes within the field of gravity will be assimilated into the pericenter at the nearest point. Further trip processing will be run through the pericenter, and only trips with destinations inside the historic core will need to enter. Pericenter transport will be focused on the D-Rail: a maglev-travelator hybrid that renders the entire pericenter accessible to foot traffic. 
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THE PERICENTER RETAINS A MODERNIST TRUST IN DENSITY. BEIJING MUST GROW UPWARDS AS MUCH AS OUTWARDS. BUT UNLIKE THE MODERNIST CITY BEIJING MUST ALSO TRUST ITS DYNAMISM. RECENT HISTORY HAS PROVED THAT STATIC INSTANT SOLUTIONS ARE OUTPACED BY ONGOING AGGRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT. WE CAN ONLY ASSUME THIS WILL CONTINUE. MUD* REVEALS THE INSUPERABLE URGE FOR OUTWARDS EXPANSION. FOR THE COURSE OF BEIJING’S FUTURE DEVELOPMENT DD PRESCRIBES FURTHER DENSIFICATION, AND A REINFORCEMENT OF THE CENTER OF URBAN GRAVITY. THE PATCHWORK OF MICRO-PLANNING IS REPLACED BY THE MORE ABSTRACT GOAL OF THE CONTINUED MARKET-DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT OF THE PERICENTER AND THE GREEN EDGE. COMPRESSING FUNCTION WITHIN THESE AREAS RECREATES PEDESTRIAN DISTANCES, AND NURTURES A HUMAN SCALE AMONG THE TOWERS.
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dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536–537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314–317, 664–665 bloated architecture [img] p.386–387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318–321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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A NEW URBAN DISCIPLINE
DD IMPLEMENTATION: COMBINE CLOSE CITY MONITORINg WITH A CONCEPTUAL APPROACH — CREATE ZONES WITH DENSITY OBJECTIVES AND PROPOSED TYPOLOgIES — fOSTER SMALLER DEVELOPMENTS WITHIN AN OPTIMIZED CITY CURVE — ALLOW MARkET fORCES TO gENERATE DENSITY AND DIVERSITY ON A HUMAN SCALE.

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POPULATION (MILLIONS) 

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“The Chinese Knot” The ring roads of Beijing at the scale of The Forbidden City
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中国结 - 与紫禁城同比例的 北京环路

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INSTALLATION SHENZHEN ARCHITECTURAL BIENNIAL ’07 www.BURB.TV/view/Shenzhen_2007
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DCF / Neville Mars, Li Juankun

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’The commuter flies through a continuous hybrid travel ring. The planner distributes densities. As distances drop, travel gets faster. Can the D-rail save Beijing from disintegration? Commuter and planner look each other in the eye …’
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INSTALLATION DEAF ’07 www.BURB.TV/view/D-Rail 2 touch screens 2 projections 2 users Virtual Reality modelling: Crystal CG DCF / Neville Mars, Brice Bignami 

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扩张与排斥
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何新城 城市路漫漫
城市是人类文明最伟大的创举。经过一万年,历经兴衰的城 市俨然成为人类文明的框架,是文化与商业的温床。历史上 的城市被规划、改造、再规划、再改造…… 城市总有它存在 与发展的理由。今天,新技术的应用、新概念的引入让承载 着不同历史的城市千姿百态。轨道交通、空港河港、后勤中 心、隧道、高架桥、中心商务区、交通节点、科技园以及生 态保护带等等带来了传统城市的新生(有时轻而易举、有时 武力相加)。我们的家叠加而成了摩天大楼,道路扭结成完 美的螺旋,工厂变成博物馆,建筑富于弹性,立面变得互 动,购物活动室内化,历史街区被保护……随着城市空间的拓 展和财富的增长,它们也越来越聪明,高科技被应用于复杂 的交通指挥与灾害预防,关照社会与环境的福祉。 今天的城市是全球30亿人口的庇护所——这似乎是聪明的 规划已经成功的最好明证。然而果真如此吗?假如让我们来 设计一座完美的城市,它是该像纽约、东京、巴黎、开罗、 圣保罗,还是像现代的北京呢?它会遭受严重的拥堵和污染 吗?能否应所有公民的需要而建设城市,而不仅是生活殷实 的一小撮呢?它应该随经济增长同步扩大,还是凝固下来、 保持完美的形态和规模呢? 如果能梦见最理想的城市是什么就好了,如果能摸索出一步 到位的完美城市发展模式就好了。在现实中,我们却无法逃 脱规划总是落后于城市升级、扩张、增长以及蚕食的挣扎。 当世界上大部分城市都由膨胀转为萎缩时,中国的城市化却 截然相反。在这里,都市中人一次次试图逃离城市的喧嚣, 却不断被汹涌的城市扩张浪潮所淹没。中国的城市化进程 虽然落后于西方数十载,其追赶速度却相当惊人,与当初 的“美国梦”很有一拼。中国的城市中心日益智能化,城市 边缘的蔓延非常多样化,呈现出一派混杂的郊区发展势头。 动态城市

管诸如巴西利亚、马思和谷等新城规划却无不是失败的 案例。究其原因,在现实中,城市的成功发展,城市环 境的改善与城市的自我发展能力是息息相关的。这一自 我发展能力正是让大都市聪明起来的源泉。也就是说, 现代城市是个庞大的自我管理、供需互动的有机体,所 有部分都按比例地整合在一起。如果我们铲除一个街 区,一个更大的街区会出现;切断一条道路,替代的道 路将出现;在某块土地上投资,当地的房租会上涨。作 为有机体,城市是不可以被规划或设计的;即便可以, 这样的规划或设计也不会是聪明的。对于一个打算在二 十年内重新规划全部城市空间的国家来说,这一论断无 疑是一剂苦药。 解剖城市 我们史无前例地近距离观察城市,探索、观察、测量并 图表化它的一举一动。渐渐地,我们可以很有把握地确 定城市独特的基因组成。建筑学范畴外的学者可以日益 准确地预测城市未来的发展趋势。对于城市规划者而 言,这些研究结果无疑是构思理性城市的辅助工具。但 从根本上,他们仍然没有把城市当作一个有机体来对 待。我们可以对城市进行功能分区,然后逐条街道,逐 个街区地进行设计。但是这样仍然很难兼顾细节并准确 预测结果。即便是解决城市交通拥堵的问题,也不可能 脱离城市整个系统的运行来单独考虑。城市的各部分是 紧密相连的。比如城市网格的大小与居住形式是紧密联 系的,它们还会影响到城市的居住密度、交通的可达性 以及居住与工作空间的分布等等。更重要的是,城市这 种组分与组分之间的相关性并不是简单的线性关联,任 何一个小小的动作都会牵一发而动全身,局部乃至整体 的改变都意味着城市的重生。对于北京,我们则不禁要 问,城市的变更究竟要深到什么程度才算城市的基因链 发生了突变呢? 都市大改造 上世纪90年代关于城市的争论已告一段落,我们所面临 的仍然是不可驯服的城市。尽管怎样驾驭这变幻莫测的 城市仍无定论,但我们已经看到:无论是改造现有城市 还是在城市的边界外开发新城都需要一些技术手段才能 解决。如果大城市有自己的思想,那么处理这些问题的 工具至少不该违背城市的意志,还应该对城市的发展有 逐步的引导作用。新城也好,卫星城也好,它们作为城 市改造的工具并不是一成不变的。它们的发展变化应该 在一开始时就加以预测(例如曼哈顿从一片农田发展成 为国际大都市)。 然而这种逻辑对于中国的城市并不适用,西方城市规划 高度依赖人口普查和人口密度控制,并试图将规划对城 市的影响降到最低点。与此截然相反的是,中国的城市 转变是在强制规划的框架下发生的。这些强制规划往 往不是脱离实际的宏观规划就是在旧城旁建设新城。 例如,北京就同时存在着旧城重改造与新城开发这两 种强制规划的模式。它们的并存则粗鲁地肢解了北京 城——街道被拓宽,公寓和写字楼生硬地被嵌入,野蛮 拼凑的城市结构取代了传统的秩序与优雅。城市的所有 成分都在往“大”里发展,包括边界。这些不仅改变了 北京的城市肌理,也让城市的功能明显异化:穿越马路 的行人不能不望“街”兴叹。而城内的马路则把市中心 分割成孤岛似的社区,个个被基础设施的巨墙所包围, 

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城市既不只是规划的产物也不单是 原生态的结果,就像光-既不单是波也 不仅是微粒
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Neither planned nor organic, the city is ambiguos as light itself - neither wave nor particle
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城市设计需要与时俱进,而中国的发展速度让所有的规划与 设计都立刻过时。共产党当政10年后的1958年,北京市第一 个总体规划出台了,目的在于遏制十年来经济飞速发展带来 的城市膨胀,缓解城市资源和人口的压力。当时的解决方案 是规划了40多个卫星城,并试图限制北京的城市人口。结果 却不成功,尽管设限,城市人口却持续增长,卫星城的繁荣 也从未实现。在此后的历次规划中,卫星城的数量则逐次减 少,从23到14、11,而今天只有3个在旧县城基础上规划的 卫星城对人口与投资还有些吸引力。与此同时,北京市的人 口仍然有增无减,目前的数量比五十年前翻了四倍多。而日 新月异的现实让城市规划的提案在出生之日即被现实抛弃。 北京证明:在市场经济的框架下,用规划引导城市的发展方 向其实相当困难。精心设计的街区、邻里、道路、公园等所 谓理想组合不过是大而不当的简单堆砌。 从零规划新城则更为困难。纵观历史,诸多增长爆炸期的国 家都在寻找完美的城市发展模式。从早期的静态规划,到 后来的点轴增长模型都是尝试的结果。在当代中国,“副中 心”、“卫星城”、“新城”等都是相当有人气的模式,尽

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真是雪上加霜。 现代的北京已经成了巨型街道、大型建筑以及形象工程的代 名词。从空中俯瞰,北京是将历史文化中心层层包裹的现代 化聚居环状带,中间是宽大的方格状居住小区(这种居住形 式是北京城市形态的主要内容,也就是被称为“老北京”的 象征,但在规划中,这种形式仍然极富争议)。五环之外, 北京像张开的手指一样向外蔓延,郊区的高层住宅、别墅 群、冒着黑烟的工厂参差错落,但这些并没有玷污北京的传 奇色彩。尽管目标观众千差万别,北京的官方形象却带来了 惊人的效率——比如吸引投资人/游客,让中产阶级开先河 地成为私房拥有者,用发展和城市化的美好前景来安抚农民 工等都有奇效。 里程碑式的规划、大规模标志性工程的嵌入往往是政府提高 形象策略的核心招数。在亟需快速发展的巨大压力下,该策 略的确让政府一切尽在掌握。然而,这一大跃进却存在着双 重隐患。这些建筑单体往往挤占了城市规划的地位,规划的 作用被完全忽略了。居住小区让公共空间私有化,道路系统 被小区的围墙生生切断,只有一两个通往公路的出口。更严 重的是,这些明星工程转移了人们应该将城市看成连续空间 网络的视线,形象工程与北京的现实极不同步,而北京的传 奇也与现实渐行渐远。 有关可达性 北京大爆炸

定。成星状散射发展的北京在各个方向的蔓延已到达距市中 心80公里的地方,而这个散射的城市边界(包括郊区)已经 超过了6000公里。 北京的通勤大军 到2020年,基础设施的扩张将有所缓解,向市场经济的转型 激活了中国的劳动力市场。北京的城市结构也呈“蛙跳”式 发展:原有的蜂窝式城市结构——“单位”,其工作与居住 密不可分的城市格局迅速向郊区化、彻底分离的蜂窝式城市 结构转变。于是日常通勤人流制造了该时段各种交通工具的 严重拥堵。任何试图遏制交通拥堵和分散城市人口的举措都 与制定这些举措的初衷——“加强联系!”自相矛盾。而城 市的初衷又是什么?城市本该是加快交流、聚拢交易与合作 的空间网络! 相对于日益增长的驾驶私车的通勤人士,道路必须相应地持 续增加。按照现有的私车增长速度(每天1500辆),北京市 应该每天增加10公里长的三车道公路。与此同时,轨道交通 也应突飞猛进,让北京的交通变成由巨型公路网络与长里程 轨道交通相结合的混合体。 公路和轨道交通的宏伟改造计划同时在进行,一个由中央政 府规划,另一个则相对灵活,它们会让北京翻天覆地。但这 些变化能解决日益严重的粗糙化与“北京大爆炸”日益碎片 化的问题么?这其中的原因何在呢?如何在如此快速的增长 之下去勾勒北京的城市边缘呢?简言之,我们该怎样去评价 现代的大都市呢? 症状 在北京的日常生活中,城市的大部分地区是居民日常生活的 盲点,很难够得着。如果你在东四环有一个公寓,那将意味 着除非在周末或休假期间,你无法拜访住在丰台区的朋友。 如果你打得起出租车,那么你得准备一早上都在车里度过。 当然,公交车很便宜,但是慢得像乌龟而且极不舒适。无论 交通系统多么复杂,衡量其效率的指标都可以简化为交通系 统的可达性,即交通连接出发地与目的地之间的效率。城市 系统的可达性,概括的说,取决于通勤时间的长短和通勤线 路的长度。 

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值得关注的是,在试图解决交通拥堵的北京“建桥运动”同 时,基础设施的剧增与城市的破碎亦步亦趋。自上世纪80年 代以来,紧凑的城市结构开始膨胀,并一发不可收拾地变形 成了今天的“大饼”。城市中的一切在更为广阔的空间中进 行重组和分配,分散成了片状的、相互隔离的“岛屿”。随 着城市的爆炸性蔓延,居民却逐渐向城市边缘聚集。他们中 既有主动追随郊区化大潮的中产及高产阶级,也有被动搬迁 的流动人口——他们没有城市居民享有的权利,这一群体 被迫从“老北京”的胡同迁至廉价的郊区。与美国的郊区化 不同的是,这里不是连片的私家住宅,而是一个个无论贫 富,都由显眼的高墙围合的居住群体。它们向一个个小的经 济“中心”靠拢,它们的轨迹以及城市的边界也变得捉摸不 
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虽然还处于婴儿期,交通拥堵问题却已是北京最严重的 城市问题了,紧随其后的是空气污染。但如果我们审视 北京最新的变化以及那些貌似很有激情的设计,我们就 会看到,北京的堵不过是众多城市问题的症状之一而 已。我们有必要探究交通拥堵的根本原因:这个城市与 日俱增的不可到达性。 北京著名的环路,从二环到六环的总占地面积比紫禁城 还大。简单地增加道路面积并不能缓解交通拥堵或增加 可达性。北京的道路覆盖率并不及西方的平均水平,私 家车的人均拥有量也不及。然而北京粗放式的城市结构 意味着交通网络的节点极不可达,相对于舒适的私人汽 车来说全无可比性。然而学者预测,公共汽车仍将是未 来的主要交通方式。在数十年内, 80%的出行仍将依赖 公共汽车。这一预测相当可信,因为越来越多的居住区 在轨道交通还未到达的地方拔地而起,而大量的流动人 口也将聚集在城市的边缘地带。 嵌入与收缩 文章的标题“扩张与排斥”说明北京城市空间的扩张和 社会隔阂有直接的联系。机会不再均等,很多人都无法 够及;空间的隔断更拉扯着财富的差距;有车族的社区 围墙高筑,其中的生活单调而了无生趣;街道生活也不 见踪影……这一切都在证明北京的命脉完全是为科技主义 以及政治目标服务——为了提高道路的车流容积并保持 城市的威望在疏导交通堵塞,而不是根本解决城市的不 可达问题。官方的公共空间倒非常像模像样,整齐的围 墙、严密的监视系统以及庞大的公园式景观。然而容易 产生碰撞与摩擦的“小”空间才是城市存在的核心。北 京的这种“小”却消失了,只剩下大型的封装式居住区 和巨型基础设施的城市网格。而底层社会人群只能徘徊 和思考在这些大型公共设施之间的缝隙。 我们还能让北京城重新紧凑起来吗?在保存内城的宽马 路的条件下,要把北京带回到可以舒适步行的过去是 不可想象的。无论将来对城市增长模式的探索可以如何 精确,“分割”城市的发展之路,例如在郊区建新城等 手段,将毫无疑问地恶化整个城市的通勤。此外就只剩 下基础设施这一可以改造城市的唯一工具了。我构思了 一个利用北京环路地面的精确嵌入式交通模型。当然, 它很“大”。如果这让你有点意外的话,你更应该仔细 读下去。中国并不缺少“大”的思路,也不缺少长远规 划。但是和我们的出发点不同的是,中国对“大”项目 的偏爱产生了拙劣的大型建筑和突兀的大型公共设施。 我们恳请赋予城市更多细节的、多样化的、规模较小的 建设项目,让它们来重新定义城市空间,复兴公共的互 动空间。 我们研发了一个将步行速度提升到列车速度的混合交通 系统--D-rail。这个系统结合了行人传送带和磁悬浮技 术。在城市的环路上,高速运转的行人传送带在首尾相 连的玻璃管道内不停运转,通勤者可以在环线的任何一 点自由上下车,没有车站、不需等待。这个玻璃罩下的 快速路就坐落在北京现有的环路上,三环可以建一个小 型D-rail,四环可以建一个较大的叠加在现有的公路上, 屋顶公园和零售商场则向两侧延伸。D-rail让高速公路变 回人行道,它利用城市的无人区,将社区再次连接。这 无疑是一次弥补城市裂缝、连接和多样化城市网格和急 剧收缩城市膨胀的大胆尝试。 

公共汽车、人口在城市中心的移动是交通堵塞的主要原因, 而D-rail的功能则是吸收在市中心工作却居住在四环外的大 量人口。D-rail的存在让四环上的公交车不再必要。再补以 通往市中心的交通,行人能被更快地输送到四环沿线的任何 地方。 D-rail每隔3分钟减速一次,减速时64公里长的磁轨 上的门同时开启,人们被输送至相同速度的本地传送带, 他们还可以选择通过电梯登上屋顶公园玩耍或下到商业街购 物,北京的四环将因为D-rail的存在而魅力四射。 枢纽就是心脏 基础设施的确是改造现代大都市的有效方法,然而一个首都 城市将如何接纳未来20年间新增的500到1000万人口呢?如 果任何城市扩张都伴随着交通恶化,我们将怎样控制城市日 益膨胀的规模和抑制它嚣张的增长欲望呢? 北京在2020年前的向外扩张不需要超过目前的30米,就足以 为新增人口提供充足的驻留空间了。因为目前北京有6000公 里的城市边界线,只要向外扩张一点点就够了。然而每个城 市都有增长的趋势,北京的政府政策,虚假的、投机性质的 投资更像激素一样刺激着生长。根据现有的规划和政策,到 2030年,北京和天津之间广袤的农村地区将被新生的城市 所填满。 我认为抑制北京扩张的最好办法就是沿D-rail激活它的内向 型增长,从而限制其外向型的扩张。D-rail可以通过四环沿 线的增长实现这一目标。如此一来,三环到五环之间的人口 密度将会增加,向四环外搬迁的人将会被吸引回来,而住在 历史文化中心的人也不必再迁出。相反,应该迁至四环外的 倒是大量通勤的发源地——四百多座熙熙攘攘的政府大楼和 研究机构。让城市功能搬出中心地带是限制高峰拥堵的最好 办法。这样一来,城市的心脏不再是拥堵不堪的市中心,而 是四环沿线,这个心脏的主动脉就是D-rail。 搬迁行政中心的提法并不新鲜,事实上它和卫星城的命运 非常相似。当年梁思成试图保护历史文化遗产和古城的自 然肌理,提出在古城之外另建现代化城市的时候,他上了黑 名单。 现在时机已经成熟。四环已经拥有诸多住宅小区、中关村和 CBD等大发展地带。D-rail能将这些分散的组团串起来。再 加上交通枢纽和零售商业圈,每天有数百万的通勤人士在其 间穿梭往来。顶层的公园让北京曾经在此规划的绿色生态带 变成现实。搬迁的政府机关、博物馆、学校、科研机构等新 建筑将完善该网络的关联性,从而让首都的心脏成为一个真 正多样化的中心。 想象穿行在D-rail上,你可以便捷到达城市的任何地方,无 所限制、无所障碍。徘徊于商店和酒吧,流连于宾馆大堂, 穿梭于银行、办公楼之间……人们总是在安全舒适的室内,自 由而惬意。这是一个将公共步行交通与楼房相连的高效步行 王国。这在中国并非创举,香港已经有了一条很漂亮的步行 传送通道。在通道中心加置D-rail倒是全新的理念,但它再 适合北京的现实不过了。D-rail的嵌入像双搭桥手术外加新 鲜肺叶移植,从此北京将拥有活力无比的心脏!

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宛平桥 Wan Ping Bridge, West Fifth Ring 

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Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

National Regional City Block Person

individualiZed mass-transit at hyperspeed

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龙轨

design: Neville Mars, Brice Bignami text: Adrian Hornsby research: Alex Beth Shapiro, Burke Greenwood, Randall Winston renderings: Crystal CG

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龙轨是高速人行道和公共交通的结合体,旨在缓解北 京日益严重的交通拥堵问题。该系统结合了平面电梯 和磁悬浮技术。在这新概念中,列车永不停下,所以 你不需要等待。没有车站,乘客可以在三环和四环的 任何一点自由上下。这一基建插件是北京总体规划的 一部分,规划的核心部分是动态城市基金会为2020年 的北京规划的新中心。这一公共交通解决方案则是与 新中心和谐共生的。

Dear commuter, don’t Despair! The D-rail will be your Designated driver! Designed and Deployed to Decongest, Decarbonize and Destress! 

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xIAO kANg* ON THE MOVE APPROACHES TO CITIES IN CHINA NEED TO BE BIG. THE SCALE AND SPEED OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENT PHAGOCYTOSES ALL OTHER METHODOLOGIES. INSUFFICIENT INTERVENTIONS ARE ENGULFED AND THEN DIGESTED. EVEN SMALLNESS NEEDS BIG PLAN PROTECTION. BEIJING HAS CEDED PROGRAMMATIC DEVELOPMENT TO THE MARKET: PRIVATE PROJECTS HAVE ATTAINED THE DIMENSIONS OF CITY MASTERPLANS, AND ARCHITECTURE HAS ABROGATED THE ROLE OF URBAN DESIGN. TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE IS NOW THE FINAL ARENA FOR CITYWIDE PROPOSALS. THE CHINESE DREAM, AND THE CONTEMPORARY CHAOS, DEMAND VISIONARY THINKING. CONDITIONS WITHIN BEIJING ARE EXIGENT. THE LAST 50 YEARS HAVE MADE THE CITY ENORMOUS. EXPANSIONS — PAST AND PRESENT — ARE DOMINATED BY MONOSPRAWL* AND INFRASPRAWL*, LEADING TO A FABRIC OF EXTREME COARSENESS. COMMUTES TYPICALLY REACH 2–3 HOURS. BUSES LACK COMFORT. TAXIS ARE IN THE SAME JAM. WHILE CONGESTION WASTES FUEL, DAMAGES PRODUCTIVITY, AND CONTRIBUTES MASSIVELY TO AIR POLLUTION (NOW 50% EXHAUST FUMES WITH CONCOMITANT ENVIRONMENTAL AND PUBLIC HEALTH COSTS), MOTORIZATION CONTINUES APACE. 1,000 NEW CARS ARE REGISTERED IN BEIJING EVERY DAY, AMOUNTING TO A 15% ANNUAL INCREASE ON A FLEET OF OVER 3 MILLION VEHICLES. THESE ARE ONLY THE REGISTERED ONES. ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL STATISTICS, TRANSIT BY PRIVATE CAR HAS RISEN FROM 6% OF TRIPS (196) TO 23% OF TRIPS (2003). THIS LEAVES 77% YET TO BE MOTORIZED. PUBLIC TRANSPORT LOSES ITS APPEAL IN A CONTEXT SLASHED BY ENORMOUS ROADS. COARSE BLOCKS EXAGGERATE DISTANCES, AND STATIONS BECOME INACCESSIBLE WHEN WRAPPED IN TWELVE LANE HIGHWAYS. THE STREET AS HUMAN-URBAN INTERFACE HAS BEEN WIPED: INSTEAD WE HAVE THE ROAD AS CAR THOROUGHFARE, AND THE ZEROING OF CHANCE ENCOUNTER. STANDING AT ANY POINT, BEIJING PRESENTS A SLEW OF NEUTERED VOLUMES — PLACES YOU CAN SEE BUT CANNOT GET TO. THE PEDESTRIAN ENVIRONMENT IS CHARACTERIZED BY GLOOMY TUNNELS, HIGH FOOTBRIDGES, WINDSWEPT EXPANSES OF BROKEN ASPHALT, LONG DARK STAIRWELLS, BLATANT NOISE, DIRTY AIR. 

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INFRASTRUCTURE CAN BE USED AS A TOOL TO COUNTER THE CITY’S MUD*-CREEP — THE CONTINUOUS OUTWARDS EXPANSION AND INNER CRUMBLING. GOVERNMENTAL POWER IN CHINA IS INCONTESTABLE, FACILITATING THE PURSUIT OF STEPPING STONE PROJECTS (E.G. THE OLYMPIC VILLAGE). THE CURRENT PLAN FOR BEIJING IS TO SLAP AN EXTENSIVE RAIL NETWORK (400KM OF NEW TRACK) ON TOP OF A BOOSTED YET ALREADY OVERSIZED ROAD NETWORK. THIS PRESENTS A UNIQUE AND EXTREME INFRASTRUCTURAL HYBRID. IT WILL HOWEVER PROVE INEFFECTIVE. THE PRODUCT OF SUPERIMPOSING UNINTEGRATED INFRASTRUCTURES IS TWO INCOMPATIBLE SYSTEMS WHICH ARE MUTUALLY INCAPABLE OF ALLEVIATING THE STRAIN THAT INADEQUACIES WITHIN EACH LAY UPON THE OTHER. YOU CANNOT OUT-ASPHALT A CAR TREND. YOU CANNOT RAIL PEOPLE INTO PUBLIC TRANSPORT WHEN THE PUBLIC REALM IS SO FRAGMENTED. NO ONE SOLUTION SUFFICES, AND THE VOLUME OF THE PROBLEM CANNOT BE DIVIDED UP AND METED OUT. BEIJING STANDS TO BECOME A CITY LADEN WITH TRANSPORT SYSTEMS, AND YET IMPOSSIBLE TO NAVIGATE. THE QUESTION, ’HOW CAN CONGESTION BE DEALT WITH?’ IS THE WRONG QUESTION. INSTEAD WE SHOULD ASK, ’HOW WOULD WE LIKE TO TRAVEL?’ COMFORT IS NOT A LUXURY BUT A MEANS TO SHAPE CITY GROWTH. IN CHINA THE PRIVATE CAR CURRENTLY HAS THE STATUS, THE CONTROLLED INTERNAL ENVIRONMENT, AND THE INDIVIDUAL DIRIGIBILITY TO MAKE IT THE PREFERRED MODE OF TRANSPORT. INSTEAD OF CONGESTING PEOPLE OUT OF CARS — AT HUGE COST — A MORE ATTRACTIVE ALTERNATIVE MUST BE PRODUCED.

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a capillary network forms between D-rail lines to render a publicly-accessible pedestrian city

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THE D-RAIL IS A CONTINUOUS LOOP OFFERING NON-STOP TRANSPORT TO ANY POINT ALONG ITS LENGTH. ACTING AS THE URBAN BACKBONE, IT LENDS THE CITY DISTINCT FORMATION. IT CONSOLIDATES THE PERICENTER — INCENTIVIZING PERICENTER DEVELOPMENT AND REDUCING SUBURB-APPEAL. IT ABSORBS COMMUTER TRAFFIC INTO THE RING AND DEFLECTS CROSS-TOWN TRAVELERS AROUND IT. IT CREATES CITY WIDE PARITY OF ACCESS, RETRUEING GROWTH TO THE CITY CENTER, AND REBALANCING LAND VALUES. IT IS AN ANTI-INFRASPRAWL* ANTI-MONOSPRAWL* MEASURE TO CONNECT, DIVERSIFY, AND DRAMATICALLY SHRINK THE URBAN NETWORK. ON THE D-RAIL THERE ARE NO STATIONS. THE TRADITIONAL STRUCTURE OF CENTRALIZED TRANSPORT NODES — READ TRAFFIC KNOTS — IS DEAD. INSTEAD THE D-RAIL COMBINES MAGLEV AND TRAVELATOR TECHNOLOGIES TO SUPPLY A CEASELESSLY MOVING BELT. RUNNING AT SPEEDS OF UP TO 100KMH THE ENTIRE PERICENTER IS RENDERED LOCAL. PASSENGERS GET ON AND OFF WITH ULTIMATE FREEDOM. THE SYSTEM IS SEAMLESSLY COMBINED WITH A FLUID RETAIL ZONE. ALONG THE TOP DECK RUNS AN UNINTERRUPTED PARK. COMMUTERS, SHOPPERS AND STROLLERS MINGLE THROUGHOUT THE FULLY PEDESTRIAN ENVIRONMENT. TIME SPENT IN TRANSIT IS NOT LOST BUT A PRODUCTIVE EXPERIENCE OF THE DYNAMIC CITY. THE NEW FOCUS OF THE CITY IS A DYNAMIC STREETSCAPE. THE PEDESTRIAN CITY SKYWALKS INTO THE SURROUNDING ARCHITECTURE OPEN UP AN INTERCONNECTING CITY-WIDE NETWORK OF HYBRID SPACE. A PUBLIC-PRIVATE REALM OF SUSTAINED FREE CIRCULATION TRAN

SECTS INDIVIDUAL BUILDINGS, FACILITATING THREADS, AND SUPPORTING CROSS-LINKING AND CREATIVE FLOWS. GREENWAYS COUPLE THE CITY’S GREEN SPACES TO EACH OTHER VIA THE D-PARK. UNBROKEN GREENROUTES ARE ESTABLISHED THROUGHOUT THE PERICENTER. THE TRANSIT-RETAIL CORRIDOR IS FULLY INTEGRATED WITH CAR TRAVEL, SUBURBAN BUS ROUTES, AND A DOWNTOWN TROLLEY SYSTEM. THIS ENSURES SMOOTH TRANSITIONS BETWEEN INFRASTRUCTURES. VARIANT MODES OF TRANSPORT DO NOT INTERFERE WITH BUT RUN THROUGH EACH OTHER. A CONGESTION CHARGING ZONE OPERATES WITHIN THE D-RAIL, WITH PARKING PROVIDED ALONG THE PERIMETER. BEYOND THE D-RAIL AND RUNNING INTO THE SUBURBS A FLEXIBUS SYSTEM OFFERS FAST ACCURATE ACCESS TO THE PERICENTER. FLEXIBUS ROUTES ARE SENSITIVE TO THE CHANGING URBAN TISSUE THROUGH WHICH THEY PASS. AN ONLINE DATA-TRACKING VRAIL MONITORS AND STREAMLINES EVERY TRIP. THE D-RAIL IS AN OVER-ARCHING STRATEGY TO ACHIEVE COMPACT CITY FORM. IT SUPERSEDES THE CHOKE-RESPONSE CYCLE OF INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT BY PROVIDING A COMPREHENSIVE AND SEDUCTIVE SOLUTION. THE DYNAMIC ENVIRONMENTS GENERATED BY THE D-RAIL ARE ATTUNED TO THE PRINCIPLES OF DYNAMIC DENSITY AND EQUALLY ATTUNED TO MARKET DYNAMICS. THE VALUE OF COMMERCIAL SPACE REALIZED WITHIN THE D-RAIL MAKES DEVELOPMENT A PROFITABLE VENTURE. ECONOMIZATION OF ROAD CONSUMPTION WITHIN THE CENTER MEANS MORE LAND FOR PROGRAM. PUBLIC-PRIVATE COLLABORATION ON INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS HAS A LONG AND ESTABLISHED HISTORY. COST EFFICIENCY AND LAND EFFICIENCY ARE ACHIEVED THROUGH THE CREATION AND CONSOLIDATION OF VALUABLE LAND. WITH INCREASED MOBILITY AND CAPACITY, THE BEIJING LABOR MARKET BECOMES A MORE COMPETITIVE, HEALTHIER, BETTER INTEGRATED, AND MORE PRODUCTIVE FORCE IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY. 

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congestion charge zone

Yes, it’s BIG!
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TRAFFIC ABSORBED CARS REFLECTED

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NEW SUB-CENTERS EMERGE AS THE D-RAIL TAKES ON THE IDENTITY OF THE SURROUNDING CONTEXT
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The D-rail is a big attempt to dramatically shrink the urban network
龙轨是大幅度缩小城市网络的大胆尝试

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RIDE THE ESCALATOR, JOIN THE BELT, ENTER. FROM THE CARRIAGE YOU WATCH THE CITY GLIDE BY. RESPOND TO YOUR ENVIRONMENT. FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCT.

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A 64 KM TAIL BITING B EAST

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consumurbation*
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the economics of consumerization, clustering, & dependencies

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消费城市化
Austin Kilroy

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消费城市化试图定义的是城市与消费之间的关系。中国的一 切以及未来的希望都围绕或依托于健康的中产阶级的兴起。 这一趋势与中国仍是世界工厂的现状并不相符。而城市正是 从制造业向创意型产业与消费发展的基地兼催化剂。

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consumurbation [glo] p.674 4D SOE [glo] p.686 3D TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A yingzi danwei [glo] p.690 3D hukou [glo] p.678 7E

bootstrap growth [glo] p.672 8D

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The transformation of urban China from industrial communism into conspicuous consumerism isn’t happening by accident. China wants to “balance” its legendary 9% annual economic growth1 — currently generated by exports and investment2 — through increasing domestic consumer spending.3 It also needs to soak-up 100–150 million rural workers4 who are being rendered surplus by the closure of inefficient state-owned enterprises (SOEs*) plus improvements to manufacturing processes and market reforms in agriculture.5 In tangible terms, Chinese clothes, bags, watches, electronics — already omnipresent in the global marketplace, from Moldova to Mozambique — need to be consumed more in China itself. Cities will be the epicenters of this consumerist boom. Their efficacy as economic machines (generating higher incomes from which to consume6), sites of socio-cultural change (individualism expressed through consumption of fashion, media and technology), and deterministic mechanisms (people need to consume more simply to subsist in urban environments7), are the ingredients needed to make it happen. City-living engenders the money and desire for consumerization — supercharging the economic treadmill: “to each over and above his needs.” And this social reality is also reflected in the government’s economic agenda: China’s economic future rests on transforming cities from industrial bases into exactly the sites of bourgeois consumption that Mao decried. This is the consumurbation* of China. To see consumurbation* in action, I flew to Chongqing. 1,500km inland from China’s coastal boomtowns, my plane passed over lush tropical vegetation and terraced rich paddies. Stepping off the plane, being enveloped by hot air and shrouded in yellow mist, this was far enough up the Yangtze river to feel like a Chinese version of Heart of Darkness. But here was a metropolis of 5.1 million people — bigger than Jo

hannesburg, Sydney or Athens — sporting freeways and flyovers in physical contortions crazier even than Monaco. Skyscrapers tower over the riverbed, beside which a monorail system whisks the famously beautiful population from the “High and New Technology Development Zone” to department stores in the center. Part of the city’s growing prosperity stems from the Western Development strategy, which aims to lessen regional inequalities across China and create “growth poles” in the west of the country (more about this later). The policy hopes to nudge the economic treadmill into life; mass consumption in Chongqing will then keep it going. Consumers in Chongqing are indeed spending a greater proportion of their income: in 2004 income grew by 12.2%, while consumer spending increased by 14.3%8 — multiplying the injections of development money by reverberating it around the economy.9 China’s Ministry of Commerce reported a 12.9% growth in retail sales for 2005, and predicts a further rise of 11% each year for the next five. These colossal countrywide objectives mean consumers will eventually need to be found in the countryside too. The Chinese government recently declared its intention to ‘further encourage private spending, especially by farmers [i.e. rural-dwellers] … [and] to foster new consumption themes’, including encouragement to villagers themselves to consume more in situ rather than migrating to cities.10 But in a context where each urban household has on average almost four times the buying-power of its rural counterpart,11 these efforts will have relatively marginal effects. And although rural dwellers are beginning to work in factories rather than fields, and live in tower blocks rather than huts, these places will not truly be “urban” until they acquire the culture of mass consumption.12 Urbanization will be the vehicle for that consumerization, which itself will spread outside cities only once urban economic, sociocultural, and physical characteristics spread too.

1 China’s average GDP growth rate from 1978 to 2005, China Statistical Yearbook, Beijing: National Bureau of Statistics 2 China’s role as “workshop of the world” is so one-sided that most freighters leaving Chinese ports will return to China empty, injecting China’s income flow with $101.9 billion of trade surplus last year 3 See, for example, Kai Ma, ‘The 11th Five-Year Plan: Targets, Paths and Policy Orientation’ briefing at the National Development and Reform Commission, 19 March 2006 4 Zhan, S. ‘Rural labor migration in China: challenges for policies’ UNESCO Management of Social Transformations Policy Paper 10 (2005) p.13 5 Solinger, D. ‘The Creation of a New Underclass in China and its Implications’ Center for the Study of Democracy, Paper 05-10, June 22 2005 6 See descriptions of agglomeration economies and clustering later in this chapter 7 Kilroy, A. ‘Consumurbation: China’s social reality, economic hope but incomplete promise’ presented at the Fudan University International Urban Forum, Shanghai, 3 November 2006 8 Chongqing Municipal Government statistics: ‘GDP increase to slow down for the first time’ 25 August 2005, ‘Profile of economic and social development of Chongqing’ 26 August 2005 (www. cq.gov.cn) 9 One person’s spending is another person’s income, which is then respent, thus “multiplying” the original injection of income several times. This effect increases in magnitude when consumers spend a greater proportion of their income. 10 Xiaoyang, J. ‘Consumption seen as new driver of growth’ China Daily, 16 March 2006. 11 Tables 3-18 and 4-1, China Statistical Yearbook, Beijing: National Bureau of Statistics. 12 Academic literature claiming an “urbanization of the countryside” (Friedmann, J. China’s Urban Transition (University of Minnesota Press, 2005) and others) misses the point according to this contemporary interpretation of what it means to be “urban” 肆 叁

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China’s economic future rests on transforming cities from industrial bases into exactly the sites of bourgeois consumption that Mao decried -

15 Gutierrez & Portefaix, ‘Made in Hong Kong no more: Long Life! Made in China’ UrbanChina 07 magazine (‘Made in China: reality and ideality of the world factory’) 15 March 2006, p.120

Shaping the machine: market economics as urban form
While consumerization becomes a constituent part of what it means to be “urban”, the physical form of that urbanity is being shaped by forces of production.

from suppliers in the zone by a route that generally takes not more than one hour. In practice, altogether we are a single vast factory scattered across the territory …’.15 China is aiming to replicate this phenomenon across the country. Already 80% of the world’s metallic-shell lighters and zippers are produced in Wenzhou city; the single town of Qiaotou produces 15 billion buttons a year;16 and Xiaoshan district in Hangzhou city accounts for 50% of global eiderdown production.17 More complex industrial clusters — involving more firms and intermediate goods — entail still more massive agglomerations. Reaching an efficient scale for electronics or automotive clusters may necessitate the linking of multiple cities. Currently between 28 and 30 city clusters are being discussed in government circles.18 Indeed China’s most recent (11th) Five Year Plan explicitly states that city clusters should become the ‘principal mode of urbanization’.19 Physical form and economics are linked more tightly than ever. But crucially these “single vast factories” are not simply manufacturing zones for daytime work: workers’ dormitories are often co-located onsite, with washing lines strung in the windows and off-duty workers strolling along the roads. The “vast factory” is also itself a working living city. It constitutes the urban fabric for tens of kilometers along the freeways outside Shenzhen city, or Dongguan, or Guangzhou:20 tens of kilometers of low-rise factories, warehouses and dormitories. Such agglomeration is as much a part of Chinese urban form as the apartment blocks and villa sprawl described in other chapters of this book. It is splattered across previously rural areas, which had some of the highest rural population densities in the world even before they began the economic and physical transition to urbanization.21 The problem is that this working living part of the city isn’t necessarily on the same plane of existence as its consumurbated* counterpart. Factories are most
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16 ‘China’s second-tier cities — the emerging hot spots’ China Briefing, June 2006, www.china-briefing.com 17 Webster, D. & Muller, L. ‘Challenges of Peri-urbanization in the Lower Yangtze Region: The Case of the Hangzhou-Ningbo Corridor’ Freire and Yuen (eds.), Enhancing Urban Management in East Asia (London: Ashgate, 2002)

把城市从工业基地变成毛所不耻 的资产阶级消费中心,这将决定 中国经济的未来
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13 Porter, M. ‘Clusters and Competition: New Agendas for Companies, Governments, and Institutions’ Harvard Business School, working paper 98-080 (1998) 18 ‘Change in mindset needed to develop local economy’ China Daily Industry Updates, 6 March 2006, www. bizchina.chinadaily.com.cn/industry. shtml

Nowadays fewer people talk about Town and Village Enterprises (TVEs*), apart from the supersized TVEs* which have grown to such mutant proportions they constitute towns in themselves. The buzzword today is “clustering”, whereby many firms congregate in compact areas, capitalizing on the regional networks and external cost-savings gained from proximity to others in interconnected industries.13 Parts suppliers move close to manufacturers to reduce delivery time and benefit from face-to-face contact which promotes good guanxi … a pool of suitably trained labor becomes available in a confined geographic area …. In short, the financial and innovative logic seen in the high-tech industries of Silicon Valley, or the fashion-goods clusters of northern Italy, is being applied with a Chinese degree of scale and ambition to electronics, clothes, shoes, and myriad other mass-produced goods. This spatio-economic phenomenon manifests itself physically: industrial coagulations form which comprise whole new cities. Looking at China from space one would see a Petri dish of industrial bacteria, multiplying around initial nodes of production, and thickening into a dense mass. There is no better example than the Pearl River Delta. Sensationalized by architects,14 and studied in awe by economists, the PRD was the first location for China’s spectacular economic growth, branding it as the workshop (sweatshop?) of the world. Now studded with factories and interwoven by freeways, the fabric of the region breathes production. As the CEO of Alco electronics factory proudly states: ‘the materials and components that we use in our 49 production lines today arrive daily

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19 Unofficial translation of 11th Five Year Plan, section 2, chapter 21. Original published March 2006

20 Cities in the Pearl River Delta 6

14 Koolhaas, R. (ed.) Great Leap Forward Harvard Project On The City (Taschen, 2001)

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21 Friedmann, J. China’s Urban Transition (University of Minnesota Press, 2005) p.40

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often staffed by migrants — temporary workers from poor provinces whose families rely on remittances sent home.22 In heavy manufacturing or construction the migrant workers are most often men; in light manufacturing and services they are more often 18-24 year old girls. Migrants exist in staggering numbers — perhaps more than 120 million people23 — but long hours and desperately low wages mean that there isn’t much opportunity for life outside the factory and dormitory. It sounds like the danwei* of old: work and life are once again concentrated within the compound. But here the term yingzi danwei* (‘shadow danwei’) would be better. These migrants are often uncounted in official statistics, and the system is not formalized or a result of deliberate policies: it is simply a result of spectacular income inequalities between urban and rural areas which provide the incentive for migrants to come and work for wages which are low but better than those of their home villages.

level it has become the “growth pole” philosophy. It is debatable whether those inequalities were ever expected to rise so high that the Gini co-efficient25 would surpass 0.4 — a threshold the United Nations Development Program, and the Chinese government itself, say risks social tensions.26 At present, instability is kept in check by the strong Chinese state, by the carrot of continuing economic growth, and by tolerance amongst first-generation migrants who remain grateful for wages better than the subsistence levels in their home villages, and who are conscious of their families’ dependence on remittances. But second and subsequent-generation migrants, who do not have the same memory of poverty in the countryside, are becoming more active in associations or unions.27 Economically underprivileged, spatially segregated, and socially disdained as “outsiders”, how much longer will it be before this stratification comes to a head, as it has done sometimes in European countries? In recent history China has been demonstrably willing to recast entire cities to fit new economic and social paradigms. When will environmental determinism or social instability (or both) cause a step-change in urban planning? Furthermore, what will be the economic consequences if inequalities are indeed reduced? The success of China’s economy functions as a fascinating paradox, where continued income growth for individuals and regions at the top of the pile is contingent on inequalities with those lower down. Chinese cities, like cities anywhere, can exist only if there exists sufficient food for city-dwellers to eat without having farmed: they need an agricultural surplus in rural areas. In China today cities are dependent also on a “surplus” of human beings from rural areas — a glut of labor which keeps wages low, international prices competitive, and thus permits the extraordinary rates of growth on which the country now depends. So China’s economy is simultaneously dependent on, and hindered by, its corollaries: cheap labor keeps production costs low enough to swipe foreign markets, but also means workers are not becoming consumers within China itself. Urban growth from migration is not consumurbation*: it just puts peasants in cities. It helps the local economy to produce but not to consume. This is the incomplete promise of consumurbation*: millions of low-wage migrants are needed to facilitate it for others, but can engage only in a very thin version of it themselves.28

22 A strikingly high proportion of wage-earnings are sent home to families in the countryside — often as soon as wages are paid to avoid the temptation of spending them, according to L. Yang (‘Attention to the rural migrant workers in the cities: they don’t spend their earnings, they send it all to subsidize their families’ Public Security Net, 3 August 2005, www.law.anhuinews. com). Average remittances are estimated at $300 to $500 per year per migrant worker, out of average incomes of between $900 and $1500 (Huang & Zhan ‘Migrant Workers’ Remittances and Rural Development in China’ presented at the Social Science Research Council, New York, November 17 2005). 23 Exact statistics are hard to find: the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences estimated 121 million in 2003; China’s population census registered 144 million people spending six months or more away from their hukou* residence in the year 2000. UNESCO estimates the number may climb to 300 million by 2020 25 The Gini co-efficient is a measure of income inequality, where 0 corresponds to perfect equality (everyone has the same income) and 1 corresponds to perfect inequality (one person has all the income) 26 United Nations Development Assistance Framework for the People’s Republic of China, 2006-2010 cosigned by Chinese government officials (March 2005) p.3 27 Domenach-Chich, G. Senior Program Specialist at UNESCO Beijing, speaking at the Czech Embassy on UNESCO’s migrants programs, 23 March 2006

Stratification
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Thus another plane of urban existence has been added below the rest of the city: populations who simply cannot partake in consumerization, confined by economic poverty and social stratification to factory dormitories, construction worker portacabins, or simply to migrant districts (“migrant villages”) on the outskirts of cities. Urban existence is stratified in one direction by suburban villas, freeways, and shopping malls; and migrant populations and yingzi danwei* structures are extending it in the other.24 These are the inevitable corollaries of Deng Xiaoping’s 1978 reforms which claimed ‘to get rich is glorious’, while recognising that not everyone would get rich at the same time. Inequalities between people and between regions would open up: those with better chances of success would not be hindered from seeking it, with the idea they would later pull up the rest of the country. At a national scale this was called the “ladder-step doctrine”; at a more intra-regional 

In recent history China has been demonstrably willing to recast entire cities to fit new economic and social paradigms. When will environmental determinism or social instability (or both) cause a step-change in urban planning? 中国近来很愿意为新的经济、社会指标改造 整个城市,然而破坏环境或让社会不稳定( 或两者)何时才能成为城市规划中的否决票 呢?
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24 I draw inspiration for these ideas from the study of “disembedding” by Dennis Rodgers: ‘“Disembedding” the city: Crime, insecurity and spatial organization in Managua, Nicaragua’ Environment & Urbanization 16:2, October 2004, pp.113-124 28 It seems possible that wage remittances to the countryside will begin to build a consumer culture outside cities, but low wages constrain it to a very poor imitation of the consumurbation enjoyed by China’s existing urban middle class (sources surveyed in Murphy, R., ‘Domestic Migrant Remittances in China: Distribution, Channels and Livelihoods’ Migration Research Series paper 24 (2006) International Organisation for Migration)

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3 29 ‘Researchers predict modernization progress’ China Daily, 9 February 2006 30 Inferred from statistics in Lester R. Brown, Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2006) 4 31 Colin Tudge, ‘Help yourselves’ The Guardian, 18 February 2006, www.books.guardian.co.uk/review/ story/0,,1711282,00.html

Is this situation likely to change? Wages may rise once the “limitless” migrant labor begins to run out, or if the Chinese government enforces minimum wages for migrant workers. But apart from the consequences for Chinese exports which have come to depend on cheap labor, what will be the consequences for the environment? Eventually there exists a potential scenario of 1.5 billion people spending, consuming, discarding, building and driving just as people do in the West. Chinese official policy wants to increase both car-ownership and suburbanization to 50% by 2050, regarding them to be component parts of “modernization”.29 These are scary statistics — 50% car-ownership would mean a 94% increase in the global car fleet.30 Already China consumes 26% of the world’s crude steel, 32% of its rice, 37% of its cotton, and 47% of its cement.31 In this context, the Chinese Dream begins to look like the world’s nightmare. The starkest scenario is that China’s economic growth will grit up its own cogs through environmental determinism. Pan Yue, the country’s deputy environment minister, told Der Spiegel that the country’s economic miracle ‘will end soon because the environment can no longer keep pace. Five of the ten most polluted cities worldwide are in China; acid rain is falling on one third of our territory; half of the water in China’s seven largest rivers is completely useless.’32 The Chinese government estimates that pollution erodes 10% of China’s GDP each year.33 This is a totally believable statistic for anyone who has sat in one of Beijing’s two-hour traffic jams enveloped in a soft haze of smog and dust. Can the future still be altered? Or is China so far down its development path that the game is lost already? The concrete realities of car-dependency and suburbanization certainly render new public transport routes difficult to find. On the other hand “sustainability” and the “circular economy” have become buzzwords amongst government officials, who now aim to reduce resources consumption as GDP continues to rise. The rest of the world can only hope Chinese ingenuity is able to turn environmental tenets on their head as successfully as they have conventional economic predictions.

Looking to the future

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Places like Changsha hint at an alternative future. Capital of Hunan province — a predominantly rural region with scant international investment or domestic attention — it is better known for sending migrants to the developed east than fostering growth itself. It might have been a city located on the flipside of China’s success: sending food and workers to the cities but not progressing itself. Changsha has other ideas though. Having grouped together with neighboring cities Zhuzhou and Xiangtan, it is promoting the kind of regional networks and external economies of scale which have made the Pearl and Yangtze River Deltas so strong. 20 billion RMB has been garnered from the Chinese private sector for a light-rail project to link the three cities, which will themselves focus on their existing strengths in heavy industry and pharmaceuticals. In keeping with the current philosophical mode in China, the central three cities bill themselves as a “growth pole” for the rest of the province, while clustering around a specific industrial sector. Is Changsha’s bootstrap growth* — using local resources without depending on a flow of migrants from elsewhere — a more sustainable growth path; one which could be implemented across the country? There are two key questions. First, to what extent will growth remain grounded in Hunan province rather than just facilitating the ascent of Changsha, Zhuzhou, and Xiangtan to the elite superstructure of Chinese cities? The mechanics of the “growth pole” effect are not often or clearly elaborated — how will the rest of the province or even surrounding provinces benefit? — and the whole concept has worrying reminiscences of the Reaganite/Thatcherite “trickledown” effect which was supposed to follow increased inequalities in the US and UK. While experience in
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32 China Daily interview cited in Bill McKibben, ‘Letter from China: The Great Leap: Scenes from China’s industrial revolution’ Harper’s, December 2005 33 ‘Pollution costs equal 10% of China’s GDP’ Shanghai Daily, 6 June 2006

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the hinterlands around “growth pole” cities benefit from incomes spent in regional economies, but those benefits seem to fade two or three hours from the pole “增长极地”城市周围的落后地 区会从中受益,而益处辐射至两 三小时车程外就开始衰减了 

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looking at China from space one would see a Petri dish of industrial bacteria, multiplying around initial nodes and coagulating into a dense mass -

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从太空中看中国,人们会看到一块工业细菌的培养 基,从生长点开始繁殖,并集结成密实的一大块

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China’s economy is simultaneously dependent on, and hindered by, its corollaries. -

34 Wing Chan, K., Henderson V. & Yuen Tsui, K. Spatial Dimensions of Chinese Economic Development, 18 October 2004, p.23 and table 14 35 Henderson, V. ‘Urbanization in China: Notes for North Holland Volume’, Center for Economic Policy Research, Cities and Geography conference in Paris, 1214 December 2002, p.15 and table 5 36 Inferred from presentation by Li Xiao-Jiang, President of China Academy of Urban Planning and Design (CAUPD), at the 1st International Conference of China City Planning and Development & 3rd China Planning Network Annual Conference, Beijing, 14–16 June 2006

China shows that hinterlands around “growth pole” cities do benefit from incomes spent and multiplied in regional economies34 (and factories plus consumers move to the suburbs and then the urban fringe, expanding a peri-urban area into what was previously rural hinterland35) the benefits seem to fade two or three hours from the pole itself. With current transportation infrastructure, this is sometimes as little as 120km away.36 Central government funding for infrastructure projects is sparse, and the onus has been on local administrations themselves to find resources for infrastructure to attract this growth. The second question is about the consequences of competition between cities for growth. Fierce rivalry between large cities for investment and mega-projects is found also in smaller cities and towns. This commercial competition is good if it gets city ad-

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中国的经济既依赖于却又受制于 其发展的支柱。

ministrations to run tighter ships internally, but has also led to a bubble of speculative development and wasteful duplication. Changsha, Zhuzhou and Xiangtan cooperate with each other on some projects but also compete, offering land more cheaply than each other to developers, sometimes even free of charge. These price incentives are sometimes the result of corruption as much as economic ideology, but in simple financial terms they mean cities are getting into debt. Sometimes the city even borrows money in order to finance development strategies. What kind of urban China will result if these risks — of mortgaging the present on the future — don’t pay off? Can every city win, or will the market-induced dualism of winners and losers be extrapolated to an urban scale too? Likewise, when these competitive strategies rely on finding a competitive advantage to exploit, or a range of products to cluster around, what will happen to those cities which simply cannot find their niche? And what will it mean for their inhabitants if cities have invested so much but “lose”?
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Improvident dreams?
37 Daskalakis, Waldheim & Young, Stalking Detroit (2001), Barcelona: ACTAR, p.10 38 United Nations Center for Human Settlements, Cities in a Globalizing World: global report on human settlements (London: Earthscan, 2001)ACTAR, pp.324-326 39 ‘City clusters to raise competitiveness of regional economies’ China Daily Industry Updates, 9 March 2006

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sites, wastes land in speculation, pollutes, sprawls, builds four petrol stations at one road junction, creates deserted malls all over with dead centers in the middle.’38 In China this speculative, competitive development means the Yangtze River Delta around Shanghai may have 48 airports for its 16 cities by the year 2020.39 Coordinated regional planning is being displaced by such capitalism, and planners in China face a continual struggle to catch up with and relate to the drive of economics.

是每个城市都会成功, 还是市场的输赢二元 性会随城市递增而蔓 延呢?
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‘Fuelled by a singular devotion to the imperatives of […] industry, [the city] continuously refashioned its own image according to the most recent production patterns, the newest paradigms of industrial operation […] urban arrangement in service of mobile capital, temporary employment, and free trade.’37 These words were written about Detroit, but the ease with which the quote evokes Chinese cities’ prostitution to an industrial agenda is revealing. What are the dangers of letting commercial logic dictate urban development? The acres of empty and derelict factories one sees on the way into Dongguan are evidence of the incompatibility between such logic and the idea of livable cities. UN-HABITAT has counseled that ‘the emphasis on the “competitiveness of cities” […] taken as essential for a city’s ability to thrive in a global age, has the effect of apotheosizing the private market. The private market will naturally segregate: it abandons brownfield
40 Male & female migrants tend to be 16–30, and to return to their villages to marry and establish a family 41 Estimated to be around US$30bn in 2005; see Cheng, E. & Xu, Z. ‘Domestic Money Transfer Services for Migrant Workers in China’ Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (2005) p.4

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Changing China’s urban development path — economically and spatially — will be contingent on finding ways to align economics and planning more closely. Already the centrally-determined economic targets, which for many years meant local administrations prioritized economic growth above all else, are being supplemented by environmental targets. What planning targets, in terms of dwellings density or insights from social sustainability elsewhere, could now supplement these? And how can migrants be transformed from a Dickensian underclass into urban consumers? Encouraging more permanent — rather than temporary40 — migration might discourage dormitories and encourage consumerization if migrants are prompted to invest themselves in urban environments, but it would also risk emptying the countryside of valuable remittances41 as well as manpower. Some people would say these issues will be rendered obsolete if China achieves the economic transition it desires from manufacturing towards services, and the physical mode of its production-driven urbanization is morphed in the direction of call-centers and office buildings, thus serving the rest of the world in design and high-technology engineering just as it now does in manufacturing. But service-sector megalopolises in the rest of the world seem to indicate that economies of scale and human-capital externalities exist for services just as much as they do for other industries. It looks like clustering, consumerization, dependencies and dormitories will all define China’s urbanization until 2020 and beyond.
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Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

or how the author solves the problems of rural china

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乌托城
Pan Wei (潘维) free translation: Adrian Hornsby, Yue Xiao (晓月)

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中国要赶超发达国家的必经之路,是将农村的剩余劳动力安 全转移:让他们脱离老式的农耕结构,进入现代的城市经济 范畴。也就是说,中国政府的当务之急即是要制定出好的城 市化政策。它的重要性要大大超过经济的增长幅度——实际 上,这一举措是具有政治紧迫性的。

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introduction

1. in which the author has an idea for rapid urbanization

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Compared to ancient western slavery and systems of agricultural serfdom, the Chinese free-peasant economy was really quite advanced. However, 2,400 years of immobility followed by the last 100 years of haphazard industrialization and ideologically charged political reform, has brought it to a state of 21st century crisis. Its current organization may be regarded as an end point. China fell behind other countries due to low per capita income, consequent stagnation of domestic demand, and high dependency on exports. This situation is inextricably linked to population / land mass ratios, where a field-stock of 2 billion mu1 is expected to provide income for a rural population of 900 million people, of whom only 500 million are actively engaged in farming. The notion of “wealth growing in the field” is tied to an agricultural era; wealth production cannot advance in the context of a “one mu field economy”. As the dilapidated rural economy, with its beleaguered secondary and tertiary sectors, comes into contact with a market economy, widespread insolvency followed by political instability is inevitable. The sole route to catching up with developed countries is to facilitate the safe rapid exodus of the rural surplus: out of archaic farmland structures, into modern urban economies. Therefore the core task of the Chinese government is to produce positive urbanization policies. The importance of this goes beyond economic expediency — it is in fact an urgent political measure.

It is too expensive to enlarge the old megacities. It stresses both the urban infrastructure and the ecological capacity of the surrounding area. On the other hand, the widespread building of smaller towns is landexpensive and highly pollutant. The correct peasantdestination is the megacity, but China currently suffers a lack of them. Thus the author brings forth his bold solution: based on the principle of national macroeconomics, the population is to be redistributed such that of 1.5 billion people, 500 million are accommodated in new metropolitan areas; 500 million in existing megacities; 400 million in mid to small size cities; 100 million in rural areas. The key to achieving this is the building of sufficient megacities for a combined population of 500 million within 30 years. If each megacity holds 5 million, 100 megacities are required. Therefore if we build one new city per province every ten years across 30 provinces, the target can be substantially achieved within three cycles, or 30 years. The intellectual support for this scenario comes from 5 considerations.

beside China where rural pre-dominance is concurrent with large-scale commercial establishments; perpendicular, informed, and efficient government; widespread compulsory education; gross (if not excessive) industrial capacity; and the intense urge for urbanization among millions of peasants. This situation can be regarded as an urbanization arrearage*. The extent of the urbanization arrearage* and the pressure of the urbanization urge can be witnessed by current rail travel statistics: 100 million peasants take the train to the city every year. ii. Fast urbanization through peasant potential The revolution in China showed us that regarding the peasants as objects of charity, restriction, and limited education is not a sustainable method of government. The rural population has and will continue to play a key role in both modernization and economic growth. The peasants should be offered the opportunity to earn honor and pride in peacetime as much as in time of war. Denied this opportunity, in the context of a market economy, they may align themselves with rebels for the purposes of political insurrection. iii. Fast urbanization through the building of new megacities The fabric of the existing cities is neither so flexible nor so robust that it can withstand the target volume of peasant influx. Instead the peasants must be organized to build new cities for themselves. This is wholly in keeping with the glorious tradition of organizing peasants to face difficulties together. iv. Fast urbanization through the comparative study of urban development There are four major models for urban development in the world: 1. Europe The bulk of the rural population was steadily transformed into an urban population through industrialization, which converted peasants into factory workers.

2. Latin America Large numbers of farmers were forced into the city by latifundia reforms. Rapid growth of city slums ensued. 3. Japan Farmers served as soldiers during the longrunning war and then as factory workers when they returned home. 4. USA People gathered together quickly to join / create the urban economy via self-governance, advanced city-planning, and the freedom of large volumes of deregulated land. The US model is the most advanced and suitable for China. China however is now in a better position to embark upon mass urbanization than the US was at an equivalent stage in its history thanks to powerful economic growth, technological advancements, and the comparatively educated labor force. Urbanization in the US was heavily reliant upon a brutal civil war and the labor and movements of poorly educated recently freed African-Americans. The biggest obstacle China faces is the lack of discipline and high levels of selfishness among farmers, which makes them difficult to organize. Organization in this effort is critical because the Chinese environment, unlike the US, is not such that the task of building cities can be left to individual explorers and their potentially conflicting ideas. The plan has to be led by central government, and supported by local government. v. Fast urbanization through a policy of “farmers build cities for themselves”

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1 Chinese unit of area: 1 mu is equivalent to 666.6m2. 2 billion mu is approximately 1.3 million km2.

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每省10年建1个新城,在30个省建 3轮,“乡村中国”将变成“城市中 国”

Farmers are offered the opportunity to exchange their land and six years of construction labor for housing in the new city. “Farmers must have land of their own” was the basis for the peasant economy. “Workers must have houses of their own” will be the basis for the metropolitan society.

i. Fast urbanization through rural residential urbanization urge
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Almost all developed countries had at one stage a predominantly rural population. However, there is no case 

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2. in which the author lays out a scheme for building a new city
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The author uses Jining in Shandong as an example. i. Location and budget

It should be noted that these numbers are purely imaginary and experts are needed to study plans carefully and convert property (farmland and future urban land) and labor into specific quantities. On the basis of these calculations it will be possible to float “New Jining apartment exchange tickets”. Crucially the land requisition itself will not require cash, in accordance with the principle “farmers build cities for themselves”. iii. Infrastructure

cost of say 20,000RMB on each apartment, this would constitute a total cost of only 20 billion RMB for 1 million apartments. To cover this the city government could issue “New Jining Construction Bonds”, to be paid off by future tax and administration fee revenue.

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The government should gather together a team of global experts to devise the irrigation and urban planning. This will result in the most advanced urban design, in accordance with the saying “a piece of blank paper is the most beautiful to draw upon.” Banks should provide government-assured loans to attract domestic and international investment, using land and tax incentives and the promise of high return as the financial bait. With the government’s announcement that it is building a New Jining for 6 million people opportunities will be created for venture capital and individual investment funds. ii. Land requisition

Infrastructure for the new city should be planned in advance and, starting with the drainage, be built over the first four years to cover a block 14x14km in dimension. Systems for water, gas, electricity and telecommunications should be integrated to make them clearly legible and easy to maintain in the future. The owning companies and providers should be related to and with each other. The apartment exchange market should allow the infrastructure to be built at cost. iv. Industrial belt Advance planning should identify an industrial area within New Jining and ensure that it is supported by related infrastructures. Work should be done at the outset of building New Jining to secure investment for the industrial belt. This will reassure rural workers concerned about employment prospects in the future city, and help maintain order throughout the construction phase. v. Residential Having requisitioned the land for free, the government should be in a position to apportion it to residential plots for free. Money for building materials, construction equipment, and the cost of hiring designers and engineers should be covered by the surplus building stock created (i.e. those apartments built over and above the total number required to guarantee the “apartment exchange tickets”). What if the value of this surplus building stock turns out to be insufficient for the expenses incurred? The government will need to budget carefully, and balance costs with money generated by auctioning off parts of the city center to commercial development. Besides, even if there is an outstanding

4 years building infrastructure plus 2 years on apartments sees the farmer-laborers installed in their new urban homes
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花4年建基础设施、2年建住宅,农民 就又建了新城又有了新居

needed across Shandong to encourage poor farmers from other areas to participate in the construction of New Jining. A system can be implemented by which any rural couple from Shandong can work for six years on city-build projects in return for an apartment. An additional condition requires them to hand over their farmland and former houses in the villages upon receiving a key and residency card for New Jining. These plots of land can then be sold by the government, thus recuperating money paid out to farmers when they left the village for transport and living expenses during the six years of building. From the point of view of a poor farmer, six years of building can be rationalized against six years of deadend farming, the difference being that by the former they walk away with an apartment in a megacity. The scheme would be a fascinating one to embark upon, and with the assurance of six years of employment, would certainly beat hanging around in the village and gambling all the time. It would also be possible for entrepreneurs to come during the building work and set up ventures of higher profit — for example, providing services to the millions of construction workers. These entrepreneurs would be potential customers for the higherend residential market, thus helping to finance the cost of building materials. vii. Labor force organization Even though the central theory of the fast urbanization plan is “farmers build cities for themselves”, its realization requires the government to involve itself in the organization of the labor force. The scale and complexity of the task would be sufficient to weed out incompetent officials by a process of natural selection. Worker groups should be organized along the lines of former towns or townships, villages, and farmer groups, with each group led by officials originating
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The first phase of New Jining should cover an area of 200km2. This is about one third of the size of Singapore, and less than 2% of the Jining prefecture. The second phase of New Jining should bring it up to 600km2, which is about the same size as Singapore.
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Land requisition from peasants will be rationalized on the basis that apartments in the future New Jining will be granted in exchange for the requisitioned land plus 6 years labor constructing the new megacity. An example may be laid out as follows: the farmland of a family of three is exchanged for one apartment in the future New Jining; the house of this family can be exchanged for a second; if both parents work for six years building the city, they will receive one more. In this fashion a local rural family stands to gain three apartments in the New Jining, and thus become property owners. If in the course of building New Jining certain plots of requisitioned land are temporarily unoccupied, it will be possible for families to continue living and farming there until construction activities reach the site. 
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Alternatively, the government could decide to subsidize the new apartments, and spend 20 billion RMB on converting 3 million farmers into urbanites. This could prove to be one of the best subsidies ever made. The enthusiasm of millions of laborers building millions of apartments for themselves would be a powerful attractor to other businesses and individuals thinking about investing in New Jining. And for the farmer-laborers themselves, four years of building infrastructure and a further two on their own apartments would see them installed in their new homes. Within ten years there would be a powerful and successful city, built by them, and belonging to them. vi. Labor sources But where will these millions of laborers come from? The total number of farmers on land directly requisitioned for the building of New Jining will not provide the required workforce. A province-wide effort will be

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from the same regions. This system has five major advantages:
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1. Easy to manage 2. Easy to distribute provisions 3. Easy to merge farmland freed up in the former villages 4. Easy for future city administration 5. Easy to educate those rural workers in their natural groups and help prepare them for becoming city residents At this point the author senses a potential problem in the building of New Jining: if the farmer-laborers do not like the conditions of the new city, they may want to return their apartment, and go back to their former life in the fields. This will be addressed shortly. viii. Education The experience of being organized into productive teams which build a new city and create wealth is already part of the education process for former semiemployed or unemployed rural dwellers. However, the construction site of New Jining should also be a university. Laborers will be expected to work forty hour weeks, in addition to which will be “night school for workers”. This will be laid on by the government with a teaching staff made up of professors, officials, students and volunteers. Over the six years, courses will be offered which provide workers with the knowledge and necessary training to become lawyers, economists, civil engineers, doctors, forensic investigators, social scientists, restaurateurs, interior designers, and experts in world affairs.

The Party should also provide some military and security training, as well as holding a wide range of cultural and sporting events. There should be regular competitions with the chance to win honor or receive punishment, with prizes available for the best workers. The most efficient laborers and organizers should have top priority when it comes to choosing apartments. ix. Impact on economic growth Creating organized labor forces creates production. Excellent administration enhances productivity. Efficient production in a stable context generates wealth. Each new megacity in China should make a significant contribution to GDP, not to mention improvements to the domestic human resource through training and skills. Further benefits to the national economy would come on three fronts. 1. The first consideration is the economy of those villages left behind by the new urbanites of New Jining. Those who remained as farmers would find that the availability of farmland, food production, and income all increased several fold. The demolition of the former homes and plots of three million former farmers, and the subsequent operation of land amalgamation and rationalization, would allow the rural condition to benefit from modern economies of scale. Thus the currently underperforming countryside will be converted into a well-managed productive sector. 2. The building of the New Jining megacity would require enormous volumes of materials — not only cement, steel and power, but also materials for every aspect of modern urban life, and the machinery and technologies behind them. Textiles, plastics, electronics, engines and parts, and a wealth of knowledge will all be needed. The effort required to provide these things will give industry and business in general a terrific boost. 3. China would develop a larger role in the global market of resource distribution, which is an important part of the strategy for long-term development. At present China has an excess of foreign currency savings, but lacks metal mines. Through the building of new cities we would bring large quantities of key metals into China, thus gaining a significant future resource.

3. in which the author explains urbanization and considers the economic feasibility of his new city by answering three elementary questions

Every city that has ever existed started with the gathering of people, and the building of their homes. When making plans for the creation of a successful city, it is necessary to consider three elemental questions: 1. Why do people come to the city? (Should they come?) 2. What will people do there? (Will there be things for them to do?) 3. How does need become surplus — i.e. how does a group of people in need of wealth, resources etc., become a group of people with a surfeit of wealth, resources etc.? (Can need become surplus in this city?) The author will now address these questions in relation to his proposal for New Jining. QUESTION 1. Why would three million peasants come to New Jining in Shandong province? ANSWER 1. To improve their quality of life. To understand this answer it is necessary to ask one further question: what does “improving your quality of life” actually mean? Human beings have three basic urges: the urge for food, for reproduction, and for shelter. Within the context of urban planning, to improve living conditions is to improve housing conditions and income, as the combination of wealth and high quality housing has the power to address these three urges. Generally the areas with the best housing offer the best quality of life, and house the richest people. For most Chinese citizens, owning a home of some kind will be the most significant piece of capital they acquire. Therefore the quality of that home is instrumental to any assessment of their wealth or the quality of their lives.

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New Jining should also be a university.
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济宁新城的建设工地应当成为一所 农民大学 

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Thus the success of New Jining is contingent upon the promise of better quality housing, viz. a toilet, running hot and cold potable water, decent heating and insulation etc. Current living conditions in much of the Chinese countryside are comparatively basic, but the residents themselves represent a labor force with considerable building experience (from both local and migrant work), industrial experience (from work in TVEs*), and a minimum of nine years education. Couple this to the CCP’s strong organizational capacity, and the potential to mobilize these residents and set them to building high quality housing stock becomes an almost tangible nearreality. The very nature of that stock will then ensure Shandong-wide metrophilia. QUESTION 2. What would three million peasants do in New Jining? ANSWER 2. All the things a young dynamic city needs them to do. The employment situation for the peasants of Shandong is very poor. Families on small plots of farmland work for maybe three months a year, producing barely enough to feed themselves. Beyond this, time is spent playing cards, board games and gossiping. There are those who work longer in the fields, pulling out grass by hand at the end of every day, but ultimately benefit little for all their pain and effort. In the meantime, writers pass through and give dolorous accounts of village life, describing parents who cannot even afford paper for the education of their children. Often nothing is done in the village because there is nothing worth doing. The villagers cannot improve their situation by, for example, building a road, as the government will not finance roads to such tiny destinations. And besides, what of worth could be transported in or out? The demand itself is too impoverished to warrant infrastructure, and thus a stone is laid over further development or employment prospects. This situation of limiting the opportunities and usefulness of work is disastrous as it is work itself which creates wealth. The impetus to work is maintained by high levels of demand. In New Jining, the building of the city alone would provide six years of continu

ous employment, effecting the creation of enormous wealth and a population of property owners. The outlook from there is that there would be a new city with new demands, resulting in contracts and dependencies on a scale unthinkable when its population was still dispersed among innumerable indigent villages. A thriving tertiary sector, previously nonexistent, would spring up. Production would follow demand, and at the same time demand further production. Refocusing the economy from exports to the nurturing of internal demand would recirculate wealth. It is a common fallacy that the economy leads, and shapes cities, when in fact it is the people and cities which come first, and stimulate economic growth. There are of course instances of failed urbanization, where people have come together in cities and created only unemployment and social instability. This is notable in Latin America. However, the proposal for New Jining distinguishes itself from the Latin American paradigm in three ways: 1. The urban poor of Latin America own no property, lack education, suffer from bad organization and feeble discipline, and subsist within structures of poor social order with a consequently weak investment climate. The fact that this is the case often in spite of rich physical resources only goes to demonstrate how little physical resources have to do with the creation of wealth. On the other hand, the residents of New Jining would own their own apartments, benefit from a minimum of nine years compulsory education plus a further six years of construction site night-school, would be hard-working, literate and strong-willed, and serried within a rigorous social structure comparable to that of Japan or Singapore. 2. The citizens of New Jining would be first generation migrants coming from situations of poverty and unemployment. With this background they would not be picky about jobs but, like the post-war Japanese, would be willing to work hard at anything. 3. The scientific urban design of New Jining with its comprehensive plan for the accommodation of migrants (often sorrily lacking in new towns in developing countries) would provide a city with excellent infrastructure and a plentiful supply of cheap labor. Such conditions are highly attractive to investors,

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Often nothing is done in the village because there is nothing worth doing.
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农民贫困是因为无“事”可做,村 里没有“值得”他们做的事

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offering the combination of logistical efficiency and an energetic labor market.
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with the conversion of need into boom. A city is simply a way to gather demands, and the capacity to meet those demands via work, into a single location.

QUESTION 3. Without “money”, how does job demand become job availability? How does so much need turn into so much boom? ANSWER 3. Labor and wealth are not the product of currency — currency is an expression of demand met by production.

4. in which the author brings his arguments to conclusion

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500 million people

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Currency is used for measurement, exchange, savings and investments, and loans, but in all of these instances is serving merely as a representation of either work done or work to be done. It has no intrinsic substance or power. The only absolute requirement for the production of money is a group of workers, and if a city can provide this, it can invent its own wealth.

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The concept of a city is in fact synonymous with the conversion of need into boom.
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Well organized collective work is the foundation for modern society. This is true whether the organization is done chiefly by the state, as under communism, or by bodies operating within a market. New cities will be the best place for China to organize its workers, and it is in this direction that development should proceed. But the author has higher hopes for New Jining than mere economic growth. Developing new cities will also create many crises, the solution of which will bring forward outstanding leaders. These leaders will be able to go on and mold new systems of government, which will allow New Jining to become one of the “best inhabited environments” in the world. Twenty-four centuries ago the “Shangyang Reform” set up the free peasant-economy, and established the foundation for a united rural China. China has now reached a new turning point — in terms of its economy, the lifestyles of its people, and of Chinese society itself. Rapid urbanization provides the torque for this change. Offering rural residents the framework to build their own cities gives change to the people; the people in turn change the nation.

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城市的概念就是将“需求”转化 为“兴旺发达”

100 cities

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Having built New Jining, its inhabitants could then mortgage their apartments (thus realizing work done) and use the capital to invest in new ventures of their own, as well as consuming the products of the ventures of others. The process of building a city is itself a way of storing up an immense volume of work done, and thus wealth. The fact that the city then has needs is the first principle of its subsequent economy: the needs can be treated as demand; demand in the presence of facilitated workers creates production; the meeting of demands with production runs off as wealth. The concept of a city is in fact synonymous 

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cracking creativity!
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Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

the people’s republic of change* - talking creativity 798* is dead - cutting the boloni - chinese whispers

鲜创意 !
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Jeanne-Marie Gescher OBE , Philip Dodd Adrian Hornsby, Neville Mars

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在西方,关于创意产业的夸夸其谈已经渐渐平息,社 会的大规模城市化以及异军突起的个体化都成了中国 发展中强有力的口号。然而在政府的控制之下,无论 是创意还是城市空间,它们是否能超越口号本身仍是 问题。

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The People’s Republic of Change*
Jeanne-Marie Gescher
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From media buzzword of the late ’90s to essential policy focus for ambitious governments around the world, the “creative city” has become a metaphor for innovative thinking not only about creative sector activity, but about the fundamental relationship between business, society and government. Across the developing world, creative city concepts are seen to offer the chance to leapfrog traditional (linear) models and embrace the power of the networked economy. Point-to-point networking with a focus on connectivity rather than high-rise; urban regeneration for inspiration as much as economics; “freedom” and “democracy” as principles of economic organization as much as political ideals — have all driven a blurring of the divides that traditionally separated the public-private-NGO spectrum. Creative city ideals seem almost made for China — a country whose whole response to 21st century challenge seems to be an exercise in shock and awe. Images of Chinese urban chic emerging against a

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communist canvas has created an ever increasing stream of creative city tourists, all seeking their own fix on what has become the fastest-changing piece of the planet — where contradictions are the norm, and creative inspiration is almost guaranteed. City-state connectivity is accelerating, and many of China’s cities are acquiring a whole new sense of what it means to be Chinese — and creative. As other parts of the world have shifted their perspective to city as ecosystem, China’s creative city focus is arguably an essential step in re-crafting relationships between business, government, and society — and in so doing, coming to terms with that last frontier of the truly market economy: the individual. Within China, creative city themes are acquiring a force of their own. Governments, from central Beijing to downtown Shanghai, and from rural Guizhou to poetic Chengdu, are discovering that while public budgets alone cannot meet need, private sector investment tapping into creative aspirations can deliver very real returns — as much for city branding as for rents. Even more astonishingly for those traditionally focused on the high-rise emblems of global wealth, the legacy

deserts of yesterday’s industry seem to be custom-built for inspiration, innovation and the low cost knowledge environments that emerging creatives (creative entrepreneurs as well as enterprising creatives) crave. So what does this mean? Well, quite probably that China will — depending on your definition of creative — incubate some of the most creative cities on the planet. Some may be slickly creative — hubs of commercial creativity serving the world’s fastest growing advertising market across a consumer market which is quickly expanding beyond the limits of the obvious metropolises of Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. Some may be creative in focus, but not necessarily origination or style — policy-driven “games village” equivalents of the original high-tech zones. Some, like Shanghai’s Xintiandi and Beijing’s 798*, will be heavily branded and privately developed zones selling creativity for residence, work and roads — delivered side-by-side with hospitals, schools and hubs for entertainment, recreation and knowledge. Some could well be independent reclamations of urban wasteland. In so doing, they could dramatically push the boundaries of the traditional

relationships between government, business, society and the individual. How many? Which models? What impact? Hard to say, but present indications are that China 2010 could be a very different place. While central planning may still be around, on-the-ground diversity is likely to be a defining feature of the People’s Republic of Change*. Shanghai’s Xintiandi and M50, Hangzhou’s Animation Park, Beijing’s Feijiacun Music and 798* Arts Villages, Nanjing’s Design Park, Lijiang’s Ancient City, Chengdu’s Games & Film Park and a host of others are likely to be but the forerunners of a host of innovative approaches to the creative city challenge. As they emerge, they will be accompanied by top-down blueprints and by a host of private urban developments which will be wired for online connectivity but may challenge the limits of exclusion. Will creativity survive? As the cost of urban living and working goes up, the independent elements of the creative class are likely to find it increasingly hard
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to compete with more affluent business tenants. Can the industrial wastelands reclaimed by creative independents survive against the commercial ambitions of would-be developers? The risks are clear but sharp government focus in certain parts of the country may deliver strengthened policy environments to level the playing field. Beijing’s Chaoyang District (recently designated as a national model for creative cities) is beginning to look at 798* almost as a heritage environment — exploring ways in which affordable access can be maintained by the state as a means of protecting the inherently independent nature of the area. Will it be creative? As government policy makers engage — whether through the design and delivery of custom-made “creative” zones or through the subsidization of independent creative spaces and “plans” and “plan-driven-funding” for the creative sector (by no means a made in China phenomenon) — can creativity remain creativity? Clearly a struggle. The most recent (11th) Five Year Plan contains a plethora of policy targets at both the central and local level — from strengthening the policy (and regulatory) environment itself, to promoting

resource co-ordination, as well as strengthening training and education, building pilot projects and “centers of excellence”, and expanding global trade initiatives and enterprise and related employment. But the collision of the official and the independent could well be a process to which China may bring an element of creativity all of its own. Contemporary China is all about the struggle between the individual and the collective, between rigor and flexibility, between rules and tradition, between conformity and independence. Permanent physical space is part of the struggle, but by no means all of it. It is also about voice, presence and individuality, with a high tolerance for change and even impermanence. The People’s Republic of Change*. What could be more creative than that?

‘the more friends you have, the more opportunities you get’
Chinese proverb

多个朋友多条路

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Talking Creativity
Jeanne-Marie Gescher — Philip Dodd
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whole of the city, have become iconic images of London — for the local population as much as anyone else. In a globally competitive environment for creativity, effective, globally recognized branding is a key indicator of success. As yet, Beijing has no iconic image of its creative modernity (although the Olympics stadium or CCTV may become that). PD: My own sense is that we need to understand the crisis that has generated the new belief, from London to Beijing, in the creative economy. Manufacturing has withdrawn from the great cities and both for intelligent reasons and for reasons of desperation, cities are designating themselves as creative. The truth is, if all cities are creative, none are. How does a city differentiate itself in this dash toward creativity? It’s clear, isn’t it, that in the Darwinian struggle over creativity there will be winners and losers? Hence the fascination, in China and elsewhere, with cultural branding. Those that brand well will survive: such is the belief. And of course, it’s important that the brand reflects to some degree the reality. In London the opening of the new gallery of international art, Tate Modern, and the opening of the Eye, a large wheel on which you can travel and see the JMG: The cultural revolution generation of tourists (looking for bicycles, Mao’s red book and Tiananmen Square) is now being replaced by a new generation which can best be described as “shock of the new”: 798* — now a compulsory point on the tourist map — is but one of a range of destinations chosen for their “China is not what you think” appeal. PD: Culture is also more and more important to the tourist industry. More and more people travel as cultural tourists — and visit Europe not only to experience the history of culture but also contemporary culture. 59% of visitors cited museums as an important reason for visiting London in the 1991 census; 34% for the performing arts. Often the creative industries provide

the soft infrastructure of tourism development (tourism is the biggest industry in the world) — the small arts-orientated enterprises that create local fashion, small consumer goods, galleries, shops, stylish bars and cafés that city visitors enjoy visiting independently. JMG: Power no longer comes from the barrel of a gun but from a “speed of light” knowledge economy. As China’s formal curriculum has been recast to drive more and better learner-based learning and the creativity that goes with that, policy makers are moving on to recognize that neighborhood counts: knowledge hubs that center on universities need connectivity with creative talent — and both need access to business skills. PD: In the new information age, creativity as a skill is more and more important. In the UK, there is now an increasing, if sometimes grudging, recognition that cultural subjects in the curriculum are important spaces in which people can learn to exercise creativity. Equally, there is a recognition, particularly

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JMG: Culture and creativity are now being recognized as significant economic drivers: economic sectors in their own right but also critical connectors to a wide range of urban “must haves” — not least the branding, tourism and sense of creative identity needed to attract and retain human as well as financial capital. True to the contradictions of the socialist market economy, we now have a Five Year Plan (the 11th) which is putting innovation at the heart of official endeavor and encouraging key cities to see themselves as beacons of culture and creativity for wider economic and social gains. Beijing has become a focal point of official ambition — in no small part because its creative independents have turned areas such as 798* into the poster childs of China’s “flash” (as in, transformation at the speed of light) economy.

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at the university level, that cultural and creative students need business skills at the same time as it is recognized that business people need creative skills.
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JMG: ‘Without destruction, there is no construction.’1 Construction and deconstruction appear to go hand in hand in contemporary China. Instant urbanization can be a temporary phenomenon and purpose driven zones are hostage to wider economic change which can occur quite quickly. Beijing’s 798* and Shanghai’s M50 are testaments to the fact that “economic adjustment” is not just a Western challenge. What’s interesting however is that in an era of aggressive urban development, these spaces have managed to survive long enough for creative independents to get a foothold. PD: Culture is a very good vehicle of urban regeneration — that, at least, is a common public sector perception. The large scale urban renovation carried out for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics created a new infrastructure, but the city authorities were concerned to ensure that local neighborhoods shared in the benefits by matching the international aspect of the Olympics with community-based participatory events involving the creative industries. In the
1 Mao Zedong, May 16, 1966

Berlin Mitte, part of the old East Germany, abandoned buildings and low rents allowed small cultural businesses to move into the area. These small companies dragged other services in their wake, in the form of bars and cafés and restaurants — reinvigorating the area and helping to regenerate it. Above all culture has become of interest to governments and policy makers because it’s clearly now a major economic earner. Even in the most powerful economy in the world, the US economy, industries related to culture had overtaken aircraft manufacture as the biggest export earner, employing over 10% of the population. JMG: Contemporary China as “shock” is becoming a global theme. For China’s urban populations, 25 years of relentless change have created an extraordinarily adaptive youth generation — and one which is fascinated by its own experience. Prices of Chinese artworks may be going through the roof in New York but here at home, creative expression — and interest in creative expression — is a social phenomenon in which

the individual is finding his or her place in a world that changes everyday. PD: In an increasingly complex world where traditional notions of family and community and even nation are being reformulated, and where all of us recognize that all communities are “imagined communities”, culture is increasingly the space in which people discuss who they are and might be. In this sense culture will become ever more important. JMG: China is now actively developing creative city — and sector — policies. Policy work is taking place both at the central and local government levels but — as in other parts of the world — it tends to focus on the numeric, the definable and the profitable: what can be counted; what can be seen and what drives GDP. There is of course a recognition that the total fabric is what counts — museums and events as much as design and TV — but at the end of the day, policy makers are captive to their own limited architecture.

the future belongs in the long run to city states rather than nations
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长远的未来属于城邦而不是国家

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PD: No one, anywhere, has adequately resolved how governments and policymakers should relate to the creative sector, imagined as an economic power. The reasons for this are numerous. At one level, there is the complex historical relationship between ideas of “commerce” and “culture” — which has been imagined as an antagonistic one. Of course this is historical illiteracy. Shakespeare was in our terms a millionaire when he died; Hollywood is the biggest historical experiment between art and big business, according to that impeccable left-wing critic, Manny Farber. JMG: So possibly the socialist market economy — embracing rather than resolving the contradictions of policy and the market — is a pretty honest perspective.

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PD: There’s very little convincing historical evidence to help us understand why creativity is fuelled in certain places and in certain times — so there is hesitation about what authorities should do. Once I was in Downing Street in London at a political seminar on the creative economy. At the end, a minister stood up and said: ‘I see what governments need to do: nothing — stay out of the way.’ Maybe he was right, or wrong. But one understood his bemusement. At the same time, the conditions in which ideas of a creative city are nurtured are so various that it may be hard for different cities to learn from one another. St Petersburg has invested heavily in creative businesses for reasons of tourism. The authorities there believe that cultural tourists (and this is the kind all cities want as they spend the most money) want a landscape of creative businesses and a creative quarter that they can “discover”. In St Petersburg, a creative quarter is nurtured to complement existing tourist attractions such as the Hermitage.

Sheffield in England was a world famous steel town which wanted a cultural initiative to help to provide employment as manufacturing left the city. But the public sector was so concerned with production that it forgot to ask what consumers there were for this production. Unfortunately, the answer was not enough. In short it is important to stress that the issues that China faces have not been “solved” elsewhere. That doesn’t mean that cross cultural analysis isn’t important. It is. But policies can’t be imported like cars. They need to be culturally sensitive. JMG: Policy makers often use the terms “culture” and “creativity” interchangeably but with significant differences in meaning — typically the cultural is attributed to traditionally state driven activity, while creativity is attributed to the independent sector; and while policy reform appears to favor convergence, the reality remains that these are two very different platforms. To complicate things (at least in terms of the number of policy-making institutions involved!), both

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culture and creativity are being absorbed into wider policy initiatives around knowledge — embracing the full spectrum of intellectual capital with a particular focus on science and technology. Complicated though it may be on the ground, the recognition of a link between these three — culture, creativity and knowledge — favors a very sharp focus on China’s traditional “intellectual” hubs where intense education resources (including universities which are well on their way to becoming global intellectual powerhouses) are co-located with enterprise and independence. It also (potentially) attaches China’s increasingly powerful technology engines around the digital distribution of content to the creation of content — and interactivity — itself. Search could well be re-invented here. And that’s just the beginning. PD: My guess — if I’m ruthlessly honest with myself — is that for too long creativity has been seen to be the domain of culture. And yet in the 21st century, it is

science entrepreneurs and biotech companies — the best of which are defiantly creative — that are going to be much more important to national economies and the global economy than the cultural one. But let’s for the moment take the question you raise. For a start, if the creative economy is to be the driver of creative cities — and my view is that the future belongs in the long run to city states rather than nations — then there will need to be a radical overhaul in education. For instance, there are major universities in China as well in the US which are potentially hubs of creative enterprise. But is the education they are offering their students informed by the creative economy that they will join? My own view is that I doubt it. And that is only to talk about universities. What about schools. Should it be a right to have an education with a mouse (i.e. computer) as much as with a musical instrument. How can

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entrepreneurship be taught? Can it be taught? The industrial revolution in the West transformed education. Who is thinking about the changes the knowledge economy will demand of education? Never forget that academics feel that they have property rights over not only knowledge but the way the knowledge is transmitted. That will have to be given up. JMG: At a senior policy level, the link between creativity or culture and entrepreneurship is critical. It goes to the heart of job creation — for a country which (depending on which numbers you look at) will need to create 400 million jobs by 2020. The trick is to harness the element of independence to engines of practical skill, capital, and markets (at home and abroad) which, at present, is a very hit and

miss process. The Club concept that you set up at the Institute of Contemporary Arts seems to have enormous potential to kick-start these linkages.

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PD: When I was the Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (1997–2004), I commissioned with the political think tank Demos some short term “action-focused” research to discover what are the needs of the creative sector were. Once we had published the research — and the process from commissioning the research to publishing the research took only six months — we had to decide what to do next. One option was to prepare some more research. But we

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‘the emergence of creative clusters around China’s cities has given the people a chance and a place to explore their individuality’
– Chen Qianqian, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Beijing University, 2006

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“创意聚集区在中国各个城市的出现给了人们拓 展个性的机会和空间” 陈茜茜,北京大学城市与区域规划系,2006 
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wanted to do something more immediately useful for the companies themselves that our research had shown were desperately in need of particular kinds of practical help. In response to these needs, I set up an informal “club” for these companies, to provide them business advice, whether on branding or on venture capital, and above all an opportunity to meet other companies whom they might wish to collaborate with. One of the key characteristics of this sector is that companies often work in partnership. The companies ranged from fashion designers with only two employees to digital companies with 150 employees. In character the companies ranged from music labels and design companies (from fashion to product and industrial design), to PR companies and architectural practices. Above all The Club was a self-help group costing little money where knowledge

and expertise was shared. It was run on behalf of the members, by myself, and an assistant. But it emphatically belonged to the members, and the seminars and events were driven by their needs. Sister clubs were instituted in Amsterdam, Glasgow and Taipei. The Club was, I suppose, an example of what the sociologist Manuel Castells means by the network society. Part of the intellectual fascination of the creative economy sector and of creative cities is that neither the public sector nor private sector has quite managed to understand them. The public sector is wary of the companies because they make profits (when they can), so the public funding bodies have not been able to recognize them within their categories; yet the traditional representatives of private business have not provided them with support because they do not act or look like either financial or manufacturing businesses.

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JMG: Independently reclaimed 798* seems to have become the latest tourist hotspot even as the world gets prepared to descend on an Olympic Beijing whose design is far more “made by government”. This extraordinary collision of the “unplanned” and the “planned” seems to have become an element of creativity in and of itself. Beijingers (who are as much 798* tourists as foreigners) could be forgiven for feeling slightly schizophrenic but they seem to take it in their stride. This “change is BAU” is one of the most distinctive characteristics of the city (and much of the rest of China) and something that seems to give the city

a definite edge in terms of “creative” (read, adaptive, intuitive) thinking. PD: I am excited by the change that I see in China — and I’m here once a month! I have no doubt that through the 21st century China will become more and more important as a creative producer. In the early 20th century, there was an American population hungry for entertainment and Hollywood came along to meet that need. In the great cities of China there is a population hungry for entertainment — and Chinese (and other) companies will arise to meet

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买 不 

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肆 伍 – Slogan of the ‘refuse-to-buyapartments movement’: potential apartment buyers across China are petitioning against the rising prices of apartments by refusing to buy. 陆 柒
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those needs — especially in the digital domain. But I am equally aware that not everyone benefits from creative cities, or from the massive change that is transforming China. So how can the benefits of creative cities spread beyond a small elite (I hasten to say that this is not only a question in China)? I’m

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not fond of Richard Florida’s The Rise of The Creative Class because it seems to be a Leninist book (the vanguard) but without the politics. If change produces creativity then how can those excluded from the benefits of creativity be included in the story? This is for me a key question.

JMG: Our world (in China) is dominated by the online and mobile environments. China has 420 million mobile users — increasing by 4 million a month; 137 million online users — expected to be 232 million by 2010; and an estimated 16 million bloggers at Q4, ’05 — expected to be in the region of 60 million by Q4, ’06. The Beijing municipal government is working with the private sector

to integrate the use of wireless technology into daily life. The “built” and the “virtual” are being created hand in hand with huge implications for reach and connectivity — within China and abroad. PD: The impact of mobile phones simply hasn’t begun to be registered. But mobile phones are

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‘from cotton to canvas …’
– Motto for Shanghai’s M50 Suzhou Creek art district

‘digitize the future …’ – Motto for Shanghai’s Xuhui digital district “数字化未来”
上海数字化徐汇区口号
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“从棉布到帆布”
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上海M50创意产业聚集区主题

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‘city-branding has become a top priority in all Chinese cities’
– Su Tong, Vice Secretary General, Created in China Industrial Alliance, 2006 2

城市品牌战略已经成为所有中国城市的第一要务 苏童,中国创意工业联盟 副秘书长,2006

at another level simply a metaphor for the network society, to use Manuel Castells again. Creative businesses are often better known abroad than at home — and generate global networks. I brought 15 UK creative businesses to China in 2000; 7 of them have continued to work / network with their Chinese counterparts. But the most important dimension of the mobile and online world is the rise of “user generated content” — the shift to a democratic idea of creativity. A creativity not of the few but of the many; dialogue rather than monologue. JMG: One of the things we work quite hard at is networking small creatives with global (and sometimes

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just pure foreign) business — a challenge given the architecture of the global (even global creative) businesses. Language, work styles, time and distance all add a particular “Chinese characteristic” to this. European governments, increasingly anxious to build not just large but small business links with China, are developing policy programs which may not hit the target. Training more Europeans in the Chinese language and in Chinese business practice does not necessarily address the most fundamental boundary which is that few Europeans have got on-the-ground experience of working in a small Chinese creative — and vice-versa. Language is a huge barrier but so is pure familiarity.

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PD: Most of the time most of us are volunteered into doing what we do. So I’m not sure abstract initiatives are what will work. The last 20 years have been about the West moving east. I set up my company Made in China because I think that the next twenty years will be about China moving west. Chinese notions of aesthetics, of lifestyle, will become more visible in the West. So in that sense China will come to be as much in the West as the West has been in China. In these new circumstances, new ways of cross-cultural collaboration will begin to develop. The West will begin to notice that one of its greatest pieces of 

music, Mahler’s Das Lied Von Der Erde, is based on six Chinese poems; Chinese stories (such as the ‘Monkey King’) will begin to percolate into Western imaginations. I think that all revolutions are long revolutions and that the kind of revolution of understanding you want will take time. JMG: We are often asked why China is focusing on creative cities when the global zeitgeist is all about ecocities and networking for sustainability. My own view is that the two are closely related and that without exploring creative fundamentals (independence,

networking, and collaboration) real ecocities are hard to achieve. China’s energy around creative cities (policydriven and independent) seems to us to be a key factor in changing the relationship of the city to the planet. PD: I’d like to believe that creativity and sustainability go together. But I see no reason they necessarily should do so. Between creativity and sustainability are the large mass of the population who are excluded from the creative economy and suffer the pains of a polluted planet. I’m haunted by a phrase of an English novelist of the late 19th century, Thomas Hardy. He

wrote, ‘when the poor have the power to choose between culture and luxury, they always choose luxury first’. I recognize this in the history of my own family. If creative cities, the creative economy, and sustainability are to mean what they might, they need to heed the words of Thomas Hardy and think how the benefits of creativity can be shared, harmoniously.
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‘Chaoyang District Government will develop cultural and creative industry parks and incubation centers’ Chaoyang District Government, 2005

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2003 2004

The site is an area of derelict land in East Beijing. Rising rents in 798* lead to clusters of nearby “run-off” art villages — Suojiacun is built from scratch by a single development company on the model of warehouse spaces (not only fashionable but architecturally extremely cheap). Within less than one year Suojiacun Art Village is entirely rented out: over 100 domestic and international artists are in residence. Artists invest several million RMB of personal money in their properties (converting studios into studio-residences); curators and collectors pass through regularly. A conflict develops with the government concerning land use and Suojiacun Art Village is threatened with demolition. Artists respond with an extensive PR campaign, declaring Suojiacun to be ‘the most international art camp in the world, having an impact abroad, and having its own Chinese characteristics’. Officials grant the area a temporary reprieve.

2005
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Maoist era post reform 1990s 2003–2006

Dashanzi military electronics factory district built in Chinese-East German collaborative partnership. State-owned enterprises prove inefficient and uncompetitive — many factories are closed leaving large vacant industrial spaces. Artists start to rent empty buildings, move in, show work. The 7 Stars Group (a profitable body with land-lease rights operating under the auspices of the People’s Liberation Army), recognizing the real estate potential of land by the Airport Expressway, starts to apply developmental pressure. Artists respond with a drive for recognition, arguing that the area’s cultural value should safeguard it from generic redevelopment (e.g. hotels, gated communities). Dashanzi International Art Festivals (DIAF) in May 2004, 2005, and 2006, bring international attention to 798* as an Art District. Though each festival is beset by politically-motivated obstacles, their success and growing fame attracts the interest of the local (Chaoyang) government, as well as that of profitable enterprise. Rents rise and more foreign and commercial outlets open (galleries, cafés, stores etc.). Chaoyang Government declares 798* a Creative Industries Area, and it is officially promoted domestically and around the world as China’s leading art district. With the 7 Stars Group, Chaoyang creates a Construction & Management Office of 798* Art Zone and sets up a committee to liaise between tenants (now predominantly galleries rather than artist studio-residences) and the 7 Stars Group for the purposes of guiding future development. Membership of the Committee is reserved exclusively to 7 Stars Group representatives bent on realizing the economic potential of the now “hip” 798* area. The Committee pursues a plan for a Creative Business Zone, leasing land to high revenue companies which exhibit “creative characteristics”. Governmental protection of the area extends to the historic architecture (the East German factories), but does not specify use. The 7 Stars Group declines to renew the lease of artist Huang Rui — a key organizer of the DIAF festivals and figurehead of 798’s cultural regeneration. Huang Rui leaves. The 7 Stars Group launches its own May festival ( 798* Festival), and DIAF — now moved to September — is forced into other locations around the city. 7 Stars Group hires its own curator to control the content and feel of the 798* Festival, which, ironically, is dubbed “Retroactive” — harking back to the previous 3 DIAF festivals that 7 Stars Group had politicked actively against. With complete control over setting rents on a building by building basis, the 7 Stars Group is able either to create favorable conditions or drive out tenants as they please. Having co-opted the festival, and now playing an active role in shaping the district’s makeup, the identity of what was initially a grassroots movement is placed firmly in the hands of the company.

end 2005

Having given 24 hours notice, local government bulldozers roll in and demolish a section of the Art Village. Some artwork is lost. Artists whose studios are still standing move out, and the area is abandoned as too unstable. Official reason for the demolition is that the land was designated for agricultural use and developed without the proper permits. However this is largely considered to be a “paper” reason. “Illegal” development of agricultural land is extremely common in China (100,000ha of arable land “illegally” developed by cities in 2006), and had local officials wanted to preserve the Art Village, it is unlikely the land designation issue would have surfaced. Speculation as to the real reasons for the demolition of Suojiacun Art Village is inconclusive. Theories include: insufficient “tea money” (bribes) paid by the developer to local officials; “tea money” paid by the developer to the wrong officials, creating a backlash from those officials who felt they should have received the “tea money”; internal bureaucratic conflicts; ideological opposition to the artwork / artists.

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The same development company goes back into Suojiacun, redevelops the demolished areas, and starts rerenting studios to artists. With no official change in status for the land itself, it seems likely that new bribes have smoothed over the previous bribe irregularities.

Nov 2006 May 2007

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gaobeidian north garden Cutting the Boloni
text: Adrian Hornsby architecture: Neville Mars

2001 the building of the 5th ring road LAND-TAKE REQUIRED FOR THE BUILDING OF THE FIFTH RING ROAD CREATES A STRING OF “SPECIAL STATUS” PLOTS OF LAND ENCIRCLING BEIJING. LAND FORMERLY CONTROLLED BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IS TAKEN BY CENTRAL GOVERNMENT TO FACILITATE THE NEW INFRASTRUCTURE. IN RETURN, LOCAL GOVERNMENTS ARE AWARDED OWNERSHIP OF PACKAGES OF LAND ADJACENT TO THE RING ROAD. THESE PACKAGES MAY NOT BE SOLD, ONLY LEASED, THOUGH LEASE CONTRACTS MAY BE LONG TERM. ONE SUCH LAND PACKAGE IS LOCATED IN THE GAOBEIDIAN AREA, JUST TO THE EAST OF THE FIFTH RING ROAD. 2005 international furniture company boloni leases a furniture factory Within the “special status” area of gaobeidian KEBAO WAS FOUNDED IN 1999 BY CAI MING AS A KITCHEN FURNITURE BUSINESS. IT RAPIDLY EXPANDED FROM ITS INITIAL STAFF OF SEVEN AND DIVERSIFIED INTO KITCHEN AND BATHROOM FURNISHINGS, DOORS, FLOORING, WALL PANELS, SOFAS, INTERIORS AND NOW ALSO INTERIOR DESIGN. A JOINT VENTURE IN 2001 WITH AN ITALIAN DESIGN CONSULTANCY GAVE RISE TO BOLONI. IN 2005 BOLONI TOOK OVER A FURNITURE FACTORY IN THE “SPECIAL STATUS” AREA OF GAOBEIDIAN WHICH WAS SUFFERING FROM WHAT AT THE TIME WERE HIGH IMPORT TAXES IMPOSED BY THE US ON KITCHEN FURNITURE. HOWEVER TARIFFS CHANGED, AND CAI MING FOSTERED INTENTIONS TO EXPAND THE FACTORY INTO SURROUNDING PARTS OF THE “SPECIAL STATUS” AREA. WITHIN ONE MONTH OF BOLONI LEASING THE FACTORY THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT EXTENDED THE ZONING OF THE CBD (LOCATED PRIMARILY AROUND THE EAST THIRD RING ROAD). A CBD FUNCTIONAL AREA WAS CREATED WHICH STRETCHED FURTHER EAST TO THE FIFTH RING ROAD, WITHIN WHICH FACTORY DEVELOPMENT WAS PROHIBITED. CAI MING WAS FORCED TO RETHINK HIS PLANS FOR EXPANSION, AND RECOGNIZING THE APPEAL OF NEARBY 798* (NORTH EAST FOURTH RING ROAD) AND SUOJIACUN (NORTH EAST FIFTH RING ROAD), WAS INSPIRED TO PURSUE THE IDEA OF A NEW CREATIVE DISTRICT. HE PROPOSED THE ADJACENT GAOBEIDIAN NORTH GARDEN (GBDN) — AN UNDERDEVELOPED 4HA SITE CONSISTING OF OLD MOSTLY DISUSED FACTORIES AND A NUMBER OF HOMES — BECOME AN AREA FOR CREATIVE INDUSTRIES. THIS SUGGESTION FOUND FAVOR WITH THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY OFFERED CAI MING LEASES NOT ONLY FOR GBDN BUT ALSO FOR A MUCH LARGER PORTION OF LAND — A 90HA UNDEVELOPED TREE FARM — TO THE SOUTH OF THE FACTORY, KNOWN AS GAOBEIDIAN SOUTH (GBDS). CAI MING SIGNED 50 YEAR LEASE AGREEMENTS ON BOTH AND STARTED TO RESEARCH AND DEVELOP HIS IDEAS, ATTENDING INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES AND VISITING CREATIVE DISTRICTS WORLDWIDE.

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‘I dare to do this thing. Each year for 10 years my company has grown by 50%, and so I can afford to dare. Only in China could an interior designer initiate a big real estate project like this. In fact, 70% of developers in China are not professionals in the field. Only 30% are real estate specialists, but here it is so cheap to build and profits are so hot — many people want to take the opportunity.’ – Cai Ming, CEO, Boloni Kitchen & Bathroom Furnishings

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‘this guy is a cool guy, but he has no money, but I need him. I need different kinds of creative things.’
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conference hotel store

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‘这家伙挺酷,但他没钱。然而我需要 他,我需要各种不同的创意。’

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2005–2007 cai ming’s ideas for the “special status” area mature but no development occurs CAI MING’S RESEARCH LEADS TO THREE CONCLUSIONS. 1. INSPIRED BY JANE JACOB’S THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES, CAI MING DECIDES MIXED-USE PROGRAMMING IS KEY TO THE SUCCESS OF CREATIVE DISTRICTS. HE RECOGNIZES THAT INDIVIDUALS AND COMPANIES WITH LOW RENT POTENTIAL CAN BE SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTORS TO THE CREATIVE CAPITAL OF AN AREA. EQUALLY, HE FEELS THAT A MORE AFFLUENT COMMERCIAL COMPONENT IS NECESSARY, AND THAT SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS ARE REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN A LIVELY ATMOSPHERE. ONLY DIVERSE INTEGRATED CROSS-CONNECTED URBAN DESIGN CAN ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE CREATIVE COMMUNITIES. HE IDENTIFIES PROFIT-MAXIMIZATION AND THE LACK OF INCENTIVE TO PROVIDE CHEAPER UNITS WITHIN NEW DEVELOPMENTS AS A KEY OBSTACLE IN THE PRODUCTION OF CREATIVE DISTRICTS. 2. CAI MING NOTES THAT CHINA’S RED HOT REAL ESTATE MARKET (WHICH HAS SEEN ANNUAL RISES IN THE REGION OF 30%) IS A POOR ENVIRONMENT FOR PROJECTS WITH LONG TERM GOALS. LAND HAS BECOME SO EXPENSIVE AND THUS INVESTMENT COSTS SO HIGH THAT INVESTORS ARE ANXIOUS TO BUILD AND SELL AT MAXIMUM SPEED. LONG TERM GOALS FOR A NEWLY DEVELOPED AREA 
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ARE SUPPRESSED BY THE TWIN DESIRES TO RECUPERATE CAPITAL AND REALIZE PROFIT, AND ONCE SALE HAS BEEN ACHIEVED, INITIAL INVESTORS ARE RELEASED FROM THEIR OBLIGATIONS. CAI MING NOTES THAT UNDER THESE CONDITIONS THERE IS NO INCENTIVE TO AIM FOR SOCIAL OR EVEN ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY, AND CONSEQUENTLY THESE ARE NOT DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS. THIS LEADS CAI MING TO THE CONCLUSION THAT ONLY “SPECIAL STATUS” PLOTS OF LAND, SUCH AS THOSE AT GBDN AND GBDS, ARE SUITED TO DEVELOPMENT FOR CREATIVE COMMUNITIES. AS THE LAND IS NOT BOUGHT AND SOLD BUT RATHER TAKEN ON AS A LONG TERM LEASE, THERE IS A VESTED INTEREST ON BEHALF OF THE DEVELOPER (IN THIS CASE CAI MING) IN THE ACTUAL PERFORMANCE OF THE DISTRICT. AS SOCIAL AND CREATIVE OUTPUTS WILL FEED BACK INTO RENTABLE VALUE, THERE IS A CLEAR ECONOMIC MOTIVE TO FOSTER A SUSTAINABLE CREATIVE DISTRICT. MOREOVER, THESE GOALS ARE MADE MARKEDLY MORE FEASIBLE BY THE FACT THAT THE INVESTMENT COSTS ARE THEMSELVES SUSTAINABLE. WHILE CAI MING ESTIMATES THAT GBDN AND GBDS WOULD COST IN THE REGION OF RMB2BN TO BUY (A HUGE STRAIN BRINGING WITH IT INTENSE PRESSURE TO PRODUCE RETURNS), HE IS ABLE TO TAKE ON THE LONG TERM LEASES FOR THE MUCH MORE MODEST SUM OF RMB20,000 PER MU (666M2) PER YEAR. IT IS ACTUALLY POSSIBLE 
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FOR CAI MING TO RUN THE PROJECT AT A LOSS FOR SUCCESSIVE YEARS IN THE INTERESTS OF A SUBSEQUENT PHASE. 3. CAI MING OBSERVES THAT IN OTHER CITIES AROUND THE WORLD, CREATIVE DISTRICTS TEND TO BE NATURAL FORMATIONS WITH THEIR OWN HISTORY, AND ARE DISTRIBUTED THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN DIFFERENT WAYS. THERE IS NO DISCERNIBLE UNIFYING PRINCIPLE. THIS PRESENTS A SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM IN CHINA WHICH FOR MUCH OF ITS AGGRESSIVELY-PACED DEVELOPMENT HAS RELIED UPON FINDING MODELS AND REPLICATING THEM (E.G “THIS IS WHAT A CBD LOOKS LIKE”, “THIS IS WHAT A RESIDENTIAL GATED COMMUNITY LOOKS LIKE”). THE LACK OF AN OBVIOUS METHOD FOR POURING CREATIVE DISTRICTS PRESENTS GOVERNMENTS OFFICIALS, KEEN ON THE TERM, WITH LITTLE BY WAY OF MORPHOLOGY, DETERMINING FEATURES, OR GROUNDS FOR ASSESSMENT. CAI MING REMAINS CONVINCED THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO BUILD A CREATIVE COMMUNITY FROM SCRATCH USING HIS PRINCIPLES OF MIXING AND CONNECTING. CAI MING APPROACHES HUANG RUI — A LEADING ARTIST AND FIGUREHEAD OF 798* — AND DCF TO COLLABORATE ON THE PROJECT (HUANG RUI TO RECREATE THE 798* SUCCESS STORY; DCF FOR MASTERPLANNING AND LATER ARCHITECTURE). IN THE CONTEXT OF THE GOVERNMENTAL / 7 STARS GROUP CO-OPTION OF 798* (LEADING AT THE END OF 2006 TO HUANG RUI’S DEPARTURE), AND THE RECENT DEMOLITION OF SUOJIACUN, THE IDEA OF BUILDING A CREATIVE DISTRICT WITH LONGER TERM SUSTAINABLE IDEALS AND WITH THE GOVERNMENT ON BOARD SEEMS APPEALING. DISCUSSIONS LEAD TO A NUMBER OF PROPOSALS AND IDEAS. CAI MING’S DESIRES TO INTEGRATE THE NEW CREATIVE DISTRICT WITH HIS OWN ACTIVITIES IN DESIGN, ESPECIALLY OF INTERIORS AND KITCHEN AND BATHROOM FURNISHINGS, LEAD TO FURTHER IDEAS OF A CREATIVE AND DESIGN OR CREATIVE LIFESTYLES DISTRICT. THIS IS TO INCLUDE A BOLONI SHOWROOM AND A HOTEL WHICH WILL ITSELF BE A GALLERY OF BOLONI INTERIOR DESIGN. A SIGNIFICANT VOLUME OF LEISURE AND RETAIL PROGRAM IS INCORPORATED INTO THE URBAN PLAN, AS ARE THEATERS AND PUBLIC SPACES SUITABLE FOR FESTIVAL-STYLE EVENTS. WHILE GBDS IS TO BE AN ENTIRELY NEW DEVELOPMENT, IT IS DECIDED THAT THE HISTORICAL FEEL OF THE OLD INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS ON GBDN CAN BE USED — ALONG THE LINES OF 798* AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL EXAMPLES OF WAREHOUSE TO WHITE CUBE STYLE REGENERATIONS — AS ARTISTS’ STUDIOS. CAI MING SPENDS RMB8M CLEARING THE SITE OF ITS EXISTING RESIDENTS. IN ORDER TO BOOST THE AREA’S PROFILE AND CONVINCE GBD LOCAL OFFICIALS THAT THE NOTION OF A CREATIVE DISTRICT IS POPULAR, CAI MING HOLDS A DESIGN COMPETITION, WHICH GARNERS CONSIDERABLE MEDIA ATTENTION AND IS CONSIDERED A SUCCESS. WITH THE RESIDENTS CLEARED FROM GBDN, A DEMOLITION COMPANY IS HIRED TO REMOVE A SMALL NUMBER OF BUILDINGS CONSIDERED UNSUITABLE FOR RENOVATION. HOWEVER A MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE INSTRUCTIONS LEADS TO THE ABSOLUTE FLATTENING OF THE SITE.

2006 ideas for gbds presented DCF PRESENTS AN URBAN PLAN FOR GBDS AT A GOVERNMENT SPONSORED CONFERENCE FOR CREATIVE INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS AT WHICH OVER 80 OTHER DESIGNS FOR CREATIVE DISTRICTS ARE PRESENTED. IT IS NOTED BY DCF AND CAI MING THAT NO OTHER PROPOSALS INCLUDE ANY REAL PROGRAMMATIC PLANNING, CONSISTING INSTEAD ENTIRELY OF SLICK ARCHITECTURAL RENDERINGS. THESE SHOW MODERN BUILDINGS WITH BANDS OF WATER, BUT VERY LITTLE INFORMATION IS GIVEN AS TO BUILDING USE, COMPARTMENTALIZATION, FAR*, NUMBERS OF PEOPLE, PARKING RATIOS ETC.. THE EXPERIENCE SEEMS TO CONFIRM THE SUSPICION THAT THE “CREATIVE DISTRICT” IN CHINA IS MORE A LABEL THAN A PLANNING PRINCIPLE, ALLOWING THE FREE PURSUIT OF PHOTOSHOP URBANISM*. 2007 mounting pressure on cai ming is intensified by a successful nearby development, ultimately leading to the collapse of the project SINCE TAKING ON THE LEASES OF GBDN AND GBDS, CAI MING HAS NOT RAISED A BRICK ON SITE. THIS IN PART IS DUE TO HIS OWN CONVICTION THAT IN DEPTH RESEARCH IS REQUIRED BEFORE STARTING. ALSO SIGNIFICANT IS THAT BOLONI IS PREPARING ITS INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERING (IPO) ON THE HONK KONG STOCK EXCHANGE, SCHEDULED FOR 2008. CONSEQUENTLY CAI MING FINDS HIMSELF EXTREMELY BUSY THROUGHOUT 2007, BUT REASONS THAT WITH BOLONI SHARE CAPITAL RAISED FROM THE IPO, HE WILL IN 2008 BE ABLE TO DEVELOP THE ENTIRE SITE AT HIGH SPEED. WITHOUT THE COMPLICATIONS AND TIME EXPENDITURE REQUIRED TO FIND CO-INVESTORS IN A CONCEPTUAL AND UNCONVENTIONAL PROJECT, AND WITH THE CONSTRUCTION BAN IN PLACE ONLY FOR THE ONE MONTH OF THE OLYMPICS, CAI MING IS CONFIDENT OF MAINTAINING A REASONABLE TIMELINE, AND ASKS THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT TO BEAR WITH HIM FOR ONE MORE YEAR. LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS HAVE HOWEVER BEEN WATCHING LAND VALUES IN THE AREA SOAR, FIRST AFTER THE CREATION OF THE CBD FUNCTIONAL AREA, AND SECOND WHEN PLANS ARE REVEALED TO CREATE AN EXIT FROM THE FIFTH RING ROAD DIRECTLY INTO GBD (THE COMBINED EFFECT LEADS TO A QUINTUPLING OF THE LAND’S LEASE VALUE OVER TWO YEARS, FROM RMB20,000 PER MU PER YEAR TO RMB100,000 PER MU PER YEAR). THE CONTINUING LACK OF DEVELOPMENT ON THE LAND LEASED TO CAI MING BECOMES AN ISSUE OF INCREASING FRUSTRATION TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT, AND CAI MING RECEIVES ALMOST DAILY CALLS FROM THE TWO LEAD LOCAL OFFICIALS, PRESSURING HIM TO START WORK. THIS PRESSURE INTENSIFIES CONSIDERABLY WHEN A

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‘real estate is too hot’ ‘房地产太热了’
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People’s Republic of Change [glo] p.682 8D 798 [glo] p.672 4A photoshop urbanism [glo] p.682 6E FAR [glo] p.676 1E

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NEARBY PLOT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FIFTH RING ROAD IS TAKEN OVER AND TURNED INTO A TRADITIONAL MARKET SELLING OLD CHINESE FURNITURE, OBJETS D’ART, GOLDFISH, ETC.. THIS DEVELOPMENT, MANAGED BY A DEVELOPER WITH THE HELP OF THE LOCAL OFFICIALS, WAS EXTREMELY CHEAP AND FAST TO BUILD (ALL SIMPLE ONE OR TWO STORY BRICK BUILDINGS WITH NO BASEMENT) AND RENTED OUT TO COMPLETION WITHIN ONE WEEK. THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT, WHICH IN 2005 WAS COMPARATIVELY POOR, IS BY 2007 WEALTHY, HAVING SOLD OFF SEVERAL PIECES OF LAND. LOOKING AT THE HIGH SPEED SUCCESS ACHIEVED ACROSS THE WAY, THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT STARTS THINKING ABOUT CARRYING OUT A SIMILAR DEVELOPMENT THEMSELVES ON THE LAND THEY LEASED TO CAI MING. IN THE FACE OF THIS PRESSURE CAI MING IS FORCED TO PRODUCE AN EXTREMELY FAST DETAILED PROPOSAL FOR GBDN. IN TEN DAYS THE SITE IS DIVIDED INTO SEVEN PLOTS, 2 COMPETITION ENTRIES ARE PUT ON ONE PLOT, THE REMAINING SIX ARE HANDED OUT TO SIX ARCHITECTURE FIRMS, THE ARCHITECTURE FIRMS EACH SKETCH UP A BUILDING, INCLUDING THE DCF BOLONI SPA HOTEL, AND CAI MING INCORPORATES A WATER FEATURE INTO THE PLAN. THE RESULTS OF THIS HYPER-ACCELERATED DRAWING SESSION ARE UNCANNILY AKIN TO THE “PHOTOSHOP URBANISM” DESIGNS WHICH CAI MING HAD PREVIOUSLY OBSERVED AND REJECTED AS LACKING DEPTH. THE FEELING IS THAT HE HAS BEEN FORCED TO DO EXACTLY WHAT HE ALWAYS SAID HE NEVER WOULD. CAI MING HARBORED A STRING OF ESSENTIALLY UN-CHINESE NOTIONS INCLUDING CAREFUL PLANNING, SLOW DEVELOPMENT, AND LONG TERM VESTED INTEREST SECURED BY LONG TERM RETURNS. THESE HE FELT, THOUGH INAPPROPRIATE TO MOST OF THE CHINESE CITYSCAPE, COULD BE DEPLOYED IN THE “SPECIAL STATUS” AREAS OF GBDN AND GBDS DUE TO LOW INVESTMENT LONG TERM LEASING ARRANGEMENTS. HOWEVER, AS THE LEASES ROSE IN VALUE AND FASTER PROFIT MECHANISMS BECAME NOT ONLY APPARENT, BUT ACTUALLY CAME TO NEIGHBOR THE SITE, CAI MING’S MODELS BECAME LESS AND LESS ATTRACTIVE, AND LOCAL OFFICIALS LESS AND LESS SYMPATHETIC. THE LAST PLAN FOR GBDN IS PRODUCED AT CHINESE SUPER-SPEED IN RESPONSE TO THE CHANGING DEMANDS MADE ON THE LAND, AND EXHIBITS ALL THE DEFICIENCIES TYPICAL OF CHINESE URBAN DESIGN. NOTABLY THIS IS A PRODUCT NOT OF CAI MING’S PROFIT-MAXIMIZING URGES, BUT THOSE OF LOCAL OFFICIALS. THE PROPOSAL FOR GBDN IS REJECTED AS THE TWO CHIEF LOCAL OFFICIALS (ONE REPRESENTING THE CCP AND ONE LOCAL CIVIC INTEREST) SOLIDIFY THEIR PLANS TO RECREATE THE LOW INVESTMENT FAST RETURN LOW RISE BRICK DEVELOPMENT STYLE OF THE NEIGHBORING TRADITIONAL CHINESE MARKET. THIS THEY ARE CONFIDENT OF COMPLETING IN ADVANCE OF THE 2008 OLYMPICS. CAI MING, IN THE INTERESTS OF MAINTAINING A GOOD GUAN XI (RELATIONSHIP) WITH THESE TWO OFFICIALS, AGREES TO RETURN THE 50 YEAR LEASES HE SIGNED ON BOTH GBDN AND GBDS. THE TWO YEARS OF LEASING HE PAID FOR IS WRITTEN OFF, THOUGH HE NEGOTIATES WITH THE OFFICIALS FOR THE RETURN OF THE RMB8M HE SPENT ON CLEARING GBDN OF INHABITANTS AND PREPARING IT FOR DEVELOPMENT. CAI MING RETAINS HIS LEASE ON THE BOLONI GBD FACTORY. THE FACTORY ITSELF WILL BE MOVED OUT AS PART OF AN OPERATION TO CONSOLIDATE PRODUCTION ACROSS BEIJING. ON THE SITE HE PLANS TO DEVELOP A SCALED DOWN VERSION OF GBDN WHICH WILL CONSIST OF A BOLONI SHOWROOM, THEMED RESTAURANTS, A DESIGN HOTEL, AN ART HOTEL, A THEATER ETC.. HE INTENDS TO WATCH CLOSELY HOW THE GBDN AND GBDS SITES DEVELOP, AND CONTINUES TO BELIEVE THAT IN ANOTHER TWO YEARS, WITH THE CHANGING CLIMATES, IT MAY BE POSSIBLE TO RE-ENTER DISCUSSIONS WITH LOCAL OFFICIALS ABOUT MASTERPLANNING A CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT THERE. BUT FOR NOW AT LEAST, THE OFFICIALS HAVE CUT THE BOLONI. ‘FOR TWO YEARS I HAD SO MUCH PRESSURE. I HAD A STONE ON MY HEART. NOW MY HEART IS HEAVY. BUT I AM RELAXED.’ – CAI MING, 2007
plot division to urban plan

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‘In China real estate keeps going up. In one year 30%. When it’s so easy to make money why research difficult things?’
People’s Republic of Change [glo] p.682 8D 798 [glo] p.672 4A photoshop urbanism [glo] p.682 6E

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‘In China, two years is a long time.’
– Cai Ming, CEO Boloni

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‘在中国,两年是相当长的时间。’
- 蔡明,博洛尼CEO

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People’s Republic of Change [glo] p.682 8D 798 [glo] p.672 4A photoshop urbanism [glo] p.682 6E

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chinese whispers
manufacturing creative space with Chinese characteristics
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Adrian Hornsby, Neville Mars

policy makers have a distinct preference for terms which guard their meaning. The concept of creativity is, especially in a business or legal context, wonderfully definition resistant (it is ambiguous, nebulous), interpretation hardy (responds well to politically motivated applications), and semantically flexible (it can be turned on and off). This makes it ideally suited to planning, where an area of land can be given an attractive label (inferred from the premise that cultural consumption can be used as an index for urban development — hence the more creative a city, the more advanced and compelling it is) and yet real decisions about actual land use can remain essentially ad hoc and case by case.

A Cloud of Unknowing
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Chinese take-up of the creative ideal over recent years has happened at trademark super-speed. The spanking new creative economy now has appropriately flash — both in terms of look and suddenness of appearance — creative zones and districts, crammed with creative businesses offering creative goods to a creative class, all adorned with indisputably desirable “creative characteristics”. Moreover spot injections of creative industries have almost become panacean in their range of administrative uses — applicable to fields as diverse as urban regeneration, labor management, cultural identity and the perceived threat of a cultural trade deficit, education, conservation, and even environmental and ecological concerns (the latent implication being that a hipper China cannot fail to be a greener China). But the real appeal of a more creative economy lies in its twin promise to deliver on the fronts of both employment and consumption. Rising wages in the Pearl River Delta are already threatening the region’s status as the premier cheap assembly point for labor-intensive products — a state of affairs not helped by the inexorable, if somewhat

the term “creative industries” has a curious and seductive intractability: it is definition resistant, interpretation hardy, and semantically flexible
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“创意产业”的不可驯服是新奇而独具挑逗的:它无法定 义,难以阐释,而且语意极为灵活。

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glacial, rise in value of the RMB. As waves of progress spread outwards across the mainland, they will carry this problem in tow. There is a growing feeling that for China as a whole to keep the supply of jobs in step with the pace of urbanization, it will need to move beyond its current factory floor status, and nurture a more services orientated and indeed creative urban dynamic. Creative jobs suggest an enhancement of the human capital involved, and hence justify the wage gains needed not only to maintain growth, but also to move toward a smoother distribution of wealth. Alongside this is the sense that greater creative production will lead to greater domestic consumption. The development of China’s internal creative industries will go hand in hand with wider spending on creative outputs, and if China can be encouraged to save a little less, so the thinking goes, pressure on the worryingly tight investment and real estate bubbles will ease. Capital will flow away from speculation and into domestic brands, and Chinese companies will increasingly be able to control not only assembly of products, but design, marketing, and even market direction. In its most grandiose formulation, more creativity equals greater national autonomy. This somewhat theoretical enthusiasm for creativity — or at least creative industries — quickly translates into a more concrete need to produce creative environments. The crudest result is scores of creative districts which are legislated into existence, beset by development proposals, and surrounded by gawping and worried creative analysts. Can creative areas be manufactured? they ask. Isn’t there a need for a more organic aspect — a natural thronging of creative SMEs? What if the development of a new creative zone involves the displacement of people and the demolition of a culturally rich piece of the urban fabric? What is the relationship between culture and creativity? In fact, what is a creative enterprise? How should we define “creative industries”, and categorize what does and does not qualify?

For the same reasons the “creative district” has almost equal appeal to developers, who are able to lace a project with the significant value-add of creativity, and yet refrain from having to say quite what it is the development will be. Yet while this cloud of deferred meaning facilitates stealthy progress, it is also full of unseen hazard. The examples of 798*, Suojiacun and Gaobeidan North demonstrate how fast the policy of creative zoning and the notion of art-village-manufacture can throw up and then cut down creative urban program. In all three cases, the area’s political status — that of contributor to municipal creative capital — proved to be both raison d’être and cause of death. The irony of 798* is that the governmental recognition which artists fought so hard to win was, as things transpired, the very mechanism by which it was taken from their hands. In Suojiacun, a lack of clear land-use rules precipitated an almost one year wonder: the by rote invention of an international art village, followed by its 24 hour demolition by bulldozer. At Gaobeidian North the entire process was replicated on the pure paper level. Other similar occurrences lead to a cynical interpretation that while there is a policy-driven flourishing of creative communities on city-planners’ maps, the government is simultaneously targeting on-the-ground instantiations. The big lose-lose situations come when “naturally occurring” creative districts — i.e. ones which are not government planned, but are successful both commercially and creatively — are either co-opted or destroyed, and the use of the “creative” label is in fact no more than yet another sophisticated strategy for expediting urban development.

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This last is without question the rub. But it is also the root of “creative industries”’ success as a term. It has a curious and seductive intractability. China is far from being a simple rule of law environment, and 

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People’s Republic of Change [glo] p.682 8D 798 [glo] p.672 4A photoshop urbanism [glo] p.682 6E

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Creation to Co-option
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tHe FeelinG tHat denSitieS OF pOpulatiOn in cOmbinatiOn WitH cOncentratiOnS OF WealtH Will lead tO Greater creative prOductiOn iS prOblematized in cHina by cenSOrSHip and piracy
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Governmental reticence about what the creative district actually is or may be produces a risky and at times contradictory state of affairs for developers and creatives alike. But on a deeper level what it perhaps belies is a fundamental unease on the part of the CCP with what creativity in China, or what creativity with Chinese characteristics, is or may be … Western interpretations of creativity are heavily influenced by the Romantic ideal of the creative artist — an individual who challenges society, and who through freedom of expression and the fire of his own profound and personal vision, is able to disseminate his ideas into society, and become, as Shelley would have it, its ‘unacknowledged legislator’. While arguably antiquated and essentially masculine in conception, this feeling for the lone artist undoubtedly informed the 1990s UK coining of the term “creative industries”, and has significantly shaped its meaning in the West ever since. It prizes mavericks, out-of-the-box thinking, and highly individualized responses to socio-political situations. So the problem that instantly arises when you export the term to China is that the two basic positions which it predicates are not there. Firstly, free speech: the Chinese government has an active role in content creation, not to mention content suppression. Secondly, the Chinese government does not operate a robust system of intellectual property protection. The creative individual has on the one hand his mouth stopped; on the other his ideas stolen. Unsurprisingly, censorship and counterfeiting are two points which the creative-artist-fetishizing West routinely criticizes China for. The CCP is keenly aware of these two problems, and the situation for both, in accordance with the construction of a new society, is changing. Heavy pressure from the US and the WTO has led the Chinese government to legislate more in defense of intellectual property rights (IPR), and the continuing source of complaints from Hollywood et al is now less about Chinese IPR laws than their implementation. This in part is attributable to the age-old disseverment in China between central policy and local officialdom. While senior government may encourage stricter enforcement of IPR, piracy can still be welcomed at the parochial level. A classic situation would be a factory producing fake brand t-shirts: the local official stands to gain from improved employment, the boost to the local economy, land deals, bribes, and even, in some cases, stake or partnership. While his operations remain under-regulated, the official is unlikely to become IPR-prudish. However as domestic enthusiasm for creative enterprise takes more solid shape, internal pressure is likely to rectify this discrepancy. Indeed in 2005 80% of IPR infringement lawsuits filed in China were between Chinese companies, indicating a growing national sense of idea-ownership. The issue of content control is decidedly trickier, and relates to what is for the Communist Party a fraught transition. Under communism proper, creative activity was regarded as a means of propaganda production, and thus essentially a tool for population management. The newer version however suggests creative activity should be regarded as a means of converting man-hours into capital, and thus an economic driver — in truth, an industry. But unlike, say, steel manufacture, and just like propaganda, creative production has ideological content. So how do you treat an industry which makes money by producing ideas when idea
People’s Republic of Change [glo] p.682 8D 798 [glo] p.672 4A photoshop urbanism [glo] p.682 6E

人口密度加上财富的集中将带来更多创造性 产出的可能坏在了审查制度和盗版手下

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xian tourism and cultural industries zone “creative changan”
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changanjie performance district “the performance district” animation village “the animation center” 798* “creative art zone” beijing creative center “the crafts center” beijing digital entertainment industry center “cyber entertainment culture” panjiayuan antiques trade district “the antiques district” digital xuhui “digitize the future” songzhuang artist village “the creation arts village” zhongguan leading creative industry base “china’s silicon valley” new media and digital zone “the new media zone” songzhuang fashion center “the fashion center” feijiacun music and arts village “interactive arts” qingdao hi-tech creative development zone “creation 100” zhangjiang hi-tech park “innovation is creativity” shanghai creative industry center “create the future” design gardens and fashion alleys “the design experts” software gardens “software development united” M50 “from cotton to canvas” shanghai xintiandi “where yesterday meets tomorrow in Shanghai today” hangzhou digital development and animation park “animate creativity”

chengdu games and film park “creative journey to the west” lijiang historical cultural heritage city “the ancient city”

shenzen cultural products and design zone “city of cultural exports and design” guangzhou creative industries park “creation = development”

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production is supposed to be the preserve of the state? And how can you encourage free-thinking individuals when party-thinking always comes first? It’s a dilemma which strikes at the core paradox of a socialist market economy.
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reason of numbers, the world’s most viewed everything (uploads, downloads, streams etc.) will soon become in some sense China-focused. It follows that the weighting of the internet itself will be sliding east. With a population of 30,000 and growing too, China also boasts the world’s largest squad of internet police. The implications of these two facts for creativity are as enormous as they are unclear. The world wide web was released in 1992, and rapidly hailed as the most unifying and democratizing development in the history of the world. As it progresses through its teenage years, it is gaining some darker qualities. The initial purity of “grassroots creativity with a global audience” has been vitiated somewhat by a number of examples of small sites which first went big, and then went corporate. To name but a few, Murdoch bought myspace; Google and Yahoo did deals with repressive regimes (notably China); and as wikiscanner revealed, large corporations are manipulating the content of wikipedia to cast themselves in pinker light. Indeed one might ask if the internet isn’t as ideally suited to corporate co-option as it is to bedroom nerd-stars. A second point to note is that content-control mechanisms such as the Great Firewall of China are creating internet subsets — perhaps even internets, each with a different shade. It is striking that some of the best visited sites in the world (e.g. the BBC, wikipedia, Google) are either blocked or mediated in China. This means that one huge body of webusers doesn’t get to see what another huge body of webusers look at most. Equally China’s favorite sites are unapproachable to the vast majority of the Western online population due to a basic difficulty with Chinese characters. The implication is that the Chinese internet, with its distinctly Chinese characteristics, is actually becoming distinct. Now when you set this essentially Chinese internet within the context of the first point — that of a basic internet-susceptibility to corporate co-option — and consider the relationship between the CCP and Chinese companies (which because of tight governmental control of banks and lending are all operating in the hazy world of state capitalism), both the internet, and all of its creations, start to look very different. Through laying blocks and controlling buyouts, the Chinese government is able to shape its own internet — one which is neither unified nor democratic. Content parameters and a kind of long-arm ownership of successful internet companies creates an environment of collective creativity with state guidance. The extent to which the CCP will be able to maintain its grip on both private enterprise and internet usage is open to question: international trading partners want to see freer banks, and nifty hackers are busy with mirror sites and backdoor code. But letting go entirely is certainly not a part of the party’s plan …. Creation yes, but co-option too.

This governmental bind has direct impacts upon the creative sector. The most obvious example is to be found in publishing. Book production is the biggest contributor to China’s creative GDP, and yet is beset by difficulties relating to bureaucratic licensing structures and governmental restrictions upon ISBN numbers, which can be hard to obtain, and invariably require party approval. The same is true of magazine ISSNs — indeed so much so that an ISSN black market has developed, through which unsuccessful or dormant
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magazines illegally sell their publishing numbers to new publications. The start-ups may be leery of seeking a number of their own because of charged content; equally they may be simply reluctant to enter into the form- and bribe-strewn nightmare of applying for one.

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How can you encourage free-thinking individuals when party-thinking always comes first? The dilemma strikes at the core paradox of a socialist market economy.
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你如何在党性思想为先的时代鼓励自由思想呢?这一困境 正是社会主义市场经济的核心悖论。

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However these complications, like everything in China, need to be regarded in the context of a fast future. The more important truth about publishing is that it is itself entering a phase of radical transition, moving increasingly offpage and online. Indeed the Western ideal of the supreme creative artist is itself receding in the brighter context of web-based collaborative production, netgroups, blogs, postings, myspace, YouTube etc. People, not just a creative elite, are enormously more engaged in creative production than they were even 10 years ago, and this shift is largely due to technology. Affordable computers and digital recording equipment have given birth to a generation for whom prominent individuals will be less important than their own creative content and mass internet participation. Shelley-lovers pale and stay offline, but the kids are all clicking like crazy. It’s not just the Chinese who are shifting ideas around about what creativity means: the concept itself needs to be updated, if not fundamentally rethought. The process of a global internet-driven refashioning of the creative paradigm is one in which China will exercise significant influence. There were something like 137 million Chinese internet users when I started this article. There are many more by now. China’s online population is second only to the US, and with a far higher rate of growth (let alone growth potential), China will within the next few years become the largest nation of internet users in the world. Once there, it is likely to stay top. Already the world’s most read blog (over 100 million page views) is that of a Chinese actress-turned-director (Xu Jinglei), and, if only for sheer

In China the management of virtual and physical creative spaces run in parallel

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在中国,虚拟和现实创造空间的管理是一致的。
People’s Republic of Change [glo] p.682 8D 798 [glo] p.672 4A photoshop urbanism [glo] p.682 6E

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It is no coincidence that what happens in China’s virtual creative space runs in parallel with what happens in China’s physical creative space. Creative potentials in either realm can be seized or snuffed out — coopted and controlled, or simply blocked by officials — with terrifying speed. (The above example of the takeover of 798* resonates uncannily with search engines in China, which are all now forced to operate on a short government leash. The basic narratives of how Suojiacun and Gaobeidian creative districts have swung haphazardly from being condemned to being embraced and back again is one familiar to Chinese bloggers, and indeed to the status of wikipedia in China.) At the same time however, creative activity in both spheres is flying. Every time you look at it, conditions both are and aren’t encouraging, according to what you think creativity ought to be. Tensions around how the imported Western concept of creative industries should take shape in China are an unavoidable contributor to the term’s highly ambiguous use. While the definition floats in limbo, spatial management (virtual and real) is contradictory, unpredictable, and in some sense, dark. But perhaps the meaning of “creative industry” is in flux equally because creativity itself is in flux. Global approaches to and uses of creative production are entering their most significant period of change — certainly since Gutenberg introduced the printing press — if not ever. What happens on the internet, more than anything else, is defined by its users. And with a vast body of users all operating in their own peculiar mediated space, China will be a major shaping force — not only on the internet — but in what being creative actually comes to mean.

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<Foreigners’ China watch><www.zonaeuropa.com Roland Song’s blog, probably the fastest and the best of the english language blog about current affairs of China plus the talk of the town in Hong Kong.><www. chinadigitaltimes.com (English)><www.danwei.org (english)><http://rconversation.blogs.com/ rebecca mckinon, former CNN correspondent in Beijing, currently the Hong Kong Chinese University media professor><http://www.chinalawblog.com “The Life of a Lawyer at a Chinese Law Firm: Practicing Law in a Country Where There is no Law.” (english)><http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/china/ a correspondent in China blog about people he met on his way walking through western Sichuan><www.HowardFrench.com><http:// blog.sina.com.cn/wangjun the Xinhua muckraker of the real estate in Beijing><http://blog.focus.cn/ myblog/1667369.html Hua Xinmin’s blog, a 1/2 French ><http://blog.sina.com.cn/u/1414672645 a group blog of photographers who record not so well-known historical buildings in Hubei><http://www.mindmeters.com/ blogind.asp?id=253 ‘all about sex’.... Liwen’s blog><http://muzimeizhenghun.bokee.com/ Muzimei, the first woman blogger in China shocked the nation writing about her sexual experience with a rock n’roll star in Guangzhou, the first woman to podcast her intercourse is now looking for a partner of marriage><www. mindmeters.com (chinese)><http://www.sohoxiaobao.com/chinese/bbs/blog.php?id=9213 钱烈宪要发言, a cunning political blog, his ID sounds the same as prostate gland><www.wangxiaofeng.net (chinese) this journalist’s ID is Dai San Ge Biao which literally means wearing three watches but it’s easy to identify he’s making fun of San Ge Dai Biao, the political theory of the three represents, put forward by Jiang Zemin. Friends just call him San Biao.><http://blog.sina.com.cn/baiyongmei a Chinese lesbian blog><http://v35.blog.sina. com.cn/xujinglei Xu jinglei’s a movie star, director and online magazine editor. She blogs about her every day banality but is THE most popular blog in China. Her blog has been hit 100 million times.><www.plumcafe. com/ a bored Chinese housewife in the states blog about her daily cooking recipes which became an instant success. Her recipes were already compiled into three books. ><The two popular blogs about the stock market: ><http://blog.sina.com.cn/shaminnong><http://blog.sina.com.cn/u/1284139322><http://blog.sina. com.cn/housheboy 后舍男生><http://blog.sina.com.cn/xiaopangblog 网络小胖><www.guoxuelamei.com ancient Chinese civilization Spicy Girl 国学辣妹><http://blog.sina.com.cn/frjj 芙蓉姐姐><Rao Ying’s blog: ><xiaojingzi><mumu when she first started, she always pasted an almost naked picture with some smart writing about social problem…><the CCTV anchor who’s campaign shut down the starbucks in gugong><Xu Zhiyuan><http://www.antiwave.net/><Ma Di’s blog, great pictures. http://www.mylittledeaddick.com/blog/ ><http://myspace.com/NoPandasGallery><http://www.getitlouder.com/blog><大仙><老六 http://pigu6.yculblog. com/><http://blog.sina.com.cn/play_lee 工人李普雷><http://blog.sina.com.cn/nanxianghong><http://blog. sina.com.cn/lihaipeng ><http://wys.blogbus.com/index.html southern weekend photojournalist wang Yishu’s blog><http://blog.5d.cn/vip/laojiang/><http://www.bullog.cn/blogs/wangxiaoshan/Default.aspx王小山><http:

People’s Republic of Change [glo] p.682 8D 798 [glo] p.672 4A photoshop urbanism [glo] p.682 6E

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cities without history
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Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

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没有历史的城市
Neville Mars

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中国已经无数次证明,它 已然掌握了建城市的速成 法——拥有百万人口的都 市也能在一片荒原上拔地 而起。城里的一切都是簇 新鲜的,空气里弥漫着 对速度的热情,没有历史 的城市也同样繁荣,人民 安居乐业。然而就在中国 进入文化的国际化舞台之 时,中国能以抄袭西方建 筑作品一样的效率而建立 中国身份么。

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eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D collagetecture [glo] p.674 6C chai [glo] p.674 3A, [img] p.369 8F billboards [img] p.561 3F–4J hutong [glo] p.680 1B

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* Eurostyle
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FOrmerly a natiOn OF FarmerS, cHina iS nOW HalFWay tO becOminG tHe empire OF urbaniteS. duSt rOadS are aSpHalted Over, cartS turn intO carS, and cOncrete apartment blOckS are SWiFtly replaced by pink and lavender cOndOminiumS. WitHin tHe laSt decade tHe tidal Wave OF mOdernizatiOn HaS ruSHed Far beyOnd cHina’S cOaStal bOOmtOWnS and Out acrOSS tHe natiOn’S Gray-Green landScape. many tHOuSandS OF villaGeS Have dOubled in Size, and planS FOr a SerieS OF entirely neW citieS Have been prepared, and are aWaitinG executiOn. tHe SHapeleSS lOW-riSe expanSiOnS dOminatinG cHineSe urbanizatiOn are punctuated by a myriad OF up-market HOuSinG prOjectS – denSely OrGaniSed neiGHbOrHOOdS OF repetitive blOckS FrinGed WitH Small treeS and parkinG lOtS. tHey are a crOSS betWeen celebratiOn (a Suburban enclave develOped by tHe diSney cOrpOratiOn FOr tHe Faint at Heart, WHere unHappineSS HaS been OFFicially banned) and tHe prOjectS (a cOncept FOr inner-city vertical SlumS FOr nOn-caucaSian americanS WHere HappineSS iS Hard tO Find). tHey OFFer tHe Suburban cOmFOrtS OF cHeap and tranquil livinG in HOnG kOnG-Style tOWer blOck neiGHbOrHOOdS. and tHey all lOOk tHe Same. Given tHe pace OF cHina’S develOpment, tHe cOpy and paSte StrateGy makeS perFect SenSe: cOpyinG tHe urban layOut, tHe enGineerinG, tHe FlOOr planS Or Simply tHe entire city iS a teSted apprOacH. WHen tHe main Structure HaS been erected it iS a matter OF applyinG tHe riGHt Style. in tHe cHineSe HOuSinG
eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D collagetecture [glo] p.674 6C chai [glo] p.674 3A, [img] p.369 8F billboards [img] p.561 3F–4J hutong [glo] p.680 1B

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induStry tHiS iS a delicate OperatiOn. tHe Style OF tHe buildinG, tHe Outer Skin, FulFilS a number a

collagetecture*

– it can SOOtHe planninG cOmmiSSiOnS, ObScure tHe cOlOSSal Scale OF tHe prOject, and accurately cOnvey tHe price bracket tO tHe apprOpriate market nicHe.
practical purpOSeS

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HavinG Seen dOzenS OF citieS acrOSS tHiS Great natiOn, i Have cOme tO tHe cOncluSiOn tHat in cHina aeStHeticS are irrelevant. Style, and even arcHitecture – tHat cOllectiOn OF StyleS WHicH aimS tO Give identity tO undiFFerentiated buildinG maSS – HaS been liberated OF aeStHetic relevance. tHe blanket OF GrayiSH pink tHat makeS up tHe cHineSe city Will SmOtHer almOSt any attempt at reFinement Or eleGance. and in tHe anOnymOuS tOWnS and villaGeS tHe need FOr neW HOmeS WitH baSic amenitieS iS juSt tOO acute tO WOrry abOut arcHitecture at any Great lenGtH. eye-catcHinG FeatureS, SucH aS a FOuntain, a GOlden HOrSe, Or a maSSive plate-Steel briSe SOleil, are Generally SuFFicient tO Hint at tHe intended GOal OF a State-OF-tHe-art luxuriOuS buildinG. at beSt a neceSSary burden, arcHitecture in cHina iS applied laSt minute. it SeemS tO be Squirted aGainSt tHe FacadeS like Sauce FrOm a Squeeze pack. tHere iS a cOnSiderable aSSOrtment On OFFer, ranGinG FrOm neO-cHineSe tO neO-mOdern and tHe recently added SuStainable Style. but juSt aS in tHe uS tHe prevailinG decOrative mOtiF iS neO-claSSical: an unaSSuminG recipe OF Greek, rOman, GOtHic and rOcOcO OrnamentS. Suitably branded eurOStyle* it WaS tHe FavOrite cHOice OF tHe cHineSe develOper in 2005. a SucceSSFul develOper keepS track OF Subtle SHiFtS in taSteS and trendS. at HiS cOmmand, a team OF cHineSe arcHitectS reSOurceFully drape cOlumnS, entablatureS, and parapetS Over tHe baSic StructureS OF tHe apartment blOck, and Sprinkle caSt-irOn liOnS arOund tHe prOperty. in tHiS FaSHiOn cHina’S Suburbia iS adOrned tO meet tHe lateSt taSte, and arcHitecture can keep up WitH tHe OutraGeOuS Speed OF cOnStructiOn. One GrOup OF tHe SO-called neW tOWnS preSentS a pinnacle in tHeSe cOpy and paSte practiceS. danGlinG FrOm SHanGHai’S Outer rinG rOad – FOrty Five mileS FrOm tHe center – a tOtal OF nine Satellite citieS Have been deSiGned in autHentic eurOStyle*. FOrminG part OF SHanGHai’S Suburban expanSiOn plan, eacH OF tHe prOjectS Will accOmmOdate HalF tO One and a HalF milliOn inHabitantS (equivalent tO tHe capital OF HOlland). a number OF eurOpean arcHitectS Have been SOuGHt Out tO deSiGn One tOWn eacH in tHe Spirit OF tHeir cOuntry’S traditiOnal Style. diStinctly britiSH, italian, German and dutcH tOWnS
eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D collagetecture [glo] p.674 6C chai [glo] p.674 3A, [img] p.369 8F billboards [img] p.561 3F–4J hutong [glo] p.680 1B

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Were all cOmmiSSiOned. SOme nOW Stand cOmplete, OtHerS are eitHer under cOnStructiOn, Or Have been cancelled.

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起门来还是修道墙

Beijing Laffitte Castle
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tHe britiSH Firm atkinS WOn tHe cOmpetitiOn FOr SOnGjianG Garden city. tHe deSiGn iS a cOllaGe OF meticulOuSly cOmpiled mOmentS in britiSH tOWnSHip and villaGe arcHitecture, arranGed amidSt tHe rice paddieS OF pudOnG. GaOqiaO neW tOWn iS tHe name OF a Green Satellite city beSide SHanGHai’S cHemical induStrial zOne – cHina’S larGeSt neW induStrial Site. deSiGned by dutcH arcHitectS it iS nOtHinG SHOrt OF a pSycHedelic reinterpretatiOn OF my cOuntry’S native arcHitectural StyleS. tHe reSult iS a perFect pOSt-mOdern amalGamatiOn OF clOG-SHaped WindOWS, Stepped GableS, and SculptureS OF Giant tulipS beFOre a Skyline OF FlaminG exHauSt pipeS. tWO queStiOnS ariSe: WHat makeS tHe eurOStyle* SO pOpular? and, WHat Will tHiS Wicked pOSt-urban envirOnment lOOk like in tWO GeneratiOnS? tHe SecOnd queStiOn iS tHe Harder tO anSWer. i Sincerely HOpe cHina’S GreeniFicatiOn ScHemeS Will unFOld aS planned, SO at leaSt tHe Smell and SmOG OF neiGHbOrinG FactOrieS Will Have diSappeared. i HOpe tHe ecOnOmy Will perSevere, SO FactOry WOrkerS tOO Will live in clOG-SHaped HOmeS. but it iS mOre likely tHe blunt mixture OF cOntraStinG cOnditiOnS in tHe OutSkirtS Will Only becOme mOre extreme; induStry Will relOcate, and tHe FOrmer pOOreSt neiGHbOrHOOdS Will be tOrn dOWn tO re-emerGe FurtHer dOWn tHe rOad. it iS tHe tHreatened imaGe OF tHiS OutcOme tHat beGinS tO anSWer tHe FirSt queStiOn, and SuGGeSt cHina’S plea FOr cOSmetic SurGery. tHe vaSt plainS OF cHina cOntain nOtHinG, but are never empty. decadeS OF determined cOmmuniSm Have leFt a tarniSHed landScape – a quilt OF FieldS, brick HOmeS, and ruSty induStrial ruinS. but cHina’S neW envirOnment, tHe SpreadinG Suburb, iS a FirSt OppOrtunity FOr SOme cOlOr, SubStance and identity. laSt year eurOpe Obtained ‘apprOved deStinatiOn StatuS’ FOr cHineSe citizenS. tHiS Greatly SimpliFieS viSa prOcedureS, and iS likely tO reSult in Five Hundred tHOuSand cHineSe tOuriStS a year in HOlland alOne! already tHree crammed buSSeS OF cHineSe tOuriStS StOp eacH day tO eat luncH in my Old cHina tOWn biStrO. tHey marcH tHrOuGH tHe amSterdam alleyS in tHe Familiar mauve SuitS, HOldinG videO cameraS and jam jarS Filled WitH tea. travellinG abrOad HaS cOme WitHin reacH OF a GrOWinG number OF tHe cHineSe middle claSS, and eurOpe’S capitalS Seem tO be tHe FirSt SpOtS tHey are draWn tO. citieS like amSterdam perFectly reSpOnd tO lOnG unFulFilled deSireS and undirected nOStalGia. tHe center, WitH itS drunken mercHant HOmeS neatly aliGned alOnG cute canalS, embOdieS WHat tHe neW cHineSe are
eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D collagetecture [glo] p.674 6C chai [glo] p.674 3A, [img] p.369 8F billboards [img] p.561 3F–4J hutong [glo] p.680 1B

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lOOkinG FOr: HiStOry and Opulence in Full vieW. and in amSterdam tHiS Opulence iS private; tHe WealtH Here WaS Obtained by SelF-made entrepreneurS.

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dutcH peOple in tHeir beautiFul HOmeS repreSent a SyStem OF individualS all crammed tOGetHer, like tHe cHineSe, and Gently kept in line in tHe eFFicient maintenance OF a StrOnG tiGHt Order. tHeSe are tHe idealized valueS OF neW cHina. tHe cHarminG Old citieS trimmed WitH GOld reek OF SucceSS. it iS tHeir cuteneSS, tHeir mix OF tHe petite and tHe Grand, tHe time-HOnOred imaGe OF tHe city aS it iS nO-lOnGer tO be FOund anyWHere in cHina, tHat iS impOrted On a maSSive Scale. cHina HaS eFFectively eraSed itS paSt. itS exiStinG citieS are On paper eSSentially tabula raSa; in reality, tHey are Only aWaitinG demOlitiOn. nO WOnder eurOpe’S FeatureS Have becOme tHe deSired inGredientS FOr an inStant HiStOry On OFFer tO tHe FirSt GeneratiOn OF cHineSe HOme OWnerS. tHey prOvide tHe detailS tHat create tHe neceSSary SenSe OF identity; nOt repreSentinG eurOpe, but tHe identity OF tHe yOunG claSS OF Well-travelled cHineSe citizenS. FrOm a eurOpean pOint OF vieW, tHe deSiGn SketcHeS SuSpended On tHe WallS OF neWly erected tOWn HallS, and tHe tranSlucent mOdelS OF meGa-Suburban extenSiOnS, lack tHe appeal tHey Seem tO exert On mOSt OF tHe cHineSe audience. it SeemS tHe cHineSe citizen preFerS a FOrm OF imitatiOn mOdernity tO tHe currently prevailinG mOnOtOny. and, it muSt be Said, eurOpe tOO HaS itS SHare OF deSOlate OFFice diStrictS and nOndeScript reSidential neiGHbOrHOOdS, WHicH Seem tO edGe FartHer and FartHer aWay FrOm tHe city WitHOut anyOne beinG cOnSciOuSly aWare OF it. Still, it iS temptinG FOr a dutcH arcHitect tO becOme cynical WHen cOnFrOnted WitH a tOWn in “traditiOnal dutcH Style” tO be built aS a Satellite OF SHanGHai. tHe brand neW mOdelS OF bell-SHaped FacadeS and mini-mercHant HOmeS may appeaSe tOday’S reSidentS, but can tHey WitHStand tHe rapidly cHanGinG taSteS? mucH FaSter Still tHan cHina’S urban landScape, it iS tHe cHineSe State OF mind tHat iS tranSFOrminG. tOday’S cHildren, all prOductS OF tHe One-cHild pOlicy, are educated, ambitiOuS, and demandinG. mOSt likely tHey WOn’t be SatiSFied WitH livinG in cHina’S Future eurOGHettOS*. Style may be irrelevant, until it iS FOrced upOn yOu. tHe neW neiGHbOrHOOdS all built at Once Will lack tHe deptH OF time. tHe HOpe tHat a cOrintHian cOlumn Or Spurted Gable Will Help iS dOubtFul. but in tHe end it iS SaFer tO Have SkyScraperS dreSSed-up in cOlumnS by cHineSe arcHitectS tHan tO Have a eurOpean arcHitect cOnStruct a utOpian niGHtmare. and cHina, tHe WOrld’S tOuGHeSt adOleScent lOOkinG FOr a neW identity, mixinG and matcHinG aS He GrOWS, miGHt already knOW tHiS.

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eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D collagetecture [glo] p.674 6C chai [glo] p.674 3A, [img] p.369 8F billboards [img] p.561 3F–4J hutong [glo] p.680 1B

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Not only is the urban landscape reconstructed overnight — our memory is being erased with a similar speed and intensity. Gray communist China, its flavor, its hue and life, indeed its people, will soon be a thing of the past. The procedure is simple, and unquestioned. Firstly a blue sheet wall, decorated sometimes with cheerful red lights, wraps itself around the area. Red banners are suspended from the buildings proclaiming sympathetic slogans such as, ‘Stand hand in hand and help our neighbors move to their new homes’. Then the infamous Chai* sign (demolition) is daubed upon the walls. They come down, and the new site blends in effortlessly among the city-wide strings of anonymous blue fencing. In a matter of days the area is turned to rubble, and work upon a new housing block commences. The more luxurious building sites are further adorned with extraordinary billboards* representing promises of the future. Admittedly I have a bad memory, but this behind the scenes make-over seems continuously to purge my mind of what the city was like the last time I looked. I try to recollect the feeling of walking the streets near my house — untouched until only weeks ago. The Chinese don’t suffer from nostalgia — not for their recent history anyway — and so I try not to. But in China the new comes all at once and undiluted. The unexpected balance of old and new, large and small, cheap and top-dollar which, for a fleeting moment, seemed to exist in China’s mega-cities, is lost. It was only a temporary stage — a phase of construction and transition. Last summer (2006) was a case in point. I was having a drink in my usual coffee shop down the road when suddenly the street was swarming with men in orange suits lugging drills. They set up and started work, uprooting cobble stones as they went, and within the hour had reached the place where I was sitting. Their blazing efficiency was already something, but real bewilderment only hit me when they started hacking away at the façade of the café. One moment I am sipping coffee within the comfort of an air-conditioned bubble; only minutes later I am still in my Chesterfield, but now sitting outside. The entire front part of the old hutong* establishment was gone. In the bar I seemed to be the only one concerned by the fact that the building had just been cracked wide open. Utterly complacent, the owner remarks ‘I don’t think we’re sticking around much longer’. The old façade apparently had extended beyond the red line of the newly planned street. Over the next few weeks my favorite seat in Beijing was the borderline between jazz and coffee on one side, and heavy-duty diggers swinging inches from my head on the other. Though I kept close track of the progress made, it’s hard to explain what the muddled hutong* street was like before this invasion, and before the clean-up.
eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D collagetecture [glo] p.674 6C chai [glo] p.674 3A, [img] p.369 8F billboards [img] p.561 3F–4J hutong [glo] p.680 1B

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Architecture seems to be squirted against the facades like sauce from a squeeze pack
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建筑立面上堆砌的各种装饰,就像调味包里 喷出来的佐料一样 

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Eurostyle* adds a sense of identity — not of Europe — but of a new class of well-travelled Chinese citizens
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eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D collagetecture [glo] p.674 6C chai [glo] p.674 3A, [img] p.369 8F billboards [img] p.561 3F–4J hutong [glo] p.680 1B

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“too much joy and splendor”
a guided tour through urban china

Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

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太多的喜悦与辉煌
Martijn de Waal

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中国梦的迷思越来越受追捧。它和美国梦没有本 质区别——其核心仍是中产阶级的生活方式: 有车、有房、有家。然而与美国梦扎根于郊区 或城市边缘不同的是,中国梦与城市密不可 分。城市中的建筑都是中国梦的巨型广告牌。 他们同时也意味着,我们可能还不富裕,但是 看看我们可能会怎样!作者MarTijin De Waal试 图从十三个场景来解构中国梦。它的承诺与激 励是什么?它有多大诱惑?它有多真实?梦碎了 会怎样?新城会怎样?中国梦会如何影响建筑设 计与城市规划?

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Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Café [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F–8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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SCENE 1: THE LEISURELY FLYING OF A KITE WITH A VIEW OF THE MODERN CITY CENTER

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A large lawn in a city park on a hill. The park overlooks a city that boasts an impressive skyline of modern skyscrapers. On the lawn, a father shows his son how to fly a kite.
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What, on that late fall Sunday in 2003, could have been a better way to spend one of my last afternoons in Shenzhen than relaxing at the Flying Kite Square on the slopes of Lianhua mountain? There I finally understood what everybody had been telling me the last few days: that Shenzhen was a beautiful city. A green city. A modern, well-planned city. A city with a high quality of life for the new class of young college-graduated professionals. Until that moment my impression of Shenzhen had for the most part resembled its depiction in the literature: an energetic but rowdy, chaotic, and rather Dickensian City, where the over-the-top opulence of golden skyscrapers contrasts with honking cars stuck in traffic, a vast army of one-legged beggars, and shady men in dark suits who offer girlfriends for the night. But here I happened upon a much more charming scene. I saw fathers who, accompanied by a cool breeze and their smiling wives, showed their sons how to fly a kite. Young couples strolled happily over the carefully tended lawn, holding hands, sipping a mint frappuccino-to-go, flaunting their Prada sunglasses, their Gucci tank tops. Or — for those still halfway along their paths to success — their Baleno shirts or Giordano polos.

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1 Cartier, C. ‘Transnational Urbanism in the Reform-era Chinese City: Landscapes from Shenzhen’ Urban Studies (2002) p.1526

College students leisurely climbed the meandering steps to the top of the hill, to have their picture taken with their hero: a giant bronze Deng Xiaoping. In Imperial fashion his statue was placed exactly at the end of the north-south axis of the newly constructed city center at the bottom of the hill.1 From here, the view was beautiful. Pink towers of luxury apartments flanked neat rows of middle class housing, all surrounded by lushly watered green strips. And although this was a city that owed its fame and fortune to its factories, there was hardly a single chimney in sight. On the contrary, the tall stand in the distance was the 384 vertical meters of green post-industrial mirrored glass known as Shun Xing Tower — the 8th highest building in the world! Not far from there a prestigious new civic center was under construction, whose impressive architecture of glass and steel expressed both a will to be modern, and — through its pagoda-inspired roof — a hint that that this new modernity is not a mere copy of a Western ideology, but the
Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537 culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213 small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Café [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F–8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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beginning of a new Chinese era. The happy couples with their kites, the beautiful light of the late afternoon, and the enticing view of this neatly planned part of town, altogether made for an almost perfect image of the city. One that at least corresponded with the one child policy propaganda paintings I had seen across the city, in which mothers wore sexy jeans and fathers carried trendy mineral water bottles against a back drop of colorful skyscrapers. It was a setting that was very much in line with newly minted official city slogans such as, ‘Shenzhen, city of joy — life and laughter can all be found there!’ or, ‘Shenzhen — represents too much splendors and wonders. A boundless ocean of joy!’ This was Shenzhen* version 2.0, a perfect city for a perfect new generation of highly educated youngsters — the Cappuccino generation, the Gucci generation, the I Want generation*, or whatever they had been called by now. This part of the city at the bottom of mount Lianhua was proudly presented as an upgrade for the city that was once known for its raw, Wild West capitalism of the early eighties, its brutal sweatshops, and chaotic infrastructure. Not that those were all but gone, it was just that they were no longer supposed to be part of the dominant imagery. A few years earlier Shenzhen had developed the ambition to become a World City, to get plugged into the select network of international cities that command the global economy. And for that, it was decided, it needed a new, symbolic center, specially catered to the tastes of the international service economy. Away from the old chaotic business district — away from the Shenzhen 1.0 that had sprung up next to the Luohu border in the cowboy years of the wild south — the eighties and early nineties — where I had spent my first few days. The scene made me think of the complimentary tourism brochures I had found in hotel rooms across the country. In China tourism for a large part revolves around the collecting of “scenes,” like ‘the moonlight reflecting in the marvelous river,’ or ‘seeing the fisherman boat at the lake shore.’ Travel guides and brochures usually suggest a whole list of local famous “scenes,” that can then be crossed off one by one. My vista from the top of Mount Lianhua, ‘the leisurely flying of the kites with a view of the ostensibly modern city center,’ could easily have been one. Only this “scene” wasn’t a repetition of an eternal returning past, but a glimpse of how the Chinese imagined their future. It was a scene lifted from The Chinese Dream*, the new unofficial ideology of this booming country that has captured the imagination of hundreds of millions of Chinese across the country: to live a wealthy and comfortable life in a modern, cosmopolitan metropolis. The modern cities like Shenzhen that had sprung up all over China were not just the place where this dream was supposed to come true. These cities also strongly propagated that same dream. They tried their best to display the story of modernization and progress. Not unlike the passages or World Exhibition of Walter Benjamin’s Paris, the Chinese cities with their modern architecture, their luxurious shopping malls and modern infrastructure, promised a new, truly modern life. It was this dream that urged millions of Chinese to trade their hometowns in far away places for a new life in cities such as Shenzhen, Chongqing, Chengdu or Shanghai. It was this dream that I was after when I started my trip. How was its story told? What were its promises and enticements? What did this mean for the expectations of the new generation? How realistic was this Chinese Dream? Where could we find counter dreams? What would happen if for too many people reality would not live up to the promises of The Chinese Dream*? Above all I was interested in the relationship between this Chinese Dream* and other new cities arising all over China. How did its architecture and urban planning tell the story of The Chinese Dream*? And how did the expectations of this dream influence the design and

planning of the cities? What issues did urban designers have to take into account when designing ever newer versions of their cities? To find an answer to these questions I would travel like a Chinese tourist. Like them I wanted to collect my own personal series of scenes. These scenes, taken from modern life in the cities, I hoped, would tell me more about The Chinese Dream*, and the issues that had to be dealt with when designing the Chinese city of 2020.

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postcard Shenzen 2003

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Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Café [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F–8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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SCENE 2: SIPPING A CAPPUCCINO IN A DESIGNER COFFEEBAR
Toddy himself remembered when he was a little boy, he heard the grown-ups talk about this city. ‘There,’ they said, ‘is a place where you can become rich.’ These stories were fuelled by recruiters who traveled to remote villages to hire farmers for the new factories. And by migrants who returned to their villages with both stories of success and their trophies of modernity — watches, TV sets, money. Since then, The Chinese Dream* had evolved into three different packages. There was a Chinese Dream Lite, which held the aspirations of uneducated farmers from undeveloped regions who migrated to the cities in search of mere economic betterment. For them cities like Shenzhen were places were they could make some money in its factories. There was the medium-sized pack, The Chinese Dream Family Edition, which held the dreams of middle class life for urban professionals. For them the city was a place where they could realize their new lifestyle. And then there was the Supersize XXL edition, that promised tycoon-style living for the very rich. For them the city was the place where they could show-off their wealth in its ever more luxurious hotels, restaurants and real estate. Toddy and most of his fellow graduates belonged to the second category: striving towards a comfortable modern life in the city. ‘We are a new generation,’ Toddy continued while taking a little sip of his cappuccino. He had only recently started drinking coffee — one of the insignia of belonging to that new generation — but hadn’t quite grown accustomed to its bitter taste. ‘We don’t care about politics,’ he continued. ‘We care about the economy.’ Toddy, like so many others, had come to Shenzhen because this was an apolitical city, across the high mountains, far away from the capital Beijing. That at the Flying Kite Square I had seen so many youngsters lining up to have their picture taken before Deng Xiaoping’s statue quite paradoxically seemed only to reinforce that attitude. To them, Deng was the founder of China’s economic reforms, the father of this cosmopolitan and hard line capitalist city at the border with Hong Kong. Their university education, those Gucci’s and frappuccinos, the small private cars with which they had come to Mount Lianhua, the freedom not to have to worry about politics, they owed it all to him. ‘We want to work hard and make a fortune,’ Toddy concluded. ‘We want to build up our country. That is the dream of all the young people in Shenzhen. We want to buy a car and an apartment and raise a family.’

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A designer coffee bar, based on the popular Starbucks-concept, with a modern interior. At one table a young man works on his laptop. At another three men in suits are holding a meeting.
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I met Toddy* in one of the new Starbucks rip-offs* that had sprung up all over Shenzhen. This one had orange designer chairs, white tablecloths and a menu that listed at least twenty varieties of coffee — this was after all the new Chinese era of abundance. Toddy was one of three million college students who had graduated from university that year, a record number. Toddy belonged to a lucky cohort. He and his fellow students made up the first generation that was born after Mao’s death. To them, the bitter days of the Cultural Revolution happened in stories reluctantly told to them by their parents. In their life, every year on their birthday, the economy had grown by another five to ten percent. Now they were ready to start their career. By 2020 they would be the heart of the new Chinese middle class. Toddy had graduated from university in far away Yunnan Province only a few days earlier. Right after the ceremony, he had packed his belongings in a few boxes and taken a plane to Shenzhen. This was the city he had been dreaming about since he was a small boy. One of his former roommates had already moved here and offered him a place to stay. ‘I was so excited when I landed at the airport,’ Toddy said. ‘I felt the same way the Chinese who emigrated to America a hundred years ago must have felt. Shenzhen is the city of liberty. A city of opportunity. And now I am here!’ Toddy enthusiastically recited the unofficial Shenzhen mythology that in the last decade of the previous century had grabbed the imagination of many Chinese. This was after all the city where The Chinese Dream* was born. In the late 1970s Deng Xiaoping appointed this rural strip of banana plantations and rice paddies, just across a muddy stream from Hong Kong’s New Territories, the first Special Economic Zone. Here, foreign investors were invited to set up factories and start joint ventures to sell their products. This was the place where capitalism entered China. Now it was a city of — depending on who did the counting — 4 to 7 million people. Not long after Deng’s edict, stories about this new land of opportunity started to travel across the country. Somewhere in the south, it was whispered, there was a brand new city with plenty of jobs. A city with gold colored high-rise and moving stairs. In at least one small town far away, a high school renamed itself ‘Shenzhen High,’ stressing the aspirations its education could fulfill. Soon people started talking about Shenzhen-speed — the until then unheard of pace of development — or the Shenzhen-generation — those who had taken advantage of this speed and got rich first.

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Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Café [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F–8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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SCENE 3: CITY WITH CONCRETE CARCASSES, CITY WITH GOLDEN TOWERS

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View on downtown from a slightly elevated position. The skyline holds both fancy new skyscrapers with pastel or gold tinted mirrored glass, as well as bare concrete structures of 20 or more stories that were never finished.
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Chinese cities are not unlike software packages: they are continuously being updated to keep pace with the ever increasing processor speed of the economy and the ever increasing expectations of its users. Like software that is being rushed to the market, glitches and security risks only come forward after it has been widely distributed and installed, thus widening the demand for patches and updates. The designer coffee bar was one of the new features of Shenzhen 2.0. But when later that afternoon Toddy showed me around the rest of Shenzhen, the city quickly started to look different. Gone was the pictureperfect look from Lianhua Mountain. Here, in the Luohu district near the border with Hong Kong, we could sense the rush in which this city was put together. Different parts of this district were awkwardly connected to each other. In one street they had forgotten to plan the sidewalks. Two blocks further they had hastily inserted an elevated highway that suddenly cut the neighborhood in two. The cityscape of blue and green and gold mirrored glass was interrupted by a handful of incomplete bare concrete towers. During construction, the developers had run off with the money or failed to come up with a profitable business plan. The broad boulevards were full of cars. The shops, packed with fake brand name backpacks, shoes, and Tshirts, spilled onto the sidewalk. On almost every street corner hawkers offered cheap DVDs and inexpensive ‘girlfriends.’ We had entered Shenzhen version 1.0, the older part of town that was built in the eighties and nineties. A group of young girls clapped their hands, trying to lure passers by into a big tent that was set up on one of the little squares. Inside they showed us large photo albums with wedding pictures. They were not taken in a traditional Chinese style — a couple happily smiling in front of a waterfall, but resembled the photography style of glossy magazines. On the day of your life, you could pretend to play the lead in a lifestyle ad for an expensive perfume or high-end fashion brand. Beggars without arms or legs — victims of long working days and lax enforcement of safety regulations in Shenzhen’s industry — sat on the pavement. Some of them had written the tragic endings of their Chinese Dream* on large sheets of paper posted in front of them. The chaotic look of downtown Shenzhen was not caused by a lack of trying from the city officials. Patches — in the form of campaigns — were being distributed regularly. Official policy tried to encourage Shenzhen citizens to keep up the tidy postcard look of the city that I had seen on Mount Lianhua. In the ‘Spiritual 

Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537 culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213 small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Café [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F–8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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Civilization Campaign,’ prizes were awarded for streets and neighborhoods without informal shops or illegal immigrant housing. Although this campaign was officially started to counter the unwanted by-products of modernization, in recent years the state changed its interpretation of Civilized Activities. It now promoted leisure consumption such as going out to the movies or acquiring computer skills.2 All sorts of campaigns were continuously staged to promote Shenzhen as an international city. One of the vice-mayors had set up a campaign to improve English-language skills. 57% of Shenzhen residents, he had found, believed they needed to improve their English.3 Official policy promoted, as Carolyn Cartier observed, not only the pictureperfect urban appearance, but also a modern urban lifestyle. A new ideology that according to Cartier ‘would mold the populace to live daily life under a kind of Chinese Fordism in which daily activities are hinged to the temporal and spatial conditions of mass production and consumption.’4 As we walked on, past Japanese noodle chains, DVD outlets and karaoke-parlors, we came across a small bookstore that doubled as another lounge bar. La Vie Materièle, the shop was called. It had the usual features of a Shenzhen bar: large TV screens showed a live broadcast of the English Premier League, another menu with 20 sorts of coffee, a choice of 5 types of whiskey and three brands of beer, the latter promoted by three young girls in sexy Formula 1-style outfits with the logo of their employers printed all over. The collection of books was however remarkable. Most bookstores I visited in China always had the same foreign books on display: Harry Potter, and a handful of biographies of remarkable men and strong women like Hillary Clinton and David Beckham. This shop featured books on Dada and film history. Business, however, did not fare well. ‘People don’t read much in Shenzhen,’ the owner told us. ‘They are too busy with their career.’ This was an observation I came across often in Shenzhen. Just after the Chinese new year of 2005, Shenzhen museums complained they received far fewer visitors than museums in other cities in the country. ‘The reasons leading to this weird phenomenon relate not only to the makeup of the city’s population, which has young migrants from all over the country as its majority, but also to the priority the city has put on economic development during the past two decades,’ noted Sun Zhenhau, president of the Shenzhen Sculpture Institute. ‘There is no culture here,’ the owner of the bookshop acknowledged. But Toddy refused to agree. ‘No culture is also a culture,’ he said. ‘Do you think when America rose to power, there was much culture there? Shenzhen has its own specific culture.’ For a moment, I thought I understood what Toddy meant. From the early eighties on Shenzhen had become known as a rowdy city which attracted all sorts of vagabonds looking for quick money. According to some stories, the city was full of gangsters, prostitutes and drug addicts. Some apartment towers were completely occupied with young single girls: the mistresses of Hong Kong businessmen who had another family on the other side of the border. It was a dangerous city as well: between 1991 and 1998 127 businessmen were kidnapped and released for ransom. It was this culture that could be seen on the photographs of Shenzhen artist Yang Yong. He portrayed rich youngsters, lying on their expensive sofas in their flashy new apartments. Their closets were filled with designer labels, but the bored look with which they stared into the camera could only mean one thing: their lives were empty. I found more or less the same atmosphere in Mian Mian’s much hyped novel Candy. ‘A lot of lost people came to Shenzhen from elsewhere,’ Mian Mian stated in an interview in the English translation of her book. ‘They all dreamed of using money to save their life. That kind of existential void, in a place with no history and consequently no family or community ties, resulted in a cannibalistic society. It is such a cruel city. It has no heart, there is no such a thing as friendship there. No one is your friend.’ Yang Yong, when I had visited him on another occasion had said almost the same. ‘The new generation is spoiled and egotistic. They want to get rich quick, but they also give up quickly, and then they get depressed. You don’t read about that in the 

newspapers. There they only tell you that life is getting better.’ Could his work then be seen as a criticism to the mainstream? I had asked him. ‘No,’ he said. ‘I am just an observer. Besides, there is nothing wrong with egotism. I am a big egotist myself.’
2 Cartier, C. ‘Transnational Urbanism in the Reform-era Chinese City: Landscapes from Shenzhen’ Urban Studies (2002) p.1526 3 ‘We want to learn English, Shenzhen workers declare’ South China Morning Post, June 29 2004 贰

Was this the Shenzhen culture that Toddy referred to? Toddy smiled awkwardly. I had clearly embarrassed him, bringing this up. This was not a topic he liked to discuss, and certainly not the idea of a new culture he had in mind when he came to Shenzhen. ‘This is what I mean,’ Toddy said, when we were back on the street, pointing at the construction sites of luxury condos that we were passing. ‘Many young people are creating a miracle here, because we have created a new city in a very short time,’ he claimed. ‘In Shenzhen there are no old buildings, and no old people. We want to build up this country. It is good that the old buildings have been destroyed. They would

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‘The new generation is spoiled and egotistic. They want to get rich quick, but they also give up quickly, and then they get depressed. You don’t read about that in the newspapers. They only tell you that life is getting better.’
Yang Yong, artist, Shenzhen -

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“现在的年轻一代被宠坏了,都非常自我。他们想很快致 富,但也会很快放弃,然后郁闷得不得了。你在报纸上看 不到这些的,报纸只会告诉你人们的生活越来越好。”
杨勇,艺术家,深圳

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clash with the modern architecture. We don’t need history here. We are creating it. And we are proud of that. That is our culture.’ Toddy hadn’t come to Shenzhen for its sleazy nightclubs or its easy money. He had come their in order to build up his own life, and his country. To become part of a new mainstream culture, not to rebel against it. In the next few days I came across many more examples of the almost manic optimism that accompanied Toddy’s goals. Hardly anybody I met mentioned the prostitutes or the night clubs. Of course, they were still there. And of course, people still visited them. But they seemed no longer a part of the 2.0 version of the Shenzhen myth. Instead I heard this same mantra over and over again: ‘Shenzhen is a new city. A city
Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537 culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213 small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Café [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F–8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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where you can buy all sort of things. A city with nice restaurants and parks. A green city, a pleasant city. A city without history*,’ which in Shenzhen is meant as a positive attribute. ‘Shenzhen is nowhere,’ wrote Ian Buruma. ‘But for many young Chinese that is precisely its attraction. To be relieved of the burdens of home, history and tradition is a form of liberation. Opportunities await at the frontiers of the wild south.’5 Whether or not Shenzhen still was nowhere could be argued about. Over the years its new 2.0 architecture was giving the city a distinct identity. But it certainly was a timeless city, a city without history*, a city that looked forward rather than backward, where the difference between “now” and “new” had almost ceased to exist. It was this culture of the new*, where every moment seemed to promise a better life that had made Toddy almost intoxicated. But listening to Toddy, it almost seemed as if the process of change had become a goal in itself. It wasn’t so much the eventual outcome of the modernizing process that enthused him. It was rather the idea of being part of a generation, the feeling of belonging to a collective, that was about to change the world that energized him so much. Newness, modernity and change in itself had become the main force of this optimistic, collective energy, that I could feel everywhere in Shenzhen.

SCENE 4: CITY OF JOY, CAREFULLY DECORATED WITH PLANTS AND FLOWERS

5 Buruma, I. Bad Elements (Random House, 2001)

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View of a billboard along a new highway, whose shoulder is remarkably green, thanks to its freshly sprinkled lawns and flowerbeds. The billboard promotes the city as a place where young people can have a good time, both in Chinese and English, and is accompanied by pictures of happy, smiling youngsters hanging out together. From the downtown area, Toddy decided, it was better to take a taxi to the neighborhood where he lived. Since it was already a little late, most of the traffic had disappeared by now, and the taxi sped along the broad boulevards, between impressive skyscrapers. As we came onto the ramp to the highway, Toddy announced that we would soon understand why he liked Shenzhen so much. ‘You see,’ he said, ‘Shenzhen is a green city*.’ And indeed, as long as we stayed on the freeway it was. The shoulders of the road had been turned into small parks. Flyovers were covered in ivy. The empty spaces within the clover leafs were flowerbeds. ‘Shennan Avenue,’ I later read in a brochure that was meant to point out all Shenzhen’s amenities, ‘is the longest parkway in China. The green area along the road is as large as 300 football fields and the over five million plants have helped to add a fantastic look to it. Every intersection and each block along the road is carefully decorated with plants and flowers.’ Critics later told me that this was the easy way to puff up the statistics. You can have an impressive number of square meters of parkland in your city, yet without wasting precious building ground. And while I thought it was somewhat paradoxical that the only way to experience a park was by riding on the freeway in your car, Toddy did enjoy these parkways. For him, it was one more proof that he lived in a modern city, where people owned private cars which gave them the freedom to go wherever they wanted. He proudly pointed at the billboards, that again affirmed the culture of the new*. Here, the old fashioned billboard on which political leaders such as Deng or Jiang posed in front of the impressive new skylines that their policies had fathered, had been replaced by images of modern houses on sale, golf courses, shopping malls of the future, and young people enjoying city life. I started wondering: Could this “culture of the new*” be seen as a Chinese variant on what Richard Florida had called the culture of the creative class?6 In the United States, his theory states, cities that are doing well economically, are known for their high score on his ‘bohemian index’ — a measure of artists, writers, and performers and the presence of their subcultural lifestyle, such as cafés with open mike evenings, squatters
Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537 culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213 small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Café [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F–8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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‘We don’t need history here. We are creating it. And we are proud of that.’
University graduate, Shenzhen -

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“我们这儿不需要历史,我们在创造 历史,而且我们很骄傲。”
大学毕业生,深圳

7 6 Florida, R. The rise of the creative class (Perseus Books Group, 2002)

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who organize pop concerts, and art galleries. The presence of these often underground venues attracts people that Florida has named the creative class: people who work in universities, at design-firms and adagencies, with consultancy firms or software development companies. According to this theory, status is attributed to creative artists that refuse to conform, who follow their own insights or inner drives and often even question and critique mainstream culture and practices. People in this creative class, even if they don’t belong to this narrow group of artists, feel attracted to these countercultural values and the proliferation of different lifestyles in a city. At the beginning of this century, almost all of China’s cities scored very low on this bohemian index. But could they make up for that with their culture of the new*? Toddy himself had told me that he did not want to place himself outside the mainstream, but rather help to build it up. Toddy and most of his generation didn’t particularly care for countercultural ideas. For them, a city did not become attractive per se when it hosted a wide range of alternative and bohemian lifestyles. Instead, they were mainly excited by the fact that they were creating a new, consumerist mainstream culture. This is a slight but important difference: in the United States, espresso bars are popular because they have a certain bohemian atmosphere. They have a symbolic rather nostalgic value that refers to the places where artists and writers used to make wild plans for alternative societies. Where they discussed Sartre while sipping black coffee.7 Even present day businessmen feel attracted to this attitude — it was after all all the rage when they grew up in the sixties. Even if you wear a tie and formal suit, when ordering coffee, you can shortly imagine yourself to be a revolutionary avant-garde artist. In China, Starbucks is popular because it is a modern and professional place where it is appropriate to hold business meetings. Here people discuss plans to build up the economy rather than dream of an alternative society. Here patrons discuss plans while drinking cappuccino, and imagine being the CEO of a large multinational company. For now Shenzhen’s new urban policy seemed geared toward the values of this new Chinese professional avant-garde. One of the main goals of Shenzhen 2.0 was to efface the chaos of its earlier versions, to impose an almost perfect order on the city. Shenzhen’s city branding campaign stressed Shenzhen not as a creative city with many lifestyles, but as a mainstream consumerist city, ‘a city of joy,’ where young Chinese people have new experiences, like going to theme parks such as Windows of the World. Shenzhen, its brochures promised, was a city where you could play golf in fancy new resorts, or enjoy a day at the beach. I wondered however whether that would also be a smart decision for the longer term. Would future generations remain interested in this culture of the new*? Or would they, growing up in even greater wealth than Toddy’s generation, become interested in less material goals? Would they — as some artists in Beijing and Shanghai had already started — develop a more critical eye, and an interest in more alternative lifestyles? Would their growing wealth lead to more playful and experimental expression of their identities? Would they long for an urbanism that, much more than the postcard* Shenzhen 2.0, allowed for small pockets of resistance? The ordered and sanitized reality of Shenzhen 2.0 was of course more pleasant than the chaos of the earlier incarnations. But would future generations like it as much as everyone in Shenzhen now did? Or would they become rather bored? Of course they still could find whatever their urge was in the old downtown. But was there not a way to carry some of the action and energy of Shenzhen 1.0 into its updates? I asked Toddy what other cities he had considered moving to. For a short while he had considered Shanghai. ‘It is also a modern city. But it is a lot harder to make it there. You have to have connections. Here in 

Shenzhen it’s easier. Because it is a new city, nobody has connections, so you have more opportunities.’ Had he considered moving back to Lanzhou, the capital of one of China’s inland provinces, where his parents lived? ‘No,’ Toddy said. ‘Life is cheaper there, but for young people it is not an option. There are no career opportunities. And more important: you can’t enjoy yourself. In the coastal cities you can go to concerts and musicals. Last time I was in Shanghai to visit a friend we went to Les Misérables. You know, the real Jean Valjean from Paris was there! It was great!’ More questions started to come up. By the time we arrived at Toddy’s apartment, I couldn’t help wondering how often one would have to renew a myth like the culture of the new*. The aura of newness that surrounded Shenzhen was at least partly imagined. Toddy’s apartment block certainly did not look new to me. In fact, he lived in one of the oldest buildings in the city, an early 1980s concrete block, drawn by architects who still worked with the algebraic logic of efficiency for which the communist housing of those days was known. It was almost an anachronism against the skyline of colored glass. But how long before these new towers surrounding Toddy’s simple apartment become in their turn anachronisms as well? I thought this question especially relevant since many buildings in China are constructed with such haste that already after a year or two they start to deteriorate severely. When in mid 2005 I visited Pudong, the new development across the Hangpu river in Shanghai, on its fifteenth birthday, I was struck by how they had already started tearing down the first new settlements which, barely more than a decade ago, they had so proudly presented as emblems of the future. In such a short space of time, they had become completely outdated and worn down. Was this going to happen across the rest of China as well? Would there also be a Shenzhen 3.0, a Shanghai 4.0, a China 7.2 once the newness of 2.0 started to wear off? In this country of continuously rising expectations, how do you plan and build for anything except the immediate future? That seemed an important question, since so much seemed to be based on the culture of the new*. Even the Communist Party was relying on the appeal of The Chinese Dream* and its promise of the new. Would China just keep on reinventing itself, constantly tearing down everything that was older than ten years for the new new thing? It would be hard, but might not be impossible. After all, The United States has already been a country “without history,” but with a vibrant mythical dream of opportunity for more than two centuries. The city of Shenzhen at least seemed to be following this update strategy*. At the time I visited, it was going through a difficult period. As more parts of the country opened up for foreign investment, Shenzhen had become too expensive. Factories looking for cheap labor supplies moved further up-country, and large companies chose sexy Shanghai over chaotic Shenzhen. To them Shanghai 3.0 seemed even newer and sexier than Shenzhen 2.0. Cities within China had entered a fervent competition, trying to outdo each other with ever higher towers and newer versions of their cities. Shenzhen was now trying to rebrand itself as a hi-tech center, a place with leading universities and research labs. Hence the new city brochures that no longer showed images of Fordist assembly lines, but instead boasted pictures of young academics in white coats behind their microscopes. Numbers crunched out by the University of Hong Kong underwrote these aspirations. ‘In 2005, for every 100 people, there will be 85
Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537 culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213 small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Café [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F–8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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7 See also Brooks, D. Bobos in Paradise (Simon & Schuster, 2001)

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mobile phones; cable TV will reach over 95% of the city’s population; over 50% of its residents will have access to digital TV; for every 100 households there will be over 80 computers; for every 10,000 people there will be 4,600 subscribers to the Internet.’8 The new Shenzhen also had an eye to becoming a green Shenzen. Brochures emphasized the quality of the new city and the attention the city government had for the environment as one of the main features. ‘High Quality buildings have won the city numerous prizes, including the nation’s top Luban award and 38 other awards of or above the ministerial level in China as well as the first international prize from the Union Internationale des Architects,’ one of the brochures claimed, with the usual Chinese fondness for classification systems. Air quality and environmental soundness were amongst the most important new features of the updated version of the city, as were the parkways we had ridden on the way to Toddy’s house.

SCENE 5:
8 Escobar, P. ‘Guangdong, the unstoppable “world’s factory”’ Asia Times, http://www.atimes.com/ atimes/China/GA25Ad05.html

LEARNING FROM YANG LIWEI

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‘We want to work hard and make a fortune. We want to build up our country. That is the dream of all the young people in Shenzhen. We want to buy a car and an apartment and raise a family.’
University graduate, Shenzhen -

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“我们希望努力工作挣大钱。我们想建设祖国。这是 我们所有深圳年轻人的梦想。我们也想买车买房安家 落户。”
大学毕业生,深圳
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Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

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SCENE 5: LEARNING FROM YANG LIWEI

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‘You must always believe that you will realize your dreams. Even if they seem impossible.’
Yang Liwei, China’s first astronaut 10 Becker, J. The Chinese (John Murray, 2002)

“必须一直相信你会实现梦想,哪怕 它是不可能的。”
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time again it was stressed that only two other countries in the world have been able to put a man in space. Yang Liwei gave the Chinese once more a reason to be proud of the achievements of their country. His canonization is symbolic of a shift in the official imagination. As Jasper Becker has noted, in the Mao years, the Chinese were told that they belonged to the Collective of Communists. In schools across the country there were portraits of famous communists: Lenin, Marx, Mao.10 But in the last two decades the position had moved from ‘We are all communists’ to ‘We are all Chinese.’ Schools in their halls now displayed portraits of famous Chinese: inventors, poets and politicians. Yang Liwei was just a new portrait in the pantheon of outstanding Chinese. But there was a further level at which people must ‘Learn from Yang Liwei.’ Yang was not just a screw put there where his country needed him. He was presented as a hero who had personal ambitions, who set his mind to them, and realized them. He always dreamt of being an astronaut, he had said in many interviews. His whole lifetime he had studied hard to realize these goals, and now he was the first Chinese in space. In other words, in the new China it was no longer the state that was responsible for your life. It was the individual itself that had to take charge. When the Yang Liwei tour landed in Hong Kong a few days earlier, he had said so himself. In a fully packed sports stadium, he was interviewed by a few students. ‘You must always believe that you will realize your dreams,’ he stated, ‘even if they seem impossible.’ At the end of the ceremony the famous actor Jackie Chan joined him on stage. Together they sang a song, that combined the communist tradition of self-critique with an almost American optimism — A Person Has To Better Themselves Forever. The Yang Liwei-campaign struck a note in a larger chord. After decades of forced conformism, it had now become the goal of many Chinese to become a special person, someone who stood out from the crowd. After decades of just surviving, this was a time where you could go out and try to realize your dreams. In one of the newspapers, the editor of the newly introduced Chinese Guinness Book of Records spoke about the enormous number of entries that they had received, ranging from an eighty year old man who could stand on his head to ten thousand school children in Shenzhen who had simultaneously brushed their teeth. ‘As Chinese people live more comfortable lives,’ the editor stated, ‘they have more time to do things they like. They have the time to live out their dreams. Everyone wants to be the best.’ I asked Toddy what he thought about the space program. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘You might like a certain delicious dish. But if you eat it every day, even the most delicious dish becomes a little bit boring.’ Did that mean he didn’t care for China’s endeavors in outer space? ‘No, I think it is great that we have achieved this. It is a great scientific achievement. Only two other countries can do this. And Yang Liwei also proves something else. If you set you mind to something and you work really hard, then you can achieve it.’ Even though Toddy was enthusiastic about the program, he was not completely uncritical. Not long after the return of Yang Liwei China had announced plans for trips to — and even a permanent base on — the moon. ‘Did you see this week’s Economist?’ he asked. ‘On the front page it said, “If China is indeed a modern country, is it still eligible for development aid?” But there are still many poor regions in China. What good does a man in space do for them? Wouldn’t they rather have had a new road?’

杨利伟,中国第一位宇航员

An organized march or staged event celebrating one of China’s official new heroes, seen either live on TV or on the streets downtown. Often followed by a commercial adaptation of the new hero, found on , supermarket displays and advertising billboards.
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We climbed the stairs — there was no elevator — to Toddy’s apartment. Apart from a shiny, brand new refrigerator it was empty. The only other furniture was an unsteady kitchen table and two purple stools, made of bright plastic. That this building was a little run-down and old fashioned didn’t seem to matter to Toddy at all. After all, this was just a temporary place to live. No need to buy real furniture. In a few years, he dreamt openly, he would own his own nicely decorated apartment.
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After we had been sitting on the small caged balcony for a while, Toddy turned on the television. The news showed a clip of Yang Liwei — the astronaut, or taikonaut in official jargon — who was launched into orbit two weeks ago to become the first Chinese in space. On his return, the Communist Party awarded him the official title “space-hero.” Together with his capsule Yang was sent on a tour through the country, appearing in cities such as Shanghai and Hong Kong. And it wasn’t just a political propaganda campaign. Clever businessmen had also embraced the new hero the Communist Party had spin-doctored. Watchmakers, mobile phone companies and dairy farms all advertised their official space-branded products. Their supermarket displays featured a space theme, urging customers to buy their brand of space milk. The television news had been showing bits of Yang Liwei every day since the successful launch. By now, we knew everything we could possibly want to know about him. We learned that as a young boy he had worked hard and helped his classmates, that he had always wanted to become an astronaut, and that thanks to his devoted study he had made his own dream come true.

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Although Yang is a hero of the new China, his canonization fits perfectly in the communist tradition. But the lessons to be learned from Yang Liwei are different. Once, Chinese were supposed to ‘Learn from Lei Feng,’ the manufactured hero of the People’s Liberation Army who had proclaimed the true communist spirit: ‘I am a screw that never rusts — sticking to the place where the party assigned me.’ As Michael Keane has pointed out, in the days of Mao, people were regarded as raw material. They were denied the right to express feelings or personal aspirations.9 Yang Liwei however told a different story. At first of course his space trip was a symbol of modernity. China was no longer just the factory of the world, but a modern country with modern technology. Time and 

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9 Keane, M. ‘Qinghong Lin Patriotism is not enough: Chinese intellectuals and the knowledge economy’ AsiaPacific MediaEducator, no. 11 2001 p.166

Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Café [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F–8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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A good question. The well orchestrated media event around Yang’s space trip was another promise that China was on its way to becoming a modern country, a message that fuelled the imagination even in poor and backward regions, that renewed the promise of progress and newness. But I also wondered how long a regime could get away with constantly promising a better future without improving the actual living conditions in many poorer parts of the country. Here in Shenzhen the question could almost seem irrelevant. But it did make me wonder whether a city like Shenzhen should address those issues. How long would it be able to get away with just updating itself, without concern for the larger environment it was a part of? Over the years, the city was no longer a stand alone application, but had become integrated in both regional, national and international networks, which all operated at different speeds. There was the international network of global cities that Shenzhen wanted to become part of. There was the regional and even national network through which raw materials, finance, goods, ideas and people circulated, all driven by their own logic, at their own pace. The network of uneducated migrants — of poor villages in hard to reach regions connected to Shenzhen by slow rail, bus connections, and a light information flow — had a completely different dynamic from the network of Toddy’s generation — formed by university cities connected by air, and a strong information flow. The Chinese Dream* of these two groups were not only of different sizes, but also acted at different speeds. Rather than just updating the city itself to the ever increasing demands of this last group, maybe the question should be how to find the right balance; how to keep these different networks operational at the same time; how to find the right conversion program between all these different operating speeds, between these different levels of imagination, between The Chinese Dream Lite, The Chinese Dream Family Edition, and the Supersize XXL.

chengdu 1.5

SCENE 6: DEVELOPING CHENGDU INTO A MODERN CITY

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A downtown redevelopment plot, surrounded by white fences to which billboards are attached. These billboards show pictures of modern buildings, with young professional people wearing suits, ties and briefcases. In real life, provincial construction workers with yellow and red hard hats are having lunch, squatting on the sidewalk just in front of the building site. In the summer of 2004 I visited Chengdu, a city of around eight million in Sichuan province. Sparkle, an energetic 23 year old girl, had promised to show me around. She was a university friend of Toddy’s, and now lived in Chengdu. I met her in the lobby of my hotel, not far from Chengdu’s main square. While we walked there, Sparkle told me that she had grown up in a very small village in the backward province of Guiyang. It was there that she had taken on her remarkable English name. ‘At high school in English class we hade to make up a name,’ she said. ‘Sparkle sounded good.’ Her best friend went by the name Apple. Another friend called herself Bubble — until recently. She now worked in an international hotel and the manager found her name unsuited to communicate with foreign guests. He had renamed her Wendy. ‘We didn’t know much about English then,’ Sparkle excused herself. ‘One of the boys called himself Robot. Another KFC. One guy even called himself Rose, because he was a fan of Guns N’ Roses.’ Sparkle had worked her way up and was now an English teacher herself in one of the better middle schools in Chengdu. When her students took on English names, she tried to make sure that at least the boys wouldn’t pick a girl’s name, she said. I found this name game an interesting metaphor. Over the last ten years or so the Chinese, in their drive to be modern, had started to copy everything Western they could get their hands on, without knowing much of the context or its true application. Not only in their names, but also in interior design, in product packages, in the development of restaurants and nightclubs, in architecture, in, well, almost everything. But over the last few years a small elite of Chinese had grown more sophisticated. Satellite television and international magazines showed them what the West — or Japan in the East — really looked like. A first group of cosmopolitans had even traveled their themselves. Little by little, this elite had now started to develop a more refined sense of style, which was slowly starting to trickle down into all aspects of life. But was it also
Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537 culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213 small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Café [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F–8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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happening in architecture? When we arrived at Chengdu’s central square, it turned out to be mostly off-limits. It was currently under reconstruction. Even Mao’s statue on the north side of the square was scaffolded to receive a fresh, new look. Chengdu had been a quiet provincial backwater for a long time, Sparkle explained. It was famous for its mild climate, its laid back atmosphere and its spicy, traditional Sichuan food, notably its hotpot. But recently Chengdu had found itself right at the front of a new modernization campaign. In the first round of China’s opening up policies, foreign investors mainly turned to the coastal cities and former foreign concession ports such as Shenzhen, Xiamen, Ningbo, Dalian and Shanghai. Now, it was hoped in provincial capitals throughout China, the inland cities would get their share. An idea that was encouraged by the central government. These days, “Go west,” was an official motto. This, officials hoped, would somewhat close the poverty gap that had sprung up between the coastal regions and the rest of China. And thus, to prove that this new future would indeed arrive, that they too were part of the culture of the new*, all over western China, old cities were being torn down to make way for a more convincing modern look. As an advance on The Chinese Dream*, fancy skyscrapers were being put up at an incredible speed. Numerous cities simply called their own hi-tech zones into being, whether there actually were hi-tech companies or not. Large infrastructural projects such as highways and new railways were under construction to connect all these newly modernized cities. But where in Shenzhen the new city center was all but finished and the economy had indeed taken off, Chengdu was only half way to realizing its own version of The Chinese Dream*. If they were just finishing up Shenzhen 2.0, then Chengdu was the Chinese City version 1.5. Sparkle suggested a taxi ride through the city. From the back seat, she started to point out the recent changes. Many of the infamous concrete communist worker’s housing — or at least those facing the through ways — had received a fresh layer of deep red or bright green paint over the last few years. The modernization process hadn’t stopped there. Like everywhere in China, in a Haussmann-like operation, old city blocks were cleared to make room for tall skyscrapers and broad boulevards. Ring roads were added — at the time of my visit they just finished the third circular artery around the city — in a losing race to keep up with the growing number of private cars. ‘The whole city is being redeveloped right now,’ Sparkle proudly announced, pointing to the numerous fences that surrounded the numerous construction sites. These fences made it quite hard to see the actual transformation of the city. Large shining metallic screens were wrapped around old hutong*-style villages. Wooden fences kept bare wasteland waiting to be developed off screen. White stone walls withheld constructions sites from the public image. And if the emerging structures grew taller than their fences, they were draped in Christo-style green construction curtains*. Large parts of the old city were encapsulated in a cocoon, just like a caterpillar waiting to emerge as a butterfly.
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I asked Sparkle what she thought of this modernization campaign. She liked it. But when she first arrived here, the shock was quite severe. ‘I remember when I first came to Chengdu,’ she recalled. ‘I was frightened and amazed at the same time. Those tall buildings, the beautiful lights at night. And then the shops. In one of them I saw a watch that cost 10,000 RMB! It takes people in my village twenty or thirty years to make that kind of money!’ Around noon, we stopped at one of the construction sites. It was lunch time, and the construction workers were released from work. Their yellow and red hard hats made it easy to recognize them. Not only for us, but also for a few local entrepreneurs who had traveled on their bike carts to the site to sell home cooked 
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Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537 culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213 small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Café [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F–8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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meals — rice with cabbage and a little meat. The workers ate the food squatted on the sidewalk, using their helmets as a stool. ‘These workers come from small towns in the provinces, like mine,’ Sparkle said. ‘Usually they live in small barracks* on the construction site, or they camp on the unfinished floors of the towers they are building.’ That, I realized, was probably the closest they would ever come to The Chinese Dream Family Edition. One of the younger workers, who was 17, didn’t seem to mind. Just like Toddy, he seemed impressed by the culture of the new*. ‘We work hard,’ he said, ‘but we have a good time. We are all from the same village. We work together, and we live together. At night we all huddle together, and tell each other stories. There’s really a good atmosphere. And I get to see the big city. It’s an adventure.’ By then I was getting curious to find out what the new city so mysteriously under construction behind all these fences would look like once it was finished. But when we tried to peek in at the construction sites, we were quickly sent away by security guards. To get an idea of the future look of Chengdu, we had to make do with the ever present billboard-urbanism. Large signs everywhere in the city showed pictures of the new, coming city. They showed tall apartment blocks. Or American style horizontal suburbs. Both were deliberately modern and surrounded by ample green, landscaped spaces, where modern people (business men in suits, or young women dressed for leisure) could relax and find refuge from the hectic city outside. These would be places, they showed us, for successful people. To stress this point, these developments were given voluptuous names: The Rose Garden, Dragon Village, Purple Jade Village, Seasons Park (‘Home of Tycoons’), Moon River (‘Private houses of the type of the seven-star hotel’), Haoyang Plaza (‘The world-class Architectural Designers Masterpiece, feel the peace in such a pleasant and harmonious environment’), or Yuppie International Condos. One even directly advertised itself as Place Realize The Dream. With a few exceptions, the buildings depicted on the billboards mimicked Western styles. They reflected the luxury of European baroque architecture. Pastel colors, pillars and other Roman ornaments were also popular. Most of them were still rather crude, kitschy copies. Others promised the glass and steel cosmopolitan attitude of modernism combined with the Chinese fondness for soft-tone colors. In a way the atmosphere these billboards promised was somewhat reminiscent of the European modernist movement of the 1920s. Western modernism as epitomized by Le Corbusier was a utopian program. As Mario Gandelsonas wrote in Shanghai Reflections, it ‘proposed replacing the dreary, ugly and unhealthy fabric of the historical city with a modern green city of gridded avenues and crystalline Cartesian skyscrapers.’11 It promised a new city with a rigid functional division for a new, modern man. The Chinese architecture as presented on these billboards made a similar claim. History and traditional building styles were swept away with a stroke of the wrecking ball to make room for an architecture of the future. But the architecture of these new buildings also had another function. They had to provide the city and its inhabitants with a certain prestige — hence the often lush and opulent ornamental additions to the rigid demands of modernist architecture. It was indeed a new architecture for a new man and a new society. But it was made clear that this new society revolved around becoming successful in the market economy. A society in which it would be more and more important to show off your success, and flaunt your status. It was — as Scott and Venturi would say — a modernism built for man, not for mankind. It was a Chinese Moderni$m*. And this Chinese Moderni$m* was all over the place. It had become a gimmick, eagerly adopted by developers. The housing market in China had changed over the last few years. ‘Housing construction is no longer driven by housing need for basic accommodation as defined in the socialist era but rather by demand for the ownership of lifestyles,’ 12 concluded academic researcher Fulong Wu. Since the start of the 1990s 

Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537

‘The Chinese Dream is not that much different from the American Dream. It only has a higher density.’
Architect, Chengdu -

“中国梦和美国梦没什么大区别,不过是密 度更大而已。”
建筑师,成都

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the focus of housing construction had turned from simply meeting accommodation needs to enhancing and improving the quality of housing. The average space per person had shot up from less than 3m2 per person
13 Shenzhen, Basic Facts, brochure, p.66

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14 Wu, F. ‘Transplanting cityscapes: the use of imagined globalization in housing commodification in Beijing,’ Area 36, 3 (2004) p.232

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15 Ibid. p.229

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11 Gandelsonas, M. Shanghai Reflections (Princeton Architectural Press, 2002) p.8

to a little more than 17m2.13 But these numbers by themselves were not impressive enough any more. Project developers tried to appeal to the new class of home buyers by differentiating their products. They weren’t selling mere housing and shelter solutions any longer. They started selling a lifestyle, a modern forwardlooking lifestyle that resonated with the new middle class. ‘Developers turn to globalization as a new source of imagination to foster suppressed desires,’14 Fulong Wu wrote. Some projects were even sold as “authentic” copies of developments in the USA. In Beijing the suburb of Orange County prided itself on being an exact copy of a Californian neighborhood that, according to the brochures, won the prestigious New Homes in the USA 1999 prize. Or when the project itself wasn’t a direct copy of something Western, it was at least popular to give it an English sounding name. The Chinese “townhouse” is a case in point. Prior to the nineties this form of housing did not exist in China. But rather than creating a new term, developers just transcribed the English, using three Chinese characters which when pronounced sound somewhat like “townhouse”: Tang hao zhi. Literally this means ‘mouse in the soup.’15 This confusing name is part of the process of modernity distinction. Just like the various English acronyms in common use in Chinese — SOHO, CLD, CBD — it is comprehensible only to an initiated in-crowd, who speak a little English, and flaunt their modernity by using these terms.

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12 Wu Fulong, ‘Transplanting cityscapes: the use of imagined globalization in housing commodification in Beijing,’ Area 36, 3 (2004) p.232

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Café [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F–8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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SCENE 7:

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DEVELOPING CHENGDU INTO A HISTORICAL CITY

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A decayed historical neighborhood, downtown. The clamor of construction sites a few blocks away. The noise mingles with the soundtrack of everyday street-life: hawking newspapers, roasting kebabs, playing mah jong.
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During my stay in Chengdu, every day I was woken up at exactly 8am by the stern sounds produced by the morning protocol of my hotel’s security guards. Two of them marched up and down the street in front of the hotel. A third one carried a megaphone and shouted his instructions at the other two. From that moment on, a long array of different sounds rose up from the small streets in downtown Chengdu. There was the constant stream of hawkers who announced the products they had stacked on their bike carts: ‘Lotus Leaves!’ ‘Eggs!’ ‘Toilet paper!’ When one of the newspapers arrived in the little kiosk across the street, the owner started a home made tape that repeatedly broadcasted the same sentence: ‘The newspaper is in!’ In the early evening, right after dusk, in front of one of the small shops, middle aged women carrying large colored fans got together for their daily dance routine. Melancholic melodies rung from an old cassette player, guiding the women through their synchronized movements. These were just some of the more engaging themes that rose up from the constant background murmur of honking taxis, ringing rickshaw drivers, buzzing air conditioners, and the clamor from the countless small shops. To this soundtrack the wind added the clatter of a handful of construction sites a few blocks down the street: the humming machinery, the hammering drills, the growling concrete trucks. For “the old one hundred surnames,” as the common people in China are often called, living in the small alleys underneath my hotel balcony, the echoes from the construction sites must have sounded both ominous and promising. It was The Chinese Dream* — size medium and large — under construction down the street, and the locals here knew that their neighborhood was next in line for an upgrade. Some saw the forthcoming change as a possibility to realize their own Chinese Dream*. Others — as the new Chinese Dream* is a very middle class event — were reluctant to leave their old lives and neighborhood behind. It is estimated that two million people will be displaced in the modernization process of Chengdu, Sparkle said when she joined me for breakfast in one of the small restaurants near my hotel. Most of them were happy to move to a better place, she continued. ‘But sometimes the newspapers have to help the government a little. If a few people refuse to leave, the news doesn’t report on them. Rather it shows us stories of people who proclaim that they are so happy they left their old houses behind.’

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Not all of these two million had to make room for modernity. The people in the neighborhood of my hotel 

Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Café [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F–8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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were being moved out to make place for history. The small and chaotic street where we were eating our steamed buns with bean paste — called Old & Narrow Street — was appointed as a monumental site. It was planned to be renovated in the coming years, and to be restaged as an emblem for the historical Chinese way of life in Chengdu that has all but vanished in the modernization projects in the rest of the city. The renovation also had another goal. Chengdu wanted to plug itself into the (inter)national network of tourist destinations. Some tourists were already showing up. At one of the temples, I had seen several Chinese tour groups. Their patrons wore yellow and red baseball caps with ‘Merry Holiday’ and ‘Happy Vacation’ embroidered on them. The resemblance of their hats to the hard hats of the construction workers we met earlier that day was another reminder that China had become a country of two distinct social groups: the poor ruralites who traveled to the cities out of necessity, and the richer urban middle class for whom travel is a luxury they now can afford.

The shopkeeper acknowledged that he was the exception. Most people were happy when they received an offer for a new apartment. They were happy finally to embrace modernity themselves. ‘These buildings are old, there is no sewage system, we have to cook outside.’

‘But,’ he added, ‘the new apartments are far away, beyond the Third Ring Road*.’ Some of the people who had moved out earlier had lost their enthusiasm by now. They miss the social side of the old neighborhood. ‘One of them was a shopkeeper. He took the compensation money from the government. But the new neighborhood is quiet; he doesn’t have a shop over there. He has no income. He wants to come back. But there is nothing he can do.’ The shopkeeper wanted to stay in this neighborhood. ‘I will start a tea house and sell tea to the tourists. Then I can make good money too.’

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‘Sometimes the newspapers have to help the government a little. If a few people refuse to leave, the news doesn’t report on them. Rather it shows us stories of people who proclaim that they are so happy they left their old houses behind.’
University graduate, Chengdu -

16 Ming-Wai Jim, A. & Jackson Ford, N. ‘Site-seen. The Touristic Re-Imag(in)ing of Hong Kong’ Gutierrez, Manzini, Portefaix eds. HK LAB (Map Book Publishers, 2002) p.296

It is however unlikely that in the redevelopment scheme there will be room for his tea room. In their book Hong Kong Lab, Gurierrez and Portefaix describe how the tourist industry emerged in Hong Kong. They quoted Victor Burgin who stated that tourists develop a ‘popular pre-conscious,’ a preconceived idea of the places they plan to visit.16 This pre-conscious is fed by circulating images on television, brochures and through stories of friends and families. Tourism itself, as John Ury has noted, often becomes a pilgrimage to ‘collect’ these images, and reproduce them oneself, through which they start becoming part of the recirculation. In order to attract tourists, the renovation of Old & Narrow Street thus needed to satisfy the expectations of the (inter)national tourist class. This time it was their imagination of China that partly set the agenda for its historical preservation. The small grocery shops, the people roasting meat skewers on their outside barbecues, and the simple restaurants were to be turned into gift shops and more luxurious tea houses. The small kiosks, the hawkers with their lotus leaves had to disappear into their new apartments beyond the Third Ring Road. Their authentic sounds were most likely to be replaced by the muzak that features in so many similar historic shopping districts across China. The watermelon vendor whose façade is made of broken wood panels, the improvised street cafés with bamboo tables and plastic garden chairs, the brightly neon lit mah jong salons in decayed brick buildings, they did not fit the tourist image of an authentic historic neighborhood. The old streets were to be redeveloped to realign themselves with what tourists, most of them Chinese, consider to be “authentic China.” The authentic had to be removed and sanitized to become “authentic.” Or rather, an old authenticity — that of daily, working class life in the margins of modernization, had to make room for a new one — that of the middle class, who in their roles as tourists wished for idyllic vacation spots. Every time I had a discussion with the locals of a soon to be demolished area about their removal, it almost felt we were discussing a natural phenomenon. As though it were not the outcome of a political decision made by other humans, but rather an inevitable, external force. A tidal wave, an earthquake, something that just happened to you, that you just had to deal with. ‘Of course,’ Sparkle said when I discussed my thoughts with her, ‘you can’t do anything. Politics in China is something that just happens to you. They decide, and there’s nothing you can do. It’s like Confucius said, you can’t really control your circumstances. The only thing you can do is try to make the best of it.’

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“有时候报纸是给帮政府帮忙的。它们不报道那些不愿 拆迁的人。报纸上的人物总是说他们很高兴能从老房子 里面搬出去。”
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大学毕业生,成都

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After our breakfast, Sparkle asked one of the shopkeepers what he thought of all the changes. ‘About two years ago a government worker showed up in our neighborhood,’ he told us. ‘He went from one family to another. The government had decided to turn this area into a tourist area, he had said, and that we had to move to a modern apartment building.’ The shopkeeper did not like this idea. ‘I don’t like the modern Chengdu. Ten years ago, we lived here very comfortably. We enjoyed the neighborhood. We drank tea in our garden. But now it’s a mess. Everyday when I walk inside I feel bad. Everything is so dirty now — it used to be clean. I’ve lived here for over twenty years. In the modern shopping malls I always loose my way, and I don’t like the tall buildings. I want some space to tend to my garden. I used to know everybody here, but now most of them have left.’

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Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Café [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F–8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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I was wondering however whether this was changing. I had read reports of one lawyer in Shanghai taking up lawsuits against the government and project developers. In other counties, people had started to organize around environmental issues. So far, the numbers weren’t impressive. One lawyer in a country of more than a billion with the guts to take on the government statistically comes down to 0%. Most of the local actions had been suppressed by the government. And the Shanghai lawyer had ended up in jail. But the numbers were on the rise. Through the whole of China, a Hong Kong newspaper had counted 74,000 demonstrations in 2004 alone. Would the government be able to continue suppressing these movements? I asked Sparkle what she thought about this. To my surprise, she had even heard about the Shanghai lawyer. ‘I read about him in the Washington Post, on the internet,’ she said. ‘You know, I don’t like our government so much. They do not inform us well. When we had the SARS-epidemic, it was very hard to get real information. But now we have the internet. There we can find the truth. Or at least we can find different angles to the truth.’ This sounded interesting to me. Over the years I had read many reports about how the advent of computer communication and satellite television had helped to topple the communist regime in the Soviet Union. Could the internet do the same in China? ‘You Western people think too big,’ Sparkle answered. ‘You talk about human rights all the time. Here in China for most people that is not the most important issue. Politics is not that important. We are much more interested in information about for example food safety. There are a lot of scandals where companies are making money by selling bad quality products. On internet bulletin boards we can now exchange information about this.’ She had another example of the way in which the internet was empowering her generation: ‘A friend of mine just bought a house. But when it was finished, it didn’t look at all like the billboard advertisement ….’ There was no communal swimming pool, and the roof was leaking. She used the internet to contact the other owners in the project, and they started a homeowners association. ‘Before you could hardly do anything if you were cheated by a developer. But now you can organize more easily.’ In the United States homeowners associations are often accused of promoting solely the homeowners’ interests, rather than the interests of society or the city at large. But in China, at this point in history, could they be the beginning of a form of local empowerment that enables citizens to stand up against corruption? Toddy and Sparkle didn’t show that much interest in politics. But would the rising economic standards and the new stress on individual responsibility lead to a growing political awareness? Would they keep up their Confucian posture if they had the bad luck to be cheated by a project developer or a corrupt official? I had the feeling they would not. After all, had they not by now learned from taikonaut Yang Liwei to take their lives into their own hands?

SCENE 8: LISTENING TO THE SOUND OF MUSIC IN THE SUBURBS

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An almost finished modern-style suburb just outside the Third Ring Road. Its townhouses are surrounded by little gardens in which speakers are hidden. They broadcast muzak versions of golden oldies. The complex is separated from the rest of the city by a white wall.

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The next day, Sparkle and I had lunch with a small group of Chinese architects. They had invited us to a restaurant that resold tradition in an ostensibly modern way. The outside featured historic architecture. The menu listed traditional Sichuan hotpot. The interior however had a retro-industrial look. Parties were seated along a shiny metal conveyer belt usually found in trendy sushi-restaurants. Small dishes of quails’ eggs, rice noodles, mushrooms, slices of cow stomach and lamb meat floated along the tables, which all boasted a boiling pot of chili peppered broth. Large television screens on the walls showed video clips of black rappers, followed by a commercial that advertised Oil of Olay skin whitener. It’s very modern to have a sense of history, seemed the overall message of this popular restaurant. While we boiled thinly sliced strips of beef in the hotpot, I told the architects about my observations on Chinese Moderni$m*. They nodded. ‘That is exactly what has been happening over the last few years. We call it Eurostyle*.’ The architect made a sour face when he pronounced the term. ‘It is really ugly,’ another said. ‘The market is mainly developer-driven,’ he explained. ‘They come up with the demands for new projects, which are based on market research.’ Architects are usually confronted with two important demands. In order to get a higher return on investment, they are asked to keep densities high. And to lure prospective buyers, the new Chinese middle class, the design has to be modern. ‘Young people don’t want to live in the traditional courtyard houses with collective spaces. They want their privacy, and their own apartments. But most of all they want to show off that they are modern.’ ‘But it is changing,’ the third added. ‘Eurostyle* was very popular, but the over the last years the modern architecture has become more sophisticated.’ What I had seen so far was Eurostyle* 1.1, still popular, but witnessing growing competition from versions 1.3 and up. ‘Also, architecture is getting more traditional. People have started to wonder whether it is really a good idea to throw all of our history away, and only look forward.’ After the initial enthusiasm for the modern, people were starting to look for their roots. But they
Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537 culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213 small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Café [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F–8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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did not crave genuine historical styles. ‘One of the new popular designs is historically inspired architecture, but with large modern glass facades.’ It was a historical modernism, a desire to express modernity, but at the same time acknowledging that this is a modernity with roots — not just a transplanted global modernity, but
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a Chinese articulation of modernity. After we had finished lunch, the architects showed us one of their recent projects. They drove us from the center past the Third Ring Road, a trip that turned into a short history lesson in different Chinese Moderni$ms*. First we passed the simple white tiled blocks that were most popular in the late eighties and early nineties. Then we passed a number of Eurostyle housing projects. One of them was dominated by pink-colored townhouses with large balconies, and tympani carried on symmetric sets of Roman columns. When we drove further out, the urban density started to decrease. We were entering Chengdu’s hi-tech zone, Sparkle pointed out. And in this zone, the city suddenly started to stretch out. The highway connected isolated lots that hosted factories and research institutes. Chengdu had done well attracting international companies. One of the lots featured a research division of Motorola. On another Intel would build a new Chinese research campus. ‘Chengdu is a good place for hi-tech companies,’ our hosts explained. ‘We have good technical universities. But there are not that many companies out here yet, so it’s easier to retain employees than in Shenzhen.’ The urban landscape out here reminded me of the exurbs I had seen in California and Arizona. Just like over there, the business parks were interspersed with gated housing developments. It was one of these that our hosts had designed. The project was formed by a few blocks of townhouses and apartments that indeed looked modern. They were also a lot more stylish than the Eurostyle* buildings we had just seen downtown. Light colored bricks, wood panels, and large windows gave the houses an attractive exterior. Each house had its own lawn, and was surrounded by a light brown picket fence. The streets were curved and lined with lush trees and bamboo. The scene was reminiscent of American or even Dutch suburbia. Like most recently built housing projects in China, this was a private community. The young Chinese did not only like their privacy inside their houses, they also like their public spaces to be semi-private, and home owners collectively employed a large staff of guards and gardeners to keep the premises lush, clean and safe. It was however not as quiet as you would expect in such a suburban setting. Some of the flowerbeds hid small speakers that diffused a soft background muzak alternated with artificial nature sounds. ‘The developer thought that Chinese people couldn’t handle the silence,’ one of the architects explained. ‘We are so used to having people around us all the time, that we would feel lost if it were completely silent.’ Like in many places in the world, the new middle class preferred order and privacy over the chaotic public downtowns. The SARSepidemic of a few years ago had made the craving for private, controllable spaces even more intense. But the so un-Chinese complete silence of suburbia also frightened them. The architects explained that the rise of private, gated communities* was not a completely new phenomenon in China. The patriarchal house economy of traditional China was already made up of courtyard houses that faced the outside world with windowless brick walls. The danwei* — working units — in communist China were also orderly planned communities where everything and everybody had their own place, fenced-off from the rest of the city. The new private housing projects fitted into this tradition, they claimed. When the architects took us back to the car, we passed the billboard advertising the houses they had just shown us. On a giant poster, a man was resting comfortably in a hammock above an endless stretch of grassland. His son and a dog accompanied him. Remarkably, this time there was no city, not even a building in sight. It reminded me of the billboards I had seen in the endless burbtowns around Phoenix, Arizona, that 
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also tried to sell houses by showing pictures of happy families. ‘Here,’ they promised, ‘you don’t buy a house. You buy the lifestyle of the American Dream.’ ‘That’s right,’ the Chinese architects stated. ‘That is what we are doing as well. You must know, The Chinese Dream* is not so different from the American Dream. It just has higher density.’

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‘In a short time, China has become very commercial. Everything now seems to revolve around the amount of money you can make. Not so long ago, you could also be admired by being good in something like chess. But now people will tell you: why bother? Why waste your time with a game?’
Entrerpeneur, Chengdu -

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“中国在短时间内变得非常商业化了。一切都以你 能赚多少钱为中心。以前你还因为棋下得好被人羡 慕。而现在的人会跟你说:兄弟,为什么把时间浪 费在玩儿游戏上呢?”
企业家,成都

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Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Café [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F–8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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SCENE 9: THE I WANT GENERATION*

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The interior of a recently built apartment, decorated in accordance with both minimalism and traditional Feng Shui.
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‘Would you like to live here?’ I asked Sparkle after we had said goodbye to the architects. ‘I like the houses,’ she said. ‘But it is quite far from the center.’ Some of her friends had just bought a house nearby. ‘They complain that while the developers build nice houses, they forget to build the roads to them. Everyday they are stuck in traffic.’ Sparkle did hope to buy her own apartment soon though. ‘It is my dream to one day own my own house. Next time you visit, I hope I can receive you in my own apartment’ ‘But maybe I will first visit you,’ she continued. ‘Yesterday I walked past a travel agent. They advertised trips to Europe; they only cost 10,000 RMB. If I save some money, maybe in two years time I can go to Europe. I can see Venice. Paris! And Amsterdam!’ Sparkle’s European ambitions startled me. When I met her for the first time, a little over a year ago, we had had an ice cream at Häagen Dazs. That was very special for her, she then said. Häagen Dazs, like Starbucks and Pizza Hut had become symbolic markers of distinction for young urban Chinese. For local standards their coffees, pizzas and strawberry shakes were expensive. But your money did buy you the feeling of belonging to a new class, to take part in the culture of the new*. ‘If you save up for one or two months,’ Sparkle had told me then with great enthusiasm,’ ‘You can invite your friends and have a great dinner at Pizza Hut!’ A mere fourteen months later her ambitions had already changed. She was now dreaming of her own house and even saving up for a vacation. Pizza Hut didn’t do it anymore. By now she wanted to eat real pizza in Italy. Sparkle suggested we visit one of her middle school students, whose family lived in one of the new townhouses a few blocks away. A few quick text-exchanges on her cell phone and we were invited. Rebecca — the student — would meet us at the perimeter of her block, so the guards would let us in.

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Rebecca was fifteen years old. She wore a white sweater that displayed a large American flag* and blue jeans. She was one of her better students, Sparkle said. Her family moved here two years ago. Their new apartment was tastefully decorated, in a style that was yet another amalgam of tradition and modernity. There was a large white sofa, a glass table and a large vase with a carefully arranged bouquet of flowers and twigs. The walls and ceilings were ornamented in a minimalist fashion, but this was done according to traditional Feng Shui rules. Feng Shui was forbidden under hard-line communism. Mao did not like its principles, since it implied nature’s rule over mankind. The communists preferred to think of things the other way round. If nature didn’t behave according to the party’s wishes, the brain power of its smartest engineers would tame it with 

Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Café [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F–8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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their bold dams, long canals and stunning bridges. But now Feng Shui had made a comeback — not in the least via the boomerang of Western fashion magazines. Glossies like Elle and Vogue had discovered the oriental mystery of traditional Feng Shui years ago. Since these monthlys started writing about it, the practice had became popular again with trendy younger generations in Chinatowns around the world, and in China itself. Rebecca was watching an exercise show on the large television screen. A group of four young people performed dance exercises, while encouraging the viewers to move along. The scene looked like the middleaged women who congregated on the block of my hotel for their daily dance routines. Only, on television, the youngsters were performing not in an old hutong*, but before a painted backdrop depicting the skyline of a hypermodern city. Even here Chinese Moderni$m* had taken over the imagination. I asked Rebecca if she ever joined a group of dancing people on one of the many squares. ‘No,’ she smiles shyly. ‘That is for old people. I go to the gym.’ Rebecca volunteered to show me her vacation pictures. There she was, on the Great Wall. And here she posed in the tourist resort of Yangshuo. She had also been in Lijiang, one of the several historic towns that call themselves the Venice of China. She had had her picture taken in the traditional dress of the area. On the other pictures, she posed the in same way Chinese popstars did in magazines lying around her room. She leaned slightly towards the camera with a broad smile, and her hand supporting her chin. Or she had tossed her jacket casually over one of her shoulders, just like Coco, Kelly, and Elva did in Cosmo, Miss, and MeiMei. One of these magazines has recently called the girls of Rebecca’s age the ‘I Want generation.’ Did she feel that label applied to her? ‘I think that is the right term,’ she agreed. ‘We are very different from our parents. They always had to do what they were told by the Communist Party. They couldn’t decide anything for themselves. We are different. We set our own goals. We want certain things, and we work towards them. Sometimes, it seems my parents don’t understand our generation. We are international, we like Hollywood films and pop music. We read Cosmo, and learn about successful business women who drive a BMW. That’s my goal. I want to work hard to be able to afford a villa later in life.’ It was the same mantra I had heard so many times over the course of my last few visits to China. But Rebecca was one of the first who also included a what-if scenario in her imagination: ‘I am optimistic about my own future, but I am also a bit worried. I am afraid the gap between the rich and the poor will become too big. And I worry about the situation with Taiwan. I am afraid at some point this may lead to war.’ I asked her how she saw her future. Would she live in the villa with her husband? Her parents? Or would she prefer a career above a married life? She smiled shyly. My question was perhaps a little too personal. ‘Of course I want to be married. But on my own conditions,’ she said. Sparkle helped her out. ‘In China it is a tradition to take care of your parents when you are old. I think our generation will still do that. A lot of people always tell us we are the “little emperors,” the first generation of one-child households, and that we are selfish. I don’t think that is true. I would feel obliged to look after my parents. Only, I don’t want them to live with me, not in the same house. But I would like them to live near me. I hope in the future I can convince them to come live here in Chengdu.’ That was the I Want generation’s not uncommon condition: they would take care of their parents, provided they followed them wherever their ambition was taking them. Rebecca’s comments resembled a small article I had clipped out of the newspaper a few days earlier. In it, the ambitions of a mother and daughter are compared. ‘When I was young,’ the mother said, ‘my only dream was to become a worker. At that time, of course, it was the working class who had the best social status. All I ever wanted was to get a job to make a living. Most families were in dire economic straits back then and a job was 

enough to satisfy anyone. My heroes were all the revolutionary martyrs.’ ‘My career is the most important part of my life,’ the daughter replied. ‘I’ll make a detailed career plan before I graduate. I will take the entrance exams for postgraduate studies next year. People with higher education degrees are much more welcome in the job market these days. Further study is an essential way to sharpen your competitiveness. Initially, at least, I will not care too much about my salary. What is most important is the prospect for development.’17 The generation that was growing up in China was a lucky generation. For them the future looked bright, and chances abounded. But it was also a pressured generation. They had not only to realize their own dreams, but those of their parents and grandparents as well. Some even claimed that they already expect too much, that their imagination had run off with them. ‘Shanghai,’ I read in one of the newspapers ‘is full of young people with overblown expectations, who actually have nothing much to do. The high streets shimmer with wealth and luxury,’ the paper wrote, ‘and all the locals have become so arrogant that they are unwilling to do any sort of hard graft at all. Work is something that is done by migrants from Jiangxi and Anhui. To be born in Shanghai might be like winning first prize in the lottery of Chinese life, but the “stamp” of the city also means having entirely unrealistic expectations about one’s own personal worth.’ Would the I Want generation end up as a disillusioned generation? When Rebecca’s mother returned home from work a little later, I asked her about her ambitions when she was Rebecca’s age. She didn’t have too many. ‘When I was about to go to the university, I was sent to the countryside. This was the time of the Cultural Revolution. Because of it, I never got a good education. My husband and I want to make sure our daughter gets the chances we didn’t. We sent her to one of the most prestigious middle schools. Her cousin is already in Beijing, studying in one of the best universities in China. We hope she will be accepted there as well.’ For most of her life Rebecca’s mother worked in the state bureaucracy. Only recently had she quit her job to start her own business: a driving school. With China’s growing dependence on automobile transport, to her the future looked promising. But like her daughter, she was also aware of the drawbacks of rapid modernization. ‘In a short time, China has become very commercial. Everything now seems to revolve around the amount of money you can make. Not so long ago, you could also be admired by being good at something like chess. But now people will tell you, why bother? Why waste your time with a game? You see, we are all doing so much better these days. We used to be poor, but at least we were secure. Now, if you get sick, or you loose your job, who will take care of you? Life is better now. But it is not always easier. The economy is growing and we are so much wealthier than we used to be. But nobody really knows for sure how long this will last, so everybody tries to get the most out of the current situation, while it lasts. There is no long-term planning; just the rush of get-it-while-you-can.’

17 ‘Signs of the times: China’s lostand-found generations’ South China Morning Post, July 12, 2003

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Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Café [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F–8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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‘We are very different from our parents. They always had to do what they were told by the Communist Party. They couldn’t decide anything for themselves. We are different. We set our own goals. We want certain things, and we work towards them.’
Schoolgirl, Chengdu -

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“我们已经和父母非常不一样了。他们必须做共产党让他 们做的事,他们没法为自己决定。我们就不一样了,我们 可以订自己的目标。我们想要什么,就能去努力争取。”
学生,成都

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suining 0.7

SCENE 10: GARAGE DOOR CITY

passing the time. But although clearly lagging behind the other two in architecture and economic growth, I did find the same vitality in Suining, the same fondness for the new and the now, that had struck me so much in Shenzhen and Chengdu.

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In the city itself, this 0.7 version of The Chinese Dream*, was slowly being supplanted by newer versions. To the pride of many young people in town, a popular international restaurant chain had recently found Suining on the world map: just a few years ago Kentucky Fried Chicken started serving the Colonel’s favorite meals in a downtown outlet. Some investors had set up a tourist attraction nearby: The Dead Sea of China — a themed swimming pool, where you can have your picture taken with actors dressed up as authentic Arabs. Reports on China’s rising night-life tend to focus on the exclusive bars and trendy clubs in the coastal cities, which cater mainly to a small community of expats and super rich Chinese in pursuit of their Supersize Chinese Dream*. But in the past few years China has also seen an enormous rise in entertainment options for the common man. This local version of the experience economy is admittedly less spectacular, trendy, and media savvy, but probably more important in its overall impact. My first night in Suining I had dinner in one of these places — the newly opened franchise of a Sichuan hotpot restaurant chain. The hotpot restaurant I visited looked like the Chinese version of the Rainforest Café*. The ceiling was completely covered with flamboyant red and yellow colored plastic leaves. It was meant to give the impression of a city park in the fall. It was a popular formula, copied from nearby Chongqing, the manager explained. ‘To give people living in the city the feel of nature.’ Like in most local restaurants, the atmosphere was very lively. Orders for beer were shouted loudly across the large space; the clamor of the animated conversations ricocheted off the walls. The clients were having a good time, that much was certain. At least 40 hotpots were fired up in the restaurant, all of them surrounded by large groups of locals. The boiling pots and the spicy broth made the place feel like a steamy sauna. Most of the male visitors had taken off their shirts, as if this were just another informal noodle shop. It made a spectacular sight: more than a hundred bare, sweaty torsos, hunched above steaming hotpots and underneath the fire red sky of plastic leaves. The hotpot restaurant was an example of how the informal spaces of the garage door economy were slowly being replaced by a more organized, scripted version of the city where customer-employee interaction was prescribed and overseen by a managerial class. The restaurant was neatly themed according to the plans made up, tested and marketed through the chain headquarters in Chongqing. The workflow process wasn’t improvised as it was in the small garage door restaurants, but actually managed according to centrally prescribed procedures. Like all over China, also in Suining life was slowly becoming more formalized, according to the logistics of a consumer society.

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A street in an average provincial town. The housing blocks are covered with white tiles. The bottom row of these blocks host garages with silver colored doors. Half of them are open and reveal that inside these garages people have set up small businesses: DVD rentals, shoe-repair, and informal restaurants. Traveling through China, Chinese director Xiaolu Guo stated in her film The Concrete Revolution, is like traveling through time. And indeed, after having visited Shenzhen and Chengdu, my entrance in Suining, a small provincial town in Sichuan felt like arriving in an earlier incarnation of The Chinese Dream*. The train ride from Chengdu to Suining had taken a few hours in a crowded but reasonably comfortable train. Soft Chinese pop music accompanied us while the cityscape of balconies, Roman pillars, tympani, glass and steel — all still under construction — slowly transformed into the concrete factoryscape, the suburbs, and then into the countryside where villagers were plowing the earth, walking behind their oxen. And thus, while the ticket collectors — young girls with pony tails in blue uniforms — played games on their mobile phones — when we arrived in Suining, a city of a few hundred thousand, it felt as though I had been sent back at least one or two decades in time. Suining’s main architectural features turned out to be low concrete buildings, some of which were surfaced with white bathroom-style tiles. A style that to the Chinese must have looked very modern when it was introduced in the 1980s, but was surpassed by the taller, fancier, and more luxuriously decorated Chinese Moderni$m* of the big cities. The pyramid shaped railway station with its small white tiles and dark blue glassed windows was constructed less than a decade ago. But it already looked out of date, a relic from an historic period. If Shenzhen was The Chinese Dream* 2.0, and Chengdu was version 1.5 then Suining was version 0.7. Its architecture was made not for the global information city, but geared towards a local, street economy. Most buildings featured an array of silver garage doors that opened up to apartment-sized spaces, housing a workshop, a small factory, or a store. There were the usual string of activities and the Mom & Pop outfits that you find in most Chinese towns: the DVD store, small noodle restaurants, furniture workshops, iron recyclers, hairdressers, and mah jong cafés. In one of these spaces, an old man had started his own karaoke salon. He’d invested in a television, a DVD player, and a few tea cups. As I passed by, two girls were singing a sweet sounding Chinese love song. These garage doors gave the city a two layered dimension. The ground floor is for work, industry and leisure. The more private living sections are one flight up. The street was the place where all these different functions met each other, and most of the streets were filled with people, working, selling, or just hanging out and 

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Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A–4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520–537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148–183 postcard [img] p.543 4G–6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328–329, 654–655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648–651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Café [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F–8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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SCENE 11: THE CITY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER

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An empty lot of farmland just outside a medium-sized city. A motorcade of black luxury cars stops and unloads government workers and investors. The former start to gesticulate enthusiastically and try to convince the other party that on this site soon a brand new post-industrial city will be built.
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In my hotel I learned that Suining hosted a number of large factories, to be found slightly further out of town. One of the city officials that I had contacted had given me some promotional broch