Tag Archives: ruins

The political economy of urban ruins: redeveloping Shanghai

Ren, Xuefei (2014). The political economy of urban ruins : redeveloping Shanghai. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. DOI: 10.1111/1468-2427.12119. Prepublished online: 10 March 2014.

This essay analyzes the political economy of the urban ruins captured in Greg Girard’s photo album Phantom Shanghai. Rather than being marginal, irrelevant or merely objects for nostalgia, the ruins of buildings produced by real estate speculation offer crucial insights into the workings of the urban political economy and reflect wider trends of urban governance. Examining how building ruins come about in the first place and how they are represented in visual media can help us better understand the processes of urbanization and place making, and the central role of destruction in contemporary Chinese urbanism. This essay illustrates this point by analyzing the economic function, political legitimation and cultural significance of demolitions and ruins in urban China.



Monique Abud

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

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Global garbage: excess, waste, and abandonment in the contemporary city

Call for papers

Paris, June 12-13, 2014

Organized by the ASCA Cities Project in collaboration with SENAR and the Amsterdam Centre for Globalisation Studies, this interdisciplinary conference will bring together scholars from across the humanities and social sciences to explore the many ways in which garbage  in its diverse forms and articulations  is being produced, managed, experienced, imagined, circulated, concealed, and aestheticized in contemporary urban environments and across different creative and cultural practices. To what extent are contemporary cities becoming wastelands? In what ways are the global economics of excess and waste reshaping urban communities? How do the ever accelerating cycles of production, consumption, and disposal redirect urban flows of capital, commodities, data, and people? What new types and concepts of waste are produced by mechanisms of time-space compression and intensified global connectivity? How do imaginaries of trash or ruination figure in urban policy discourses and their counter-narratives? And what is the position of waste, dirt, and residue in a pervasive visual culture of excess?

Engaging with these sorts of questions, the conference will explore how, and under what conditions, contemporary forms/sites of excess, waste, and abandonment perpetuate  but also sometimes counter  the imbalances of power often associated with global cities.

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Jacqueline Nivard

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

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