Realizing ‘four comforts’ in the urban fringe of Hangzhou

Wen, Wen (2012) Realizing ‘four comforts’ in the urban fringe : the case of White Horse Lake Eco-creative City Project, Hangzhou, China. International Journal of Cultural Studies. 15(3) pp. 273-285.

This article examines a cultural and creative industries park project – the White Horse Lake Eco-creative City on land outside the urban centre of Hangzhou, China, which uses an imaginary rural lifestyle as its key attraction. By analysing government policies and development plans, and through interviews with initiators, managers and creative practitioners, the article first assesses the geographical position, that is, the impact of locality with regard to both hard and soft infrastructure of the project; it then examines the synergies and tensions embedded in the strategic goals, that is, to build the right city for ‘four comforts’ (siyi, 四宜) – for residence, for business, for travel and for culture. The article concludes that Chinese-style cultural conversion remains locked in a top-down ideological framework, one that rural residents and the new ‘creative class’ are expected to respect.

Full-text on Sage Journals Online (restricted access or purchase article)


Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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