These photos were taken in December 2013 in Anshun city, Guizhou province. They show two school diplomas granted to the two daughters of a family who finished first and second in their class. The two unframed photos hanged on the bare walls of the living room.
During this event which will gather every UrbaChina parter, the research programme’s results and achievements will be made public.
We invite every person interested in the issues of sustainability and China’s urbanisation to attend this meeting. However due to room capacity, we would appreciate you first register by sending a message to
This event will be co-host by the “Cité de l’Architecture” and will be held at the prestigious “Palais de Chaillot”.
The conference programme is available here.
Partners of this event include:
Verdini, Giulio1 (2014). The costs of urban growth at the fringe of a Chinese city : evidence from Jinshi Village in Suzhou. International Development Planning Review, 36:4, p. 413-43. Published online October 08, 2014. DOI : 10.3828/idpr.2014.27.
The rate of city growth in China today correlates well with an overall loss of the most fertile agricultural areas of the country. A consequence of this growth includes the rapid reshaping of peri-urban livelihoods in their densely populated fringe. The policy response from central government has focused on containing city growth and pursuing modern rural development. Both policy directions have failed, in part, to acknowledge the intrinsic nature of the urban fringe in China. This paper explores the features of the fringe of Suzhou, a fast growing city in the Yangtze River Delta. The aim is to outline potential social costs of this current policy framework, through analysing the case study of Jinshi Village. The paper advocates a different regionalist approach to policy implementation.
Read full text at Liverpool metapress.com (secured access)
In 2013, Giulio Verdini has been a visiting scholar at the CECMC (EHESS), the institution that hosts the editorial team of the UrbaChina blog. The activities of Giulio Verdini at the CECMC are presented in Carnets du Centre Chine :
- Giulio Verdini, urbaniste accueilli au CECMC
- Conceiving the rural in coastal China
- The rural heritage and the modernization at the fringe of the Chinese cities
- Bridging the gap between conservation and community: evidence from two cases in Suzhou and Shanghai
1. Urban Planning and Design, Xi’an Jiaotong – Liverpool University, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.
See more at: http://academic.xjtlu.edu.cn/upd/Staff/giulio-verdini
Zhongjie Lin (2014), Constructing Utopias: China’s Emerging Eco-cities, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina. ARCC Conference Repository, 2014 .
Each year about 16 millions of China’s rural residents – equivalent to the total population of the Netherlands – are moving into cities. This trend has continued for nearly two decades in this “largest mass migration ever seen in human history” (David Harvey). Amid such dramatic demographic shift and the resulting construction boom are ambitious plans throughout China to create new towns to house swelling population and to sustain economic growth. A series of prototype eco-new towns have been proposed in this wave of mass urbanization. They are often conceived as exemplary piece of urbanism showcasing the latest design and environmental technologies in town building, and represent a new chapter in China’s continuing effort of organized urbanization as a strategy to address complex economic and environmental issues.
This paper studies three eco-new town projects, including Dongdan Eco-city, Binhai Eco-city, and Qingdao Eco-block. They were intended as “models” to showcase the best practice in planning and development and to provide duplicable experience for other cities in the country. The paper examines these eco-new towns through the lens of urbanism and utopianism, focusing on the relationship between place making and social development. These projects were either initiated by the governments or created by private organizations or joint ventures, demonstrating different strategies of developing eco-city and representing different political and economic agendas. However, they were all encountered some dilemmas due to the current land policies and prevalent patterns of urban development in China, which indicates more fundamental issues to tackle to move toward a sustainable society. Studying China’s emerging eco-city movement from design and policy perspectives, this paper contribute to the understanding of new patterns of urban growth in our globalized era, and shed a new light on the strategies of dealing with the current environmental crises.
The Third Conference of East Asian Environmental History (EAEH2015)
|Time:||October 22-25 (Thursday-Sunday), 2015|
|Place:||Takamatsu, Kagawa, Japan|
Sun-Port Hall Takamatsu
Beyond borders. Oceans, mountains, and rivers in East Asia.
Call for Papers
Open Submission Calls: 15. April 2014
The deadline for Submissions: 31. August 2014
This news piece concerns the hukou reform announced on Wednesday (guowuyuan guanyu jinyibu tuijin huji zhidu gaige de yijian – 国务院关于进一步推进户籍制度改革的意见), which plans to eliminate the anachronistic distinction between agricultural and non-agricultural registration. From now on, citizens will be classified simply as residents. The report explains that the reform won’t affect a liberalisation of rural land rights that would allow urban residents moving towards rural areas and acquire rural land-use rights, which is illegal up to now. The report explains that the reform won’t affect the “bidirectional flow of people” (shuangxiang liudong – 双向流动), in contrast to the existing legal framework that only permits the “one-way circulation of rural residents towards the city”.
Please click here to watch the report on chinanews.com: http://www.chinanews.com/shipin/2014/06-21/news447205.shtml
Zinda, J. A. (2013). Organizing conservation and development in china: Politics, institutions, biodiversity, and livelihoods. (Order No. 3591054, The University of Wisconsin – Madison). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, , 335. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1433306129?accountid=16266. (1433306129). Preview (format PDF)
Tourism is an increasingly central element of biodiversity conservation, transforming protected areas worldwide. Building on participant observation and interviews with a broad array of participants, extensive document analysis, and a household survey, this dissertation investigates the creation of national parks in China’s southwestern province of Yunnan and what it reveals about how actors contend to get their visions for tourism and conservation incorporated in protected area institutions as well as how those institutions influence conservation practices and rural livelihoods.
In the first half, I show how contention among state agencies with varied connections to extra-state actors has shaped Yunnan’s national parks. The Nature Conservancy’s limited ability to appeal to state bodies with leverage over protected areas constrained its effort to promote a new conservation model. Local governments have shifted from supporting community-centered tourism to consolidating high-volume attractions under state-affiliated companies. A case comparison of nine protected areas shows that local authorities channel the substantial revenues tourism yields toward funding government activities and maintaining scenic façades for tourists rather than intensive biodiversity conservation. Where strong conservation practices are adopted, it is due to intervention under central government priorities.
In the second half, I examine how national park institutions affect community residents. In Meili Snow Mountain National Park, community-centered tourism operations persist, while in Pudacuo National Park, residents have become park employees. Residents of each park express concerns about different issues, but they voice these concerns in similar terms, invoking moral economies of appropriate state action. I use household survey data and qualitative observations to examine the impacts of different forms of tourism participation on livelihoods and community dynamics. Different tourism activities’ demands for labor and inputs have stronger impacts than income on resource use. Not all community-based tourism is equal: income inequality is higher and cooperation less common where household entrepreneurship predominates, compared to communities where institutions equalize participation, whether under community management or as park employees. The consolidation of protected area tourism attractions brings challenges as park authorities attempt to manage residents, while its economic and environmental impacts have complex relationships with local economies and ecologies.
Pieke, Frank N. (2014). Emerging markets and migration policy : China. (Note de l’IFRI). Paris : IFRI, Center of Migration and Citizenship.
China is known for its large pool of labour force as well as for having the largest diaspora in the world. Nevertheless, China’s economic growth is at the source of a new demographic trend: following a 2010 census, there are more than 1 million foreigners in China, as many as in a mid-sized European country. Migrants of Chinese origin, students, high-skilled migrants, low-skilled migrants from adjacent countries: the profiles of these new residents are diverse.
To respond to these new immigration flows, a law on Entry and Exit has been adopted in 2012. Does this new law solve the three main issues posed by immigration to China: the adequacy of China’s migration policy with regards to its economic needs; the clarification of procedures and the integration of foreigners?
Frank N. Pieke, chair professor in Modern China Studies at Leiden University, opens a discussion on these questions in a dynamic E-Note highlighting the issues facing China as it develops its migration policy.
- “Emerging markets and migration policy” publication series
- French Institute of International Relations
- Frank N. Pieke
Overdorf, Jason. Germany’s renewables paradox a warning sign for China. Chinadialogue.net. 25 June, 2014. Retrieved 30 June, 2014, from: https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/7085-Germany-s-renewables-paradox-a-warning-sign-for-China
From the hay field behind his house, Gunter Jurischka points out the solar panels glittering from the town’s rooftops and the towering wind turbines spinning lazily on the horizon.
Thanks to Germany’s now famous Energiewende (or “energy transition”) programme, this tiny village of 800 souls produces enough electricity to supply 15,000 households from wind, solar and biogas.
But in what should come as a warning signal to countries like China that are rapidly rolling out renewable energy projects, a ruling by the state government earlier this June promises to uproot these villagers. Proschim’s green dream will be bulldozed to make way for a 2,000-hectare, open-cast coal mine.
“We don’t have time for energy from the Middle Ages anymore,” said Jurischka, a weather-beaten former agronomist with piercing eyes and longish salt-and-pepper hair.
It’s beginning to look like he might be right.
Read full story on Chinadialogue
Shi, Fayong (2014). Improving local governance without challenging the State: the middle-class protest in urban China. China: An International Journal, 12 (1), pp. 153-162.
The first decade of the new century had seen an increase in rights-protection protests in urban China. The main participants of these protests were local middle-class residents who initiated protests to raise issues on specific economic and social problems as opposed to abstract sociopolitical issues. They have started to claim rights which were granted to citizens by law in principle but never actually delivered. The sociopolitical changes facilitate the emergence and success of middle-class protests, which in turn have contributed to the improvement of local governance and positively reshaped local politics. However, their influence on the macro political structure of China remains to be seen.
Full text available on Projet MUSE (restricted access)
Shanghai street stories = 上海街头故事. Retrieved 24 June, 2014, from http://shanghaistreetstories.com/
The pace of urban development in Shanghai is as swift as it is unrelenting and its impact is far-reaching in both the positive and negative.
I photograph and collect stories in Shanghai, seeking to capture the lives of ordinary Shanghainese and 外地人 or “waidiren” in the city, as well as the process behind the city’s rapid urbanisation.
My work is a mix of photojournalism and street photography. The former allows me to cover a wider gamut of topics such as old architecture, individual stories, lifestyle, while the latter is indicative of a style of photography I sometimes prefer.
For interviews I have given about photography, blogging and Shanghai in general can be found on the Published Work page.
To learn more about how the website is set up and the plugins that run the blog, read “The Anatomy of My Blog: An Amateur’s Tale (and Tips!)“.
Read the blog : http://shanghaistreetstories.com/
More information about the author and the blog itself
- Tay, S A. (2014, April 9). An urbanist’s guide to the best and worst of Shanghai. The Guardian. Retrieved 24 June, 2014, from http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/apr/09/shanghai-urban-guide-best-worst-china-city
Land use policy in China. Edited by Hualou Long . Special issue of Land Use Policy, 40, September 2014, pp. 1-146.
This themed issue of Land Use Policy builds mainly on papers presented at an international conference on ‘Land Use Issues and Policy in China under Rapid Rural and Urban Transformation’, convened by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China, in October 2012. The conference set out to share and promote new scientific findings from a range of disciplines that advance research on land use policy in China. The contributions to this themed issue provide conceptual–theoretical and empirical takes on the topic, around four main areas of interest to both researchers and policymakers: nation-wide land use issues, the Sloping Land Conversion Program, land engineering and land use, and land use transitions. Various land use issues have been associated with rapid urban–rural transformations in China, giving rise to formulation of new policies directly affecting land use. However, these have contributed to new land use problems due to the nature of the policies and the difficulties in policy implementation constrained by the special ‘dual-track’ structure of urban–rural development in China. In view of this, this themed edition makes a compelling call for more systematic research into the making and implementation of China’s land use policy. It also emphasizes the challenges for further research on land use policy in China.
Li, Shi (2014). Poverty reduction and effects of pro-poor policies in rural China. China & World Economy, 22, p. 22–41. Pre-published online: 12 March 2014. DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-124X.2014.12060.x
The present paper describes changes in poverty reduction in recent decades and the effects of income growth and inequality on poverty reduction in rural China. The paper also examines the main poverty alleviation policies implemented in rural areas over the past 10 years and assesses the effectiveness and efficiency of these policies from the perspective of targeting accuracy. It is found that China has achieved significant progress in rural poverty reduction in recent decades, although the speed of poverty reduction has varied from one period to another. The largest contribution to rural poverty reduction has been economic growth, which has been increasingly offset by the inequality effect on poverty reduction. In addition, poverty alleviation policies are effective, but not efficient.
Read full text article on Wiley Library Online (restricted access).
Photo taken on May 1st, 2014 in Nanjing East Road, Shanghai.
On Labour day (laodong jie － 劳动节), the streets of Shanghai teem with shoppers. In spite of the fact that it’s a festive day dedicated to workers, the retail industry won’t give up such a good day for business. An enduring proof of the consumer society, particularly on this side of China.
Call for Papers: International Conference on Migration, Borderlands and Development organized by the Institute of Ethnic Studies (INR) at Yunnan University and the Interculturalism, Migration and Minorities Research Centre (IMMRC) at the Catholic University Leuven in collaboration with the International Metropolis project, to be held at Yunnan University in Kunming, Yunnan, P.R. China, on April 17-18, 2014.
Aims and objectives
We are seeking critical and creative contributions focusing on the topics of migration, borderlands and development from a wide range of disciplines in social sciences and humanities. Within the migration/mobility contexts, borderlands and development are central interrelated concepts. Borderlands refer to both physical as well as imagined places. Borderlands emerge with border crossings by voluntary migrants in search of a better life.
Contrarily, its emergence might also be the unplanned outcome of political and economic crisis, securitization of borders, and restrictive migration and integration policies of nation states and changing into a temporary in-between buffer zone. Moreover, as imaginary places borderlands refer to the creative and political responses of people who are positioned in the margins of well-established majorities, and therefore in search of recognition. Therefore, an understanding of borderlands must incorporate a link between the emergence, flexibility, and changeability of borders and boundaries (constituting the borderlands), the mechanisms of maintenance and change, and processes of resistance, hybridization, and creativity. It must equally incorporate the variety of linkages between space, body, and objects. The nexus development and borderlands can lead to both human and regional development in bothmaterial and nonmaterial forms as a result of border crossings and borderland dynamics. These might lead to increased marginalization, but under particular circumstances it might also lead to new economic opportunities, such as transnational investments, transnational entrepreneurship, niche developments, etc. Such developmental dynamics evidently impact the well-being or the lack thereof of migrants.
The conference will address these issues, but will also interrogate local, regional and national policy interventions. Which policies at whatever side of the border, help foster the proliferation of economic opportunities? How do local, regional and national authorities channel transborder mobilities? What ethnic and national diversities are at
play in these borderlands and which policies contributes to the creation of a ‘diversity dividend’ of sorts?