Original contributions invited to be considered for inclusion in an interdisciplinary collection of essays about contemporary heritage movements in Asia.
- Dr Ali Mozaffari, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Australia-Asia-Pacific Institute, Curtin University (Australia)
- Dr Tod Jones, Senior Lecturer in Geography, School of Built Environment, Curtin University (Australia)
The Scope of the Volume
This book examines the formation of heritage movements within contemporary Asian societies. Heritage is a social process with linked tangible and intangible aspects. It has been defined as the use of the past for the purposes of the present, which indicates its potential for formation and contestation of collective identities at multiple geographical and hierarchical scales, from neighbourhoods to nation-states and global networks. Heritage processes vary according to cultural, national, geographical, and historical contexts. Heritage politics reveals the variety of responses by public and privately constituted groups to certain global challenges of late modernity including nationalism, pluralism, state-society relations and the influence of a growing middle class. Activists and activist groups have long engaged in the process of heritage production and designation. Their activities, although varying in degrees of organisation, are made possible through the shifting limits of the public sphere. Also, they must be considered in a broader context of evolving discourses of cultural and national identity, cultural policies of the state, and the political opportunities it provides for participation. This book will examine instances collective activism in heritage under the rubric of heritage movements. As a working definition, a heritage movement comprises collective challenges (to elites, authorities, other groups or cultural codes) by people with a common purpose and solidarity to protect and conserve heritage as conveyor and basis for collective identity, through sustained interactions with elites, opponents and authorities.
The book takes a broad interpretation of the geographical expanse of Asia; the boundaries of which may be loosely located in the west in Iran and the Persian Gulf, Central Asia and Afghanistan and in the east and China and Indonesia. Within this broad geographical expanse, various nation-states have witnessed rapid change as a result of economic growth and development, the creation of new states, and variable economic growth.
In speaking of contemporary Asia, we note that the timing of these movements too varies among these countries, although in most instances they seem to have appeared in the past 30 years. For example, the post-Soviet era and subsequent geopolitical transformations in the region (and beyond) have brought a change in the balance of political and cultural power. For instance, recent developments in Central Asia have encouraged expressions of various dormant and re-invented identities. While officially heritage continues to be designated, formed and managed by the state, other citizen groups and societies are forming who engage with the state or even pursue their own alternative heritages. In instances these groups may refer to historical (such as Persian) affiliations or religious (such as Muslim) roots or a combination of the two. The activities of these groups may be designated under the rubric of heritage movements.
This book is premised on three observations. First, contemporary heritage movements in the region occurred within the state defined spectrum of political opportunities and often engaged with state and international heritage projects within their respective countries. Second, many of these movements are recent and may become more prominent as international perspectives on heritage has advocated for the importance of participatory processes. Third, heritage discourses in the region seem to have been influenced by the increasing number of professionals in heritage or related professions (architecture, design, and archaeology) with knowledge of approaches to heritage in Europe in particular.
This book explores state-society relations through heritage, the political opportunities that are presented (or accidentally created) for public participation in heritage and identity making and the reaction and or reception of cultural policies of the state. It also examines relationships between different groups, changing communication technologies, and international networks. As such chapters are inspired by the application (explicitly or implicitly) of concepts articulated in social movements theory in the field of cultural heritage.
Luchino, Chiara, Lenci Ruggero (2014), Complementary Strategies to Eco-cities for a New Chinese Urbanization. 中国新城市化之生态城市的互补策略, Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
The article highlights the need for urban renewal and re-use of the existing housing in Chinese cities, in combination with the current “eco-cities” trend, in view of an expected new urbanization. Buildings’ regeneration would be one of the main factors leading to sustainable growth in China, as happened in Europe.
According to the 2013 ECFIN report, the progressive Chinese Government’s reduction of the restrictions related to the registration permit system (“hukou”, 户口), is likely to be accompanied by an urban migratory wave. Higher
migratory flows would foster an increasing housing demand. This demand would also be influenced by the recent policies adopted in Chinese cities – for example, in Beijing and Shanghai “second child” policies have been implemented.
However, urbanization comes at a cost. China is now in the middle of an environmental crisis with its epicenter in the cities. On the contrary, in the cities’ outskirts, the “eco-cities” are often not economically affordable for the majority and remain frequently uninhabited (“ghost towns”). The current “eco-city” trend is already trying to face pollution with many projects for entire new districts and completely sustainable neighborhoods, sometimes reproductions of European architecture models.
In this scenario, building renovation may play a key role, being far more ecological and sustainable than the entire new construction process. In addition, the increasing surplus of old, small, vacant dwellings within Chinese cities and by forecasts the U.S. Energy Information Administration on the buildings increasing energy consumption confirm the need for a more in-depth reorganization of the Chinese housing asset.
This is in line with what happened in Europe, where the logic of indiscriminate urban expansion was abandoned in the last decades. With a qualitative transformation, facing the residential discomfort, Europe has become the scenario of various measures of housing sustainable renewal.
Combining the main characteristics of Chinese eco-cities with European best practices of housing renewal, and adapting them to the Chinese urban context, is crucial for a sustainable city growth. In such a complex process, with migrants coming from peasant environments, housing design might be nature-oriented with references to rural elements to make it more “familiar” for the new residents.
The main purpose of the research is to give an overview of the necessity for China to regenerate city assets in order to meet the expected housing demand over the next years. This research is supported by explicative graphics and analyses based on the data of the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics. In parallel, as a complement of the research, it will be reported a few examples of the main European renewal methodologies, drafting a possible starting point for a renovation plan and focusing the problem from an architectural point of view.
The study opens up to the Green Architectonic Renovation in China, where sharing best practices and adapting them to the context are the key factors for future urban renewal.
Beijing’s first underground library “M Subway•Library” is open. [Photo/mtr.bj.cn]
China’s capital city launched its first underground library, “M Subway•Library” on Jan 12. The theme of its first activity is “Our Characters”.
Citizens riding the special train on subway Line 4 now can read e-books provided by the National Library by scanning the QR code in the carriage.
“M Subway•Library” is a public welfare program initiated by the Beijing MTR and the National Library to provide qualified book resources to the public through the platform of public transportation. The library will organize different themed activities regularly and recommend a dozen free books to the public each year in the long term.
Beijing launches ‘Subway Library’
With 10 million passengers every day, the Beijing subway system has huge potential as a place for promotion or even a new lifestyle. The “Subway Library,” which has just opened on Line 4 of the underground, encourages people to take advantage of their time on the trains to read more books.
Read more and see the videos on Chin.org.cn
China: Beijing metro users access free e-books
Finding something to read on the underground just got a bit easier in Beijing, where travellers can now access a free electronic library.
Carriages on Line 4 of the city’s metro feature barcodes which people can scan with their tablets or smartphones, China’s BTV News channel reports. They’ll be able to choose from a selection of ten books, which will change every couple of months. The first books available are about historical Chinese texts. “I think we have found a great, effective and handy tool to make traditional culture popular,” says Rong Jun, a spokesman from the city government, which is supporting the initiative along with the National Library.
Read more on BBC.News.com
Robbbb has only been working as a street artist for three years but identifies his role as helping to document the rapidly changing urban and social environment in Beijing. It is among the cities crumbling ruins that he feels his work belongs – “Ruins are temporary [and] so are my works but I hope they’ll leave some mark in Beijing’s history”.
At present there is no specific law against street art in China but he believes this will change in the near future as people, and the authorities, begin to understand the subversive element of the movement.
To see more of the artist’s work, visit his website HERE.
- Arts spaces, new urban landscapes and global cultural cities
- The National Grand Theatre in a city of monuments: discourse and reality in the construction of Beijing’s new cultural space
- Rivalling Beijing and the world: realizing Shanghai’s ambitions through cultural infrastructure
- Hong Kong’s dilemmas and the changing fates of West Kowloon Cultural District
- The making of a ?Renaissance City’: building cultural monuments in Singapore
- In search of new homes: the absent new cultural monument in Taipei
- Cultural creativity, clustering and the state in Beijing
- Remaking Shanghai’s old industrial spaces: the growth and growth of creative precincts
- Factories and animal depots: the ?new’ old spaces for the arts in Hong Kong
- Reusing old factory spaces in Taipei: the challenges of developing cultural
- From education to enterprise in Singapore: converting old schools to new artistic and aesthetic use
- Culture, globalization and urban landscapes References Index
Zhifen Cheng, Hangyi Zhou, and Stephen Young, The elites’ former houses in Beijing’s South Luogu Lane, Sustainability 2015, 7(1), 398-421; doi:10.3390/su7010398
Place is seen as a process whereby social and cultural forms are reproduced. This process is closely linked to capital flows, which are, in turn, shaped by changing property regimes. However, relatively little attention has been paid to the relationship between property regimes, capital flows and place-making. The goal of this paper is to highlight the role of changing property regimes in the production of place. Our research area is South Luogu Lane (SLL) in Central Beijing. We take elites’ former houses in SLL as the main unit of analysis in this study. From studying this changing landscape, we draw four main conclusions. First, the location of SSL was critical in enabling it to emerge as a high-status residential community near the imperial city. Second, historical patterns of capital accumulation influenced subsequent rounds of private investment into particular areas of SLL. Third, as laws relating to the ownership of land and real estate changed fundamentally in the early 1950s and again in the 1980s, the target and intensity of capital flows into housing in SLL changed too. Fourth, these changes in capital flow are linked to ongoing changes in the place image of SLL.
Read the full text : http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/7/1/398/htm#sthash.mR60mj6C.dpuf
In 2011, China had more people living in urban areas than rural areas for the first time in its history, and recent government statistics show that around 300 villages disappear per day in China. Yet in the face of rapid urbanization, a “back to land movement” is now also emerging. A new mini-documentary by Sun Yunfan and Leah Thompson, Down to the Countryside, looks at urban residents who, fed up with city life, are looking to revitalize the countryside, while preserving local tradition. The documentary follows Ou Ning, an artist and curator, who moved from Beijing to the village of Bishan, in Anhui province, in 2013. Ning considers himself part of China’s “new rural reconstruction movement,” and the documentary shows his quest to develop the rural economy and bring arts and culture to the countryside.
Learn more about the film on China File and check out an interview with the directors on CityLab.
Tea Leaf Nation 01.08.15
Ride-sharing app Uber has expanded around the world at a blistering pace, launching in a new city every one or two days. At first glance, China would appear the ideal fit for the Silicon Valley startup. Most urban residents in the world’s second-largest economy rely on sclerotic local taxi monopolies whose numbers have failed to match the country’s breakneck urbanization: the population of the capital Beijing, for example, has grown by nearly 50 percent to 20 million in the past ten years, while its taxi fleet of 66,000 remains the same size it was in 2003. The potential for a better way to get around town is clearly immense.
But on December 23, Uber suffered a setback when local authorities raided its office in the large southern city of Chongqing, a sign the company may encounter regulatory scrutiny in China similar to what it has encountered in other countries. Uber’s Chongqing travails initially appear to be yet another case in the recent string of large foreign firms finding themselves in the crosshairs of Chinese regulators—often to the benefit of domestic champions. It may come as a surprise, then, that Uber’s local competitors have come in for their share of official scrutiny as well.
Harvard University Assistant Professor Jie Li’s recent book, “Shanghai Homes:Palimpsests of Private Life,” is a micro history and memoir that collects the stories of generations living in two Shanghai longtang (lane).
Assistant professor Jie Li at Harvard University still remembers the two old women living downstairs who often argued over the communal kitchen, although she has been living in the United States for more than two decades.
Part of her childhood, it happened in an alleyway in today’s Yangpu District in northeast Shanghai, called You Bang Li. Out of a sense of nostalgia, Li published a book this year about the people and events that went on in the alleyways of Shanghai.
She came back to her home city last week to speak about her book to Historic Shanghai, an organization founded by expats that studies the city’s history. The book, “Shanghai Homes: Palimpsests of Private Life,” is a micro history and memoir that collects the stories of generations living in two Shanghai longtang (lane) during various periods.
The book is available in Shanghai bookstore.
Post by Lu Feiran | December 12, 2014 Read the full text on Shanghai daily.com (B
Shanghai has long been seen as a city of juxtapositions, a reputation that first took hold when it was divided into foreign-run and Chinese-run districts in the nineteenth century. More recently, though, it has become an open question as to whether the most striking juxtapositions in the metropolis relate to cultural difference or chronology. This essay explores this theme, paying particular attention to how, in the twenty-first century, its people sometimes see Shanghai as a meeting point between the past, the present, and the future.
Fudan University officially launches an online platform to store social sciences data this afternoon and is inviting individuals, organizations and governmental institutions around the world to publish and share research findings on it.
All published data can be found for free at http://dvn.fudan.edu.cn.The platform is developed in cooperation with Harvard University’s Dataverse Network. Registered users can also apply to authors via the platform for information not fully publicized, Fudan said.
The platform has been tested since June with 1,377 data sets stored by Fudan researchers and 57 now completely open to the public.
More researching findings are expected to appear after its official launch, the school said.
David Barboza, China’s E-cigarette boom lacks oversight for safety, The New York Times, Dec. 13, 2014
Ninety percent of the world’s e-cigarettes are made in China. Experts warn, however, that poorly manufactured devices can vaporize heavy metals and carcinogens alongside the nicotine.
Wenwei Zhu, Prosper Bernard Jr., Michel Plaisent, James Ming-Hsun Chiang (2014), Innovative planning and new-type urbanization in China: The case of Wuxi city in Jiangsu province, Current Urban Studies, 2014, 2, 307-314 .
Urbanization has been a transformative process in 21st century China. This paper seeks to ex- amine the process of urbanization in Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province, specifically to identify the ways in which Wuxi City has engaged in new-type urbanization—an innovative pattern of urban devel- opment that seeks to integrate urban and rural development, achieve environmental sustainabil- ity, and provide for the wellbeing of an urbanized citizenry. The City’s model has potentially im- portant reference value for other cities and towns in developed areas of China that are in the process of fashioning their own innovative pattern of urbanization.
The International Journal of Chinese Education aims to strengthen Chinese academic exchanges and cooperation with other countries in order to improve Chinese educational research and promote Chinese educational development. Articles can be submitted as empirical studies, especially on popular issues, policy studies, and theory studies, and can address all educational disciplines, educational phenomena and education problems.
Volume 3, Sound Bites Won’t Work: Case Studies of 15-Year Free Education in Greater China, 2014
- Author: Ricci W. Fong
- Source: Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 171 –190
- Author: Suzannie K. Y. Leung
- Source: Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 268 –289
William Hsiao, Mingqiang Li and Shufang Zhang (2014), Universal Health CoverageThe Case of China prepared for the UNRISD project on towards universal social security in emerging economies: Process, institutions and actors.
In less than a decade, China transformed its inadequate, unjust health care system in order to provide basic universal health coverage (UHC) for its people. What forces made it possible for China to achieve this? What kind of transformation took place? What are the impacts of these policy changes? What can we learn from China? Moreover, while China has achieved UHC in basic health services, this does not mean that everyone has equal access to the same quality of affordable health care.This paper, which uses a theory of political economy to analyse China’s policy changes and accomplishments, consists of four main sections.
- Section I reviews the historical development of the Chinese health care system from the 1950s through the 1990s, tracing the serious consequences of the policy shift in the 1980s when the health care system and health care delivery became privately financed and commercialized.
- Section II analyses the political economy factors that drove and shaped the reform of the Chinese health system, focusing on the politics, institutions and actors that synergistically led to the establishment of UHC in 2009. In this section, we modified slightly John Kingdon’s theory and used it to examine four main streams of forces to explain how China’s reform came about. (1) The problem stream shows how Chinese political leaders recognized a serious, widespread public discontent regarding health and then diagnosed the root causes of these health problems. (2) The policy stream examines how major stakeholders in the health sector proposed, and heatedly debated, different policy options based on their vested interests and ideologies. (3) The financial stream highlights how China’s health policy was driven by fiscal constraints. (4) The politics stream analyses the political factors that influenced the agenda setting and policy formulation of UHC in authoritarian China, albeit with limited political transparency. The paper tracks these streams with historical evidence to conclude that the policy changes for UHC in China were established by the convergence of these four streams.
- Section III presents the policy outcomes–the current financing structure of the UHC (i.e., the three different insurance schemes, their benefit packages, and key companion programmes to assure the supply of basic services). Based on quantitative evidence, we summarize the impacts of China’s UHC in terms of equitable access to health care, quality and affordability of health care, health outcomes, and financial risk protection from high and/or catastrophic medical expenses. Although China’s UHC was a great achievement, stark disparities remain between urban and rural residents in China, along with high health expenditure inflation rates arising from inefficiency and waste in the health care system.
- In section IV, we discuss the remaining challenges for China’s health care system and comment on the potential lessons of the Chinese experience for other nations.