Category Archives: Websites

UrbaChina photo collection

UrbaChina Project has launched this month UrbaChina photo collection; the images of the photo collection UrbaChina are stored on MediHAL, the French open archives for digital photographs and scientific images.1.urbachinaphotos 2013-05-31 à 13.35



MédiHAL allows researchers to deposit scientific image-type documents

  • scanned images
  • digitalised photographs
  • digital photographs

It is neither an institutional nor a thematic photo library ; but rather  a data warehouse, open to all scientific disciplines.

Researchers may deposit their photos from their research field, and therefore contribute to an international movement for open access to scientific data.

The UrbaChina photo collection

The collection is organised around the cities of

  • Shanghai
  • Chongqing
  • Kunming
  • Huangshan

Traffic jam in Kunming, Fu Jie .
MediHAL gathers pictures taken by UrbaChina’s participants as well as pictures of others in the same fields.  The pictures published in the posts by UrbaChina are deposited to MédiHAL.

The author chooses the licence : all rights reserved or a Creative commons licence. When you click on a picture, you will find the picture’s metadata and see the licence chosen by the author which will enable you to know what you are allowed to do with the picture.

How to deposit ?

  • Photos are deposited by the researcher.
  • The author may choose to have them accessible immediately after they are deposited or after a moving wall chosen by himself.
  • The pictures deposited in MédiHAL can be geo-referenced. The images containing GPS metadata will be placed automatically on the map.
  • The iconographic documents are stored in a secure data warehouse, with back up of the pictures and of their metadata.
  • A permanent preservation of the photos is guaranteed as well as their citability. More information

Browse the collection by authors

Link to MédiHAL

Médihal documents and video tutorials can be found on this page

Residential blocks, Gipouloux François
Night view of Chonqing, Wang Ju

  1. MediHAL was launched in 2010 by the Centre pour la communication scientifique et directe (CCSD) (centre for direct scientific communication) and the Centre national pour la numérisation des sources visuelles (CNRS national centre for the digitalisation of visual material) with the support of the Très grand équipement ADONIS (TGE), a very large research infrastructure led by the CNRS []

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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China Water Risk = 中国水危机


China Water Risk is a non-profit initiative designed to help investors, businesses and individuals understand and mitigate risk around water.

The China Water Risk web portal, launched in pilot form as The Asia Water Project  (AWP) in 2010 and then in its current form as China Water Risk in September 2011, offers access to relevant information on water issues and showcases up to date research, some of which is commissioned specifically for the site.

China Water Risk works closely with a growing network of water and industry experts and investors from China and Hong Kong as well as with others based internationally. This  network shares an interest in building knowledge that will lead to better management of China’s increasingly scarce water resources.

China Water Risk is funded and managed by Hong Kong-based ADM Capital Foundation.






中国水危机由香港ADM Capital Foundation成立和管理。



Monique Abud

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

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Drought in Yunnan: ecological and water quality factors

Yang, Fangyi and Zhou Jiading (2013). Why has water-rich Yunnan become a drought hotspot? China dialogue, 29 April. (Accessed 23 May 2013). [English version]

杨方义, 周嘉鼎 (2013). 云南为什么缺水?中外对话, 4月 29日. (Accessed 23 May 2013). [中文版本]

Yunnan’s drought continues. During China’s annual parliamentary session in March, the deputy party secretary of the south-west Chinese province, Qiu He, blamed spring floodwaters that flow through Yunnan and on into other countries for the water shortages.
He proposed a system of reservoirs, dams and tanks to store that water, which could then be distributed more evenly over time and between locations. But many complained that Chinese officials were trying to pass their own troubles on to others.
Historically, Yunnan hasn’t been known for suffering droughts. Today, however, it is famous for it.
The winter and spring droughts that started in 2009 continue to plague China’s south-west, harming the region’s vulnerable economy – particularly agriculture and forestry. Cash crops such as sugar cane and coffee have been lost, and the crisis is restricting Yunnan’s economic growth.

Read more

云南继续大旱。2013年3月,云南省委副书记仇和在全国两会期间表示:云南不是没有水,且水资源充沛,但三江春水向南流,多流到国外了。并 建议要大中小水库、坝塘、水窖一起蓄水,提高水资源时间和空间分布不均衡的解决能力。此语引发争议,很多人认为这是一些中国官员“以邻为壑”心态的体现。

Read more


Watts, Elleka (2013) Water scarcity and social equality in China. China power. A new world order, 23 May 2013. (Accessed 23 May 2013).




Monique Abud

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

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Urbanization: a tool to reduce inequality?

China’s new populist urbanization

Since Li Keqiang was tipped to succeed Wen Jiabao as China’s premier, analysts have been trying to come to a better understanding of Li’s thoughts on urbanization. This is because Li has prominently identified urbanization as the growth engine of the Chinese economy and one of the main focuses on the new administration.

Li’s first press conference as premier this past weekend helped shed a bit of light on what urbanization (城镇化) might mean in terms of policy. Premier Li’s description of urbanization focused on the issue of inequality, both between poor and rich within cities and the urban and rural areas across China. The solution, according to Premier Li, is to better integrate migrant workers into cities and to spread urbanization out into the smaller cities and less developed regions of the country. This activity will generate significant new investment opportunities and raise domestic consumption levels helping to rebalance the Chinese economy.

This represents a profoundly populist spin on urbanization, which has historically been one of the primary drivers of inequality in China. Read more

Will municipal bonds save China’s urbanization plan?

Increasingly China’s new leadership has revitalized the topic of urbanization. Last November, the vice-premier, Li Keqiang, wrote an article calling urbanization a “huge engine” for future economic growth. More recently, the newly released income inequality plan has even described urbanization as a tool to reduce income inequality.

This renewed emphasis on urbanization appears to have re-opened the topic of financing local infrastructure projects. In the fourth quarter 2012 monetary policy report released earlier this month, the Peoples Bank of China (PBC) wrote an exhibit entitled “the international experience of financing construction for urbanization.” In this exhibit, the Peoples Bank observed a strong correlation between urbanization and municipal bonds across countries from the 1950s to today. They found that the use of municipal bonds backed by tax revenues was the most effective tool for supporting urbanization “no matter whether you have a federal or centralized system of government.” Read more



Monique Abud

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

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Beyond eco-city development to creating eco-districts out of existing areas

Lohry, Gavin. 2012, December 3. Beyond eco-city development to creating eco-districts out of existing areas: the argument for a Beijing eco-district (accessed 31 January 2013).

Eco-city development in China has been focused in new areas outside of existing cities that promise to be developed in a more sustainable way. These cities include the newest green building technologies, extensive green areas, sustainable transportation and environmentally friendly living. These eco-city developments are extremely promising and will see reduced environmental impacts compared to similar developments.

More important than the eco-cities themselves are the lessons that can be learned and technologies that can be fostered for future urban development. With hundreds of millions of people set to move to cities and increase their standard of living over the next 20 years, eco-cities will play an important role in China’s sustainability drive. The benefits gained through the experience of eco-city development will be much greater than the low footprint and improved sustainability of the cities themselves. The real benefits will come as the cities speed the innovation of construction and planning methods, which can be used in future urban development. The numerous eco-cities could be seen as the largest experiment in urban sustainability ever, with potential to produce an extensive amount of innovations in technology, lessons in urban development, and sustainable construction capacity.

Read full post on Eco-City Notes

Monique Abud

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

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Chinese corpus

 Chinese corpus. A study of overseas Chinese presence on the Web:  Morphology of the Web and production of the diaspora
By Emmanuel Ma Mung Kuang

This exploratory survey falls into a general investigation of the way dispersed collectives create their own worlds. The objective is to discover how use of the Internet configures their singular space and time (their own worlds). The unexpected results are that the Chinese diasporic Web is mainly Anglo-Saxon and that the geography of the selected sites does not correspond at all to the geography of the Chinese diaspora. Is this merely the effect of the criteria used to select the sites, or is it the sign of a deeper-reaching phenomenon?

More information

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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The e-Diasporas Atlas

The e-Diasporas Atlas is a unique experiment in research on diasporas as well as in publishing, a first in the restitution of scientific findings and their presentation. Historically, the emergence of e-diasporas occurred in tandem with the diffusion of the Internet and the development of multiple online public services. At the end of the 1990s, a number of institutions joined forces with the new ‘e’-technologies (e-administration, e-democracy, e-education, e-healthcare, e-culture, e-tourism), which gave rise to the first presence on the Web of associations run by migrant populations. If the earliest websites were produced by IT professionals, we soon saw the diffusion of the Web in all of the diasporic communities and at all levels. The last ten years witnessed the use of both Webs 1.0 and 2.0 in these communities as well as the widespread appropriation of the various social-networking platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.). These new communication and organization practices have produced a vast, moving e-corpus, whose exploration, analysis and archiving have never before been attempted. The outcome of the efforts of more than 80 researchers worldwide, the e-Diasporas Atlas is the first of its kind, with some 8,000 migrant websites archived and observed in their interactions.

A migrant site is a website created or managed by migrants and/or that deals with them (at any rate, a site for which migration or diasporas is a defining theme). This can be a personal site or blog, the site of an association, a portal/forum, an institutional site, or anything similar. Usage is not the criterion: a site often consulted by migrants (a media site, for example) is not necessarily a migrant site. What distinguishes ‘activity’ is first and foremost the production of content and the practice of citation (hyperlinks). On the other hand, a migrant site need not necessarily be located in a foreign country; it may just as easily be in the country of

origin. Migrant sites testify to a given e–diaspora’s occupation of the Web.
What we call e-diaspora is a migrant collective that organises itself and is active first and foremost on the Web: its practices are those of a community whose interactions are ‘enhanced’ by digital exchange. An e-diaspora is also a dispersed collective, a heterogeneous entity whose existence rests on the elaboration of a common direction, a direction not defined once and for all but which is constantly renegotiated as the collective evolves. An e-diaspora is an unstable collective because it is redrawn by every newcomer. It is self-defined, as it grows or diminishes not by inclusion or exclusion of members, but through a voluntary process of individuals joining or leaving the collective – simply by establishing hyperlinks or removing them from websites.

An e-diaspora is both ‘online’ and ‘offline’. We are therefore interested in both the digital ‘translations’ of ‘physical’ actors/phenomena (the online activities of associations, for example) and the specifically (‘natively’) digital actors/phenomena (e. g. a forum and its internal interactions), what are sometimes called pure players. The question of ‘rub–offs’ – reciprocal influence between these two sorts of Web entity – is of capital importance in analysing an e–diaspora. It is thus clear that the research carried out in the context of the e–Diasporas Atlas presupposes knowledge of the diaspora in question and, based on exploration of the Web, calls on new research in the field. It also implies knowledge of the Web and an appreciation of the singularity of the exchanges that take place there.
We prefer the term ‘e–diaspora’ to that of ‘digital diaspora’ because the latter may lend to confusion given the increasingly frequent use of the notions of ‘digital native’ and ‘digital immigrant’, in a ‘generational’ sense (distinguishing those born before from those born during/after the digital era). The object of the e–Diasporas Atlas is not this ‘digital migrant’, however, but the connected migrant. (Read more about the concept…)

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Welcome to our blog UrbaChina

Funded by  the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme, URBACHINA is a collaborative project managed by a consortium of 11 leading Chinese and European research institutions. Coordinated by the CNRS (France’s National Centre for Scientific Research), URBACHINA will analyse the trends in urbanization in China over the next 40 years and define possible future scenarios with reference to concepts of sustainability.

European Union – China cooperation

URBACHINA is a research project, which places strong emphasis on the cooperation between the EU and China. Although urbanisation in Europe and in China has  followed different  paths, there is nonetheless room for mutual learning. One of the main objectives of this project is to strengthen the collaboration between Chinese and EU researchers and policy-makers who are motivated  by the common goal of building sustainable cities.


Urbanisation has been a consequence of the accelerated pace of economic development triggered by a sequence of policies to open up and reform the Chinese economy at the end of 1978. Given the significant impact that recent rapid urbanisation trends have had on the environment, resources and health, the expected growth of China’s cities poses a unique challenge to sustainability.
URBACHINA specifically addresses four aspects of sustainability:
institutional foundations and policies;land, property and the urban rural divide; infrastructure and services for sustainable urbanisationtraditions and modern lifestyles in cities.


URBACHINA ultimately aims to:

  1. enhance the common understanding of urbanisation trends in both China and Europe,
  2. identify the main aspects of urban sustainability,
  3. influence policy-makers  and  society  on  sustainability  issues,  through  vigorous dissemination strategies i.e.  publications, events, media involvement and its website.

More information on the Website of URBACHINA

The blog UrbaChina aims to identify the latest news on four specific themes regarding urbanisation in China: the institutional foundations and policies for urbanisation;  the territorial expansion of Chinese cities; the infrastructures and services for sustainable urbanisation; the building of urban communities. It will also provide information on ongoing research within the FP7 Project UrbaChina : sustainable urbanisation in China, historical and comparative perspectives and large scale trends leading up to 2050.