Tag Archives: Community

Shanghai new towns

Martin Minost, « Harry den Hartog (ed), Shanghai new towns: searching for community and identity in a sprawling metropolis, », China Perspectives [Online], URL : http://chinaperspectives.revues.org/6497 1.

Shanghai new towns, edited by the Dutch architect Harry den Hartog, is interesting on two counts. To begin with, the 2010 book is the first – apart from individual articles – in English (it is bilingual, with Chinese text) to analytically deal with the Western-imitating architecture proliferating on the Chinese mainland since the early 2000s. Second, the book brings together articles by academics and experts all drawn from the domain of architecture and town planning.

However, the issue tackled is not that of architectural imports in China. What interests the authors is that of new towns, especially those built within Shanghai municipality. Analysing this urban object, the authors have tried to give an account of China’s current urbanisation, highlighting characteristics such as the context of state control during their construction, legacies from the past and their present influence, the working style of Chinese town planners, economic and urban planning ideologies, as well as the intricacies of the decision-making and planning processes. The book has both a theoretical aspect as well as practical and pedagogic ambition: minutely observed new towns are elevated to the rank of case studies; and the information the authors draw from the construction process should help Western architects and town planners to learn how to work with their Chinese counterparts, on what basis, using which theories and ideologies, and thus how to cooperate with them.

The book contains 11 articles, four of them written by den Hartog, grouped in four parts separated by mostly photographic dossiers including two by professional photographers. This multiplicity of contributors and forms of analysis, both written and visual, lends to the study a rich source of information, crucial for anyone interested, within the field of urban studies, in the initial process of urbanisation, projects, plans, decisions, and the start of construction. The trans-disciplinary studies thus seek to bring exhaustive knowledge of the subject, but the final product is an uneven work due to the differences between contributions.

Read the full text

  1. Martin Minost is a contractual doctoral candidate in social anthropology and ethnology at the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences/EHESS, Paris, affiliated with the Research Centre for Modern and Contemporary China []

Jacqueline Nivard

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

More Posts - Website

Community garden, micro-agriculture in cities


近年来Community garden,随着中国城镇化的快速发展,农业和城市的关系逐渐在转型。大量农村人口迁往城镇,加速了城镇化发展过程,虽然带来了经济上的富裕,但也带来了污染,人与人间疏离化和原子化等诸多新问题。近年来,社区农圃的概念在各国兴起,透过由居民自发组织起来的团体,自行管理运作,藉由规模小、低碳环保的微型农业方式,促进人与人间的交流互动,打破彼此间的隔阂。

社区农圃的概念主要源自几个不同的阶段1 :

  • 1890年代的底特律,受到「文明美化运动 (Civic beautification movement)」影响,社会学家、教育改革家开始透过社区农圃的方式,提供失业者、青年农业技术上的知识传授。
  • 1918年一次大战期间,政府倡导社区农圃的概念,提供国家农产品资源。
  • 1930年经济大恐慌时期,社区农圃提供失业者自给食物来源。在此时期,美国的私人机构、州与地方政府纷纷提供园地带人民种植农作物。
  • 1940年二次大战期间,光荣农圃(Victory Garden)的概念兴起,目的是要增加战争时期的人民日常的食物供给,提倡透过庭园改造来种植作物。虽然战后只有少数的社区农圃被保留下来,但是仍带给往后社区农圃概念重新被提倡的起源。
  • 到了1970年,随着美国城市的发展,人与人间的关系开始疏离,为了提倡对于环境的关注并且敦亲睦邻,社区农圃的概念又再一次兴起。城市里不同的机构组织提供各类型的补助项目,协助人民取得土地,建造花园和发展教育计划。

现在,社区农团在美国超过2千个社区农圃,纽约市就有超过 750 个社区农圃2。台湾、日本、法国、加拿大都有自己的「市民农园」或「都市农业」3



  1. The history of community gardening http://extension.missouri.edu/p/MP906-4 accessed on 14 october, 2013 []
  2. Find a community garden near you with our Bi-National Community Garden Database http://acga.localharvest.org/search.jsp?lat=39.679462&lon=-78.90191&scale=4 accessed on 14 october, 2013 []
  3. Shequ nongye http://www.producegreen.org.hk/agronomy_08.htm accessed on 14 october, 2013 []

Chi-Han Ai

Ph.D. candidate of EHESS ( École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris) focusing on regional economic development in China and Taiwan.

More Posts