Christine Estève and Jérémy Cheval (2010). Lilongs – Shanghai 里弄 – 上海. Montpellier: Mon Cher Watson.
In Shanghai as elsewhere, the old town fades away while a powerful and modern city emerges. The lilongs, surrounded by skyscrapers, still attest to the humanity and the particular history of the city – they remain the evidence of a bustling environment, with varied typologies, a conservatoire of the Shanghainese lifestyle.
This guide unveils 20 discreet sites of traditional habitat, in a tour of a city caught between two eras.
Written in 3 languages, Chinese, French and English, this guide book looks at 20 lilongs around Shanghai that have stood up to the pressure of Shanghai’s rapid urbanisation. With the help of maps and illustrations, each lilong is clearly located (including GPS coordinates) and described in detail. This guide also includes explanations of what lilongs are and their history, and several passages on Shanghai’s history as well.
Session: The Social and Cultural Impact of Migration in China
2015 AAG Annual Meeting
Youqin Huang (State University of New York, Albany)
Shenjing He (Sun Yat-Sen University, China)
China is in the midst of an urban revolution, with hundreds of millions of migrants every year. Existing research on migration has mostly focused on migrants themselves and their economic strategies, while their family’s wellbeing, their identity, rights, and citizenship remain under researched. In this session, we hope to join the emerging research shift from focusing on migrants and their economic strategies to the non-economic impact of their migration on people, especially their families (children and parents), and places.
We welcome papers that address any issues related to the social and cultural impact of migration.
Topics may include but are not limited to:
• Wellbeing of their children
• Wellbeing of their parents
• Wellbeing of migrants
• Rights and citizenship of migrants
• Identity of migrant children
• Identity of migrants
• Household formation and family life
• Cultural impact on the origin and destination
If you would like to participate in this session, please send an abstract (max. 200 words) and contact details including affiliation and e-mail address to Youqin Huang (email@example.com) or Shenjing He (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 15 October 2014. All accepted contributors will then need to register for the AAG conference online at the AAG website by 31 October 2014 ahead of a session proposal deadline of 5 November 2014.
Huangshan is one of China’s major touristic locations, a UNESCO World Heritage site, attracts millions of visitors annually, and the economy of Huangshan City still relies heavily on this tourism.
In this photo, taken by Tauno Tõhk, we can see the silhouette of a porter climbing through the mist, one of the many who travel up and down the mountain carrying supplies for the hotels and various facilities catering to tourists. Although there are many cable cars going up the mountain, these are for visitors, to experience new views of the beautiful landscape.
See more photos at Tauno Tõhk’s Flickr or his blog (in Estonian).
This photo of Kunming, much like Schoenmakers’ two weeks ago, highlights the juxtaposition of traditional and recent architecture that appears so frequently in China’s urban landscape. In the foreground we can see the rooftops around of the historical and cultural centre, which according to the photographer, had been recently renovated. He also explains:
Growing up in Kunming, I felt that it was fast developing city. The pleasant climate makes it a place businessmen want to invest and live in, and it is the rest stop for travelers visiting the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau.
JiKang Lee is a freelance photographer based in Kunming. You can see more of his work on Fotokon’s blog and his Flickr.
The Chongqing Municipality counts over 50 bridges, twenty or so in the urban centre. Aside from two exceptions, Baishatuo Railway Bridge and Shibanpo Bridge, all of these bridges were built and opened during the last 20 years.
One of the most recent projects in Chongqing is the creation of the “Liangjiang bridge”: two bridges and a tunnel which span the Liangjiang New Area, from the south bank of the Yangtze, crossing the Yuzhong district, to the north bank of the Jialing River. The twin bridges were designed by T. Y. Lin International. The Dongshuimen Yangtze River Bridge (above) has been complete since 31 March 2014. The Qianximen Jialing River Bridge (below) has yet to be finished, but should be opened in June 2014.
Once upon a time, the main method of crossing the Yangtze and Jialing rivers was the cable cars, or ropeways, swinging high over the city from one hilltop to the other. Until 1960, there were no bridges crossing the Yangtze River around Chongqing.
The picture above shows the remaining ropeway which crosses the Yangtze River, starting from the Yuzhong peninsula. It is still in use as transport, but mostly serves as a tourist attraction. In the top left corner, we can see the latest bridge of many which ousted the ropeways: the Dongshuimen Bridge. The Jialing cable cars (pictured below) ceased operating in December 2013, as they slowly fell out of use because of increasing alternative and easier routes, such as tunnels and, of course, bridges.
This is the first post in a series focusing on photos of China, taken under Creative Commons licenses. These will relate to the themes of UrbaChina: territorial expansion, migration, urban communities, sustainability, etc.
This photo taken by Kevin Schoenmakers in 2013 highlights the contrasting urban landscape of Shanghai. In the foreground, we can see an early 20th century lilong in the Zhabei District, Shanghai, and in the background, a new high-rise. The Zhabei District transformed after the Communist liberation in 1949, when destroyed buildings and shanty towns were razed to build new residential areas. That transformation continued in the 1990s when shikumen houses (such as the ones in the picture) were demolished to make way for new constructions built to meet Shanghai’s target development. The district’s low housing prices make it an attractive place for migrants and is often described as “up-and-coming”.
Kevin Schoenmakers is a Dutch photographer currently living in Shanghai. You can see more of his photos of China on his Flickr or his website.
China Information‘s latest issue, vol. 28, no. 2 (July 2014) is a special issue on cyberpolitics, put together by guest editor Guobin Yang. The articles are free for download until 16 August 2014.
China Information presents timely and in-depth analyses of major developments in contemporary China and overseas Chinese communities in the areas of politics, economics, law, ecology, culture, and society, including literature and the arts.
China Information pays special attention to views and areas that do not receive sufficient attention in the mainstream discourse on contemporary China. It encourages discussion and debate between different academic traditions, offers a platform to express controversial and dissenting opinions, and promotes research that is historically sensitive and contemporarily relevant.
Political contestation in Chinese digital spaces: Deepening the critical inquiry
[Abstract] [Full text]
Hackerspaces and the Internet of Things in China: How makers are reinventing industrial production, innovation, and the self
[Abstract] [Full text]
Voice, power and connectivity in China’s microblogosphere: Digital divides on SinaWeibo
[Abstract] [Full text]
Jesper Schlæger and Min Jiang
Official microblogging and social management by local governments in China
[Abstract] [Full text]
Steven J. Balla
Health system reform and political participation on the Chinese Internet
[Abstract] [Full text]
Robeson Taj Frazier and Lin Zhang
Ethnic identity and racial contestation in cyberspace: Deconstructing the Chineseness of Lou Jing
[Abstract] [Full text]
The ‘losers’ of China’s Internet: Memes as ‘structures of feeling’ for disillusioned young netizens
[Abstract] [Full text]
Web-based backpacking communities and online activism in China: Movement without marching
[Abstract] [Full text]
Yang Hui, known by his artist name Bahai, was born in Shanghai. He is a photographer and painter, who graduated from the Academy of Arts and Design at Tsinghua University in Beijing. In 2010, àContreVue published an album of some of Bahai’s first photos of Shanghai in 1993, with the help of roots contemporary and Bergger. The àContreVue association’s mission is to support the work of photographers who have an alternative and humanist vision of our world (read more at their blog).
Yang Hui Bahai, painter, started photography when he returned to his hometown of Shanghai in 1992, after having spent three years in France. Camera in hand, he captures the changes in a city he believed his own but no longer recognises.
Since then, he has done one black and white story after another, snapshots of daily life: the last teahouses of Zhejiang Province, popular culture and religious traditions. Every season, he leaves his studio to capture shots based on chance encounters and then brings his pictures to life in the secret of his darkroom.
This selection depicts the inhabitants of an uncompromising Shanghai… A modern young woman turning away her eyes with disdain from a display of “shanghainese chickens” or fan repairers laughing behind their bowls of rice alcohol, those faces of seventeen years ago, serious or not, each tell the story of their city. They call the changes in Chinese society into question.1
These are the photos which inspired Françoise Ged’s book, Shanghai, presented last week. To learn more about Yang Hui Bahai visit his website and online photo gallery.
A position as international technical expert is available at Wuhan in the field of urban planning. There is no fixed date for taking up the post, but 1 October would be preferred.
Seeking an expert with a background in urban planning and speaks fluent Chinese, knowing that a large part of the post’s role will be to ensure proper coordination between multiple French and Chinese actors involved in the Franco-Chinese sustainable city project in Wuhan.
Ged, F. (2014). Shanghai. L’ordinaire et l’extraordinaire (Shanghai. The ordinary and the extraordinary). Paris: Buchet-Chastel.1
Shanghai is the mythical city par excellence. Able to renew itself cyclically, to continually rebuild, we could believe it locked in an absolute present, removed from its history, recent or ancient, without memory.
But what is true of the early 2000s is not necessarily so today. A leading city, a “laboratory” city, Shanghai has undergone some major upheavals. With large-scale constructions finished, the city turns to other sites and reclaims its history as it reclaims its territory. Society is primarily involved in these new adventures, which herald the face of China in years to come. Throughout this journey from the 1980s to the present day, Françoise Ged guides us through this city where the ordinary and the extraordinary exist side by side. Yang Hui Bahai’s photographs punctuate her narrative like guiding lights, signs of a disappearing era, to be replaced by a time not yet realised.2
Next week will have a post with more information on the Chinese photographer Bahai.
Nongcun jiti tudi chengshihua de zhidu yanjiu – yi chengxiang tudi liyong yitihua wei shejiao) 农村集体土地城市化的制度研究——以城乡土地利用体制一体化为视角/Study on a system of urbanisation of the rural collective land – Rural and urban integration of the land use system in perspective.
In China, land rights have always been a central concern for the Chinese Communist Party since it came to power. Before the start of the reform process in 1978, the system of property for collective land was the foundation of the collective economy in rural areas. However, since the 1980s, and especially since the 1990s it has coexisted with an urban system where land has been progressively liberalised. In urban land there is a thriving market in real estate that has contributed greatly to the robustness of the economy and the welfare of urban residents. However, this also led to the increasingly less peaceful coexistence of two diametrically opposed systems of property: a system of collective ownership with socialist characteristics and a quasi free-market system where land can be transferred, leased, or used as collateral, exploiting its inherent value.
Behind the rural land policy of the CCP is the ideal of common prosperity. However, after more than thirty years of rapid economic development, a salient feature of China’s rural areas has been the common poverty of the farmer class as a whole. The economic gap between the rural and the urban has not ceased to increase. The author argues that one of the main causes of this urban-rural gap lies in the dual system of land property rights, which has proved to be flawed, as farmers have been deprived from exploiting the value of their most precious asset: land. Therefore, the author advocates reforming the dual property system, and more specifically, the land-use rights system concerning rural construction land. In order to carry out such a reform the author argues that allowing collectives to fully exercise their property rights, particularly land development rights, is the optimal solution. The author proposes that, during the process of land urbanisation, ownership of land does not change, allowing collectives to develop and market construction land, fostering the countryside’s self-urbanization as the best way to finance their development and to achieve urban-rural integration. Finally, the author uses a comparative perspective analysing the Spanish property rights system as a reference, eventually devising a plan for the liberalisation of the rural land market.
Aspects of Urbanization in China: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou by Bracken can be found at the OAPEN Library, an online resource for freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Bracken, G. (2012). Aspects of Urbanization in China: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
China’s rise is one of the transformative events of our time. Aspects of Urbanization in China: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou examines some of the aspects of China’s massive wave of urbanization – the largest the world has ever seen. The various papers in the book, written by academics from different disciplines,represent ongoing research and exploration and give a useful snapshot in a rapidly developing discourse. Their point of departure is the city – Shanghai, Hong Kong and Guangzhou – where the downside of China’s miraculous economic growth is most painfully apparent. And it is concern for the citizens of these cities that unifies the papers in a book whose authors seek to understand what life is like for the people who call them home.
OAPEN Library also provides a list of alternative platforms to acquire the book. For more information, click here.
Aurélia Martin has been working for UrbaChina since May 2013. After her studies in English Language at the University of Glasgow, she returned to France where she went through the majority of her schooling.
She has travelled in China and is interested in Chinese cinema and photography.
While studying in Scotland, she followed some courses in digital humanities and was introduced to a number of relevant computer programmes. She contributes to the UrbaChina blog as well as the project’s digital photo collection (UrbaChina photo collection). She helps manage the collection and train project members to upload their photos, as well as uploading for them. She works especially to ensure that the photos come with quality metadata, and that the UrbaChina blog’s English is coherent and correct.1
This article was translated by Aurélia Martin. [↩]
The East Asia Forum published an article on urbanisation in China. By Wang Xiaolu, published on 12 May 2014, accessed on 13 May 2014.
China is experiencing rapid urbanisation. It is the main engine of economic growth in contemporary China, although it is facing some severe challenges. A major problem is that the majority of the 234 million rural migrants in urban areas have not obtained urban permanent resident status, blocked by the hukou or urban household registration system. The newly released urbanisation blueprint by the Central Committee of the CPC and the State Council, National New-Type Urbanization Plan 2014-2020, announced the acceleration of the process of turning rural migrants into urban citizens.