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what if you built the whole mass of western europe in 20 years?

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what if 400 million farmers then moved in? what if it happened between now and 2020?

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what would it look like? how would it work? would it be easy to get around?
 
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would there be jobs? would it be dense? green?

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would you be able to go to sleep at night?


 
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and if you did, would you dream of somewhere else ?


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certainty dream

The Chinese Dream


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a society under construction

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010 Publishers, Rotterdam 2008

neville mars adrian hornsby

F DC

ATION FOUND CITY NAMIC DY

China is not arranged in any necessary order, but an experience of China must start in one place, and then move on to somewhere else. Similarly with this book, there is no single throughroute. It is the product of numerous authors from divers fields all confronted with the same three items: China, urbanization, and the year 2020. Transecting the different chapters is a lexicon of
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common terms and key concepts, and hyperlinks which cross-connect passages and images. A red asterisk (*) indicates a link, referring readers either to the glossary at the back of the book (DATAHUB), or elsewhere in the body. Relevant asterisked terms are listed on the bottom of the right hand page, with coordinates to glossary terms [glo], images [img], and text [txt].
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G
sOCIeTY sCAle DreAM

contents

1. INTRODUCTION Neville Mars / Adrian Hornsby 2. PUC* Saskia Vendel 3. KEEP EM COMING Adrian Hornsby, quotes Bert de Muynck IMAGE BLOCK: PEOPLE AND THE DREAM 4. CHINAS ENERGY FIX Louis Coulomb 5. THE GREEN EDGE* Erich W. Schienke Ph.D., Neville Mars 6. LOCKDOWN* Neville Mars, Saskia Vendel 7. HEY FUCK! WHERED THE CITY GO? Adrian Hornsby IMAGE BLOCK: CHANGING LANDSCAPES 8. BBT arch. Nevile Mars, Saskia Vendel, int. Adrian Hornsby, Charlie Koolhaas 9. POLICY SPRAWL* Chang Liu IMAGE BLOCK: FLOATING VILLAGE 10. DYNAMIC DENSITY* Neville Mars, Adrian Hornsby, research Elaine Ho, Yue Hongdan 11. D-RAIL arch. Neville Mars, Brice Bignami, text Adrian Hornsby 12. CONSUMURBATION* Austin Kilroy IMAGE BLOCK: CHONGQING SUPERBLOCK 13. UTOPIAN CITIES Pan Wei, free trns. Adrian Hornsby, Yue Xiao 14. CRACKING CREATIVITY! Jeanne-Marie Gescher OBE, Philip Dodd / Adrian Hornsby, Neville Mars 15. CITIES WITHOUT HISTORY Neville Mars 16. TOO MUCH JOY AND SPLENDOR Martijn de Waal IMAGE BLOCK: INTERIOR PERSPECTIVE Marrigje de Maar 17. MY DREAM SURVEY Adrian Hornsby, Neville Mars

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UrbAN plANNINg sCAle DreAM

30 90 118 148 184

UrbAN plANNINg sCAle DreAM

eNergY sCAle DreAM

eCOlOgY sCAle DreAM

UrbAN plANNINg sCAle DreAM

pOlITICs sCAle DreAM

198 250 286 338 424

ArChITeCTUre sCAle DreAM

pOlITICs sCAle DreAM

UrbAN plANNINg sCAle DreAM

ArChITeCTUre sCAle DreAM

eCONOMICs sCAle DreAM

440 466 478 520 538


pOlITICs sCAle DreAM

sOCIeTY sCAle DreAM

ArChITeCTUre sCAle DreAM

sOCIeTY sCAle DreAM

UrbAN plANNINg sCAle DreAM

606

Certainty Person

National Dream

Regional

Block

City

DATAHUB 640 QUOTES N NOTES, MAPRINGS END: PERCEIVED DENSITY BUR B MA GLOSSARY / FROM LIPSTICK TO SKYSCRAPER Reineke Otten GAZI NE LOOK MA! NO HIERARCHY Quinn Commendant
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[UrbAN plANNINg]
C D

Keep Em Coming p.90

PUC* p.30

[eCOlOgY]
H

IO NAT [

N]

Map Rings p.648 The Green Edge* p.148

Dynamic Density* p.338

[re
Y CIT [

N gIO

Introduction p.20

Lockdown* p.184 Chongqing Superblock p.458

[ArChITeCTUre]
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D-rail p.424

My Dream Survey p.606

Cities Without History p.520

BBT p.250

Perceived Density p.652

[IND
Interior Perspective p.600

Iv

A IDU

l]

C blO

k]

[sOCIeTY]

Cracking Creativity! p.478

Too Much Joy and Splendor p.538

People and the Dream p.104

Hey fuck, whered the city go? p.198

Floating Village p.328


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Utopian Cities p.466

Changing Landscapes p.234

[eNergY]
Chinas Energy Fix p.118 Glossary p.672 Look Ma! No Hierarchy p.702

Consumurbation* p.440

[pOlITICs]
Policy Sprawl* p.286 Quotes n Notes p.642

[OTher]

BURB p.705

[eCONOMICs]

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the chinese dream:


DREAMING IS NOT A LUXURY. AROUND TWO HOURS EVERY NIGHT OUR BRAINS PRODUCE DREAMS. PRECISELY WHY IS NOT CLEAR, BUT THE GENERAL FUNCTIONS SEEM EVIDENT. DREAMS PROCESS OUR RECENT EXPERIENCES. DATA STORED IN OUR TEMPORARY MEMORY IS ENCODED AND TRANSFERRED TO BECOME PART OF THE NARRATIVE OF OUR LONG TERM MEMORY. THIS IS THE SYSTEMCHECK OF OUR MIND. CONSOLIDATING NEW DATA, IT FEEDS OUR UNDERSTANDING AND CONSTRUCTS OUR IDENTITY. EQUALLY, DREAMS WILL CONSIDER THE FUTURE. WHEN FACING IMPORTANT OR DIFFICULT MOMENTS, OUR DREAMS WILL SET THE STAGE TO ALLOW US A VIRTUAL TEST RUN. WE CAN PREPARE OURSELVES GENERATE NEW IDEAS IN ANTICIPATION OF CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES. DREAMS BECOME THE PLAYGROUND OF OUR DESIRES; A SAFE PLACE TO EXPRESS UNCHARTED URGES FOR WHICH THERE MAY BE NO ROOM IN WAKING LIFE. SOME DREAMS WILL BE REJECTED, WHILE OTHERS BECOME POWERFUL ASPIRATIONS THAT GIVE DIRECTION TO OUR DECISIONS. rise and shine: CHINA HAS BEEN UP FOR THREE DECADES. WITH DENG XIAOPINGS ACCESSION TO POWER, CHINA LAUNCHED ITS LAST AND BOLDEST DREAM: THE DREAM OF INDIVIDUAL PROSPERITY. IT OPENED ITS EYES TO AN ALTERNATIVE REALITY, ITS DOORS TO THE GLOBAL ECONOMY, AND CONFORMED TO MARKET PRAGMATISM TO REALIZE THIS DREAM. SINCE THEN, A SINGLE MASSIVE WAVE OF PROGRESS HAS KEPT THE ENTIRE NATION ON ITS FEET. THE SUCCESS HAS AMAZED FRIEND AND FOE. TODAY GETTING RICH IS GLORIOUS MAY HAVE LOST ITS APPEAL AS A PARTY SLOGAN, BUT IT HAS EXPANDED TO BECOME THE INTRINSIC MOTIVATION OF CHINAS ENTIRE POPULATION. SPREADING FAST BEYOND THE INITIAL TESTING GROUNDS OF THE SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES, THE GROWING PROSPERITY HAS NURTURED A SOLID AND CONSIDERABLE MIDDLE CLASS AND SPURRED THE CONSTRUCTION OF INDUSTRY AND CITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THESE CITIES ARE THE TRADEMARKS OF MODERN CHINA, THE SUBJECT OF THIS BOOK, AND THE OBJECTIVE OF THE CHINESE DREAM: A SOCIETY OF MIDDLE CLASS CONSUMERS SETTLED IN MODERN CITIES. THE ASPIRATIONAL DRIVE OF INDIVIDUALS SHAPING CONTEMPORARY URBANIZATION RESEMBLES THE AMERICAN DREAM OF THE FIFTIES, AND WITH RURAL POPULATIONS IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD FLOCKING TOGETHER IN MEGASLUMS, THIS MUST BE THE CORE COMPONENT OF THE GLOBAL DREAM. BUT WHAT IS THE FORM OF THE MODERN CITY? HOW CAN IT BE REALIZED? AND WHAT SOCIETY DOES IT ENGENDER? fearful symmetry: THE PRECISE TRANSLATION OF THE BEIJING 2008 OLYMPIC SLOGAN IS ONE SAME WORLD, ONE SAME DREAM. TO CHINESE PEOPLE ITS INTERPRETATION IS OBVIOUS: WE CAN OBTAIN THE SAME LIVING COMFORTS AS THE WEST, AND THE BEIJING OLYMPICS WILL SHOW THIS TO THE WORLD. FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE DREAM, THE TV COMMERCIALS OF CARS GLIDING PAST A BACKDROP OF SHINY NEW TOWERS IS PROOF THAT (THIS TIME) IT IS REAL. CONFRONTED WITH SO MUCH PROGRESS, QUESTIONING THE QUALITY OF THE FUTURE SEEMS SENSELESS. THE CRUDEST FORM OF TWENTIETH CENTURY MODERNITY IS ON OFFER, AT A TIME WHEN THE DEVELOPED WORLD HAS COME TO ACKNOWLEDGE ITS SHORTCOMINGS. MESMERIZED BY NEW FOUND CONSUMERISM, THE YOUNG MIDDLE CLASS LOOKS AHEAD AND MARCHES ON. THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT ON THE OTHER HAND IS INCREASINGLY AWARE THAT THIS PASSIONATE ADOPTION OF WESTERN-STYLE PROGRESS CAN NO LONGER SUFFICE. THE IMMINENT DANGERS: IT WILL EXCLUDE THE BULK OF CHINAS CITIZENS FROM MUCH OF THE PROGRESS BEING MADE AND PRESENT THE POOREST WITH THE BILL FOR ITS RAMPANT ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION. YET THE ONGOING ECONOMIC BOOM HAS INSTILLED ITS LEADERS WITH A TOWERING CONFIDENCE TO RESPOND. THE LATEST TECHNIQUES FROM THE WEST ARE ACQUIRED THE NEWEST ARCHITECTURE, THE FRESHEST BIOTECHNOLOGY. IN REALITY THE UNIQUE CONDITIONS CONTEMPORARY CHINA FACES DEMAND NEW PARADIGMS. HALF WAY DOWN THE PATH OF MODERNIZATION THE HAZARDS OF NOT DREAMING ARE REVEALING THEMSELVES. CHINAS BOOM EXPERIENCES HAVENT MOVED BEYOND THE SHORT TERM MEMORY. THERE HAS BEEN NO OPPORTUNITY TO ASSESS THE PRODUCTS OF A SOCIALIST MARKET ECONOMY, SIMPLY NO TIME TO REFLECT ON ITS OUTCOME. THE CHINESE DREAM IS NOT BEING UPDATED. INSTEAD EVERY NEW PROBLEM MANY OF WHICH PRESENT THEMSELVES ON A SCALE PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN IS SIMPLY COUNTERED WITH A PLAN FOR ITS REMOVAL BY THE YEAR 2020, 2030 OR 2050. IN PERFECT SYMMETRY ALL CONTEMPORARY SHORTCOMINGS ARE DIRECTLY MIRRORED TO BECOME OUTSTANDING OBJECTIVES FOR

a society under construction


the face of china: sly rise / one world one dream In 1978 China set aside the ideological struggle for global socialism, and turned instead to the more practical business of tending its own garden. Ironically this would-be parochialism of intent has thrown China onto the world stage in a much bigger and more powerful way than anything ever witnessed throughout the preceding centuries of empire and dictatorial zeal. China continues to protest the doctrine of harmony, peace, and non-intervention a rise as though on the quiet but as the rest of the world beholds Chinas economic miracle, its surge in defense spending (outpacing roaring GDP), its sophisticated space program (not without military implications), its monster move into global trade (by the time you read this, China is almost certainly the worlds number one exporter), its impact upon the environment (likewise for energy consumption, with CO2 emissions set to exceed the US sometime before 2010), and its undeniable hand in geopolitical sore spots (e.g. Sudan, Iran, Burma), the world is starting to gasp, No fair!. China may be pursuing a peaceful rise it is also doing an awful lot else. You cannot become a highly internationalized top-four global economy without major global impacts, and as a result, the past five years in particular in the West have been ones of avid China-watching. The 2008
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Beijing Olympics has been unofficially billed as Chinas coming out party a phrase which belies a widely felt suspicion that China is still somehow in. Everybody knows China is growing, but to become what? What is the Chinese Dream? Western speculation upon this point seems to traverse a void. The media supplies stories from either extreme of Chinas rise, indulging on the one hand the narcissistic fantasies of Shanghai-Shenzhen ultramodernism, and on the other its own cultivated outrage at worker abuse horror shops. But these gaudy limits are given precious little by way of infill by the state itself. Instead the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) pursues a strict PR policy of maximum inscrutability. We knew Ronald Reagan liked jelly beans, Bill Clinton blow jobs; and that George W. Bush plays golf. But what is Hu Jintao like? Chinese official-speak seems to emanate from a core of indefatigable closed handedness: there is the wall of statistics, the effacement of personality, and the reiteration of such intractable slogans as: HOLD ALOFT THE BANNER OF SOCIALISM WITH DISTINCT CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS, PURSUE THE COURSE OF SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENT, IMPLEMENT SOCIALIST DEMOCRACY etc. Words are spoken, but nobody seems to be remotely clear upon what has been said. All the while the essential question looms ever larger

For the most part, the world feels it knows the American Dream. It is clearly founded upon the pluralistic ideal of a liberated people, who, in pride of their independence, list among their inalienable rights both freedom and the pursuit of happiness. It is highly individualistic, deeply antiauthoritarian, unabashedly utopian, essentially Protestant, and closely attuned to the principles of self-interest upon which capitalism rests. It has, over the past century, led its free individuals in their motor cars out into an enormously gas-guzzling landscape of single house plots with flagpoles, porchswings, and driving-distance retail marts. It has also, and less comfortably, led its government into a painful and prolonged war in Iraq, bringing on accusations of interventionist aggression and cultural and militaristic imperialism everything the Dream once stood against. But however creaky the present, the ideology holds fast, and is propounded from the bowsprit: freedom, democracy, (neo)liberal capitalism, opened markets, and free (if with subsidies) trade. For the CCP identity is not so easy. For a start, there is an essential discord to any socialist revolutionary party which promotes social harmony while exhorting some people to get rich quicker than others. This root contradiction, in combination with a degree of enforced reticence regarding the global demise of socialism, goes some way toward explaining the CCPs adamantine, if charmless, inwardness. But while the political face of China has remained sturdily impassive, the body has been remarkably open. After 30 years in Mao suits, post-1978 China has welcomed a terrific influx of foreign cultural influences, and

changes to wealth and lifestyles have far outpaced explicit formulations of what the country stands for or who its people are. Indeed the sheer pace of physical change has tempted numerous Western critics to posit a Chinese identity crisis a fragile dragon which has become somehow lost or confused in the furious dust clouds of the construction boom or the artificial lights of new megamalls a nation still ailing from recent turbulent history, and riddled with insecurities about its multi-ethnic composition, its enormous size, its questionable territories (Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwan, Inner Mongolia), its demographics distorted by the one child policy in the midst of which (the critics continue), is a youth growing up in something between a cultural wasteland and a vacuum, in which values are being replaced by the most superficial consumer desires for bubble gum, mp3 players, and crass fake Westernism. The suggestion that pop is somehow melting the minds of a generation or country is of course no more new than it is accurate. However, it seems to have found fresh throat in relation to China, especially on the subject of the starkly new pop-modernist cities which have either appeared out of seeming nowheres (the fishing village that used to be Shenzhen), or have summarily razed previous traditional areas in order to bounce into being. The immediate assumption is that much of the newness has come at the expense of oldness, and the West, which has always set such high value on its own architectural heritage, has been particularly appalled by acts of wholesale demolition.

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THE FUTURE. CHINA NOW BOASTS RADICAL SCHEMES FOR (ALMOST) ALL ASPECTS OF SOCIETY, FROM WELFARE TO TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION, ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY AND MOON LANDINGS. IF ACHIEVED CHINA WILL BECOME NOT JUST A SUPERPOWER, BUT THE WORLDS MOST ADVANCED NATION. THE WEST MUST HOLD ITS BREATH AND BELIEVE, IF ONLY FOR A LACK OF ALTERNATIVES. scattered dreams: WITNESSING CHINAS MIRACLE ON A DAILY BASIS, THE CONTRAST BETWEEN THE CONTEMPORARY BIG HAZARDS AND CHINAS BIG HOPES FOR 2020 AND BEYOND ISNT QUITE SO STARK. RESPONDING TO CRISIS HAS BEEN KEY TO CHINAS SUCCESS. FROM THE INCEPTION OF REFORM, EVERY SUCCESSIVE WAVE OF CHANGE HAS COME OUT OF A DISASTER PREDICAMENT. WITHOUT A BLUEPRINT FOR THE SOCIALIST MARKET ECONOMY, TRANSITION HAS BEEN A BUMPY RIDE. WITHIN YEARS OF LOSING CENTRAL FUNDING, LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FOUND THEMSELVES CLOSE TO BANKRUPTCY. WITHIN ANOTHER FEW YEARS THE LAND REFORMS PUT IN PLACE TO ALLOW LOCAL

GOVERNMENTS TO LEASE AND DEVELOP AREAS UNDER THEIR JURISDICTION UNLOCKED THE WORLDS MOST RAMPANT BUILDING FRENZY. THE 89 UPRISING DID NOT YIELD ANY SUBSTANTIAL POLITICAL REFORM, BUT FURTHER ENCOURAGING ENTREPRENEURIALISM HAS UNLEASHED THE WORLDS LARGEST CONSUMER MARKET. URBAN DEVELOPMENT HAS BEEN PRAGMATIC AND OFTEN RELENTLESS. EMPLOYED AS A POLITICAL TOOL IT HAS ALSO BECOME INCREASINGLY STREAMLINED. THE SOCIALIST MARKET HYBRID CAN EXPEDITE ANY PROCEDURE, SWITCHING FREELY BETWEEN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE OPERATIONS. THE MAOIST DREAM OF COLLECTIVE OWNERSHIP IS AUCTIONED OFF IN BITS TO A MASS OF COMPANIES AND INDIVIDUALS WRESTLING FOR SUPREMACY OR SURVIVAL. FROM THE TOP, THE STATE LAUNCHES ITS MEGA PROJECTS, WHILE SOLO DEVELOPERS SEAR HOLES INTO THE ONCE COMMUNAL CARPET TO CREATE PRISTINE PATCHES FOR HASSLE-FREE PRIVATIZATION. ACCORDING TO THE ONE-STEP-UP MODEL, BOTTOM-LEVEL MIGRANT WORKERS SEND WAGES BACK HOME TO BUILD IN THE VILLAGE, WHILE URBANITES BUY THEIR FIRST APARTMENT IN THE CITY. PLOT BY PLOT URBANIZATION FACILITATES A CONTROLLED UNRAVELING OF CAPITALISM WITH CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS.

BY 2020, CHINA WILL COMPLETE THE BUILDING OF A COMFORTABLE SOCIETY CITIES WILL LEAD THE WAY PREMIER WEN JIABAO leapfrog: THE WORLD OBSERVES THE CHINESE DREAM IN ANXIETY AND WITH ANTICIPATION. SET AGAINST A BACKDROP OF DIMINISHING RESOURCES AND BLEAK PROGNOSTICATIONS FOR THE CAPITAL MARKETS, THE EMERGING ECONOMIES ARE WHERE THE BIG GAINS ARE TO BE MADE. IT IS THE ABSENCE OF A MATURE POWER GRID, THE LOWER CURRENT LEVELS OF URBANIZATION, THE LACK OF CARS AND SO ON, THAT SUDDENLY OFFER HOPE. LEAPFROG DEVELOPMENT, SO OFTEN VAUNTED YET SELDOM OBSERVED, IS TODAY DEMANDED FROM CHINA IN ORDER TO ALIGN THE COURSE OF PROGRESS WITH GOALS FOR GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY. BIG SOLUTIONS ARE REQUIRED TO MOVE BEYOND SUCH FUEL-DEPENDENT LANDSCAPES AS THOSE PRODUCED BY THE AMERICAN DREAM. INDEED, TO LEAPFROG EFFECTIVELY, THIS KNOWLEDGE MUST BE FOUND AND IMPLEMENTED NATIONWIDE AND NOW. the 400 fetish: IN 2001 JUST SUCH A RADICAL PLAN FOR LEAPFROG URBANIZATION CAME FROM WITHIN CHINA. THE THEN STATE MINISTER OF CIVIL AFFAIRS, DOJE CERING, PROPOSED THE CONSTRUCTION OF 400 NEW CITIES BY THE YEAR 2020, OR 20 NEW CITIES PER YEAR OF ABOUT 1 MILLION RESIDENTS EACH. THIS GRANDIOSE SCHEME AIMED TO ACCOMMODATE THE PROJECTED FLOOD OF RURAL MIGRANTS AND SPRING-

BOARD CHINA TO THE LEVEL OF A MODEL INDUSTRIALIZED NATION. THE OBSCENE AMOUNT OF NEWNESS BOTH SHOCKED AND MESMERIZED ME. THE DESIRE TO CONCEIVE A COMPLETE URBAN SYSTEM IS HIGHLY SEDUCTIVE. IN THEORY, A CITY BUILT AT ONCE COULD BE FREE FROM ALL THE ACCUMULATED PROBLEMS AND CLUTTER, AND OUTSMART THE PREDICAMENTS AGEING CITIES HAVE BEEN STRUGGLING WITH. ITS AN ENTICING AND OSTENSIBLY IMPOSSIBLE IDEA, ESPECIALLY WHEN MULTIPLIED BY 400. THE PROPOSAL BECAME THE STARTING POINT FOR THE DCFS RESEARCH. SOON WE FOUND REALITY IS ALL TOO OFTEN MORE EXTREME THAN CHINAS BIG AMBITIONS. DURING THE PERIOD 19781998 CHINA REALIZED MORE THAN 400 CITIES. THEN, WHILE URBANIZATION CONTINUED TO ACCELERATE, SUDDENLY NO NEW CITIES WERE RECORDED. THE BIRTH OF A CHINESE CITY IS A MATTER OF POLICY. DETAILED CRITERIA ARE FORMULATED THAT PRESCRIBE THE RATIO OF URBAN TO RURAL INHABITANTS IN AN AREA, AND ITS RURAL TO URBAN ECONOMIC OUTPUT. THIS IS CLEAR-CUT, BUT IT OFTEN DESCRIBES ENVIRONMENTS AT ODDS WITH OUR UNDERSTANDING OF A CITY. DISPERSED SEMI-URBANIZED REGIONS WILL OBTAIN CITY STATUS, WHILE DENSELY POPULATED INDUSTRIAL CENTERS ARE OVERLOOKED. MOREOVER, THE REGULATIONS ARE EASILY ALTERED. THE CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE IN CHINA IS GEARED TOWARDS THE CONSTRUCTION OF NEW CITIES BUT PREFERABLY WITHOUT GRANTING EXPENSIVE CITY BENEFITS OR LOOSING CENTRAL CONTROL.

This interpretation of the new Chinese city as an expression of cultural annihilation / identity loss misses two critical points about China. Firstly there is the comparatively lower status of architecture within Chinese history, which is focused less on city states, and more, given the history of political instability, on portable wealth forms. Notably, historically significant temples are often valued for their site rather than for the structure itself, which may have been knocked down and rebuilt multiple times over many centuries. It is striking that the Forbidden City in Beijing, probably Chinas architectural apogee, is much more a complex reticulation of courtyards, gates and axes than an expression of built volumes or created interiors. The key interest is the capture, division and rationalization of external space aims quintessentially different from those driving the massive stone edifices and august drawing rooms of architecturally proud imperial Europe. Secondly, while architectural tradition may occupy a relatively low position in China, tradition itself, indeed possibly to the detriment of innovation, has long been exalted,1 and China long wedded to the notion of itself as an ancient and culturally dominant civilization. In many ways the reinstatement of China upon the global stage is seen by the Chinese as no more than a setting right of a weak two centuries a view which the CCP is no stranger to as it consciously deploys traditional harmony rhetoric,2 both to legitimize its own leadership (drawing a perverse line from feudalism to Communism with Chinese Characteristics), and to encourage the strong sense of common history


and nationhood which is sweeping across China today. What the Western fantasy of a China undergoing identity erasure instead reveals is a deep identity crisis within the Western world when confronted by this huge, closed, red alien rising. There is a sense that world order is sliding away from what has been, since the outset of industrialization, an essentially Anglo-Saxon hegemony, and a terrible anxiety gathers as it goes. To further compound the distress, this acute external probing of global power structures comes at a time when the West is suffering another identity crisis entirely on its own front: an EU which keeps gagging on its constitution, a US which once so confident of being the best place to live on earth is becoming increasingly aware of its unpopularity, the threat of global terrorism, the quandary of immigration, the tangibly fragile planet which seems to be sitting, regrettably, in a greenhouse almost entirely of the G8s making all this at the same time that Western populations themselves are getting famously addled about who they are on an individual level, and resorting more and more to antidepressants and comfort eating . The sickeningly fat, threatened and unhappy West now turns to China, points the finger, and croaks, You have an identity problem.

World One Same Dream, is in itself with its distinctly Chinese flair for concision a perfect expression of CCP governance: one same party which unilaterally sets the course of reform for one same nation. In frank opposition to the pluralist American Dream of all people free to pursue their own ideas, the Chinese Dream is of 1.3 billion people all engaged in one same mission, and pursuing one same vision. Over the past 30 years the single unequivocal driving force which has coordinated all efforts and motivated all policy has indeed been one same principle: maximize economic growth.
3 1.12 (1978) x 1.08 (1979) x 1.08 (1980) x 1.05 (1981) x 1.09 (1982) x 1.11 (1983) x 1.15 (1984) x 1.14 (1985) x 1.09 (1986) x 1.12 (1987) x 1.11 (1988) x 1.04 (1989) x 1.04 (1990) x 1.09 (1991) x 1.14 (1992) x 1.14 (1993) x 1.13 (1994) x 1.11 1 Indeed the importance of tradition is structurally embedded into tradition itself, through Confucian stress upon loyalty (to parents and thus to past), and the Taoist dictum to Let your wheels move only along old ruts. (1995) x 1.10 (1996) x 1.09 (1997) x 1.08 (1998) x 1.08 (1999) x 1.08 (2000) x 1.08 (2001) x 1.09 (2002) x 1.10 (2003) x 1.10 (2004) x 1.10 (2005) x 1.11 (2006) = 14.88 4 This is something the bank holds and receives a small return on, but cannot cash. The money is effectively sterilized, hence the term.

and the mid 40s for a decade. If you take the position that the purpose of raising GDP is to enable people to have more money to spend on improving their lives, this seems perverse. The super-saver policy of amassing money to stuff mattresses is hard work for small gain, and yet this is what the Chinese seem to be engaged in. The first of Chinas super-savers is the government, which has accumulated some US$1.7 trillion in foreign exchange reserves the largest such reserve in the world. This is money which simply never enters the economy. It happens like this: an export is paid for in dollars, the dollars are passed on to the bank, and the bank is obliged to hand them over to the government in exchange for a low yielding sterilization note.4 The government then buys low yielding dollar treasury bonds, which it stockpiles, while the people who have been working so hard in Chinas famous sweatshops to produce the exports never see the money. The scale of this operation is huge in 2006 China produced toward US$1tr in exports, of which US$400bn (i.e. 40%) wound up in foreign exchange reserves. US$1.7tr is comfortably in excess of US$1,000 for every person in China. Considering that GDP per capita is still hovering around US$2,000, this seems to be saving in excess of prudence. The 20 million Chinese still living on less than US$2/day, if told their government had this much money stashed away on their behalf but wasnt releasing it, might legitimately say, Hey! I could really use a thousand bucks. Worse still, its a thousand bucks which is going to be worth a lot

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economic growth:3 black or white? Chinas rise is the most successful humanitarian project ever to have taken place. Never before have so many people been lifted out of extreme poverty in so short a space of time. Estimates vary, but it is on the scale of 400 million Chinese poor raised above the US$1/day line in 28 years. In that time, GDP has risen in real terms by a factor of more than 14, making China the fourth largest economy in the world (some one fifth the size of the US). If current growth rates continue, China will outsize the US in the next 20 to 30 years. The economic growth part of the story is well known. The relationship between current growth and popular benefits is not so black and white. What is less obvious, but perhaps even more astonishing, is the growth in savings that has accompanied Chinas soaring earnings. In 2006 these stood at over 50% of GDP, having hovered between the high 30s

Hilariously, China has been perfectly up front about its identity all 2 The CCPs promulgation of the along. The Olympic slogan, officially rendered into English as One World harmonious society clearly echoes One Dream, though a more faithful translation would read One Same Confucian ideals and language.

slick cities: OUTSIDE OF THE OFFICIAL RECORDS AROUND ONE HUNDRED NEW TOWNS OF SUBSTANTIAL SIZE HAVE MUSHROOMED ACROSS CHINA IN THE LAST DECADE IN THE FORM OF MINING-TOWNS, TOURIST TOWNS, SUBURBAN ENCLAVES, FACTORY VILLAGES, THEMED AND CONCEPT TOWNS, AND MILITARY SETTLEMENTS. THEY EMERGE IN DIFFERENT FORMS, SOMETIMES AS INDEPENDENT ENTITIES, SOMETIMES AS PART OF A LARGER URBAN STRUCTURE, BUT ALWAYS CLEARLY DELINEATED FROM THE PREEXISTING. INCREASINGLY THESE ARE SLICK CITIES CLEAN RESIDENTIAL STRONGHOLDS FORTIFIED AGAINST THEIR MUDDLED SURROUNDINGS. COMPARED TO THEIR PREDECESSORS, SLICK CITIES LOOK AND FEEL SMOOTH. BUT THERE IS A PRICE TO PAY. SLICK CITIES ARE BY NATURE STATIC. THEIR WALLED OFF SPACE IS UNYIELDING TO CHANGE. THE PUBLIC DOMAIN IS REDUCED TO THE VOIDS IN BETWEEN THE BUILDINGS. EXPLODED IN SIZE, THEIR ARCHITECTURE NEGATES THE NECESSITY FOR PLANNING BEYOND CONNECTING ARTERIES. THE STOREFRONT, THE INTERFACE OF THE CITY, IS BLINDED. THE STREETS, ONCE THE VIBRANT DOMAIN OF PUBLIC LIFE, ARE REDUCED TO TECHNOCRATIC TRANSIT SPACE. URBAN LIFE AS WE KNEW IT, SO DEPENDENT ON HUMAN INTERACTION IS DISSOLVED. NOW FEAR HAS ENTERED THE PLANNING PROCEDURES. THE CONGESTED POINTS ARE CROWD-MANAGED WITH THE INSERTION OF EVER LARGER PLAZAS AND WALKWAYS. PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC AND CARS ALIKE FIND THEMSELVES HURTLED THROUGH

VOIDS AND HIGHWAYS UNSUPPORTED BY THE LARGER NETWORK. CONGESTION IS INEVITABLE; HUMAN ENCOUNTERS UNLIKELY. THE FABRIC OF THE SLICK CITY IS STRETCHED APART. PLANNING HAS BECOME THE PRACTICE OF MOVING PEOPLE OUT AND VOIDS IN. THE EXPANSION AND FRAGMENTATION OF THE CITY ACCELERATES. split cities: CHINAS SLICK CITIES ARE LOATHED BUT ALSO LOVED, BOTH AT HOME AND ABROAD. EUROPEAN ARCHITECTS CONDEMN THEIR SOULLESS SPACES, WHILE AFRICA, THE MIDDLE-EAST AND INDIA HERALD THEIR SCALE, SPEED AND RATIONALIZED SHINE. THE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA HOPES TO MAKE MUMBAI (CURRENTLY A METROPOLIS COMPOSED OF 60% SLUMS) INTO A CITY JUST LIKE SHANGHAI BY 2010. BUT THERE IS LITTLE ROOM FOR NOSTALGIA, NOR REASON TO GLORIFY CHINESE MODERNITY. FOR MILLENNIA THE CHINESE EMPIRE HAS USED CITIES AS A MEANS TO SAFEGUARD THE VAST EXPANSE OF ITS RULE. AS PERFECT BEACONS OF POWER THEY EXPRESSED THE DISTANT CONTROL OF THE HARMONIOUS SOCIETY. METICULOUSLY DESIGNED AND WALLED OFF IN QUADRANTS WITH LITTLE REGARD FOR PUBLIC SPACE THEY COULD BE COPIED EFFICIENTLY WHERE NEEDED. THESE WERE THE FIRST FAST CITIES, THE FIRST SLICK CITIES. TODAY SUCCESSFUL GROWTH CONTINUES TO BE A PRECARIOUS BALANCING ACT BETWEEN TIGHT CONTROL AND HECTIC RELEASE. EXCLUSIVE COMPOUNDS TEMPORARILY PUSH INFORMAL GROWTH ASIDE, WHILE IN REALITY THE WALLED ENCLAVES ARE ENGULFED BY THE VILLAGES OF THE CONSTRUCTION

WORKERS WHO BUILT THEM. SLICK CITIES NATURALLY GENERATE SCHIZOPHRENIC URBAN GROWTH. ACROSS THE RIVER OR TRAIN TRACK ON AN EMPTY PLOT OF LAND THE TOWN IS REINVENTED FROM SCRATCH. SELF-CONTAINED DESIGNS ARE IMPLEMENTED THAT IGNORE ALL PREVIOUS INCARNATIONS. A SPLIT CITY IS BORN: THE NEW CENTER RAPIDLY TURNS ITS BACK ON THE OLD CORE. PROMINENT SPLIT CITY MODELS INCLUDE: THE VERTICAL CITY (NEW LOOKS DOWN OVER OLD), THE RING CITY (OLD IS ENCIRCLED BY NEW), SPRAWL CITY (NEW SCATTERS AND FLEES FROM OLD) AND THE BRAND NEW CITY. THE MOST RECENT WAVE OF RESIDENTIAL SATELLITES ARE ACTIVELY BRANDED AND MARKETED AS NEW CITIES.

city organics: THE GOAL TO BUILD 400 NEW CITIES IN 20 YEARS IS NOT QUITE AS ABSURD AS THE ASPIRATION TO ATTEMPT THEIR DESIGN. ANY TRADITIONAL NOTION OF PLANNING WILL BE INADEQUATE WHEN URBANIZATION OCCURS FASTER THAN PLANNERS CAN MAP. IT IS DRIVEN BY CONSTRUCTIONS AT THE TWO ENDS OF THE SPECTRUM: THE MACRO-PLANNED AND THE MICRO-ORGANIC. THE DESIGNER IS PRESENTED WITH A FRAUGHT DILEMMA TO PURSUE THE CLEAN MODERNITY OF THE ECONOMIC

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT DISTINCTION WHEN IN EFFECT EVERY TOWN, CITY AND METROPOLIS IN CHINA IS NEW. EVEN EXISTING CITIES ARE REGARDED AS TABULA RASAE WAITING TO BE CLEARED.

MIRACLE, OR TO STIMULATE THE HUMAN VIBRANCY OF CHINESE ENTREPRENEURIALISM. BUT THIS IS NO MORE THAN THE ILLUSION OF CHOICE. BOTH FORMS FEAR EACH OTHER YET FEED OFF EACH OTHER. WHILE WE DELIBERATE, AGGREGATED PROJECTS GROW THE URBAN LANDSCAPE IN THE FORM OF MORE MARKETDRIVEN UNINTENTIONAL DEVELOPMENT, OR MUD*.

less fairly soon. To be keeping US$1.7tr in low yielding dollar bonds at a time when the dollar is entering what looks to be a long term wobble, and may be as much as 20% over-valued, while the RMB is perhaps 20% undervalued, seems perplexing. If exchange rates flatten out, China is set to straight lose over US$400bn. The reason for the governments assiduous dollar-mopping operations has been its determination to keep the RMB cheap. By sterilizing all the foreign currency, the RMB is maintained at an artificially low level, thus maximizing the attractiveness of Chinas exports. The backbite is that while exports boom, people within China dont have money to spend, banks lack capital to lend, and the internal economy is stifled. Bizarrely the people who have really benefited from this tactic over the last ten years have been the Europeans and Americans, who have enjoyed low levels of inflation, and with the inflow of terrifically cheap Chinese products, have been comfortably curling up on sofas in US$1 t-shirts with US$3 toys watching dvds on US$15 players. Now, as Chinese demand for imports is hitting truly global levels and pushing commodity prices up, the doggedly low RMB only passes this burden on to the Chinese in the form of inflation (already starting to happen with the consumer price index for 2007 rising by about 7%). The true topsy-turviness of the foreign currency reserve is that in effect, the poor country which is growing fast and so should be


borrowing (investing in its own capacity to make money) is conversely lending to the rich country which is growing slow and so should be lending (investing in high growth areas where the profits are good). Is the US$1.7tr a weapon to threaten America with? Will it become a Chinese slush fund for state-sponsored buyouts of foreign companies? 2008 saw the creation of a US$200bn Chinese sovereign wealth fund which has already been active among Americas ailing banks. But as was demonstrated by US Congress response when China National Offshore Oil Corp. tried to buy American owned Unocal in 2005 and failed the West wont give up ownership of its cherries so easily.5 In the meantime, the majority of the reserves remain a big de- 5 A similar situation occurred with Chinese stakes in American ports. In preciating CCP wad. But compellingly, the government is only one of Chinas super-savers, and not its most significant. Over half of Chinas savings are in investments, chiefly the reinvestment rather than paying out of corporate profit. Much of this boom is focused on heavy industry a process which has turned China into the worlds number one producer of steel, cement and flat glass,6 all of which it is now a net exporter of. The fact that China, 6 35%, 48% and 49% of global with its enormous underemployed rural population, is labor rich, while production respectively. it is also, with its scant ratio of land to people, resource poor, makes this level of investment into a sector which is extremely environmentally heavy yet creates relatively few jobs, a counter-intuitive choice. The market factor driving this is the enormous structural bias toward
particular, China may face walls as it moves to buy up more and more of the Wests most innovative technology companies.

7 Investment levels in China are so high that it has become a favorite economists gag to ask why, given how much money is being driven back into corporate ventures, is growth so slow?

heavy industry which makes its development and operation much cheaper than it should be. Local officials, under stimulus from central government to maximize economic growth (not to mention tax and personal revenues) by acting entrepreneurially, enter into partnerships with industrial developers. The state-corporate venture then requisitions farmland for a pittance, sells it to itself at below market rates, expedites the building of necessary infrastructure, obviates expensive environmental controls, and arranges deals with coal mines to provide subsidized energy for its own highly energy intensive activities. The result is an explosion of very dirty, very energy inefficient industrial producers dotted across China, each of which, under their own local official, is competing to undercut the prices (and thus most often standards) of neighboring provinces. The proceeds for the local inhabitants are a marginal rise in job supply, a marginal amount of enforced relocation, and acid rain, polluted rivers, and contaminated ground. The proceeds for the industry are corporate profits which, because of the low interest rates offered by banks, as well as restrictions around investing abroad and the lack of a mature domestic private investment market, are mostly put back into building more heavy industry. The level of reinvestment is made exceptionally intense by the fact that many of these industrial firms are State Owned Enterprises (SOEs*), which, through what can best be described as a reform lapse, are not obliged to pay dividends to their shareholders i.e. the state or service their debt to State Owned Banks (SOBs), and thus are supremely cash flush at the end of each year.7 Its a weird trick by which the state offers all of the

breaks to industry, and takes precious little of the reward. All of this expresses a massive weighting of Chinas economic management toward the future. Growth is indeed screaming, but a very substantial whack of the trillions of dollars China is now earning is not making its way into the present. Instead the foreign exchange reserves and extensive industrial development represent a mortgaging of today for the sake of a perceived tomorrow. Deng Xiaopings celebrated surmise that It doesnt matter if the cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice has been a guiding tenet of the reform era. Given Chinas enormous energy consumption, the bulk of which comes from coal and is consumed by industry, it is becoming increasingly obvious that whatever color the cat started out as, it is black now. The question that remains is, What is the mouse? Xiao kang*: shooting the moon? but the party always comes first. The promised tomorrow of the Chinese Dream is the delivery of the xiao kang shehui literally small comfort society, but generally translated as well-off society. The Communist Party may be letting some people get rich first, but this only as a prelude to everybody getting reasonably rich. The greater transition is toward the attainment of a fully developed and fairly distributed level of

certainty dream

AT HYPERSPEED CHINA CAN BE ENJOYED AS A LABORATORY FOR URBAN GROWTH. WITHIN THE TIME-SPAN OF A SINGLE GENERATION IT NURTURES CONSECUTIVE IDEOLOGIES OF PLANNING. OBSERVING MUD* FORMATIONS FRACTURES THE PERSISTENT BELIEFS IN BOTH THE GRASS-ROOTS CITY AND THE ORCHESTRATED LANDSCAPE. AT STREET LEVEL CHINAS NEW URBAN REALMS LOOK PERFECTLY MICROPLANNED WHILE THE SAME POLISHED ISLAND DEVELOPMENTS AT THE SCALE OF THE METROPOLIS MERGE TOGETHER TO REVEAL MACRO-ORGANIC SYSTEMS. THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF CHINAS CITIES ARE DESIGNED IN DAYS; THE ENSUING MUD* CONFIGURATIONS THEN FIXED FOR DECADES. BUT, WHILE CHINESE SOCIETY SEEMS ENDLESSLY FLEXIBLE, THE INELASTICITY OF URBAN GROWTH PATTERNS DEMANDS THAT DEVELOPMENT EQUIP ITSELF WITH LONG TERM FLEXIBLE FRAMEWORKS. DEMOLISHING AND THEN RECONSTRUCTING THE BUILT VOLUME EVERY GENERATION WILL FLOUT CHINAS EFFORTS TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY. IT IS NOT JUST ENERGY INTENSIVE FARMLAND WILL BE PERMANENTLY LOST, WHILE THE CONFIGURATIONS THAT DEFINE CHINAS FUTURE ENERGY NEEDS WILL BE CONSOLIDATED. midway: NEITHER LEAPFROG AMBITIONS NOR BIG SCHEMES AND OUTSTANDING OBJECTIVES ACKNOWLEDGE THE REALITY THAT CHINA IS NOW HALFWAY DONE. 2008 MARKS THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF CHINAS OPEN DOOR POLICY AND SUBSEQUENT ECONOMIC RISE. IF

CURRENT GROWTH RATES CONTINUE, IN A FURTHER 30 YEARS CHINAS GDP WILL OUTSIZE THAT OF THE USA. OTHER SIGNIFICANT HALF / HALF MARKERS ARE COMING UP, INCLUDING THE SHIFT IN EMPLOYMENT FROM PRIMARY TO TERTIARY INDUSTRY AND THE MOVE FROM PREDOMINANTLY RURAL TO PREDOMINANTLY URBAN SETTLEMENTS. BIGNESS AND COPY AND PASTE PRACTICES ARE ONLY THE MOST VISIBLE ASPECTS OF FLASH URBANIZATION. EQUALLY, AT THE BOTTOM END STREAMLINED NEW FORMS OF SPATIAL PRODUCTION HAVE EVOLVED. RURAL CHINA IS ALSO HALF WAY DONE. HERE TOO FEAR DOMINATES PLANNING. THOUGH CITY DEVELOPMENT IS ENCOURAGED, THE MILLIONS OF RURAL TO URBAN MIGRANTS ARE BARRED FROM SETTLING AND ARE SOON REFLECTED BACK TO THE COUNTRYSIDE. DISTRUST OF SLUMS OR POTENTIALLY UNSTABLE CONCENTRATIONS OF EX-FARMER COMMUNITIES HAS KEPT CHINAS CITIZEN REGISTRATION SYSTEM IN PLACE. IT ENFORCES A BLACK AND WHITE DIVISION BETWEEN PEOPLE WITH URBAN OR RURAL STATUS. YET THIS DIVISION IS INCREASINGLY OUTDATED BY THE BLURRED SPATIAL CONDITIONS IT PRODUCES.

CITY EDGES MELT WITH FLOATING WORKERS CONGREGATING IN THE VILLAGES JUST OUTSIDE THE CITY PROPER, WHILE REMITTANCES SENT BACK HOME SPUR VILLAGE GROWTH. A FINE HAZE OF NEARLY A MILLION VILLAGES COVERS THE LANDSCAPE AND ACCOMMODATES ALMOST A BILLION PEOPLE. PLANNING POLICIES INTENDED TO STIMULATE MODERN CENTERS ARE EFFECTIVELY URBANIZING CHINA OUTSIDE OF THE CITIES. BELOW-THE-RADAR DEVELOPMENT AND INCENTIVES LIKE THE NEW SOCIALIST VILLAGE ARE RADICALLY RESHAPING THE COUNTRYSIDE, AND FORMING A VAST SEMI-URBANIZED TERRITORY. CHINAS MOST POPULATED AND FASTEST URBANIZING REGION SPANS THE CENTERS OF BEIJING, XIAN AND SHANGHAI TO FORM THE WORLDS LARGEST URBAN FIELD: A MEGALOPOLIS TWICE THE SIZE OF FRANCE WITH THE AVERAGE DENSITY OF A MID-SIZED AMERICAN CITY. IN ESSENCE THE CAPITAL OF URBAN CHINA, IT CONSISTS OF A HIERARCHY OF CENTERS WITHIN A GRID OF VILLAGES WHOSE ECONOMIES HAVE TRANSFORMED TO SUPPORT THE URBAN CONTEXT. THOUGH MUTUALLY INTERDEPENDENT, THE COMPONENT PARTS OF THIS MEGALOPOLIS BETRAY DEEP SCHISMS. DRAWING IN UNWARRANTED FINANCIAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY, ITS CONSPICUOUS ECONOMIC ENGINES ARE KEPT STRONG. BIG SOLUTIONS SUCH AS THE SOUTH TO NORTH WATER TRANSPORTATION PROJECT PUMPS WATER ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO THE ARID NORTH AND ARTIFICIALLY MAINTAINS THE LUSH AND COOL OF ITS CITIES. BUT THE VILLAGES IN BETWEEN HAVE NO TAPS ON THESE PIPELINES.

creeping Xiao kang*: THOUGH PROPAGATING MASSIVE SCHEMES AND EXTREME PROJECTS AT THE PERIPHERY, THE CCP CENTERS ITS TRUST FOR THE FUTURE ON THE GROWING MIDDLE CLASS A TRUST IN WELL-CONTAINED SELF-ORGANIZATION THAT FOR THE MOMENT SEEMS TO BE PAYING OFF. THE HARMONIOUS SOCIETY PROJECTED ONTO THE FUTURE IS STEADILY CARVED OUT TODAY WITH EVERY SINGLE PRODUCER TURNED CONSUMER. CONFRONTED WITH A SIZZLING HOT ECONOMY AND SURROUNDED BY DIZZYING CONSTRUCTION, THE AVERAGE INDIVIDUAL PRESENTS TO THE PARTY STABLE PROGRESS. THE BENEFITS SHOULD SLOWLY CREEP OUTWARD FROM THE CENTER TO PERIPHERY TO REACH THE COUNTRYSIDE. HOWEVER, WHILE SOCIETAL SHIFTS FIRST SEEM TO RUN AHEAD OF SPATIAL ORGANIZATION, URBAN PATTERNS SOON REVEAL THEIR DOMINATION OVER HOW SOCIETY EVOLVES. AS CHINAS ECONOMIC REFORMS UNFOLD, THE TENDENCY TO PRODUCE MUD* FORMATIONS ACCELERATES. THE GRIP THE URBAN CONFIGURATION HAS ON CHINESE SOCIETY TIGHTENS; THE DREAM TO DESIGN CITY OR SOCIETY SLIPS AWAY. parallel worlds: THE CHINESE DREAM IS AT ODDS WITH THE CCPS GRIP ON POWER. WIDESPREAD URBANIZATION JARS AGAINST CENTRALIZED CONTROL. EXCLUSIVITY CLASHES WITH THE HARMONIOUS SOCIETY. ULTIMATELY THE DESIGN OF A SOCIETY CONTRADICTS THE EMPOWERMENT OF THE INDIVIDUAL. BEHIND THE SCENES

modernization and prosperity. At the core of this is the creation of a large Chinese middle class.
5

half their paycheck to keep filling a money pot with a slow leak. The most obvious explanation for this is the lack of a welfare safety net. Without universal state healthcare, education, pensions or child support, Chinese citizens bear a heavy burden of responsibility, and at almost every point of their earning lives are likely to be saving against future need. Provision of these services, which the government could certainly afford were it to reorder current economic flows, would no doubt go some way toward easing the parsimony of its citizens, and freeing up a little more cash. But there is a deeper motivation to save, and a limit to how much people will trust a state umbrella. China has a history of vertiginous instability. This not only stretches back through centuries, but is a tangible constituent of the present. For one, rapidly shifting policies and massive corruption abuses combine to create an extremely uncertain environment for the China of today. Change is frenetic, and impacts frequently unforeseeable. Moreover, the execution of change does not stand on point of manners, and it is impossible to know that the place where you live or work is not going to vanish abruptly beneath a bulldozer, or that a situation requiring a large bribe wont suddenly arise. Local officials continue to exercise summary power over dispersed and under-informed local populations, and frequently jockey or indeed forge law in accordance with the principle of revenue maximization. This is a China still very much in the operating theater, and while the 17th Party Congress corroborated the policy of

This middle class is the new China that everybody is looking toward both the Chinese who are aspiring to attain middle class status, and the rest of the world which is lining up to sell it all the lifestyle products it currently and so tantalizingly lacks. Depending on how you count, Chinas middle class today numbers some 100 million. The 800 million Chinese shoppers in the making (equivalent to the total combined population of the US and the EU) unquestionably presents the biggest, brightest, and least saturated market on the planet. At some point, the international corporations are whispering, China will shed its current heavy-saver-heavy-investor skin, and the country will at last release some of that pent up money and live well. However this hasnt happened yet or at least, not on the scale people are waiting for. The reason is simple: the Chinese themselves, along with the Chinese government and Chinese corporations, are super-savers. Over 50% of household earnings are sequestered off, moving China away from being a nation of have-nots, and toward, somewhat confusingly, a nation of could-haves but prefer-to-saves. To a credit-addicted West,8 this is confounding. All the more so when it is remembered that the vast majority of these savings are held in deposit accounts which yield below inflation rates of interest. Such is the commitment to saving in China that people will set aside over


reform and the move toward a better ordered society, this is a move away from radically volatile conditions. Behind current modernization efforts, a very different China is in distinct living memory. People who experienced the Cultural Revolution (196676) knew a time when local anarchic groups with governmental blessing smashed up towns, used the remaining buildings as prisons, and took prisoners for seemingly arbitrary reasons perhaps simply, having created the prisons, to have someone to put in them. It was not only chaotic, but insanely brutal in terms of the torture, executions and even tribal-style cannibalism that took place. The survivors, witnesses, and perpetrators of these events are now somewhere around their 50s. For many, personal experience also encompasses terrible famine, brought on through sheer governmental mismanagement. The hunger and violence of the last sixty years are not available for discussion in China, either through statecontrolled media channels, or within the national education system. Nevertheless, they create a present of extreme infixity for individuals, who have been forced to survive in a context of capricious arbitrators of a power structure from which they have had no recourse to rule of law, or ability to discharge democratically. Under such vulnerable circumstances, a preference for saving is almost psychologically instilled.
8 Recent levels of household spending exceed incomes in America. If employer pension contributions are excluded, this is true also of Britain.

economic impact of this is a huge cash vote in favor of current capital imbalances. Chinas State Owned Banks simply would not be able to afford to sterilize so much foreign currency, tolerate so much inefficiently invested industrial lending, or bankroll so many underperforming SOEs* were it not for the rich supply of cheap credit lent to them by the Chinese themselves. This money is effectively bankrolling the banks, and thus the Chinese people are really paying on three fronts. They have in the course of the reform era come out of their grotesquely underperforming communes to work like crazy producing exports for the sake of profits which the government sits on in the form of depreciating dollars. At the same time they are suffering the most evil industrial pollution on earth for the sake of profits which the industrial producers reinvest in increasing industrial capacity. And then, of the leftover profits which do trickle down, they put half into funding these dollar-amassing and polluting operations. The people may seem to be getting scant present rewards for the phenomenally future-driven management of the country, but it is a future they are investing in on every level. The widely held conviction that Western-style democracy follows economic development with the same inexorability as day does night is one of the Wests fondest and shakiest attempts at historical masternarrative. What the last fifty years of IMF, World Bank, and UN intervention have certainly managed to disprove is the theory that economic development necessarily follows the installa
certainty dream

The ironic twist to this story of fervid personal saving is that it is providing the bedrock for the system which, to some extent, it is hoping to inure itself against. Almost a third of Chinas savings equivalent to some 15% of GDP are in household deposit accounts. The

THE CHINESE DREAM IS SHIFTING. BUILDING CITIES WILL SHAPE SOCIETY, BUT A MODERN SOCIETY CANT BE SHAPED BY CITY BUILDING. THE RIGID STRUCTURE OF THE SELF-CONTAINED CITY AS A TOOL OF CONTROL IS CHALLENGED BY TWO DISTINCTLY DYNAMIC FORCES: THE MARKET AND THE MASSES. UNADDRESSED, URBANIZATION WILL CONTINUE TO GENERATE CONFLICTING REALITIES A DISCORD AT THE HEART OF THE SOCIALIST MARKET HYBRID THAT RESONATES THROUGH CHINAS BID FOR PROGRESS. ITS LEADERS ARE INCREASINGLY DEMANDING ON THE GLOBAL POLITICAL STAGE, YET INTERNAL DECISIONS REMAIN OBSCURED. CHINA IS THE BASIN OF GLOBAL PRODUCTION AND TRADE OF GOODS, YET ITS ECONOMY IS OPAQUE. IT IS OPENING UP TO INTERNATIONAL CORPORATIONS, YET ITS CITIZENS REMAIN BARRED FROM GLOBAL INFORMATION FLOWS. CHINA IS DREAMING UP PARALLEL WORLDS, AND BUILDING A GLOBALLY CONNECTED FORTRESS. the dynamic city: CHINA WILL UNDOUBTEDLY EVOLVE AND MATURE. ITS HAS SUCCESSFULLY NAVIGATED MANY OBSTACLES TO ACHIEVE THE LAST THREE DECADES OF CONTINUOUS GROWTH. A BUSINESS AS USUAL SCENARIO IS NOT IMPROBABLE. A GOOD PART OF CHINA WILL LIVE THE CHINESE DREAM, ACCOMMODATED IN BIGGER AND BRIGHTER CITIES THAN THOSE THAT EXIST ELSEWHERE ON EARTH (A SCENARIO OF PURE STATE CAPITALISM HYPOTHESIZED IN THE MAGAZINE AT THE END OF THIS BOOK).

HOWEVER, A STRONG URBAN MIDDLE CLASS AS ENVISIONED FOR 2020 COULD CARRY A NEW SOCIETY. IN 2007 INDIVIDUALS IN CHINA WERE AWARDED GENUINE PROPERTY RIGHTS (PERHAPS THE MOST PROFOUND LEGAL CHANGE SINCE THE BIRTH OF THE REPUBLIC). WITH THE CONSUMER-HOMEOWNER PLACED AT THE HEART OF URBAN DESIRE MECHANISMS, FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS WILL SUCCEED OR FAIL IN RELATION TO PEOPLE AS OPPOSED TO STATE OBJECTIVES. UNWITTINGLY, THE MIDDLE CLASS MAY UNLOCK THE FORTRESS. TO RETAIN MARKET PALATABILITY, THE INDIVIDUAL WILL NEED TO BE OFFERED MORE THAN PERSONAL SPACE. DEMAND WILL INCLUDE CITYWIDE PERFORMANCE. AS THE URBAN DREAM TAKES SHAPE, IT HAS TO GAIN GROUND AGAINST GROWING URBAN EXPECTATIONS. COUNTER-INTUITIVELY, THIS WILL REQUIRE MORE COORDINATED PLANNING EFFORTS AT THE SAME TIME AS INCREASED HOMEOWNER STATUS. MICROPLANNED PROJECTS WILL NEED TO INTEGRATE WITHIN A COHERENT MACROLEVEL STRUCTURE. URBANIZATION WILL NEED TO BE STREAMLINED NOT FOR SPEED BUT FOR QUALITY, IN THE FORM OF EFFICIENCY AND COMFORT. BY ABOLISHING ANTI-URBAN POLICIES, CHINA CAN UNLEASH THE POWER OF ITS GROWTH OVER THE NEXT THREE DECADES AND MOVE TOWARD FUTURE-PROOFED SOLUTIONS. IN THIS CASE, TO SERVE PROJECTED MIGRATION, NO NEW CITIES ARE NEEDED. UTILIZING PREDETERMINED

beyond dreaming: THE RESEARCH THAT RUNS THROUGH THIS BOOK FORMS AN INVESTIGATION INTO CHINAS NEW FOUND MARKET REALITY AND THE SPATIAL CONDITIONS IT PRODUCES. ANALYSES CUT ACROSS DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES AND THROUGH FIVE LEVELS OF SCALE (FROM NATIONAL

FLEXIBLE FRAMEWORKS, CITIES CAN EXPAND IN THEIR NATURAL DIRECTION WITHOUT LOSING COHESION. THE PRESSURE OF THE MASSES BECOMES A BENEFICIAL FORCE TO DEVELOP THE MIDDLE-SIZE CITIES TO TWICE THEIR SIZE, THUS CONCENTRATING EXPANSION ON THE MOST EFFICIENT SETTLEMENTS OF 2 TO 6 MILLION INHABITANTS. THIS WOULD ACCOMMODATE ALL POPULATION MOVEMENTS AND ALLOW CENTERS OF PRODUCTION TO EVOLVE INTO CREATIVE AND DYNAMIC CITIES. TO MOVE BEYOND THE WORLDS FACTORY FLOOR AND TOWARD AN ECONOMY OF IDEAS, CHINA WILL HAVE TO HARNESS THE EXPANDING NEEDS OF ITS INDIVIDUALS. IF CHINA IS TRULY TO THROW OFF ITS COMMUNIST PAST, IT WILL NEED TO HAVE MANY DREAMS FOR ITS CITIES, AND TO ALLOW COMPETITION AMONGST THEM.

TO THE INDIVIDUAL) TO CREATE THE BASIS FOR DESIGN PROPOSALS OF WHAT, IN THEORY, CHINA COULD ATTAIN. UNCOMPROMISING AND OFTEN SELF-CRITICAL ALTERNATIVES AIM TO INSPIRE A NEW COURSE OF URBANIZATION. AS SUCH IT HAS BECOME AN INVESTIGATION INTO ARCHITECTURES OWN LONGSTANDING DREAM: THE DESIGN OF THE CITY. WHILE FOR CONTEMPORARY CHINA, AROUSED BY A LOVE FOR THE NEW, THE INABILITIES OF PLANNING AND DESIGN HAVE NOT BEEN OF GREAT CONCERN, THE NEW CHINESE CITY REPRESENTS ANOTHER UTOPIAN CONCEPT: A SOCIETY UNDER CONSTRUCTION. NEVILLE MARS

tion of democracy. It is striking that China far and away the most successful of the developing nations has achieved its remarkable economic growth largely without the conventional prerequisites for capitalism (e.g. property rights,9 rule of law, transparency, trust), and mostly in direct contradiction of traditional IMF-World Bank wisdom (China has adopted neither rapid privatization of the state sector, nor keen suppression of inflation). Instead the CCP is very much running its own version of things a socialist market economy, which could alternatively be termed bureaucratic or indeed state capitalism. Its an oxymoron which emerges in the form of a whole series of China paradoxes. China is both the most globalized country in the world (in terms of trade and openness to foreign direct investment), and one of its most closed (in terms of the state control of media and the internet, NGOs, and official data). China is home to much of the worlds most technologically advanced architecture and urbanism (including the CCTV tower and Dongtan, set to be the worlds first zero carbon city), and yet is home to a predominantly rural population. China makes up 11% of the global luxury market, but in GDP per capita terms even by purchasing power parity does not rank in the global top hundred. And China is the worlds fastest changing society, and yet for nearly sixty years has had the same ruling political party. At the 17th Party Congress the CCP made it clear that while it would continue with reform, it did not intend to follow the path of


Western-style development, referring no doubt, among other things, to multi-party representation. Within China, unofficial political organization or networking is strictly forbidden, and the Party certainly has no intention of allowing the populace to pass judgement on its leadership. When asked about democracy, the Party will reply, We have democracy in China democracy within the Party. Upsetting as this is to Western political teleology, it seems, at present, to be forging a strong path. In fact many of todays xiao kang* are distinctly opposed to the idea of peasants voting for national government. Tens of thousands of protests do occur every year, but overwhelmingly these are grievance-driven and result in negotiated settlements, rather than being issue-driven, such as might lead to wider political restructuring. They are manageable. To the larger question, Are people buying into the Party Dream? or rather, given its savings-driven profile Are people saving into it? the Party can answer with confidence, Yes. This Dream is all about prioritizing an enhanced xiao kang* future over capitalizing on a xiao kang* present. It is a shooting the moon operation. China today is poorer than it may be, but has high hopes. The whole of Chinese society is looking to the future if only because, given Chinese history and much of the Chinese present, there is in truth nowhere else to look. Most of this future is intangible. But the clues are out there. Much is also under current production. There is one incontestable element: urbanization.

9 Without effective rule of law, property owners in China have occupied a somewhat precarious position. Possession of documents but not guan xi, or good relationship, with officials has been no guarantee of holding onto something. Urbanization processes have however driven change see below.

10 Terrific investment in real estate and transportation infrastructure (US$400bn in 2006) make China its own number one customer for the enormous quantities of steel, cement and glass that it is producing. 11 A CCP euphemism for public protest. Land disputes often stemming from (corrupt) governmental or government-sponsored land take are the most common cause.

cities not suffrage! Urbanization is Chinas answer to what its up to and where its going. Urban development has been a major engine for economic growth, and indeed industrial output, where the investment boom has been in no small way powered by domestic demand.10 Crucially, and in a much bigger way than idea-based concepts for reform, it has also been a catalyst for social progress. The traditional Chinese middle class dream, so strongly rooted in the vision of a family with a child in a house, has bonded hard to the new real estate market, and the growing sense of home ownership has provided a focal point both for social instability,11 in cases of land dispute, and for the long-awaited development of individuals rights. After years of mounting pressure, in 2007 citizens were awarded the same legal protection of their property as the state arguably the most significant shift in Chinese law since 1949. Urbanization, not democracy, it turns out, is the driver for change in China. It is also the trip, and the much dreamed-of destination. But ironically for such a future-orientated society, the construction of this urban dream is being motivated by oppressively short term considerations. The radical mutability of the present, the near perfect absence of a reliable long term scenario, and the context of obscure and mercurial policy shifts, inevitably enforces among developers and their local official partners a capitalize now approach. Any intent to consider local integration is undermined by the fact that everything around is equally in flux, and high levels of consumer demand ensure

that suppliers compete chiefly on the grounds of cost and speed. The implications of this are all the more drastic for the fact that its a one shot opportunity. Once cast, urban configurations are to a large extent fixed, and cities are notorious for refusing rewind. Over the past twenty years it has become increasingly apparent that the world is a limited resource. Much of human development to date has simply not been aware of this (it always seemed so big), but the vicissitudes of globalization and a growing acknowledgment of climate change have set up potential outcomes which, though distant, are casting shadows back into the present. The 21st century will be one defined by its attempts to grapple with an angel of the long term. Chinas urbanization is at the heart of its construction of a new society, and of the glorious future which the Chinese are currently and all so frugally awaiting. Given Chinas contemporary role as both laboratory for urban development and leader of emerging economies, it is equally a core component in the construction of a global future, and therefore a global dream. The Chinese city may be in the thick of becoming the ultimate expression of not only spatial, but also economic and political desire. All the more reason to ask now, while the building is going up so fast, Is that in fact where we want to get to when we say we want to take each of these individual steps? All the more reason to dream harder. ADRIAN HORNSBY

certainty dream

puc*
2

Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

peoples urbanity of china and the birth of a megalopolis

Saskia Vendel

2020

0



certainty

dream

. . . . . . . . . the world is urbanizing . china fastest . 930,000,000 chinese living in cities before 2030 . this means 1 new beij
2

The urban population of China will approach one billion within the next two decades

Holland France

Russian Federation

Asia

US
4

China

Europe

Nigeria India
5

North America Brazil

South Africa

Urban Population in: 1960

Latin America

1990

2020 Africa
8 Source: United Nations, World Population Prospects, The 2004 Revision Population Database

Australia

certainty dream

39.2 x 23.2



by population growth - economic growth . 35 x beijing = 2 x the total built volume of china . the new urban china will be driven ijing every year for 35 years
Floor space of buildings completed in China
2

Total floor space of buildings in Beijing (2006): 543 km2


3

2000: 251 km2

2001: 299 km2

0 x100

National total floor space of buildings (2006): 17,450 km2


2002: 350 km2 2003: 415 km2 2006: 543 km2

Source: China Statistical Yearbook 2004, 2005, 2007, 2007


4

NATURAL POPULATION GROWTH

MIGRATION

URBAN POPULATION GROWTH

+
39.2 x 23.2
 
certainty

WEALTH

URBAN EXPANSION
dream

A 2,100

a new society . economi anites by the year 2020 . china becomes an urban society! . 0,000 new urb - rural-to-urban migration . migration follows money . 400,00
2,000 1,900 1,800

Estimates of Chinas population vary greatly; projections for the year 2020 even more so.1
Projections total population 2020

2 1,700

Chinas population will continue to increase in the coming decades, in spite of measures to curb population growth. In this book models are based on a total population of 1.55 billion and an urban population of 930 million by the year 2020. The sum of natural population growth and rural to urban migration will deliver 400 million new urbanites by 2020. This tips the balance, and in less than two decades moves China from a predominantly agricultural society to a predominantly urban one.

HI

1,500 3 1,400

one-child policy (1979) objectives limit population to: 1.2 billion in 2000, 1.36 billion in 2010, 1.45 billion in 2020, 1.5 billion in 2050

research-based 1 estimate 2005

1,600

urban population 2030, 1.5% population growth scenario


LOW

1,300

1,200 4 1,100

1,000

hild e-c on

licy po

tiv jec ob

Projections urban population 2020

urban population 2030, 1% population growth scenario 2004

1. The independent population research institute, based upon a study of grain consumption, reports that the current population in the PRC is 1.5 billion. The Japanese Population Research Institution has come to the same conclusion based on a study of salt consumption.

2005-2019

2020

900 5

to t

700

al p

op ula

tio n

800

p rural po

ulation

GH

600 6 500

W LO

natural rural population growth

natural urban population growth

400

300 7
population (x 1,000,000)

HI

200

on populati urban
100

0
1960 1965 1970 1975 1980

urban-rural split 2004: 41-59%


1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050

rural 58 % urban 42 %

rural 40 % urban 60 %

Sources: China Statistical Yearbook 2005, 2006; Feiner, J., Shiwen Mi, Willy A. Schmid, Meeting the Challenge of Future Urbanization, 2001; United Nations, World Population Prospects, the 2004 Revision Population Database, 2005; Worldbank, World Development Indicators, 2005, http://www.iiasa.ac.at, http://www.prb.org, http://www.chinapop.gov.cn

39.2 x 23.2





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dream

mic surge fuels expansion . people with more money move into bigg er apartments . live by themselves . buy cars . travel more . want more shopping . better faci
1
700

600

500

400

The growTh of The Chinese eConomy impaCTs upon urbanizaTion paTTerns in Two ways:

9% growth

8% growth 7% growth

300

As a result of social changes (fewer generations per household, rising divorce-rates, and a higher incidence of single occupancy households), the average number of people per household is decreasing. At the same time, the average size of houses is growing as people can afford more living space.
Composition of gross domestic product

200
GDP x 1 billion RMB

100% 80%

100

60% 40%

industry

1960

1965

1970

1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

2015

2020

2025

2030

2035

2040

2045

2050

20%
0%

b
agriculture
1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030

Source: China Statistical Yearbook 2004, 2005

1965

1. rural-urban wealTh gap augmenTs migraTion flows


160,000 152,000 144,000

2. expansion of fooTprinT per CapiTa


Living space per capita
40 30 25 20 15 10 5
m
2

Household size
7

136,000 128,000 120,000 112,000 104,000 96,000

living space per capita rural areas

6 5 4

number of persons 2030

building space per capita urban areas

3 2 1 0

0
1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025

1965

1970

1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

2015

2020

2025

2030

88,000 80,000 72,000 64,000 52,000 48,000

Number of vehicles (10 % GDP growth scenario)


140 120
income threshold for purchasing a car $6,000 annually

Paved roads and urban green space


35 30 25 20 15 10 5
m
2

7
GDP per capita (RMB)

40,000 32,000 24,000

100 80 60
x 1,000,000

16,000 8,000
1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985

40 20 0
1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030

paved roads per capita urban green space per capita

urban income per capita

rural income per capita


2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050

1965

1970

1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

2015

2020

2025

2030

1990

1995

2000

Source: China Statistical Yearbook 2004, 2005

Sources: China Statistical Yearbook 2005, 2006, US National Academy of Sciences and China Academy of Sciences, Personal Cars and China, 2003

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certainty

dream

king for s feel the same and want to move to where the money is . fields are disappearing . rural labor surplus is massive . they go east loo cilities . migrant
yuan / year

WEALTH = DESTINATION
2

18,000-20,000 16,000-18,000 14,000-16,000 12,000-14,000 10,000-12,000 8000-10,000 6000-8000 4000-6000 2000-4000 0-2000 no data

Per capita income of rural residents 2004

Per capita income of urban residents 2004

Source: China Statistical Yearbook 2005, 2006

RURAL-URBAN INCOME GAP = MIGRATION In absolute numbers, Chinas middle and upper-middle classes have expanded rapidly. At the same time, they are looking to live at decreasing densities. The resulting flight to the suburbs is changing the shape of the city from its traditionally compact form to a more and more amorphous ruralurban hybrid. A new form of sprawl which combines scattered moments of density and extensive zones of low density is the result. Due to surges in demand for suburban typologies in 2004 19 km2 of villa park were under construction in Beijing alone. Migration is mainly economically motivated: the richer the destination, the stronger the pull; the lower the income, the stronger the push. Rural income has increased, but income disparities are growing. In 2000 agriculture made up only 15.9% of GDP, while accounting for 50% of the total labor force (National Statistic Bureau 2001). Economists estimate Chinas excess rural labor GDP per km2 per year force at 150 to 200 million. At the heart of Chinas massive rural labor surplus is an increase in agricultural productivity, and a severe reduction of the available arable land per farmer as a result of rural population growth and loss of arable land. Due to urbanization, over-intensive farming, and reforestation programs, 5,000km2 of arable land are lost every year.
2.8 0.6 0.5 1.6 2.3

yuan / km2 / year


>10,000,000 5,000,000-10,000,000 1,000,000-5,000,000 500,000-1,000,000 100,000-500,000 <100,000 no data Source: China Statistical Yearbook 2005, 2006

3.8

2.9

6.5
3.8

4.6
2.2

4.9
3.7

7.5
3.6

5.2 5.7

9.0
5.4
>30% 20%-30% 15%-20% 10%-15% 5%-10% no data Source: 5th Population Census, 2000

0.2

6.7
2.4

2.7

Number of migrants per province (millions) Percentage of migrants per province


3.9

4.4
3.2

3.4

8.6
5.9

Cultivated land per rural laborer 1955-1995


1955 1960 1965 1970 1975
0.9

25.3
1980

1985

1990

1995

0.59 ha.

0.62 ha.

0.44 ha.

0.36 ha.

0.34 ha.

0.31 ha.

0.26 ha.

0.23 ha. 0.21 ha.

Source: SSB, New Chinas Agriculture Statistical Data, 2000

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WORK BUT DO NOT S TAY . MO VEMENT I NTO THE CITIES I S MOSTLY TEMPORAR Y . ROLL OVER MIG RATIO
2 3

villa T Thehties e eig nd no he la dustrialisation in th g T g the rural in in leavunched durin la


slogan

N LEADS TO SPRAW L CLUSTE r si o n * RS AND C n ve ITY FORM vs Co BECOMES . scattere d and di scontinu

Prevailing policies disencourage the settling of migrants in megacities. This can in practice lead to the furtherment of sprawl. In particular, the hukou* registration system prevents the legal settlement of migrants in downtown areas, though easements have facilitated peripheral habitations. The result is that impermanent settlements blossom around the urban ring. Their semi-legal status does little to improve sanitation or basic facilities. Powerful developers together with local government destroy them almost at will.

ll ro

ge

According to generally accepted estimates the relation between hukou* and non-hukou migration is 1:5. Hukou* migrants move permantly (conversion*), while non-hukou migrants (or floating population*) eventually return to their place of origin (rollover migration*).

r mi gr a o ve T

leaving The vi llage noT The second slogan launch CounTryside ed late
r during the rural ind ustrialisation in the eig hties

rural and urban migration


urban to urban migration: 20.5% rural to urban migration: 51.5%

i on

local, intra- and interprovincial migration


6

interprovincial intraprovincial

7
within the same district 45% 25% 30% urban to rural migration: 5% rural to rural migration: 23%

39.2 x 23.2



Source: 5th Population Census, 2000



certainty

dream

poliCy sprawl* 1:
1

poliCy sprawl* 2:
Township-Village Enterprises [TVEs*]
In 2001 a measure was implemented to divert migration flows away from larger cities. About 600,000 rural residences acquired an urban hukou* through experimental reforms of the system. Instant urban status was granted in 20,000 designated small towns (towns of less than 100,000 people). Unemployed farmers and all those absorbed in the states extensive employment schemes were drawn by job opportunities in the TVEs* in and around these small towns, townships, and villages. 38% of the working population in the countryside (a total of 497m people) is engaged in non-agricultural activity (industry, construction, transport, retail, food). These are predominantly migrants, many of whom (138.7m) work in TVEs*. The success of the TVEs* is a driving force behind the scattered urbanization outside large cities. The average land use per capita in TVEs* was 555m2 in 1994, while the state-owned second sector needed just 52m2 per capita.

poliCy sprawl* 3:
Upgrade*
Upgrade* is a form of urban expansion which does not need to justify itself against population movements or the relationship between rural and urban economies. It is simply people moving into bigger apartments shared with fewer people, bringing about a massive reduction in people per m2 of built area. Without anything having to change in terms of population numbers, the city is building itself dramatically upwards and outwards. Money made in the city and sent home by migrants is a powerful contributor to the purchasing power of rural households. Investment of choice is the upgrade of the farm (modernizing houses and building roads) which is the basis of a rapid rural urbanization. Many migrant workers return home to run their own businesses, bringing with them new concepts which help boost local economic development. In this way, in a counter-intuitive process, migration to the megacity directly stimulates rural bottom-up urbanization.

poliCy sprawl* 4:
Zone Fever
The last 15 years have witnessed a boom in development zones. Local governments have set up numerous zones with fancy titles like Economic and Technological Development Zone, High-Tech Development Zone etc., and invested heavily to provide urban infrastructure such as land grading, electricity, water and roads.

Semi-Urbanized Villages [SUVs*]


Non-hukou migrants dont have access to subsidized public housing, and renting on the private market is too expensive. Therefore they have to rent rooms or houses from farmers on the urban fringe. People with rural hukou* have more flexibility in building their own houses. In many cases farmers on the urban fringe illegally build more houses to lease to migrants. These developments are unplanned and the government does not invest in infrastructure like paved roads, sewage, or electricity. These villages are neither urban nor rural. Although the migrants are engaged in the urban economy, the quality of their housing is rural in nature.

An informal statistic puts the total area of development zones at 36,000km2. Most development zones are discontinuous from the built area and located on the urban fringe, sometimes at long distances from the city, where farms are expropriated and arable land transformed. This generates dispersed development. Socialist style planning still persists in the minds of local planners. Many zones are vacant and eventually return to farmland. In the mid-nineties 1,200 zones were cancelled. In February 2005 China Daily reported that 4,813 zones had been shut down about 70% of the nations total.

nuous . m uch of th is can be traced ba ck to pol icies . d evelopmen t is push ed from t he fringe s of mega cities al l the way back to t he villag e . the r esult is that b
4

Now the country has 2,053 zones covering 13,700km2 of land.

townships and villages


7

36,000 km2 of planned development zones in 2003 Zones planned by the national government
Economic and technological development zones Industrial zones High-tech development zones

Zones planned by the provincial government


8

39.2 x 23.2





certainty

dream

ing . all parts of society are building upwards and outwards at the same time . but a concentration exists nevert

uneven landreforms

development zones rural population growth


3

population growth

GDP growth

urban - rural income gap growth

employment in TVEs*
4

urban population growth

rural labor surplus

urban income growth

xiao kang* society, suburban upgrade*, doorstep urbanization* growth service space and infrastructure footprint per capita growth

hukou* reforms
5

hukou* migration to townships and villages hukou* migration to urban periphery non-hukou migration rollover* = conversion*

remittances
remitt ances

rural income growth

brickification*, upgrade*

semi urbanized villages*, floating villages*

TVE* growth, dispersed development in townships and villages

SCATTERED URBAN EXPANSION


7

policy sprawl*

39.2 x 23.2





certainty

dream

rtheless . we look at where the expansion is occurring and see that megacities - cities - townships - towns - and villages are all concentrated in a minority o

Urban
2

growth next

in

the

15
in

years the
3

will

occUr cities

predominantly small in and

townships, the

not
4

megacities.
In fact, urbanization revolves around the small cities (<750,000 inhabitants). This is the settlement size with the least efficient footprint. Unlike large cities, which are carefully planned, construction projects in townships and villages do not have to be approved by government authorities. There is no spatial planning in its proper sense. If future urbanization continues to occur at this level the result will be an urbanity without the critical mass required to evolve into a system of compact mid-sized and large urban centers.

900
tio ula pop

225 200 175 150 125


Landuse per capita (m2)

800 700 600 500


population x 1,000,000)

n1 997

400 300 200 100 0 hamlets and villages large villages / townships small towns medium sized cities large cities extra large cities
popu lati 30 on 20

100 75 50 25 0

Land use per capita (1997) and population distribution according to settlement types (1997 and 2030)
Source: Feiner, J., Shiwen Mi, Willy A. Schmid, Meeting the Challenge of Future Urbanization, 2001

2005 2015

39.2 x 23.2





certainty

dream

Major airports
1

Dominant air passenger flows

of the country . there is a specific re gion in the east where this development is in all forms taking place . separate it from china and you get . . . . . .
2

Agricultural density
0 - 10 % cultivated 10 - 30 % cultivated > 30 % cultivated 3 non-cultivated

Population density (people / km2)


<100 100-250 250-500 >500

The combined forces of top-down and bottomup development define the total urban expansion. However these processes occupy only a small part of the country an eastern region within the PRC in which resources, population, economy and infrastructure are concentrated.

Cities, towns and villages


4

Turnover per province (x100m RMB)


0 - 1,000 1,000 - 2,000 2,000 - 3,000 3,000 - 4,000 4,000 - 5,000 5,000 - 6,000 6,000 - 7,000 > 7,000

Highways

Railways

National and provincial level development zones

Coverage of major mobile phone network

39.2 x 23.2

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certainty

dream

area: 3,302,997 Km2 populaTion 2004: 1.263 billion

. puc . puc urban populaTion 2004: 530 million . puc . puc densiTy 2005: 382 p/Km2 . puc . puc . puc populaTion 2020: 1.488 billion . puc . puc urban populaTion 2020: 893 million . puc . puc 96% of Chinas populaTion densiTy 2020: 451 p/Km2 . puc . puc 96% of Chinas eConomiC aCTiviTies (gdp) . puc . puc 96% of Chinas migraTion flows . puc . puc . puc 96% of Chinas urban populaTion . puc . puc 96% of Chinas arable land . puc . puc . puc . puc . puc . puc . puc . puc
2 3 4 5 6

0.96 x China

puC
peoples urbaniTy of China




certainty

dream

Climate
1 Middle temperature zone South temperature zone North subtropical zone Middle subtropical zone South subtropical zone North tropical zone South tropical zone

Average annual temperature


C 24 20 16 12 8 4 0 -4

Temperature gradient
-32 35 C

Annual precipitation
1 501

January precipitation map


1 501

July precipitation map


3 1 501

Precipitation and runoff zoning


Rainy - water rich Moist - water abundant Semi-moist - transitional Semi-dry - water shortage Dry - drought

Dryness (ratio of annual evaporation capacity to annual precipitation)


Index of dryness <0.5 0.5 - 1 1-2 2-5

Distribution map of average water resources per person


m/s 1-500 500-1000 1000-2000 2000-3000 3000-5000 >5000

Distribution of land affected by desertification

Geological map
5 Quartenary Tertiairy Mesozoic Palaeozoic Proterozoic Archaeozoic Granite Basalt Basic - ultra basic rocks Fault

Geological hazard map


Ultra developed area Developed area Moderately developed area Slightly developed area Very slightly developed area Intense earthquake Collapse Landslip Debris flow Geofracture

Metallic mineral resources


W Sn Mo REE Li Al Ho Fe Ni Ti (Fe) Co Pb - Zn Au

Fuels, power, minerals and metals


Fuels Petroleum refinery Shale oil refinary Oilfield Gasfield Oil basin Major coal mine Electric power Thermal plant Hydro plant Transmission line

Major landuse categories


Cropland Forest Grassland Water

considered as a country in its own right the peoples urbanity of china is much smaller and denser than you think . as an area usa = 3 x PUc . eurozone = 5/3
Land use
7 Paddy Irrigated field Non-irrigated field Timber forest Economic forest Sparse woods Bush Prairie and grasslands Hilly, mountainous grasslands Glacier Desert Gobi Marshes Saline-alkali land Cold desert Bare land Lake, reservoir Urban

Cropland
Cropland rainfed Cropland irrigated Only rice Double cropping Cropland mixed with other landuse

Grassland yield
High yield: > 2,000 kg/ha/yr Fair yield: 1,000 - 2,000 kg/ha/yr Low yield: < 1,000 kg/ha/yr No grassland

Grassland types
Alpine meadow High-cold desert High-cold desert-steppe High-cold meadow-steppe High-cold steppe Lowland meadow Marsh Temperate desert Temperate desert-steppe Temperate meadow-steppe Temperate high altitude-steppe Temperate steppe Temperate steppe-desert Tropical herbosa Tropical shrub herbosa Warm-temperate herbosa Warm-temperate shrub herbosa No grassland 

Grassland quality & yield


Good quality & high yield Good quality & fair yield Good quality & low yield Fair quality & high yield Fair quality & fair yield Fair quality & low yield Low quality & high yield Low quality & fair yield Low quality & low yield No grassland

39.2 x 23.2



certainty

dream

india y . onl m2 e/k area: 9,631,420 pl 344,270,000 US population 2020:km 0 peo 40 over of sity en age d er PUC area: 3,302,997 km population 2020: 1,488,000,000 an av r es fo ak his m t area: 9,596,960 1,550,000,000 PRC population 2020:km ned . bi h com ot 5xb 1. than e e mor b will 20 in 20 on ulati op cs p u yet p nd c.a x pu EUR area: 5,058,000 km population 2020: 575,977,000

39.2 x 23.2
Bangladesh 1,258 Mauritius 679 Comoros 505 South Korea 499 Puerto Rico 477 Rwanda 469 PUC 451 Burundi 441 The Netherlands 416 El Salvador 406 India 405 Lebanon 398 Israel 375 Haiti 372 Reunion 371 Martinique 368 Sri Lanka 349 Phillipines 344 Japan 335 Vietnam 301 Pakistan 266 Guadeloupe 282 
certainty dream

Source: United Nations, World Population Prospects, the 2004 Revision Population database, 2005

Pakistan 266 Trinidad and Tobago 262 UK 256 Jamaica 253 Germany 231 Dominican Republic 219 Luxembourg 213 Italy 190

puC forCes us To reConsider The densiTy numbers generally aTTribuTed To China


2 2 2

D E

People / km2 0 100 World average 56 200 300 400

500 population 2020 > 400 people / km2

600

700

800

900

1,000

1,100

1,200

1,300

1,400

Population densities 2020


City states and islands smaller than 1,000 km2 are not counted Source: United Nations, World Population Prospects, the 2004 Revision Population database, 2005

G H I

population 2020 < 400 people / km2

is
J

bl mpara co

stest . is urbanizing fa where it the exact places ssure in puc is under pre . arable cultivated land as most arable puC* under y lies over chin ue of densit s tiss pressure le . a continuou
1 2

Population density (people / km2)


3 <100 100-250 250-500 >500

Agricultural density
0 - 10 % cultivated 10 - 30 % cultivated > 30 % cultivated non-cultivated

The struggle between urban and rural space becomes a particular concern when we focus on the land use within PUC*. The highest population density, the fastest urbanizing region, and the nations most productive agricultural areas overlap perfectly.

39.2 x 23.2





certainty

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. will puc be able to feed itself . the shape of these new ci ties is critical . dense architectu ral typologies alone will not save land . car pendent urban e -de
1

Compact growth: urban population density at Beijing urbanized areas (11,520 p/km2) Built up urban areas: 77,170 km2
3

Observations of recent urbanization methods make it clear that China will present a hybrid of extremely loose, car-dependent, suburban-style urban expansion, within which will sit compact architectural typologies. Projections based on densities ranging from the Beijing urbanized area to western suburban densities show the scale of the new urban landscape. The urban expansion projected onto the surface of PUC* shows a dramatic transformation of Chinas inhabited space. Depending on the densities at which the new cities take shape, the ensuing urban landscape may cover as much as 33% of PUCs* total area (EU: 8.4%; US: 2.62%).

Built up rural areas: 101,830 km2

Suburban growth: urban population density at Beijing inner suburbs (4,188 p/km ) Built up urban areas: 212,273 km2 Built up rural areas: 101,830 km2

Suburban growth, car dependent: urban population at LA density (2,500 p/km2) Built up in urban areas: 355,600 km2 Built up rural areas: 101,830 km2 Western model growth: population in US density (1,364 p/km2) Built up area:1,090,669 km2

Land consumption within a 60% urbanized PUC under different urban density scenarios

8 Sources: http // www.demographia.com, Feiner, J., Shiwen Mi, Willy A. Schmid, Meeting the Challenge of Future Urbanization, 2001

39.2 x 23.2

0



certainty

dream

expansio
2

n could account for 1/3 of puc b y 2020 . spread t his as a loose ne twork ov er avail able lan d and pu c is con sumed co mpletely desert: 2% . as for est and grassland: 3.5% farmland give water: 4%

developed: 6.3%

developed: 33 %

forest: 33%

cultivated land: 38%

other (marshes, sparse woods, bush, bare land, mining, salt pans, glaciers): 13.2%

2006
7

2020

2020
8

39.2 x 23.2





certainty

dream

100 %

arable world

41.2 %

of the worlds total arable land needed to feed PUC in 2020

19.6 % 11.3 %

of the world population is living in PUC in 2005 and 2020 of the worlds total arable land needed to feed PUC in 2005 of the worlds total arable land is in PUC

way to pucs c hanging spatia l configuratio ns


4

9.8 %

Meat consumption per capita per year in China


5 80

- lifestyle ch oices - consum ption behavior - mobility pat terns - the re st of the worl d will shift t oo . impact up

12 16 10 11 13 14 15

60 6

meat consumption per capita per year (kg)

40

An overwhelmingly vegetarian diet produced by modern high-intensity cropping needs no more than 800m2 of arable land per capita. A fairly balanced Chinese diet of the late 1990s, containing less than 20kg of meat, was produced from an average of 1,100m2 per capita. The typical Western diet (containing 80kg of meat per year) now claims up to 4,000m2 per capita. Implications of the last rate are clear. PUCs* 2020 population eating a Western-style meat diet produced at the feeding efficiencies prevalent during the late 1990s would require about 600 million hectares of agricultural land: more than 40% of the worlds total.
Source: Smil, V. Eating Meat: Evolution, Patterns, and Consequences, 2002

8 5 6 7

20

1960

1965

1970

1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

2015

2020

2025

2030

2035

2040

2045

2050

Sources: China Statistical Yearbook 2005, 2006, http://www.uk.biz.yahoo.com

39.2 x 23.2





certainty

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100%

global biocapacity

84%
2

of global biocapacity used by PUC in 2020

19.6 % 17%

of the world population is living in PUC in 2005 and 2020 of global biocapacity used by PUC in 2005

Source: WWF, Europe 2005, The Ecological footprint 4

ations of economy and population within puc will huge . impact upon global ecology will be even bigger . dispersions and concentr pon global foodmarkets will be
5 6.4 ha. 6.4 ha. 6.4 ha.

6 available biocapacity per world capita 1.5 ha.

The ecological footprint shows what area of biologically productive land and water a given population needs to produce all the resources it consumes and to absorb its waste using current technology. This demand on nature can be compared with the earths biocapacity, based on its biologically productive area approximately 11.3 billion global hectares, which is a quarter of the Earths surface. The productive area of the biosphere translates to an average of 1.8 global hectares per person in 2005.

high income countries

high income countries

PUC

PUC

2005

2020

footprint per capita of PUC and high income countries in 2005 and 2020

39.2 x 23.2





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agriculture

art iving he thr eals the rev - gdp lture - agricu try of indus eas yield ar igh posing h perim sed . su focu tion is oduc d yet pr otte ent is d lopm e . deve futur ine its ll def
3

gross industrial output

GDP per km2

population density
6

services
7

industry

39.2 x 23.2





certainty

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jinghu*

Population: 1.5 m
Population: 1.5 m

Beijing

Tangshan
Population: 23 m

The CapiTal of puC* . jia ConCenTraTion in a ConCenTraTion nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu

Baoding

Tianjin
400 km

300 km

Population: 1.6 m Population: 1 m

Handan Anyang

Jinan
Population: 2.5 m

Qingdao
Population: 2 m

200 km

100 km

Jining
Population: 0.7 m
0 km

Population: 0.9 m Population: 1 m

Jiaozuo

Zhangzhou

2005 2020

ToTal populaTion: 385,000,000 densiTy: 794 p/Km2

ToTal populaTion: 474,300,000 densiTy: 978 p/Km


2

Population: 1.5 m . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu Changzhou Population: 28 m . ji nghu Suzhou . ji Shanghai nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji nghu . ji ngh

Xuzhou

0



certainty

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jinghu* regional neTworK


2

jinghu* saTelliTe map

400 km

300 km

200 km

100 km

0 km

. the capital of puc is a continuous urban region of 485,000km2 connecting beijing - zhangzhou - shanghai . by 2020 it will consist of a total population of
8

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60 km

50 km 3 40 km

30 km

20 km 4 10 km

0 km

lture and u n of 590 people/km2 . agricu d a suburban basi n ridge of 944 people/km2 an o areas - an urba ies can be separated into tw it f 474 million . current dens
7 8

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18 km

15 km
3

12 km

9 km

6 km
4

3 km

0 km

urban forms nestle amongst each other to create a self-replicating rurbanized grain . as you zoom in sparsim developmental patterns reproduce themselves at eac
7 8

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18 km

15 km
3

12 km

9 km

6 km
4

3 km

0 km

less than 500m . the network is at once loose-kn to individual villages each expanding outwards . distances of separation drop to ach level of magnitude . down
8

39.2 x 23.2





certainty

dream

CurrenT

hub

mega city very large city


2

large city medium sized city international airport rural density low rurban density

high rurban density suburban density agriculture high density agriculture forest

high speed rail major road

knit and tight-spaced . as jinghus inhabitants come to enjoy the benefits of chinas economic growth they motori ze - they meat-eat - they move outwards - the
8

39.2 x 23.2

0



certainty

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doom

hub

mega city very large city


2

large city medium sized city international airport rural density low rurban density

high rurban density suburban density agriculture high density agriculture forest

high speed rail major road

hey produce more waste . the potential consequences for space and sustainability lead to the envisioning of a doom scenario . a different outcome can equally b
8

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dream

dream

hub

mega city very large city


2

large city medium sized city international airport rural density low rurban density

high rurban density suburban density agriculture high density agriculture forest

high speed rail major road

be imagined . a dream of more compact urban structure s . an efficient road-rail-air backbone . consolida tion of fertile land . . . . . . . . . . . .
8

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CONCLUSION
2

ROOTS INDUSTRIALIZATION (TVES*) AND OFFICIALLY PLANNED ECONOMIC AND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ZONES ACT AS PULL FACTORS FOR INVESTMENTS AND MIGRANTS AWAY FROM THE URBAN CORE. THE CONCEPT OF PUC* INTRODUCES A PARADOX. CHINAS URBAN LANDSCAPE IS DISTINCTLY CONCENTRATED ON ONE THIRD OF THE NATIONS SURFACE. THE PROJECTED GROWTH OF BOTH POPULATION AND BUILT-VOLUME FOR 2020 REVEALS OVERLAYERED AREAS WITH THE DENSITY OF A CONTINUOUS URBAN REGION, YET WITHOUT SUCH COHERENCE. THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN URBAN AND RURAL CONDITIONS IS STEADILY LOST AS CHINA MOVES TOWARDS A HYPER-SUBURBAN ROADDEPENDENT LANDSCAPE. THE SPACE AVAILABLE HOWEVER CANT POSSIBLY ALLOW FOR SUBURBAN SOLUTIONS SUCH AS HAVE EMERGED IN THE US. STIMULATING THE COMPACT URBAN GROWTH OF LARGER SETTLEMENTS THROUGH JOB INCENTIVES AND POLICIES WHICH CONCENTRATE DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PIVOTAL - NOT JUST FOR A MORE EFFICIENT AND SUSTAINABLE LAYOUT - BUT TO ALLOW CHINA TO KEEP EVOLVING TOWARD A PROSPEROUS AND ADVANCED NATION.

THE CONCENTRATION OF PEOPLE AND ACTIVITY WITHIN CHINA FORCES US TO RETHINK THE URBAN AND POPULATION DENSITY NUMBERS. WITHIN THE LIMITS OF PUC* THE COMBINED DEMOGRAPHIC, SOCIAL, AND ECONOMIC FORCES GIVE RISE TO HYPER-SPEED URBANIZATION ON AN UNSEEN SCALE. THE POLICIES INSTALLED TO KEEP THIS URBANIZATION AWAY FROM LARGE CITIES IS STIMULATING SCATTERED LOW LEVEL DEVELOPMENTS (POLICY SPRAWL*). MIGRATION TO THE LARGER CITIES IS OFTEN OF A TEMPORARY NATURE (ROLLOVER MIGRATION*), AND MAINLY CONTRIBUTES TO PERIPHERAL URBANIZATION. AS A RESULT, NEW FORMS OF URBANIZATION AT THE VILLAGE AND TOWNSHIP LEVEL HAVE EMERGED, SUCH AS DOORSTEP URBANIZATION* AND BRICKIFICATION*. THE INTENSITY OF RECENT GROWTH SUGGESTS VILLAGE MUSHROOMING WILL DICTATE EXPANSION PATTERNS FOR DECADES TO COME. THESE PHENOMENA REPRESENT THE MOST SPACE EXTENSIVE SETTLEMENT TYPES. IN ADDITION, BOTH GRASS
39.2 X 23.2
86

87

CERTAINTY

DREAM

400
7

1,000,000

1 x 400,000,000

The iniTial basis for This researCh was The sTaTed ambiTion To build 400 new CiTies wiTh an average of 1 million inhabiTanTs eaCh by 2020

whaT we insTead observed was The emergenCe of a single megalopolis of over 400 million inhabiTanTs





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keep em coming
2

Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

population and the urban crisis

Adrian Hornsby, quotes Bert de Muynck The Short Step, Kilometer Zero, 2005 (photo Ben McMillan) 400 Westerners wearing traditional Chinese blue factory uniforms walk through the 798* factory / art district of Beijing

certainty dream

21 19001661200330 30

0

6
1

1. eXplosion of population
5

2007

global urban population exceeeds global rural population: the world becomes predominately urban

world population billions

1
5

10,000 BC

8000

6000

4000

2000

2000

10,000 BC Dawn of settlements

POPULATION geometric growth

FOOD arithmetic growth route of moral restraint, contraception, homosexuality route of famine, war, epidemic

1798 1909 The power of population The Haber Process is so superior to the power The production of fertilizof the earth to produce er is no longer dependent subsistence for man, that on organic cycles (animal premature death must in dung, decomposed plant some shape or other visit matter etc.) and instead the human race. is manufactured on an An Essay on the Principle of industrial scale. Currently Population 1% of the worlds annual Thomas Malthus energy supply is consumed in the Haber Process. present

19391945 WWII No significant fall-off

19471991 The Cold War Humanity fears complete annihilation

past

less water fewer species older people bigger cities more desert more agribusiness less death more chimneys colonies on Mars? less thinking more insects
 
certainty dream

2. eXplosion of architectural theory


Who does not feel an acute nostalgia for the types who could, no more than 15 years ago, condemn (or was it liberate, after all?) whole areas of alleged urban desperation, change entire destinies, speculate seriously on the future with diagrams of untenable absurdity, leave entire auditoriums panting over doodles left on the blackboard, manipulate politicians with their savage statistics bow ties the only external sign of their madness? For the time when there were still thinkers? Koolhaas, R. S,M,L,XL, (Monacelli Press, 1995) p. 199

Below 30% urbanization, the balance between city and country feels organic two mutually reinforcing identities. Above that percentage, the advance of the city triggers alarm: as its growth accelerates, it becomes artificial; modernization takes hold [] Between 1900 and 1980, when their cities more than doubled, Europe and America produced their key manifestos [] The stream stopped abruptly exactly at the moment where urbanization on both continents reached a plateau, around the 70s: now tracts were written not about how the city should be constructed, but based on interpretations of the city as it existed. Koolhaas, R. Content (Taschen, 2004) [We see the development of] fast-growing industrialization, a fast-growing population, and a fast-growing urbanization. And one of the byproducts of this world is that architecture is coming to be considered as just another product, able to be produced almost fullblown by the same processes that now make other things for human use [ In response architects must develop] a willingness to see that industrialization, its processes and products, is neither panacea nor poison, and that the architect can cooperate with it without selling his soul in fact, must cooperate in order to prevent the world from becoming a soulless wasteland. Borchers, P. Future of Urban Environment: The Metabolist Group Progressive Architecture #45 (1964) p. 162

disap
nection

NOSTALGIA FOR THE PROPHET-ARCHITECT (even while he is still young)

peara

nce o

f the

soul
DISSEVERMENT FROM PRACTICE as theoreticians unroll ever bolder more conceptual approaches (we have deconstructed time etc.), various modern projects fail (project housing in the US, peripheral point towers and associated urban degeneration, the collapse of Ronan Point in the UK, etc.). Practicians grow to distrust theory; theory relieves itself of any obligation to provide realizable, cost-effective solutions. Architects are regarded as either space suppliers, wilful experimenters with unprofitable technologies, or library tower mountebanks.

se of org

anic con

deteriora

The Future of the City


NEW SOCIETY A surge in technology and the introduction of industrialized building techniques leads to utopian proposals for a massive scale rebuilding of the city. Whole new concepts of what a city can be are generated, reaching far beyond the direct concerns of architecture and urban design, and relocating the spatial debate onto a plane of philosophical and sociological questions. What can a society be? Who are its people? Hidden persuaders and strategies for allurement through design, aided by facilitators, enticements etc. are put forward to transform the inhabitants of an irrational mix of typologies into highly efficient standardized consumers housed in prefabricated units. Or the complete opposite everyone becomes a free electron in the ceaselessly mobile urban system.

ting sen

URBAN ALARM Density is generated by building upwards: steel, concrete. A panicked huddled populace suffers from acute fear of shadows, canyons, phantasmagoric visions of monolithic cities, continuous kilometers of reflective glazing. 60s scientists wearing glasses with thick black frames research ideal community sizes. White rodents sniff inscrutably behind the bars of laboratory cages while sucrose solutions are measured out for them in glass beakers. Rats are happiest, it is discovered, in tower blocks of no more than 12 storys.





certainty

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3. disappearance of the architect We have an obligation to speed up, improve the quality of, and reduce the cost of, construction. in order to do so, there is only one path the path of the most extensive industrialization of construction [] if an architect Wants to be in step With life, he must be an expert in cost-saving [] there are architects Who fail to take this into account [] this is architectural perversion.
KRUSHCHEV, N. PROJECT RUSSIA 25, PP. 1217


PREFABRICATION the arguments in favor of prefabrication are simple: offsite mass production of modular building components facilitates a speed, volume, efficiency, economy and precision of outputs achievable only in large-scale factory environments. These components can then be transported to sites, craned into place, and locked together with great accuracy. The excision of complicated onsite procedures and the enforced downtime spent waiting for concrete to set massively accelerates the pace of construction, and thus allows further cost savings. In the face of needing to house a great many people in a very short space of time in relatively impoverished parts of the world, prefabrication offers the most tangible solution. It also offers the most monolithic. Arguments against the widespread uncritical application of prefabricated techinques across all aspects of architecture are equally simple: the enforced deployment of a limited vocabulary of parts which fit together according to standardized proportions will necesarily produce a monotonous urban environment, without any specialized localized individualized sense of place. Architects have been notably reluctant to embrace fully modular systems, not least because of the extent to which they close down avenues for creative expression. Reduced almost to the role of flatpack assembler, the architect despises the method, and denounces the result as soul-less. Ironically, at the same time and by the same means that the architect loses his sense of himself as an artist, he gains a hitherto unthinkable real-world power. Assemblages of prefabricated components are erected not only with astonishing speed, but also on an almost limitless scale. You just keep linking and stacking. For those who utilize the new technology, not only single developments but single buildings even approach the scale of urban design. And having reached that size, there is still no technical imperative to stop.

a need to bridge the gap between the single building and the overpopulated hyper-congested disintegrating urban context

paradox of attempting to supply unique products using mass manufacture

The very moment at which the city becomes the dominant global form for human habitation, it is faced with a double bind: it is expected both to reinvent itself in the most creative, atttractive and sustainable way possible, and to house the incoming millions in the most effective, sanitized and equal way possible. In taking center stage, the demands on the one hand of functionality, and on the other of liveability, are effectively redoubled. To compound this pressure, the nature of concrete and the state of the environment necessarily expect the city to get it right first time. Planners, governments and community groups all call for the benefits of prefabrication, while refusing to give up traditional ideas of detailed homes and distinctive neighborhoods.

MEGASTRUCTURE / METABOLISM attempts may be made to mitigate the impact of prefabriction or to cloak its message, but its relevance to the population debate is unshakeable. Rather than containment and reticence, a radical alternative is the full-tilt pursuit of prefabrication as an expression of the future city in its ultimate form. The Metabolist movement called for the argument around urbanization to be refocused from light, green space, and the static qualities offered to an individual dwelling onto group form, constellation, and the movement patterns offered to an individual user. Prefabrication methods are deployed to create large scale environmental megstructures which engulf the previous urban realm within a continuous three-dimensional city. Linear, systematized, multifunctional, demontageable, adaptable, extendable, moldable component parts create a space which not only allows but is predicated upon permanent change. The use of the space feedsback into the space itself, or rather, the space processes and digests its uses. Thus the city becomes a metabolic unit, whose operations of morphological reformatting are an expression of its own internal flows and densities. Within the megastructure, time and space have equal weighting, and duration. The city metabolizes all things which flow through it: information, capital, people, matter. Rigid masterplans as conceptualized by the Modern movement are rejected. Instead population changes become ripples through a mastersystem.

mobile architecture ease of movement; use determined by users

The building is mobile insofar as any sort of use whatsoever by the user or a group must be possible and realizable. The layout will resemble a kind of grid with regular fixtures (the pillars). Below this grid is the irregular design of the radial buildings, freely meandering in relation to the use for which they are designed. Each volume used is not necessarily an obstacle to transformability, but a point of departure or a terminal station for certain inhabitants. The city, as a mechanism, is thus nothing other than a labyrinth: a configuration of points of departure, and terminal points, separated by obstacles. Yona Friedman on Mobile Architecture

The architect is asked to design a different standard building type for every new neighborhood, industry is required to manufacture slightly different components, and construction is expected to vary somewhat from that in existing projects. Therefore genuine industrialization never has a chance. Bosma, K., Van Hoogstraten, D., Vos, M. Housing for the Millions John Habraken and the SAR 1960-2000 (NAi, 2000) p. 91

dissolution of the home environment

A living unit is now based on only one generation and will eventually change into a personal unit. With the change in working conditions, working hours will be shortened. People will have three or four days for recreation. To have ones roots in the city will itself be meaningless. Noriaka Kurokawa, quoted by Borchers, P. Future of Urban Environment: The Metabolist Group Progressive Architecture #45 (1964), p. 168

John Habraken and the individual dwelling possible mediations

Looking at this in the context of current population growth and movements, which both suggest an urban explosion at the level of the smaller city (less than 500,000 residents), it is easy to see how the scale implied by prefabricated housing, and its development in huge quantities, will rapidly lead to a total transformation of those urban environments by architectural practices rather than by urban design.

In the guise of urban design, the exercise of architecture on a very large scale might bridge the gap between the single building and its disintegrating urban context. Massive physical forms are set against the incomprehensible sprawl of the simplistic, unfocused, statistical city of single-family dwellings on a million suburban lots. At that point of resolution and despair, the city as a single building became a thinkable concept and megastructure was its appointed form. Banham, R. Megastructure Urban Futures of the Recent Past (Thames & Hudson, 1976) p. 32

A radical alternative: the concept of a division between support and infill or, in other words, a separation of mass-housing production into two parts a communal part (the support) and a private area of responsibility (the infill). This differentiation recognized a desire to use industrial manufacturing methods to provide variation in millions of dwellings and to imbue ordinary dwellings with an individual character. However, Habrakens proposition meant first of all a new role for the institutional client, who had to admit the occupant into the process, allowing him to assume responsibility and to regain control of the creation of both his (rented) home and the housing environment [...] Another important point that emerged was the difference in objectives hidden behind arguments for industrialized building, depending on in whose interest the process of construction was being served. Architects pondering on industrially built dwellings formulated idealistic and architectonic concepts, while contractors supported industrialization on the basis of competition, scarcity, and a maximization of profits. Bosma, K., Van Hoogstraten, D., Vos, M. Housing for the Millions John Habraken and the SAR 1960-2000 (NAi, 2000) pp. 913

certainty dream

4. eXplosion of the built environment


MARKET FORCES

CONTEXT OF UNTRAMMELED DEVELOPMENT

REDUCTION IN THE SCOPE / RELEVANCE OF URBAN THINKING

GLOBAL URBANIZATION

historic center with outlying suburbs and occasional towers neo-Corbusian landscape: cross-towers and freeways

unfinished concrete structures 4

In the midst of technological step-change, ballooning theory, and housing demand x10 or more, the city has continued to grow in much the same manner as it ever did: private enterprise operating on the scale of individual lots. With a few notable exceptions, cities have not been defined by single unified visions, nor by a singular vocabulary of modular parts. This is not to say that repetition has not been at the core of much modern development. More that its expressions have been articulated by market forces rather than by pencil drawings. Those grand schemes which were once followed have yielded neither a competitive city, nor a desirable model. The planner invented himself in response to the appalling conditions of the urban poor in newly industrialized nations. Since then, self-projected planner-phantoms wielding in either hand ultimate power and terrifying solutions have given way to positions as either academics adrift from practice, or mere weak regulators. In the meantime, the city has developed faster, farther afield, and more profitably than ever before. In terms not only of raw population numbers, but also of proportion of GDP, cultural clout, and identity formation, the city has risen to dominate all space around itself. There is the city, and then there is its footprint (ecological, psychological, pathological etc.). It has taken a hold of itself, and done so according the rule of what typologies can be sold to which people. In the USA, the availability of cheap prefab facilitated the creation of the famously disaggregated American suburb. Europe mushroomed and modernized with a few cautious towers. Urban areas in much of the developing world have suffered the same ills as their now sanitized predecessors: cramped slums and proliferating waste. Conditions continue to be exacerbated by uncontrolled migration toward centers of limited economic growth. The international community lends money for infrastructure projects, which it then frequently contracts back to itself. Hyper-density in South East Asia has generated Corbusian typologies, though these are meted out in discrete private packets. In China, all elements are present at the same time as the greatest urbanization wave yet takes concrete shape.

certainty dream

massive infrastructure accumulation of cardboard slums 5

HOUSING THE MASSES

cul-de-sac

unclustered low rise



the city takes hold

5. no letting up THE SHORT TERM THE LONG TERM

euro

population world (billions)

urban

3 4

rural

population China (billions)

ica

afr

afr

ica

1.6 total

no

rth

ern

1950

1970

1990

2010

2030

am

europe

oceania

eri

ca

1.0 urban

rural 6

1950

1970

1990

2010

2030

In China we can discern two evolutions that reflect the impact of population on the urban growth. Firstly there is an individual and explosive growth of the small cities and villages located all over China. Secondly there is the clustering and steady hybrid growth of mega-urban regions such as the Pearl River Delta, Yellow River Delta and Jing Hu*.

7 upping sticks and giving birth Among Chinas huge floating population of rural-to-urban migrants were not a few who moved in order to give birth to more children. Unrestricted by urban work units or residence officials, peasant communities in the cities sometimes served as safe havens where couples could have births without fear of being fined to the great frustration of local birth planning officials. [] Meanwhile, the youngest generation, having grown up in a media-saturated culture and in many cases having experienced city life firsthand, were living in imagined worlds that were urban rather than rural. Carrying modern urban culture, these returned migrants, now roughly one-third of all rural-to-urban migrants, are major forces for reproductive change in the villages. Greenhalgh, S., Winckler, E. Governing Chinas Population From Leninist to Neoliberal Biopolitics (Stanford University Press, 2005) pp. 222229

00

lati

na

latin america &

no

total

the rn

am

eri

eric a

ca

&c

arib

bea

caribbean

Almost all population growth expected for the world in the next thirty years will be concentrated in the urban areas. The smaller urban settlements (with fewer than 500,000 residents) of the less developed regions, will be absorbing most of this growth. Mega-cities, like Tokyo, Mexico City and New York will continue to dominate the urban landscape in some countries, but the majority of the urban dwellers will be residing in the smaller cities. The worlds urban population was estimated at 3 billion in 2003 and is expected to rise to five billion by 2030. The rural population is anticipated to decline slightly from 3.3 billion in 2003 to 3.2 billion in 2030.

afr ica

we are here

oceania

pe

40

high 30

20

10

medium zero growth

asi

2000

2000

2100

2200

low 2300

2300
asia

The future both short and long term yields a massive expansion of the urban population. While numbers and balances remain fairly stable in the most developed regions of the world, significant changes are expected to unfold across developing continents. The impact of this upon urbanization is twofold: the total population continues to grow, exerting a greater pressure upon existing settlements; moreover the distribution of that growing population undergoes a transformation, from predominantly rural to predominantly urban. There are both more people, and more people moving. That this wave of urbanization is taking place in those countries where modern metropolitan cites are themeselves in their nascence presents the world with the greatest exercise in urban design it has ever experienced.

source: World Population in 2300, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 0
certainty dream

6. mum on the run


China is people rich. It is however resource poor. Or at least, it spreads itself thinly. Ratios of arable land per person, available water per person, hectares of forestry per person and so on all indicate that China has, comparatively, less to go round. The potential threat of overpopulation was apparent even to the pre-reform government, which from the beginning of the 70s was implementing a late, long, few family planning policy (encouraging women to have children later, with longer distances between them, and fewer in total). This imperative was formulated in terms of almost stunning bluntness: One is good, two is OK, and three is too many. Such slogans represented a deep level volte-face for a leader who in the early 50s was proclaiming the death of hunger, and equating population size with essential strength (Mao extended such thinking even to military strategy, responding to Americas nuclear dominance with Chinas ability to pursue aggressive repopulation in the event of a holocaust). The slogans and voluntary campaigns of the 70s saw total fertility rates drop from around 6 children per woman to 3. In 1979 a legal framework was screwed down in the form of the one-child policy. Since then, total fertility rates have stabilized somewhere around 1.9 a little beneath the constant rate of 2.1 children per woman. However, the population momentum of previous decades (i.e. the long term consequences of baby booms, which necessarily a create youth-heavy population with a low death rate) continues to sustain population growth. It now meanders between 0.6 and 1%. What does this mean for the urban environment? In essence, that the supply of cheap migrant labor is a selfreplenishing well. Urban birth rates stay low, educational opportunities improve, economic favor increases. In contrast, rural birth rates remain high, and the phenomenon of Chinas thin spread is maintained. The production of low-skill impoverished workers seeking an opportunity in the city continues unabated at the same time that the cities themselves become ever more alluring concentrations of wealth. The combination of high urban affluence and cheap and ready to hand construction laborers sets the scene for the city to build itself in almost any way it pleases. Idealism and prefab give way to mass manual labor. China is defined by its huge reserve of underprivileged people. They have been at the manufacturing core of the recent decades of sparkling economic growth. They are also still breathing down the governments neck a government instated by peasants in the first place, and which could conceivably be overthrown by them too. The partial relaxation of the hukou* system and the constrained facilitation of people flows are all part of a system desperate to keep the economic growth of cities and thus their ability to provide employment in step with the rate at which workers are arriving. Holding the value of the RMB down is equally a part of this: cheap labor, more contracts, better opportunities for job creation. This is a response which wont change while the conditions to which it is responding remain the same. The way fertility rates are currently being managed has amassed a population momentum sufficient to prolong these conditions for decades yet to come. Therell be no shortage of peasants coming to cities, nor of rich cities with markets primed for expensive private development. The explosions witnessed to date, as far as urbanization is concerned, are unrelenting. It is in fact a state of continuous explosion.

The one-child policy, when looked at nakedly, is perhaps the single most impressive exercise of state will over individual liberty in existence today. Its implementation has provoked infanticide, enforced abortion, selective abortion (primarily of female fetuses), mass international adoption (baby export), enforced sterilization (around 40% of Chinas married women have been sterilized), and mass criticism of what has been seen to be a blatant and searing infringement upon the right of the human being to reproduce. It hits at something very essential. When looked at practically and in detail though, a further set of implications emerge.
5

Firstly, it is important to note that enforcement happens through economic measures: rewards for consenters; social compensation fees for flouters. In this light, the one-child policy could be retermed the secondchild tax. What is illegal is not so much having a second child as having a second child and not paying for it. By this, a couples right to expand their family is no more under threat than their right to any number of other expensive lifestyle accoutrements (a bigger house, a nicer car, more kids these things are all related). It becomes a question of what you can afford. And indeed, some richer families simply have more, and pay up.
6

This however is a specialized if incendiary occurrence. The real drive behind sustained population growth in China comes not from large rich families, but from the uneven application of the policy itself. Different rules exist for different people, and it is not just the wealthy who are maintaining tradition. Ethnic minorities are allowed 3 to 4 children, and there has been a corresponding rise in their proportion of the population mix (up from 6.1% in 1953 to 9.4% in 2005). More significant though is the rural / urban disparity. Rural families are generally allowed 2 children (most often with a 35 year gap between). As always, local implementation and the caprice of provincial officials skew both figures and practices from area to area, but there is a basic city dweller / peasant fertility ratio of 1:2. Thus one city child for every two on the farm. With the already privileged status and enhanced income of urbanites, this further aggravates the wealth gap. A city couple with three times the revenue of their peasant counterparts concentrates this wealth on one child. On the other hand, the rural family surviving on 1/3 of the income splits it between two offspring. All other things being equal, each new ruralite is furnished with 1/6 of the funds. But other things are not equal. Concentrating population growth in rural areas means more pressure on the already beleaguered rural economy. Furthermore, it augments a rural labor surplus now comfortably into the hundreds of millions.

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Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

wake up and smell the coal

Louis Coulomb

70% GDP





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energy shopping

tion unmatched by improvements in conversion efficiency. The modernized industries cropping up across the country from Sichuan to Shandong province are expected to reverse this trend in the long-term. Are the industrial mammoths of the Great Leap era still pumping out too much steam, or is it the spiraling energy demand of a rising and richer middle class that is tipping the balance? The question of energy and its relation to Chinas progress is complex and multi-dimensional. How will China push ahead without locking itself into an impossible energy quandary? How will it wean itself off coal without ruffling too many foreign feathers as it shops for energy abroad? How can it continue to industrialize, to modernize and to urbanize with the energy sword of Damocles hanging precariously overhead? These are the issues China faces in the coming decades, and these issues will become more and more acute as Chinas demographic landscape shifts: over 50% of its population will be living in cities by 2020. Will Chinas cities be part of the energy solution or part of the problem?

The thrust behind Chinas terrific economic growth is provided by large injections of energy, derived primarily from fossil fuels. This energy is needed to run the fleet of 24 million vehicles currently in circulation; it is needed to steer the giant cranes that erect tower after tower in Chinas megalopolises; it is needed to keep warm a population four times the size of Europes in a country whose seasonal temperatures span 60C; and it is desperately needed to generate the terawatt hours of electricity swallowed each day by an energy and resource-hungry industrial complex scattered from Beijing to Shenzhen to Chengdu, producing everything from tires to microchips, mostly for foreign customers. And the Chinese too are demanding more energy: hundreds of millions of hairdryers, refrigerators, ceiling fans, rice cookers and televisions all must be fed by a reliable source of alternating current at any time of night or day. Twenty years ago these amenities were virtually non-existent in Chinese households today they are becoming as ubiquitous as they are in the West. A modern society does not experience regular brown-outs, much less black-outs, but if Chinas population breaks 1.6 billion by 2050, it will have to add the current power generation capacity of Canada every four years1 to keep the lights on. Managing its gargantuan energy appetite is one of the major challenges China faces in the 21st century. Modern industrial societies are underpinned by energy, they are driven by energy, and they can not survive without adequate means to harness and reliably channel its most prominent form: electricity. As industrialization moves apace and more and more of China is becoming urbanized, its energy infrastructure and the reliability of its electricity supply are becoming critical bottlenecks. Historically China has been a country of coal. This is still very much the case today: with the worlds third largest resource base to draw from, coal accounts for nearly 70% of Chinas energy consumption. But Chinas energy sector suffers from a number of inherent problems:2 firstly there is a geographical mismatch between supply and demand. The bulk of Chinas coal deposits are in the north of the country, while most of its economic activity is concentrated along the coastal regions of the east. Secondly, coal is a heavy pollutant and a major source of greenhouse gases. It is becoming very clear to the Chinese government that years of rampant environmental degradation and neglect is constraining economic growth and is now exacting an appreciable monetary toll. Reducing reliance on coal has therefore become of strategic importance. Needless to say, this cannot happen overnight. There are enormous problems attendant on readjusting a national energy mix. For one, Chinas domestic supplies of oil and natural gas are limited (in relation to its population) and with international markets in both commodities as tight as they are today the problem easily slips into the geo-strategic sphere: in 2004 Saudi Arabia was Chinas top foreign oil supplier the political sensitivities are self-evident. A third inherent problem relates to the efficiency with which China is converting its energy inputs into, heat, electricity or mechanical energy. Energy efficiency is often related to economic performance by the so called energy intensity which indicates how much energy input is required per unit of GDP. Once a country has passed the initial stages of industrialization, its energy intensity tends to decline. This has indeed been the case in China: the period between 1980-2000 has seen a spectacular decline in energy intensity, but for the past few years a steady rise in Chinas energy intensity has suggested renewed profligate energy consump0

1 China In An Energy Quandary Asia Times On-line, August 28, 2003

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2 Andrews-Speed, P. Chinas Energy Woes: Running On Empty Far Eastern Economic Review, June 2005



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CHINAS ENERGY MIX

5 Energy Information Agency (EIA), Country Analysis: China, www.eia.org 6 Smil, V. Chinas Past, Chinas Future: Energy, Food, Environment (Critical Asian Scholarship, Routledge Curzon, 2004) p.17

close down a large number of these small mines (evident in Figure 2, based on the official record), but anecdotal evidence suggests that many of the closed mines continued to operate.5 At least one third of the 80,000 small mines have been opened illegally.6 The growth in coal output, since 1987, has come almost entirely from collective or individually owned mines (see Figure 2). The rush to open new mines without adequate technical or geological evaluation has led to a tremendous waste in resources, with predictable consequences: destruction of arable and grazing land, the intensification of topsoil erosion and increasing air and water pollution. Moreover, the mine spills dumped in rivers aggravate local floods by raising the river bed.7 Most of Chinas reserves are not where the coal is most needed i.e. where industry is situated, as is evident in Figure 3. Chinas largest coal deposits are in the north, while most of its economic activity is in the east and south-central regions. One obvious solution would be to produce electricity in the north, where the resources are, export the energy to the south in the form of electricity through high voltage transmission lines, but this ignores another problem: thermal power generation with coal-fired plants requires vast quantities of cooling water, and water is precisely what is in dire shortage in the north (a virtual desert), while relatively plentiful in the south. Plans for a gargantuan south-north water-transfer scheme, in which water will be channeled from reservoirs in the

Coal Any discussion of Chinas energy begins with coal. Coal is the backbone of Chinas energy supply and it has been since the earliest days of its industrialization. Nearly 70% of Chinas primary energy consumption (by fuel) comes from coal. The dominance of coal in Chinas energy mix becomes particularly striking when a comparison is made with the US: in 2004, coal accounted for just under 25% of US primary energy consumption.3 Chinese energy experts entertain no illusions that coal will cease to be the countrys energy mainstay for many decades to come. In relation to Chinas sustained economic growth, an energy system analyst at the Energy Research Institute in Beijing commented:4 We have to increase coal consumption. Its not a good picture, but we have to do it. The International Energy Agency seems to agree, not that it should, but that it will happen: half the increase in global coal use over the next three decades is expected to come from China. Increasing domestic coal production is not an issue. During the late 1990s China even experienced a serious oversupply problem. Large-state owned coal mines as well as small unlicensed mines were developing excess inventory and many of these were even running at a loss. Stepping up coal exports became a means to deal with some of this surplus. The government eventually took measures to

Figure 1. Energy Consumption by Fuel 2003 Source: BP, 2004 Statistical Review of World Energy.

3 BP, Statistical Review of World Energy (2004) 7 Ibid

4 Quoted in Nature, Vol. 435, 30 June 2005 6

Figure 2. Raw coal production. Source: China Energy Databook, 2004 Laurence Berkeley Laboratory





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south (including, eventually, the Three Gorges Dam) over more than a thousand kilometers crossing the Yellow river may put the option of exporting power to the south back on the table. China is also pushing the development of various new technologies to convert coal to liquid and gaseous fuels, not only to reduce Chinas reliance on coal and its dependence on foreign sources of oil and gas, but also to mitigate the environmental impacts of coal. Sulfur Chinas principal source of air and water pollution is removed as an integral part of the gasification process.8 The worlds first coal-liquefaction plant is being built in Inner Mongolia by the state owned Shenshua Group and is scheduled to be complete in 2008.

The spectacular emergence of the automobile in the Chinese economy has intensified Chinas affair with oil. From 1990, within a decade, the market for passenger cars grew by a factor of 10. This growth was further galvanized by Chinas entrance into the WTO in 2001, which spurred local car manufacturers to launch a price war aimed at curbing competition from abroad in anticipation of lowered tariffs.9 And many more vehicles are on their way. The current figure of about 24 million is likely to rise to about 90-140 million by 2020; in terms of oil demand, transport would account for 57% of oil consumption compared to 33% today.10 Chinas thirst for oil will not be quenched any time soon: the IEA predicts demand will exceed 12 million barrels per day by 2030 (see Figure 6); by contrast, the US currently consumes about 20 millions barrels per day. It is important to note that over 70% of Chinas oil will come from imports by this date, exacerbating the geopolitical tensions already manifest. Whether this level of growth in China, alongside that of other energy hungry economies such as India, can realistically be satisfied is outside the scope of this essay. Suffice to say that the capacity of global oil supplies to meet expected global demand in the coming decades is currently the subject of vigorous debate. The jury is still out, and perhaps, ultimately, the verdict will not come in the form of projections from the analysts and economists of the worlds energy agencies, but far more curtly from real and possibly unmanageable supply shortages.

nal income and coal reserves Figure 3. Distribution of natio : reconcili (1995-1998) Energizing China Adapted from China Project e on mic growth, Harvard Committe environmental protection and econo Environment

9 Austin, A. Energy And Power In China: Domestic Regulation And Foreign Policy. Foreign Policy Center, 2005 10 US Senate, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Hearing on EIAs Annual Energy Outlook for 2005 (3 February 2005). Testimony of Jeffrey Logan, Senior Energy Analyst and China Program Manager, IEA, Energy Outlook for China: Focus on Oil and Gas. 8 CO2 emission, however, would not be decreased through this process unless it is separately managed e.g. by sequestration

Oil China enjoyed a long history of energy self-sufficiency. This history came to an end in the late 1990s when China become a net energy importer. This is not to suggest that China, like Japan, had insufficient energy resources of its own its reserves of coal were still plentiful but demand in oil began to outstrip domestic supply in 1993; its overall energy balance tipped a few years later. In 2003, China became the second largest consumer of petroleum in the world after the US. Its demand in 2004 stood at 6.37 million barrels per day (mb/d) global demand was about 82mb/d. With limited domestic supplies of its own, imports have been Chinas principal means to satisfy a growing demand. In the early 1990s Chinas imported oil came from a handful of countries, including Indonesia, Oman and Yemen. Today, this list is vastly expanded, with Saudi Arabia, Iran, Angola and Vietnam prominently represented. Foreign equity has also been a channel through which China has sought to satisfy demand: half of Chinas current oil production abroad comes from Sudan. Recent unsuccessful attempts to acquire the American oil major Unocal is further evidence of Chinas outspoken ambitions in this arena.

Figure 5. Oil production by field ra 2004, Laurence Berkeley Labo Source: China Energy Databook,

Natural Gas One question on which most commentators seem unanimous is the increasing importance of natural gas. The largest future growth in terms of fuel share in China is expected to come from this hydrocarbon, particularly for the generation of electricity, currently dominated by coal. The principal reason is environmental. Emissions of green house gases and other pollutants, such as sulfur oxides can be significantly reduced. Natural gas is also vastly more efficient. Modern gas-fired combined-cycle plants can convert about 60% of the energy contained in natural gas into electricity. By contrast, coal-fired plants convert only about 40%. In natural gas lies the potential


Figure 6. Oil demand projection k, 2004 Source: IEA, World Energy Ouloo



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Figure 4. Net energy imports Source: China Energy Databook, 2004

, Laurence Berkeley Laborator

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Figure 7. Fossil fuel use in electr icity generation Source: China Energy Databook, 2004, Laurence Berkeley Labo ratory

to make Chinas electricity generation far more efficient. Another very important reason for further diversification of Chinas fuel mix are the transportation bottlenecks that have arisen from coal, in particular since 2002 following the steep rise in demand. As mentioned in the introduction, China suffers from a geographical mismatch between its energy resource concentrations and its centers of economic activity. This is also the case for natural gas: Chinas gas reserves are as far if not further removed from the large cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou as are its major coal reserves. Chinas largest deposits of natural gas are located in the western and north-central provinces. Of course, the difference is that gas transport by pipeline is virtually

11 Ibid.

instant, if the infrastructure is in place. The 3,900km west-east pipeline, that connects western Xinjiang province to Shanghai, delivered its first cubic meter of natural gas in 2004. The project cost $24 billion and was a wholly Chinese undertaking (planned participation from Shell, Exxon-Mobil and Gazprom fell through).11 As with oil, Chinas domestic natural gas supplies are limited. Gas imports are expected to account for 27% of primary gas supplies by 2030. An important source of gas import will be in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Natural gas becomes liquid below a certain temperature. Liquefaction permits much larger quantities of natural gas to be transported by

Figure 9. Gross electricity prod uction Source: China Energy Databook, 2004, Laurence Berkeley Labo rator



Figure 8. Chinas natural gas infrastructure Source: www.iea.org/textbase/speech/2005/jl_china.pdf



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tanker from overseas exporting countries. A substantial number of LNG terminals are planned along Chinas eastern coast. It is estimated that by 2011 installed LNG processing will account for 20% of installed capacity in the Asia Pacific.12 Natural gas faces an important commercial barrier: it remains expensive relative to coal, certainly without the inclusion of environmental costs. The perception of this high costs dampens demand. As indicated by Jeffrey Logan, China Program Manager at the IEA, in his testimony to the US senate in February 2005 without strong market pull for gas, the entire natural gas chain will remain weak, no matter how much government tries to develop the market by administrative dictate. Further demand for natural gas would provide the needed impetus to invest in upgrading the fragmented infrastructure, and to fill the knowledge gap that exists regarding how best to develop the natural gas market.

A 25-station project with a combined capacity of 15.8GW is being developed on the upper portion of the Yellow River. The environmental impact of Chinas hydro development is particularly evident on this river, the downstream portion of which has been reduced to a trickle for most of the year, exacerbating the already chronic water shortage problems in the north. Droughts are endemic and desertification yearly sends dust storms sweeping east from the Gobi desert to Tokyo and as far as the USs western seaboard. The construction of small hydro-stations has been an important application of energy conversion technique in China. The initial thrust came during the water conservation efforts of the Great Leap Forward. A total of 900MW was planned by 1958; although the endeavor was aborted when the Great Leap collapsed, small hydro remains a significant contributor to the electrification of rural China.

Non-hydro renewable energy


16 Logan, J. & Lew, L. Energizing Chinas wind power sector US Department of Energy, Pacific Northwester National Laboratory, March 2001, http://greennature. com/article600.html 17 French, H. In Search Of A New Energy Source: China Rides The Wind. New York Times, July 26, 2005

12 Austin, A. Energy And Power In China: Domestic Regulation And Foreign Policy. Foreign Policy Center, 2005

15 An often ignored fact is that at least 10% of Chinas total primary energy use comes from rural consumption of biomass in the form of crop residue and woody phytomass, usually burned as fuel. For a detailed discussion on Chinas rural energy flows, see: Smil, V. Chinas past, Chinas future: energy, food, environment. 2004, p25-45

Despite its small showing, non-hydro renewable energy has not been ignored in China. It has enjoyed a great deal of attention at national energy policy level. At the same time, renewable energy has so much ground to catch up before it can make even a small difference in Chinas energy mix, that it can only be considered in the context of a long-term energy strategy. Predominant renewable energy in China includes, wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. Together, they account for less than 1% of Chinas energy mix.15 Wind already has a fairly good footing in China both in terms of installed capacity as well as domestic expertise. In fact, China has some of the best wind resources in the world, particularly in Inner Mongolia and the

north western regions in Xinjiang province, with an estimated exploitable wind resource in excess of 250GW16 (about 250 nuclear power stations). By 2002, 30 wind farms had already been installed with a total capacity of 468MW. And targets are to reach 20GW of installed capacity by 2020.17 To put this in perspective, total combined power generation capacity in 2002 exceeded 300GW. Establishing new technology goes beyond merely installing hardware. A domestic industry and a knowledge base need to be in place. Capacity building efforts, with foreign involvement (including the UN and the World Bank), have been pushing in that direction. Nevertheless, renewable energy still has a very long way to go before it can start to allay Chinas energy and environmental ills.

We can expect 1 to 2 new nuclear power stations per year for the next 16 years
Nuclear Nuclear power accounts for only 1% of Chinas energy consumption. Yet Chinas nuclear program is not young it started in the late 1980s. There are three stations in operation, with a total capacity of 6.1GW, all on the eastern coastal areas. It is expected this capacity will be greatly expanded, on the order of 2GW (i.e. 1 to 2 new power stations per year for the next 16 years). A giant step in that direction will be the 6GW nuclear complex planned in Guangdong province, to be operational by 2010. New capacity will largely be replacing old coalfired power stations that will be gradually retired. Nuclear may become competitive with coal especially in the east of the country when the added costs of coal transport, desulfurization equipment and the rising cost of coal itself are factored in. The high capital cost of nuclear power generally keeps private investors at bay, thus nuclear power remains largely a state enterprise.
13 The death of Chinas rivers Asia Times On-line, August 26, 2003

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While hydroelectric power represents only 5% of Chinas total energy consumption, China stands unrivalled as the worlds greatest producer of hydroelectric power. Of the 45,000 large dams in the world, 22,104 are in China, 6,390 are in the US and 4,000 are in India. The most notorious of its hydro projects is of course the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River. With 26 separate 700MW generators giving a total capacity of 18.2GW (about eighteen large nuclear power stations), it is a symbol of Chinas technical prowess and an object of great national pride. Equally, however, critics have heaped endless scorn on the project, claiming its aims are irreconcilable with the scale of the environmental impact: six hundred cubic kilometers of water from Wuhan to Chongqing is impounded primarily for the purposes of generating electricity; the displacement of people to make way for the project runs to 1.8 million.13 At least two more dams on the scale of the Three Gorges are planned for the Yangtze in Yunnan and Sichuan province. The aim is to double Chinas hydropower by 2010.14


14 Peasants bear the brunt of Chinas energy plans Asia Times Online, August 27, 2003

Figure 10. Chinas energy intensity Source: China Energy Databook, 2004, Laurence Berkeley Laboratory 
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ENERGY INTENSITY AND THE CHINESE ECONOMY

TO DU TA ST L RIA EN L ER SE GY CT DE OR M AN

Figure 11. Energy end use by sector Laboratory Source: China Energy Databook, 2004, Laurence Berkeley

19 Statistics on electricity generation are straightforward. Oil and gas production and imports statistics are generally quite accurate, but some statistics are far less reliable. Data on biomass consumption is based on estimates, but 80% of rural energy is derived from biomass. Further uncertainty lies in coal: tens of thousands of small, inefficient coal mines were officially closed in the late 1990s, and reported coal production showed significant decline. The reality is that many of these mines carried on producing coal all along, and that coal output did not fall nearly as much as the statistical data suggests. Recent rapid growth in coal production may simply be (at least, in part) a return to more accurate statistical reporting. For more detail see: Stinton, J.E., Comments on recent energy statistics from China, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, October 2003. On-line at Sinosphere

18 For a detailed discussion of Chinas energy intensity and statistical validity of EI data, see: Smil, V. Chinas past, Chinas future: energy, food, environment (Critical Asian Scholarship. Routledge Curzon, 2004) 20 Sinton, E. J. Comments On Recent Energy Statistics From China. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories, October 2003

China has been growing at a feverish 9% per year and is set to become the worlds largest economy within two or three decades. The ratio between the total primary energy consumption and GDP is a countrys energy intensity (EI); it indicates how much energy is needed to produce a unit of GDP. The idea that economic growth must be accompanied by growth in energy consumption will seem intuitively correct; the question is whether the growth in energy consumption is greater or less than economic growth. Generally, as a country develops, energy is used more and more efficiently and thus energy intensities will tend to decline as less energy is needed to produce the same unit of GDP. Looking at Chinas energy intensity, particularly over the last 20 years (up to 2002), it has indeed been declining. However, this has not always been the case. During the 1950s, a Stalin-style expansion of energy intensive heavy industry led to a predictable rise in the EI. The subsequent rapid decline reflects the collapse of the Great Leap Forward, followed by the instability of the Cultural Revolution, but Chinas EI resumed its steady rise after these events. The turning point came with the reforms of Deng Xiaoping: from 1979-1985 the countrys EI fell by 30%. This was the result of the combination of wholesale closure of old, inefficient factories, and the introduction of new technology. The EI continued its decline with a virtual free-fall between 1995 and 2000 of nearly 45%.18 Over the last few years, however, this trend seems quite surprisingly to have been reversed.

The energy elasticity of demand (the ratio of the growth rate of energy consumption over the growth rate of GDP) is another way to examine energy intensity. The value of this index has been about 0.5 for China for quite a number of years, but in 2004, following 2 years of rising energy intensity, it exceeded 1.5! (i.e. growth of GDP: 9%; growth in energy demand: 15%). In Figure 10 it is possible to see the beginning of this trend with a leveling off of the energy intensity in 2001. Leaving aside the debate over the statistical validity of current values,19 the recent overall upwards trend may reflect a regression in energy efficiency of Chinas economy, which, if persistent, could have significant consequences on the course of Chinas development and on its environment in the short term.

ENERGY BY SECTOR In the long term, however, as China moves towards a less energy intensive industry, the energy intensity of its economy will decline. The breakdown of energy use by sector in Figure 11 provides a clear sign that Chinas energy intensity can potentially be greatly reduced as its industrial sector accounts for nearly three quarters of total energy demand. And given that growth in other sectors relies on a supply of manufactured goods from the industrial sector, the latter is set to remain the dominant energy consumer in China for the foreseeable future.20 Note that residential and agricultural demand for energy represent a relatively small proportion of the total energy consumption.

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More than 50% of the growth in both steel and cement production in the world between 1983 and 2003 came from China The economic cost of environmental problems in China is currently estimated at 515% GDP.

1983200350% GDP5-15%
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Industrial sector To manufacture a ton of steel requires over a ton of coal. China makes more steel (as well as other high energy products such as cement) than any other country in the world. More than 50% of the growth in both steel and cement production in the world between 19832003 came from China.21 This explains the vast energy appetite of Chinas industrial sector.
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An important section of Chinese industry is in the form of TVEs (township and village enterprises see glossary). TVEs have been shown to be very heavy and largely inefficient consumers, however they constitute an integral part of the Chinese economy. Small and medium scale enterprises, for instance, produced 80% of cement output, but because of their inefficiency, the tendency has been to close down as many small plants as quickly as possible, in favor of further centralization. A word of caution against dismantling this longstanding economic structure might be that small, but technically advanced plants in industrialized countries are equally if not more efficient than their larger counterparts, in addition to the fact that they bring added flexibility.22

Characteristic of the most intensive stages of industrialization is the demand for electricity growing faster than the total demand for all forms of commercial energy. Growth has been such that demand for electricity more or less doubles every decade (see Figure 9; consumption is matched by generation capacity, see Figure 13). In the first half of 2004, 24 out of Chinas 31 provinces experienced blackouts. Suspension of power transmission to certain enterprises to prevent blackouts in residential areas was not uncommon. The growth rate in demand for electricity has been in the order of 9 to 10% in recent years. While investment in new power generation facilities has been lagging, investment in energy-hungry metallurgy, building materials and chemicals industries has been growing rapidly, completely out of step with lead time to build the necessary generation and transmission infrastructure.23 The Chinese government continues to aim to increase the countrys generation capacity, from its level in 2003 of 385GW to nearly 500GW by the end of 2005.24 Distribution and transmission capacity will have to be upgraded accordingly.

21 IEA, World Energy Outlook, 2004

23 Austin, A. Energy And Power In China: Domestic Regulation And Foreign Policy. Foreign Policy Center, 2005

Figure 13. Power generation capacity Source: China Energy Databook, 2004, Laurence Berkeley Laboratory

24 Dadi, Z. Chinas Sustainable Energy Future; Scenarios of Energy and Carbon Emissions Energy Research Institute & Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, October 2003 22 Farinelli, U., Yokobori, K., Fengqi, Z. Energy efficiency in China. Energy for Sustainable Development, Vol. 5, issue 4, 2001

Residential sector

In the first half of 2004, 24 out of Chinas 31 provinces experienced blackouts. -

200431 24

The residential energy use is relatively small compared to industrial consumption, but it is expected to rise dramatically as more and more Chinese move to cities and equip their homes with televisions, fans and, especially, power-hungry airconditioning. Room fans and air-conditioners have indeed shown the steepest rise in recent years (see Figure 14). The potential for efficiency gains on the residential front are enormous. Small improvements in homes and home appliances are magnified several millionfold. Refrigerators are particularly amenable to improvements. In the late 1980s China exceeded the US in the production of refrigerators, but insufficient thermal insulation, inefficient compressors and low quality gaskets made the Chinese models about 50% less efficient.25 Wall and ceiling insulation and double-glazed windows are not typical features of

25 Smil, V. Chinas Past, Chinas Future: Energy, Food, Environment (Critical Asian Scholarship, Routledge Curzon, 2004) p.24

gy end use by energy type Figure 12. Industrial ener eley Laboratory book, 2004, Laurence Berk Source: China Energy Data





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Figure 14. Electric appliance ownership Source: China Energy Databook, 2004, Laurence Berkeley Laboratory

Figure 15. Stock of civilian motor vehicles Source: China Energy Databook, 2004, Laurence Berkeley Laboratory

The potential for efficiency gains on the residential front are enormous. Small improvements in homes and home appliances are magnified several millionfold.





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Chinese apartments today. Enormous contributions to energy efficiency could be made by fiberglass and thermostats alone improvements which would significantly contribute to a lowering of Chinas energy intensity.

Ministry of Land and Resource. The structure changed again in 2003 with the creation of the Energy Bureau under the National Development and Reform Commission. Though a worthy move to centralize energy policy, the Energy Bureau was not given the muscle it needed: it is currently staffed by about thirty people, while a comparable body in an OECD country would have hundreds if not thousands.28 Possibly in recognition of this problem Beijing announced in March 2005 that a national leading group under the State Council would be given the energy sector portfolio. Despite Chinas one-party system of government, it has shown hesitance in the centralization of certain expertise and responsibilities, leaving many pressing problems and planning issues unaddressed.

31 Smil, V. Chinas Past, Chinas Future: Energy, Food, Environment (Critical Asian Scholarship, Routledge Curzon, 2004) p.188 28 US Senate, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Hearing on EIAs Annual Energy Outlook for 2005

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Some commentators have gone so far as to say that the most important issue to be addressed in the coming years is not the question of possible oil supply shortfalls in China, but rather the efficiency of Chinas power sector, in particular the generation, pricing and transmission of electricity.26 As demand for electricity continues to spiral up, a robust regulatory framework will have to be set in place to provide a transparent pricing mechanism, certainly as interconnection between grid networks increases and as the utilities shift from public to private hands. Without such a framework it is possible that much needed private investment will not be forthcoming. Moreover, with rapid urbanization, Chinas changing pattern of domestic energy use will lead to sharp increases in electricity demand, a further factor militating in favor of greater coherence and efficiency in Chinas electricity market. Uncertainty and incoherence is a problem not exclusive to Chinas power sector. The energy sector as a whole suffers from a lack of consistent long term policy; this is reflected in the shifting nature of its institutional structures.27 Since 1992 China has had no Energy Ministry responsible for formulating national energy policy. Institutions have been created it seems almost ad hoc, often to be dismantled some years later. Until the mid 1990s, responsibility for energy-policy was effectively devolved to a small number of very large state-owned companies; they reported to the State Planning Commission (SPC) and the State Economic and Trade Commission (SET). Approval for all major investments and energy prices required SPC approval. In 1998, with the beginning of a major restructuring of Chinas large energy companies, the energy portfolio was handed to three separate institutional bodies, including the


car began to make significant inroads. More disposable income and easy loans facilitated by a government keen to see the car industry become one of Chinas economic pillars have helped to drive this economic boom. But cars have also become a means to adapt to a quickly changing urban environment: designated government housing close to ones place of work is an arrangement that is quickly vanishing. The housing sector is becoming increasingly privatized and the old state-owned factories have either been shut down or moved out of cities, often beyond the reach of public transportation. Furthermore, the governments involvement in promoting the car industry cannot be overstated. What happened in the US during the 20s and into the 50s, when the interstate highways were built, is occurring in China virtually within a single decade. China had 34,000 km of motorways in 2004, more than twice the 2000 figure (and it had virtually none in the late 1980s). Its network is currently the third largest in the world, with half of it built in the past 15 years. By 2020 it is expected to double in size.30 The toll will be further loss of arable land, rising photochemical smog, and degradation of the urban environment.

by 2020. The nations already tattered ecosystem will undoubtedly suffer more and perhaps greater insult during this period, deepening the economic impact of Chinas environmental degradation, currently estimated at 5 -15% of GDP.31 Efficiency improvements evident in Chinas declining energy intensity, coupled with a shift of industrial activity from heavy industry to light industry are encouraging signs. But will China be able to raise the standard of living for its growing population without doing irreversible damage to the very ecosystem that will have to provide the primary inputs to sustain its improved quality of life? Water shortage is probably Chinas greatest environmental challenge. In absolute terms Chinas water resource is not inadequate. It ranks sixth in the world, but in per capita terms China falls to about a quarter of the global mean. The consumption trend of the last fifty years runs from about 100Gm3 in 1949 to about 557Gm3 in 1997; official projections for 2030 are: 664Gm3, not far from the estimated total available volume of 800-950Gm3. Moreover, as with its energy resources, a highly uneven distribution of precipitation makes Chinas northern provinces (outside the zone of strong monsoon rains) particularly water strained. At the same time, this region contains about two fifths of the population and produces a proportional amount of the nations grain output. Irrigation dominates the Chinas water use in a manner that does not reflect the level of scarcity. Beijing residents used to pay a flat rate amounting to about 10% of real cost; this was revoked in 1996, after which water prices were raised. Yet water for irrigation, which accounts for 80% of water use (50% in Beijing municipality), has remained virtually free. The urban impact on water resources is also severe. Beijings reservoirs currently contain less water than at any time since the 1980s. And the Ministry of Land and Resources has warned that a mega-funnel of receding groundwater has formed over an area as

26 Ibid.

Cars, cars and more cars When growth in sales hit a bonanza level of 75% in 2003, Beijing felt it had to step in to tighten credit rules on car purchases. Sales slumped a little subsequently, but China was nonetheless the third largest automobile market in the world in 2004 with 5 million cars sold (US: 17 million). Because of Chinas immense population, the per capita translation is less impressive: 7 or 8 out of every 1000 people compare to the USs average of 600. If anything this discrepancy between the US and the PRC underlines the vast expansion of cars we can expect in the near future in China. But growth is anything but geographically uniform. Beijing, for instance, a city of 12 million, has 2 million cars.29 The Chinese seem bent on following the American model, with each family owning a car. This could mean in the order of 300-400 million new cars (the total global fleet is currently about 500 million registered vehicles). Bicycles that used to fill the streets of all major cities are slowly but surely being relegated to the scrap heap. Shanghai, to great outrage, even dared to ban bicycles from its main streets to make way for its growing middle class of inexperienced drivers (the accident rate in China is abominable). China has followed a different course in the development of motorized mobility than its Asian neighbors, where the share of motorcycles per capita reached much higher levels before the personal

30 Ibid.

Environmental impact Chinas remarkable development over the past four decades has unfortunately entrenched a much longer history of environmental abuse and neglect. From air pollution and water contamination, from widespread deforestation and the erosion of arable land, from acid rain and loss of biodiversity, China has reached calamitous levels on virtually every front. Although Beijing formally recognizes the extent of the degradation, and some important measures have been put in place to redress the worst mismanagements, the imperatives of Chinas economic goals still prevail unequivocally over environmental concerns. Chinas GDP quadrupled between 1980 and 2000. The plan is to repeat this feat

29 The Economist, June 4th, 2005 27 See: Andrews-Speed, P. Chinas energy woes: running on empty Far Eastern Economic Review, June, 2005



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large as 40,000m2, resulting from the convergence of separate funnels underneath Tianjin, northern Henan and western Shandong. Beijings water table has dropped 9m since the early 1980s, and this effect is even greater in parts of the North China Plain.32 Not only is water scarce, but it is usually contaminated as well. Half the population, or a little over 600 million people have water supplies that are contaminated by animal and human waste. In July of 2004, on one of Chinas seven biggest rivers, the Huai, a dark, noxious plume, stretched 133km downstream killing most fish in its path. Too much water extraction compounded by excess dumping of untreated waste were cited as the root causes. Chinas State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) found that over 70% of the water in five of Chinas seven major rivers was unsuitable for human contact. This problem is likely to become increasingly acute as more people move to cities. In 2004, only 20% of Chinas 168 tons of solid waste per year were disposed of adequately.33 The air quality in China is equally dramatic. The following figures speak for themselves: Beijings mean annual total suspended particulate (TSP) level is about 500g/m3. The World Health Organizations recommended maximum, to be exceeded only 2% of the year, is 150g/m3! Some cities are even worse:34 Mudanjiang in Heilongjiang and Langzhou in Gansu have mean annual TPSs of 600g/m3. The World Bank estimates that China has 16 of the worlds 20 most polluted cities. Coal is the principal culprit, in particular with regards to sulfur dioxide emissions. Soon, hundreds of thousands of cars will be adding great swathes of photochemical smog to the mix. The list goes on: the cumulative loss of arable land due to erosion over the past forty years has exceeded the totality of farmland available in all of Germany, while China, with 21% of the worlds population in the year 2000, had only 9% of the worlds farmland.35 To blame, among other factors, are urbanization, and the encroachment of enterprise and large infrastructure projects such as the Three Gorges Dam. The margin between demand and the supply available from Chinas natural resource base is much
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narrower than in most other countries. This makes the proper management of this resource base critical. In 1998, SEPA was raised to ministerial level, environmental spending was increased, and the 10th Five Year Plan was promulgated setting ambitious targets for emission reductions. But its implementation is proving difficult in a sprawling, centralized bureaucratic structure. Analogous to the effete Energy Bureau, SEPA remains largely understaffed, and forced to vie for influence with other agencies such as the Construction Ministry that deals with water and sewage treatment. This competition stifles SEPA at ministerial level, while at the local level, on the ground, in SEPAs many branches around the country, corruption makes enforcement very difficult.36 The book of Chinas environmental abuses makes a long and rather alarming litany, and when it is not accompanied by a list of improvements and mitigation measures put in place in recent years the outlook seems unquestionably bleak. Beijing understands the scale of the challenge, but at the same time if it is to raise the countrys standard of living it must stay the course of industrialization and that means increasing resource consumption, which means more pollution, more water extraction, and more erosion of land. If it must be done, the key will be to do all of these things as efficiently as possible with the least detriment to the environment.
32 Section on water is based on: Smil, V. Chinas Past, Chinas Future: Energy, Food, Environment (Critical Asian Scholarship, Routledge Curzon, 2004) p.152-167

36 The Economist, August 21st, 2004

33 Section based on: The Economist, August 21st, 2004

34 Smil, V. Chinas Past, Chinas Future: Energy, Food, Environment (Critical Asian Scholarship, Routledge Curzon, 2004) p.18

Quality of life and energy What does raising Chinas standard of living mean in energy terms? Is it possible to identify a minimum yearly per capita energy consumption level required to achieve a quality of life that would be deemed acceptable by Western standards? And what is acceptable? There is no one single indicator that encapsulates quality of life. However, infant mortality, average per capita food availability, or levels of enrolment in higher education, for instance, can be used as proxies for what is experienced as quality of life. In the case of infant mortality, it is possible to achieve levels comparable to those in Italy, the US and Canada, at per capita energy consumption equivalent to about 2000kg of oil equivalent (kgoe) per year (on the lower boundary). Average per capita food availability follows a similar trend: 2000kgoe/year

Droughts are endemic and desertification yearly sends dust storms sweeping east from the Gobi desert to Tokyo and as far as the USs western seaboard

35 Ibid. p.149



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39 Zhihong, W. Economic development and energy issues in China Working paper prepared for KEIOUNU-JFIR panel meeting. Tokyo, February 13, 2004 2

is about the turning point beyond which diminishing returns become evident. Italy has about the same level of food availability and the same level of infant mortality as the US for about a third of the energy consumption! The United Nations Development Program combines four quality of life indicators in its Human Development Index. Here, once again, the same pattern emerges: 2000kgoe is about the level beyond which a fairly level quality of life is achieved based on the criteria of life expectancy at birth, adult literacy, combined educational enrolment and per capita GDP. Each country clearly has its various cultural, environmental or economic reasons for being more or less energy efficient37 and thus there is a range within which the various developed economies are situated, with Canada and the US at one end, and the European countries (largely) at the other. Within that range, quality of life can not be said to vary appreciably. What can be said, however, is that 2000kgoe seems to be about the minimum yearly per capita energy consumption needed to reach the level of economic security, physical wellbeing and access to education typical of developed countries. Chinas per capita consumption in 2002, was about 800kgoe/year; this is more than twice the level in India, but only about half the global mean, and about a fifth of the Japanese level. To reach the threshold of 2000kgoe within the next few generations, given the expected increase in population, Chinas total energy consumption will have to increase by a factor greater than 2.5. This means that Chinas total primary energy consumption will start to be on a par with the US, making China a challenger for the top spot as the worlds greatest energy consumer,38 and hence potentially the greatest polluter in the world. Unquestionably there will have to be a trade-off between environmental conservation and quality of life in China, and the balance will be a very precarious one, indeed. Chinas GDP per capita is currently at about $1000 (in purchasing power parity terms) and is targeted to

Figure 16. Infant mortality versus per capita energy consumption Adapted from Smil, V. Energy at the crossroads (MIT Press, 2003)

37 Japan for instance, which imports virtually all of its energy, will necessarily consume less than Saudi Arabia

Figure 17. Average per capita food availability Adapted from Smil, V. Energy at the crossroads (MIT Press, 2003)

quadruple during 20002020.39 Recall the section on energy elasticity of demand: since the early 1980s, and until recently, the energy elasticity hovered around 0.5. This means that for every 2% GDP growth, energy consumption in China grew by 1%. If GDP indeed quadruples by 2020 with a consistent energy elasticity of about 0.5, then total energy consumption will double, putting yearly per capita values at around 1500kgoe (given a certain level of population growth). But one must be cautious with these numbers: current energy elasticity values are above 1, and if this situation persists per capita energy consumption could be as high as 3000kgoe as early as 2020 for the same GDP growth! It is unlikely that a 20 year energy elasticity trend has suddenly and irrevocably been reversed, and thus this is indeed an extreme case, but it is possible. The outcome will be decided by whether or not China manages to steer its economy towards efficiency, by shifting swiftly to a higher share of light industry, rapidly introducing efficient and environmentally friendly technology, and not blindly replicating the technological trajectories followed by western economies in their development. Leapfrogging is the term often used to describe the process of circumventing tested paths with newer, more innovative ones. This applies as much to Chinas urban environment as to industry, as cities will be home to over half the Chinese population by 2020. Avoiding the pitfalls of traditional urban design may be the difference between a low and a high energy society in the future .

Figure 18. Human Development Index versus per capita energy consumption Adapted from Smil, V. Energy at the crossroads (MIT Press, 2003)

38 US total primary energy consumption in 2000 was about 3.3 Gtce/year. Chinas was about 1.4 Gtce/year. A 2.5 fold increase would yield 3.5 Gtce/year

Energy conservation and Chinas cities In 2003 over a quarter of total primary energy was consumed by buildings, through heating, air conditioning, ventilation, heating water, lighting, cooking, operating appliances, and running elevators. A total of 230Mm2 of energy saving buildings was built by the end of 2002, but that represented only 2.1% of urban





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41 Smil, V. Chinas Past, Chinas Future: Energy, Food, Environment (Critical Asian Scholarship, Routledge Curzon, 2004) p.202

Private passenger transport energy use per capita GJ/person

building area. The rest of Chinas stock of buildings is backward in energy efficiency terms: in comparison to developed countries, energy consumption for heat per unit of floor is about 3 times greater in China. This translates to excessive use of both heating and air-conditioning to compensate for this (heating and air conditioning accounted for two thirds of the total consumed by buildings): the peak load for air-conditioning was about 45GW, which is equivalent to about 2.5 Three Gorges Dams, a tremendous energy consumption that could easily be reduced by adequate energy conservation measures. This problem will only increase if it is not tackled today. The building area built by 2020 will be double that available in 2000. By 2020 energy consumption from buildings could be as high as 1,089 megatons of coal equivalent (Mtce), three times current levels and equivalent to two thirds of Chinas total current primary energy consumption.40 In Chinas 2004 energy strategy document, it is estimated that energy conservation measures could reduce this value by over a third. Moreover, in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the environmental impact, this same study indicates that both Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineers have identified the energy development strategy of enforcement energy conservation measures as requiring the least investment compared to other strategies including clean coal, renewable energy and nuclear power options. Energy conservation extends much further than buildings alone. Transport obviously is another area in which enormous growth in energy demand is expected in the coming decades. The choices made with regards to transport will directly impact the manner in which new as well as older urban centers evolve in China. The extent to which the personal car in particular is promoted as the primary means of urban mobility will play a key role in shaping urban China. The relationship between urban density and the yearly per capita gasoline consumption in Figure 19 cogently illustrates the influence of urban configuration on energy use, in particular oil for purposes of mobility. Diminishing returns limits the effectiveness of increasing density beyond a certain


point, but certainly up to density levels achieved by most European cities, the reductions in per capita gasoline consumption are tremendous. Expanding and modernizing the public transport infrastructure should be a key objective of Chinas energy conservation plan; the subway is the fastest and most efficient mode of transport for cities of more than 2-3 million people. Beijing, for instance, would have done better to improve its circular line rather than expand its multilane ringroad, now a major source of congestion and smog.41 Inter-city transport, could benefit tremendously from a network of high-speed trains: this would not only reduce the need for personal cars, and hence the Chinas increasing dependence on foreign oil, but it would limit urban encroachment on Chinas limited supply of arable land suburban sprawl being the inevitable outcome of highly motorized urban areas. The rush towards industrialization in China has occurred with little to no regard for the process of urbanization. It seems urbanization has been viewed more as a consequence to be managed rather than a parallel and very important process to be steered and organized. Large factories are cropping up somewhat haphazardly around the country, attracting thousands of workers who are settled in temporary housing facilities on or near the site. Ad hoc civil infrastructure is often put in place to accommodate the transportation requirements of industry. This process, if left to evolve of its own accord could lead to extremely inefficient, low density, highly motorized semi-urban arrangements requiring disproportionately large quantities of energy and resources a nightmare for a country that today is already struggling to secure its energy supply and maintain the integrity of its ecosystem.

Atlanta 100

Figure 19. Urban density and private transport energy use Source: Data from Kenworthy, J.R. & Newman P.W.G. Global Cities Database Curtin University

Houston 80

60

Denver San Francisco

40 For more detail on the subject of energy efficiency in buildings, see: China National Energy Strategy and Policy 2020: Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Beijing, 2004

Los Angeles Washington New York 40 Toronto Melbourne Sydney Montreal Stockholm Brussels Rome Munich Bologna Paris Tel Aviv Bangkok London Tokyo Amsterdam Seoul Singapore Curitiba Sao Paulo Tehran Cape Town Jakarta Guangzhou Beijing Shanghai Oslo 0 100 200 Urban density persons/ha

20

Hong Kong Mumbai Ho Chi Minh 300 350



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CONCLUSIONS

Historical perspective demonstrates that it takes a long time usually half a century for a new source of energy to capture the largest share of a market. Vaclav Smil Complex energy systems are like species: they do not transform overnight to adapt to external disruptions; they evolve slowly. There is tremendous inertia to overcome, both physical as well as technical and commercial, before a new source of energy and its attendant technology takes the fore. China will be a coal-fired economy for many more decades. Even if it reduces coals share in the total primary energy consumption to 50%, within the next 20 years there may still be growth in coal production simply because Chinas energy needs will continue to rise as the country pushes toward full industrialization. On the supply side, the infrastructure will be slow to respond as well: there are thousands of small collective and community-owned mining operations that depend on Chinas coal economy for their livelihood. For many miners the switch to natural gas will mean they have to find something else to do. The social consequences of such a transformation are not to be underestimated: if it is poorly managed and Chinas miners are left by the wayside civil unrest is almost guaranteed. But efforts at rapid nation-wide penetration of natural gas will be significantly hampered by the enormous investments required to upgrade Chinas fragmented pipeline infrastructure on a macro level, and expand its intra-city network (for cooking and space heating), on a micro level. Moreover, future imports in the form of liquefied natural gas will require very expensive terminals and custom built tankers. Expanding oil supplies to satisfy, in particular, the transport sector will continue to be a critical component of Chinas national development objectives. It seems China has taken keenly to the idea that a middle class is not a middle class without a commensurate fleet of personal cars. Commensurate in China means hundreds of millions. And cars are useless without roads, which mean further infrastructural encroachment on a dwindling supply of arable land. Renewable energy has been given only a cursory review in this essay because its contribution remains plainly miniscule. A furious effort to expand renewables would have to be launched for them to make a difference anytime soon. The plans now in place center on wind turbines and biomass plants. Minimizing the impact of its industrialization must be a key discipline in Chinas modernization efforts. China faces a very serious challenge one might almost say a perfect storm: its tremendous hunger for energy comes at a time when fossil fuels are becoming contested commodities at a global level, and issues of energy security are again prominent on political agendas around the world. It also comes at a time when its own ecosystem, after many decades of industrial abuse, has reached a dire state, leaving very little margin for error. It is a conundrum if ever there was one: to improve its condition and prospects, China must consume the very ground beneath its feet, but it must leave enough to stand on. If it does not, it may be forced to spend its hard-earned wealth and prosperity mending a country in continuous disrepair. Cities will be on the frontline in managing the environmental impact. Over half the Chinese population will be concentrated in cities by 2020. Thats more than 700 million people. Many new, smaller cities will be built to accommodate this swell of urbanization. Basic efficiency measures alone would make a tremendous difference, but multidisciplinary planning, co-coordinating industrialization and urbanization, is where Chinas future lies.





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the green edge*


2

Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

imagining beijings ecological future

Erich W. Schienke Ph.D., Neville Mars architecture: Neville Mars, Huang Wenjing

21

Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.3467 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A

upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E





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Beijingers enjoy breathing fresh air for almost two out of every three days
Chinese state media
2

[BEIJING] Imagining Beijings Ecological Future

Chinas goal, as articulated by the Central Government in their Agenda 211 plans, is to be able live in a way that
4

a thick haze of pollution lingers over Jing Hu*. Large pools of cool air settle near the surface, heavy with emissions from factories, power plants, automobiles, and millions of domestic stoves. the widespread burning of low grade coal, and the use of dirty petrol derived from cheap sour crude, further exaccerbates the smog problem. dust clouds swept down from the desertifying north regularly enter into the mix. Heavy pollutant concentrations cause passing clouds to hang onto their moisture, leading to conditions of low visibilitylow precipitation. it is estimated that 75% of chinas city dwellers live below the countrys acceptable air-quality standard.

is more ecologically sound than that exhibited by the current environmental conditions and human impacts. This objective, now formalized, arises out of a variety of complex interactions between the State, provincial and local constituents, and international governance regimes such as the UNDP and UNEP. Though similar to other national plans for sustainable development, it also reflects developments that extend from Chinas currently shifting attitudes towards Western modernization, and its (often conflicting) historical/traditional cultural attitudes towards the relationship between nature and society.2 While it is difficult to predict the outcome, this mlange of ideological and political forces will present as real world ecological consequences in the near future. How choices will be made about Chinas environmental future relies mainly on the kind of future it imagines for the nation, its people, and their environment, including a recognition of the sacrifices that will undoubtedly be needed to achieve sustainability.
1 Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which humans impact on the environment. http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/documents/agenda21/index.htm 2 The dichotomy between nature and society is itself more of a Western conceptual framework than a Chinese one, and so making such a comparison already presents problems.

The concept of an imaginary has been developed in anthropology and political ecology as a means to describe the body of ideological, ethical, and rhetorical forces that scientists, planners, decisionmakers, and citizen activists (together referred to as environmental subjects) must engage with to accomplish in their goals. Imaginaries are higher-order discursive systems that allow local environmental subjects to work through doublebind situations, such as creatively turning a no-win situation, presented by greening versus development (traditionally a paradox), into a win-win situation. Basically, environmental imaginaries provide environmental subjects with ways of expressing problems and solutions in new terms, concepts, metaphors, and symbols. That is, locally situated environmental subjects are tapping into systems that are sustained at a higher-order of magnitude or on a larger-scale than might be apparent if reading only the local context: a mode of thinking particularly important to sustainability. Environmental imaginaries become a way to tap into new ways of understanding the world, and the invention of new modes to interpret what Kim Fortun calls the languages for which there are no

source: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17591
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Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.3467 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A

upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E



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indigenous idioms.3 New environmental situations and political complexities beget new concepts that force the articulation of new terms. The concept of an environmental imaginary works to describe how environmentally charged concepts such as a Green Olympics in Beijing, or xiao kang* (a well-off society) are conceptualized in the context of broader Chinese interests regarding the co-construction of society and nature, or what Ma Shijun and Wang Rusong call the Social Economic Natural Complex Ecosystem (SENCE). Two instantiations of environmental imaginaries are currently in rapid and potent circulation throughout the Beijing development mindset, namely the Green Olympics in the shorter term (to 2010), and the Green-city or Eco-city in the longer term (2020 to 2100).

result for Beijing is at a relatively higher bar than it would be for developed countries. This push in capacity is driving the call for an increase in eco-environmental scientific analyses, and is putting intense attention on greening new development throughout the city. However, Chinas expression to the world of its ecospirit does not end with the 2008 Olympics. In 2010, Shanghai will host the World Expo, which is going to be another large scale green city and eco-friendly urban development project. (Eco-tourism is also another very popular and contested instantiation of an environmental imaginary within the development of Chinese nature reserves.) While there has been much discussion of corporate green-washing, the green-washing of staterun endeavors appears to be an area which the central government is taking on fully. The extent to which China, and Beijing specifically, is capable of achieving the goals for a Green Olympics and beyond, will, in the global arena, determine how much of going green is a shift in political rhetoric versus a shift in fundamental goals and capacity building in the eco-environmental domain. It needs to be acknowledged, however, that this shift in rhetoric does not come without sincere and focused pressures from scientists and the public to pay closer attention to the costs of environmental damage.

SuStainability
(ke chixu fazhan) are the Chinese characters for sustainable development. Breaking the term down to its constituent parts, (ke) means able, (chixu) means continuous, and (fazhan) means development. So, the term for sustainable development in Chinese implies the ability to develop continuously. Parsed out and taken up uncritically, this phrasing stands in contrast to how the term was originally used in the Brundtland Report, which defines sustainable development as development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (Brundtland 1987). In evaluating the status and dynamics of various elements of Chinas ecosystem and ecosystem services, the Central Government is currently very much concerned with its ability to develop continuously, perhaps more so than it is with the long-term ability to meet the needs of its vast population. The perceived threat to the Central Government seems to be that if economic development is not sustained then political unrest and instability are sure to follow. Successful approaches to sustainable development would need to secure both short-term gains in economic development, while at the same time investing in the long-term security of ecological resources and services.

enerGy
Chinas energy sector is tremendous, and growing. In 2001 China consumed 9.8% of the worlds total energy output, and by 2025, it is projected to account for 14.2% of the world total (US DOE 2006). As Article 3 of the Electric Power Law of the Peoples Republic of China states, the electric power industry should meet the needs of the development of the national economy and the society and should therefore develop slightly ahead of the other sectors of the economy. The State encourages and provides guidance to lawful investment in the development of power resources and establishment of power-generating enterprises by economic organizations or individuals at home and abroad. It is no wonder that most of the funding from the US, the UN, and the World Bank has gone into Chinas energy sector: energy capacity drives the rest of the country.

Water
Water quality and quantity is a significant factor for cities like Beijing and Shanghai, and becomes a major problem in small towns and villages with heavily polluting industries such as electroplating, MSG manufacturing, and smelting. Not far out of town the heavy use of fertilizers causes excessive run-off into local streams and lakes, where high levels of nitrogen and phosphates causes rapid eutrophication and die-off of fish and other aquatic wildlife due to low levels of oxygen. The water table in Beijing has reportedly fallen by approximately 50-60 meters since the beginning of major industrial development and expansion around the city. This is unsurprising considering that Beijing is a city with about one fifth of the global average of fresh water supply per capita. A large northwest canal to the Yellow River is under construction; however, while the Yellow River rages massively in its more western reaches, it is dried up for more than half the year before it reaches the Bohai sea. Water-use efficiency is particularly low in China. Due to unnecessarily huge irrigation quotas, water is wasted on a large scale. It is estimated that water use efficiency (WUE) is only 0.4. The WUE of channels in most irrigation areas is 0.40.6. In Northern China, agricultural irrigation seriously wastes water, with a WUE of 0.4-0.5 in most channels, and the WUE

Green OlympicS
Unlike the Sydney Olympic Games, Beijings Green Olympics will be an ecological event characterized by an age of globalization and information. It will need the support of harmonious ecological services, environmentally sound hightech, and the long cultural tradition of man and nature be in one. To combine the old tradition with the new transition to realize New Beijing, Great Olympics, a new integrative concept of eco-Olympics has been developed which consists of green Olympics, scientifictechnological Olympics and cultural Olympics, based on the principles of physical, economic and cultural ecology respectively. Eco here means a driving force, an action, a culture, a kind of vitality and an adaptive process leading to sustainable development. It is a kind of social behavior which pushes forward development while conserving the environment, and it is also a mechanism embodying the Olympic spirit of competition, symbiosis and selfreliance. It means internal harmony between structure and function, and systematic health in dynamics and cybernetics. The Green Olympic spirit needs not only morphological green (blue sky, green land and clean water), but

Olympic hurdles For the city of Beijing, the driving force behind current infrastructural, economic, cultural, and environmental developments is, without a doubt, the 2008 XXIX Olympic Games. These Olympics are being promoted as a Green Olympics, which aim to align themselves with the principles of green energy, recycling, and sustainable development. This aspect of the Beijing Olympics has proved to be fertile ground for increasing public awareness of going green in China, and has become a touchstone for integrating eco-city thinking into the mindset of Beijings urban planners. Going green, of course, can be widely interpreted. Holding the Olympics in Beijing signifies the first time an Olympic Games is being held in a developing country since the 1968 Mexico City Olympiad. Holding a green games in China represents a different level of investment in capacity building than for countries such as Australia, the US, or the UK. Thus, the expected greening
3 Fortun, K. & Fortun, M. Scientific Imaginaries and Ethical Plateaus in Contemporary U.S. Toxicology American Anthropologist (107, no. 1, 2004) pp. 43-54. 4 The title of this subsection refers to Liu Xiang, winner of the mens 110m hurdles in the 2004 Olympic Games. He has become a nationalist symbol for Chinas Olympic success. 

Green-city to Eco-city The concept of the successful Chinese city has changed over the past 25 years from a centrally planned center of commodity production to a market-driven center of commercial production. The transition over the past decade from a planned economy to a socialist market economy (with Chinese characteristics) is the primary driver for this switch. With it comes a de-emphasis on producing commodities to meet state objectives, and a greater emphasis on allowing the market to determine the efficiency and types of production in
5 Among urban ecological planners working on Beijings Urban Master Plan 2020, a green-city is one that appropriately takes into account green space and green planning, including transportation, building materials, urban heat islands, etc. The term eco-city is used to express a conception of a far more ecologically-minded city one that is in a sustainable relationship to all ecosystem services that support it. Most ecological planners I spoke to were of the opinion that while Beijing could become a green-city by 2030, it could not reasonably be expected to achieve eco-city status much before 2100.

Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.3467 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478519

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urban centers, thus allowing certain regions in China to specialize rather than generalize their industry. Such an expected and observed growth in production specialization yields two significant results: first, specialization brings with it industrial modernization, which (arguably) eventually leads to ecological modernization; and second, inefficient and heavily polluting facilities are closed down because they are neither competitive on energy terms nor viable producers for the market. For example, the ISO 14000 family of environmentally focused management standards is becoming globally popular, and if a Chinese company wants to supply to another, usually offshore, company which already complies with these standards, then the Chinese firm will very likely also need become ISO 14000 certified. In step with other trends in municipal funding and other favors shown to Beijing compared to other municipalities throughout the country, the capital region rarely undergoes mandatory blackouts/powershutdowns. In an effort to reduce air pollution, major power producing plants have been moved beyond the current limits of the more urbanized areas in and around Beijing. And as a further effort to address energy shortages and pollution problems, the Standing Committee of the National Peoples Congress (NPC) has passed a national Law on Renewable Sources in March 2005. This renewables law, a remarkably progressive law for a developing country, has set the goal for 10% of all energy consumed in China to be derived from renewable sources by 2010.6 But Beijings long-term pressure to go green, beyond the 2008 Olympics and the 2010 renewables target, stems from more pressing realities such as severe water shortages, air pollution, land-use density, urban heat island effects, growing automobile ownership and traffic, and the congregation of inefficient industrial facilities. Addressing these issues requires a great deal more time for the market economy to focus fully, for rule of law to be firmly
6 According to the US DOE, this is also deemed to be an exceptionally important effort because Chinas own oil reserves are only about 10% of the worlds average. 

established, and for better coordination of efforts across planning departments. These are all met with problems of corruption, inherent loopholes and legal paradoxes, vague policies, bad loans,7 lower technical capacity, outdated facilities, top-heavy bureaucracy, and the ubiquity of inefficient communication and data sharing.

FOOd/WaSte
Agricultural production has an extreme effect on overall water quality and quantity, though it is slowly being surpassed by industrial usage. However, agricultural consumption also plays a significant role in contributing to the release of greenhouse gases, namely CO2 and methane. Food scraps are the largest component of municipal solid wastes (MSW), and are the richest in carbon release (during decomposition) amongst the MSW. Various studies have demonstrated that carbon output per capita increases as per capita GDP of a city increases. This is, in part, due to a richer diet, in particular an increase in the consumption of meat and rice. An increase in transportation is also implicit in wider distribution of food, particularly since you no longer need to have a residence card, or hukou*, in a city to buy food there. __

Space
Outside of population growth itself, there are two primary factors eating up space in Beijing: the most notorious is the private automobile, followed by the expansion of floor space in new developments. As Huang points out, the overall level of housing consumption in Beijing has increased significantly over time, from less than 4m2 of living areas per capita in the 1950s to 11.64m2 in 2001. The growth rate of automobile ownership in Beijing is also tremendous. At the current rate (2006), there are approximately 200,000 new cars on the Beijing roads every year, bringing the 2006 total to approximately 1.3 million private cars. According to statistics from the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau, there are approximately 1,000 new vehicles including cars (~64%), trucks, motorcycles, scooters, etc. licensed every day for the roads of Beijing. This does not count the extra licenses given out by surrounding Hebei province, which can be used anywhere outside of the 4th ring road. Simply making room for parking the cars is becoming one of the greatest developmental pressures on preserving green space throughout Beijing. Approximate calculations suggest that the surface area required to park the current car fleet of Beijing is approximately 26km2 (at 20m2/space). Setting aside multi-story car parks, this represents 3.8% of the entire surface area of Beijing within the 5th ring road. Based

[Water cOntinued]
in the catchment of the Haihe River is 0.45. In Northwestern arid regions, the irrigation quota is 16,537m3/hm2, 1.4 times greater than the average irrigation quota. In Ningxia, the irrigation quota is 32,550m3/hm2, 2.8 times greater than average. In northern China, the irrigation quota is 7,50012,000m3/hm2, or 2-5 times greater than crop water requirement. Water wasted by agriculture is believed to exceed 10x1010m3 every year. By 2050, the projected water use for Beijing far outweighs current capacity. A much stricter system for charging for water consumption will help to curb waste; this entails better monitoring of use, and higher pricing of water per unit consumed. A much higher efficiency of water usage needs to occur in the irrigation system. For example, even in the water short North China Plain, farmers produce on average only about 0.85kg of grain per m3 of irrigation water, compared to over 2kg in the US.

[Green OlympicS cOntinued]


also functional green (ecoservices, eco-institution and eco-consciousness). Furthermore, it seeks a dynamic green that brings mans potential to its full play according to ecological principles. To achieve this, it is necessary to green not only the landscape, but also the process of production and consumption as well as peoples minds and behavior, which means a further sublimation of the Olympic spirit.

The green edge* The two environmental imaginaries, the Green Olympics and eco-city Beijing, produce very real results, particularly in motivating planners and politicians towards thinking more broadly and deeply about sustainability, green designs, public transportation, and energy efficiency. The current trend in urban development around Beijing, however green it may be marketed as, still has a long way to go before reasonable claims of sustainability can be met. For such shifts in development to occur would require not just a few key politicians to think green or have goals in accordance with sustainable concepts; rather, it implies a shift in the entire culture itself away from the direction it is currently heading i.e. that of heavy consumption of disposable material goods and neo-liberal emphases on the success of the individual. There are no sincerely robust examples of urban-scale sustainability we can point to in any major urban region of the world, so we are not entirely sure what success looks like in these regards. However, in the absence of examples, environmental imaginaries provide us with conceptual frameworks and sets of goals that, hopefully, point us in the direction of what sustainable success might be. What is certain is that further experimentation is needed, both in enhancing education of the public about sustainability, and particularly in coming up with new designs for green living without erasing the valuable characteristics and traditions of living within a community setting. It is in this context that we introduce the concept of the green edge*, a term that not only refers to the perimeter of the urban development,
7 It is not uncommon for certain state-owned enterprises to be bailed out of bankruptcy for the 7th or 8th time.

__

Wang, R. S. The Eco-Origins, Actions and Demonstration Roles of Beijing Green Olympic Games Journal of Environmental Sciences (October 2001)

Wang, R. S., Hongzhun, R. & Ouyang, Z. (eds.) China Water Vision: The Eco-Sphere of Water, Life, Environment and Development (China Meteorological Press, 2000) Luo, T., Ouyang, Z., Wang, X., Li, W. Carbon Discharge through Municipal Solid Waste in Haikou, China (forthcoming 2006) Rice production is one of the biggest culprits in agriculturally driven C02 release.

__

Wang, R. S., Hongzhun, R. & Ouyang, Z. (eds.) China Water Vision: The Eco-Sphere of Water, Life, Environment and Development (China Meteorological Press, 2000) Ibid. Ibid.

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splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.3467 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478519

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but also aspires to describe the very boundaries of conceiving sustainability and of living green. Perhaps the best way to understand the green edge* extends from landscape ecology, which has identified that boundaries in managed ecosystems, such as the border of a large wooded area in a park, need to be made complex and not linear. A complex boundary between vegetation types, it was discovered, provided better conditions for biodiversity. Such lessons should inform how green space is planned in areas undergoing new development as a technique for combating sprawl and integrating complex boundaries between human ecosystems.

The L-Building, which draws its inspiration from the traditional and highly successful Beijing hutong*, introduces the concerns of the individual to planning approaches which often, given the inevitable granularity of big building projects, forget the relevance of issues like community. This mode of thinking is then integrated into a larger scale development, the GBD proposal for an area of East Beijing near the fifth ringroad, which attempts to bring a degree of coherence to the city by considering future transportation routes, the availability of public services, and the recirculation of waste. By imagining greening on levels that are relevant to both consumer satisfaction and consumer greening, and city wide operational efficiency and city greening, the green edge is given a concrete form.

buildinG
Chinas leaders appreciate the magnitude the Chinese urban landscape has in the ecological equation. The green objectives aimed at cities as formulated by the Ministry of Construction are impressive to the point of being almost unbelievable. By the end of 2010, all Chinese cities are expected to reduce their buildings energy use by 50%; by 2020, that figure should be 65%. Furthermore, by 2010, 25% of existing residential and public buildings in the countrys large cities should be retrofitted to become greener; 15% in medium-sized, 10% in small cities. Over 80 million m2 of building space should be powered by renewable energies. In China such astounding goals are not necessarily utopian. Still it is unlikely that in 2020 this much of Chinas new urban residences will include serious sustainable measures when in 2005 it was less than 3%. The impact of Chinas cities on the environment is hard to overestimate. Of the 15 billion m2 floor space in China only 1.5 billion are in cities, yet here the real progress can be made. Chinas increase in oil consumption until 2015 will be almost entirely for road transport; oil consumption for transportation alone is likely to increase from 0.8 to 3.5 million barrels a day. As much as 28% of Chinas current energy consumption can be attributed to residential use (expected to double by 2020). Include commercial use and the inert and gray energy stored in

[Space cOntinued]
on a 2002 study by Tsinghua University, if car-buying trends in Beijing match the rest of the country, the car population could top 7 million by 2020. 7 million parked cars would cover about 21% of the surface area within the 5th ring road. The seriousness of this problem is compounded by the falling popularity of the bicycle. Once the great icon of Beijing transportation, increasingly the bicycle is being associated with backwardness and economic disadvantage. The implications of an emergent middle class moving from bicycles to cars go beyond oil consumption to urban space consumption: a bicycle is estimated to require 2m2 per unit, as opposed to the cars 20m2. The urban heat island effect (UHI) is another significant factor concerning the density of built up areas throughout the city. UHI effects can impact the micro-climate of a city significantly, generating a difference of 10C or more from surround areas, and greatly increasing the demand for energy intensive air-conditioning in the hotter months. Various studies conducted by Xiao Rongbo demonstrate the correlation between Beijings high density of impervious surfaces and tall buildings and an increase in the occurrence of UHIs. This is an issue which can be planned for in the future, particularly by considering how to lessen non-

cOnSumptiOn
China should not develop in the same way as the US, with high consumption of resources and high emission levels. Otherwise, China will not be tolerated by the world, or even by itself. President Hu Jintao As the worlds largest consumer the threat China poses is all but local. Spearheading the trend of low-cost production and intensive global competition, Chinas success or failure to convert to a green economy will determine if new sustainable growth models can be realized across the board. If this doesnt work for China, it will not work for India or the three billion other people in developing countries who are also dreaming the American dream. Lester Brown, Earth Policy Institute.

Appropriate Designs: Gao Bei Dian (GBD) and Hybrid Hutongs*


Urbanization is the single largest agglomeration of influences on Chinas environment. Urban effects are found across all sectors of the economy, span multiple spatial and social scales, and influence even the far reaches of natural ecosystems in remote underdeveloped regions. The rise of the urban middle class in China is driving the desire for newer more luxurious building stock, for private vehicles, for increased consumer-orientated production, and for eco-tourism, which is transforming sleepy little towns into thriving magnets for urbanites thirsty for a bit of pristine nature. These forces are all major obstacles to the realization of Chinas green imaginaries. Greening existing built-up areas is very difficult without deep investments in infrastructure or innovative approaches, such as vertical greening. This will likely come over the longer term, but near term payoffs are far more achievable and effective when looking at the greening of areas currently undergoing development. The two proposals here, GBD and the Hybrid Hutong*, attempt to address many of the problems as well as opportunities that are presented by the green edge*, i.e. thinking at the current plausible limit of urban greening.

Conclusion: Enhancing Community Capacity Towards a Sustainable Future


Successes towards sustainability will begin by asking in all sincerity, What kind of collective life do the Chinese people imagine for themselves, and for others in the world? Implied in this are considerations about how much people are willing to risk, sacrifice, adapt, and innovate. How well the Chinese government is able to come out on the positive side of the question will most likely depend upon how equitably such sacrifices are distributed across Chinas classes. Addressing that means facing the double-bind that promises of neo-liberalisms emphasis on individualism encounters when faced with serious consequences for the environmental commons. While Chinas one-child policy was a policy in favor of protecting the commons, it has paradoxically hastened the rise of what has to be one of the most individualistic generations China has ever seen. Thats not to say that individual success and wealth should be shunned, but rather, what such success means at an individual level needs to be profoundly reconsidered in the context of sustainability. Thinking in sustainable terms means accounting for the debts that need to be paid forward ecological debts that are accrued every time a new housing development is established or new road is put down. However, this
Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

There are no sincerely robust examples of urban-scale sustainability we can point to in any major urban region in the world.

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over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478519

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is not a cause without support, as sustainable terms are being translated into economic terms, such as with the use of ecosystem services, so they can be included in wider political-economic valuations. Comprehending what this means to an individuals lifestyle choices, however, will require re-training individuals in how they go about their daily business. Individual happiness and wealth needs to be accounted for, but such happiness is tied into the well-being of the community as well. As Bryan Norton lays out in his work on sustainability, aligning community goals with environmental values becomes a driving condition for making effective sustainable choices. Establishing these values would include, as Norton argues, taking responsibility for future consequences, making a commitment to future-oriented living, evaluating how citizens value parts of their environment at a given time by focusing on everyday communication, and developing an empirical foundation to help communities posit a basis against which to judge public processes of adaptive management as they emerge and develop in real situations. If we want to put an investment into sustainable development that will affect both the goals of urban level sustainability and individual level consumption patterns, it would be best done at a community level, and focused on communications which increase the awareness of environmental values and practices through greener designs for residential blocks. Dwelling designs that support both environmental values and community participation will not only provide the conditions for moving towards a more sustainable urban/rurban lifestyle, but will also provide the foundations for a stronger civil society. It is these goals that are infused in the Gao Bei Dian and L-building designs for Beijing. The green edge* is the urgent context in which these building experiments need to be refined into successfully reproducible examples of sustainable design for the continually expanding boundaries of Chinas cities.

[BuildinG cOntinued]
the buildings material and this adds up to over 40%. Chinas entry into the World Trade Organization, its successful bid for the 2008 Olympic Games, and the countrys general integration into the world economy have all contributed to an absolute urban investment boom. The World Bank estimates that between now and 2015 roughly half of the worlds new building construction will take place in China. Chinas Ministry of Construction estimates it will double its current building stock by 2020, predominantly for housing. This means 30 billion m2 will need to be constructed over the next 15 years. This is equivalent to the entire building mass of a 25 country large European Union. The building industry alone accounts for approximately one-third of Chinas electric power use, and the process of demolition and building delivers 35% of the total greenhouse gas emissions and a host of indirect environmental problems. The total sum of all these figures is hard to establish but is likely to be the dominant factor in Chinas energy and environmental equation. What should be emphasized is that Chinas planning, construction and design are inextricably linked with its future energy needs. These industries will have a detrimental impact on the environment if they wont or cant adopt a sustainable strategy before this construction wave has been completed. __

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porous surfaces. __

Huang, Y. Q. From Work-Unit Compounds to Gated Communities: Housing Inequality and Residential Segregation in Transitional Beijing Restructuring the Chinese City: Changing Society, Economy and Space, Laurence J. C., Ma and Fulong Wu (eds.), Routledge (2005) Urban Heat Islands occur when a city full of blacktop and concrete absorbs and re-releases significant quantities of solar radiation. Greenery absorbs this energy and also, through respiration, keeps an area cooler.

8 8 Norton, Bryan G. Sustainability: A Philosophy of Adaptive Ecosystem Management (University of Chicago Press, 2005) p. 360 

China Statistical Yearbook, 2005. Cole, B. Oil for the Lamps of China Beijings 21st Century Search for Energy McNair Papers, U.S. National Defense University, (Washington D.C., 2003)

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splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.3467 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

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D B

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green metropolis

Pondering the Green Edge *


Erich Schienke Neville Mars

green edge*

*
3

ES: What were the issues concerning you when you started the designs for the L-building and for the GBD Art and Design District? NM: As a foreign designer working in China, pushing a progressive sustainable agenda is one of the few added values we have to offer. Chinas impressive green ambitions for 2020 have produced an array of studies, suggestions and guidelines aimed at reducing emission levels. This is important, but the magnitude of Chinas problems demands a more profoundly integrated approach. And China, as it will double its building stock over the next two decades, has this unique opportunity.

At the outset of what is potentially a green revolution it is essential to aim for more then reducing the environmental impact with a myriad of greenification gimmicks. To achieve this, I believe efforts should include both ends of the scale, now largely ignored the regional and the individual. My concerns on the regional scale relate to the increasingly suburban landscape that is forming. We have coined the term splatter pattern* to describe the vast urban expansions twaking place at village-level. Based on the premise that a significant proportion of future consumption is already determined once land use and urban form has been designated, this will constitute highly inefficient urban regions. The harsh reality China has to face is that even a collection

Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.3467 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A

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0



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land use and urban form will create designated consumption patterns
2

of good green buildings can deliver a bad city. The anxious socio-economic context facilitates the almost instantaneous shift from a red to a green society at least on paper. But coherence between the sea of new building projects is much more difficult to realize. ES: What about individual level problems facing greening in China?

home consumer diversifies this monotony will be disastrous for the lifespan of a notoriously short-lived housing-stock. Having completed a brand new urban environment at the scale of Europe in two decades, China would have to start all over again, green buildings or not. Ultimately the individual and regional scales affect each other. China has embarked on a social revolution that can be summarized as a shift from a single society of radical equality to a radically segregated society. The scattered urban landscape that is forming is defining the modern Chinese way of life. For those who can afford it, this equals a car-dependent suburban lifestyle. While massconsumption is on the rise for some, dismal conditions remain for many. Greenification schemes are mostly up-market, simply pushing primitive conditions to the edge of society. The fact that China has ventured on a path that is not socially sustainable will hinder its ambitions for environmental sustainability. ES: I agree that a massive transformation is underway, but within the context of Chinese history neither inequality nor difficulties of scale are in themselves new. Do you put the radical aspect of these changes down to speed and the numbers involved, or is there a fundamental morphological change happening? If the landscape is undergoing complete transformation, are traditional and even current forms being lost? NM: Traditionally Chinese cities were compact clear centers in the landscape. Even during the twentieth century cities did not expand beyond the reach of the bicycle. The neighborhood was integrated; work and living were closely aligned. Though not sustainable in a modern society this presents an ideal configuration on both the scale of the region and the individual home. Even today for the 200 million households that dont have running hot water, economizing on energy
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villa quarters

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NM: About the problems at the individual scale I am less skeptical. A green society is not the product of laws and guidelines alone. The individual, or rather the consumer, will define the success of most green ambitions. Like so many aspects of Chinas modernization its the combined result of top-down government interventions and bottom-up incentives that generate the hyper-speed transition. Chinas doubledigit economic growth can be argued to be at a standstill when the environmental squalor costs an estimated 10% GDP annually. At the same time air pollution is directly affecting the health of millions of individuals. According to the Chinese Academy on Environmental Planning (2003), air pollution is the cause of 411,000 premature deaths every year. This is particularly poignant when you consider that the average individual in China consumes only a fraction of what people in most Western countries do. We are faced with a rather paradoxical aim in terms of greenness: less to reduce individual consumption, but to serve and stimulate future green consumers. Chinese society is in the process of a complete transformation. The objective is to accommodate the xiao kang* or well-off middle class in a new urban environment by 2020. This means we have to conceive what the urban environment should be now. Though cities like Beijing seem to be modern, in reality they are realized with just another upgrade of a monotonous housing stock. High-end green efforts are mostly aimed at prestigious office towers and tend to overlook the challenge of the explosive residential realm. In crude terms the housing program can be reduced to dormitory extrusions* and villa parks. As the Chinese
Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.3467 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2 over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478519

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is painfully easy; more so for the 20,000 villages entirely cut off from the grid. Ironically the lack of the most basic amenities and infrastructure has accelerated the spread of sustainable technologies. China is the worlds largest producer of solar panels, and the number of people still off the grid have made it the worlds largest consumer. In the countryside a staggering 50 million collectors have been installed. However leapfrog developments have uprooted the urban fabric on many levels. The compact city and the social setting of the traditional neighborhood are all but lost in the expansion of the Chinese suburb. Chinas hukou* registration system divides the population into two distinct groups: urban and rural. This suggests two distinct spatial conditions: the city and the countryside. However the predominant development occurs on the threshold of these two and produces nothing more than a rurban* landscape an indiscriminate fusion of rural and urban elements that lacks the qualities of either condition. To gain a grip on the landscape at least three basic conditions should be distinguished: rural, urban and suburban. The suburbs and the suburbanite define the residential median of Chinas expansion. It is the most dynamic zone, with potentially the largest impact on the environment. Here the values of the traditional neighborhood and the compact city should be reintroduced. ES: And so the suburbs are the Green Edge* your designs refer to? NM: Originally the title of our research, the Green Edge*, was a cynical reference to one part of Beijings greenification scheme: a project that has edged major roads, particularly around international tourist attractions, overpasses, and the international airport expressway, with a thin sleeve of trees, plants and flowerbeds. In a notoriously dry city, this seems to be a water-thirsty fauna offensive to make Beijing look green from a car, while blocking the view onto dilapidated neighborhoods around the Third Ring Road. But we felt this name was more appropriate for the zone around cities with the particular green potential we have distinguished in our urban proposals*. The objective for this zone was to define


the edge of the city in order to tackle sprawl. It became clear in China that the suburb has to be given a second chance if only because of its success. At the moment the Chinese suburb is no more than an indiscriminate region where fortunate home-owners, the forcefully relocated, and ever more middle-class citizens are finding refuge. The trend itself is thoroughly global people either want to live in the suburbs or cant afford to live anywhere else. But here, for young real estate refugees*, the flight to the suburb is the Chinese Dream*. It too has its roots in an economic revival and the success of mass-consumption and individual transportation. But the Chinese suburb is still distinct

shoppers

sunscreen

a collection of green buildings wont necessarily make a green city


permeable surface

from its American counterpart. The Chinese suburbs still contain real social diversity and a variety of spatial conditions. This may be only temporary though, as an unseemly form of over-planning* dominated by highways and industrial parks is pushing small-scale developments out to the periphery leaving behind a sterile and inaccessible landscape. Still I feel there is hope. Unlike American suburbia, the Chinese suburbs often present remarkably compact building typologies. This is a potentially invaluable condition that China should nurture to give quality to its urban periphery. Paradoxically urbanization, mass-migration and population growth can help to elevate the suburb to become an integrated part of a compact metropolitan environment. To achieve this, suburbia should be confined to clear boundaries. Where suburbia starts and stops however is hard to define. We have suggested any urban expansion

Nolli map

park route

sustainability route

shopping + leisure route

art route urban event route


Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.3467 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2 over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478519 dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E



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1 solar panel

18 su

n angle

terrace

beyond the reach of high-end public transport should be considered unsustainable. The zone within the mass-transit system which is not part of the center we have coined the Green Edge*; a transitional zone between the city and the countryside. Freed from its derogatory appellation and its image as a refuge for rich and poor, this part of the suburb can take on the role of being the citys green heart, accommodating a rich mix of social classes, densities, urban functions and green space. The Green Edge* introduces a highly sought after urban quality: lush residential environment with fast access to the center. ES: But arent suburbs normally perceived to be at the heart of the sprawl problem, rather than the green solution? NM: True we are claiming green building projects belong in the suburbs of large cities and we are aware that this statement is counterintuitive. China is currently in the grip of a satellite fetish*. Somehow with satellite towns suburbanization is not a concern. Building more satellites and celebrated concept towns should compensate for the inexorable expansion of Chinas semi-industrial, semi-modern, semi-urban landscape: the satellite town has become the focus of an eco-exodus. And in principle it can work. China, the worlds most sophisticated developing country has signed a contract to build the worlds first completely sustainable city near Shanghai. Engineered by Ove Arup & Partners and located on an island it should be a successful, truly autonomous green city. However, most likely the countless other green planning projects will be less comprehensive and less autonomous. They will induce sprawl and demand longer commutes instead of enhancing the semi-developed periphery. This is why green projects belong in the suburbs, or rather the Green Edge*. The eco-exodus and the concept of a sustainable satellite are not new. They are reminiscent of the ideologies of New Urbanism (NU); a movement which proclaimed the invention of a socially refined, walkable eco-town of human proportion with historical trimmings back in the eighties. However as a socially environmentally sustainable vision NU and its offspring Smart Growth are impaired by their car-dependency and price tag. Their walkable qualities entail only the stroll from the house to the church and the barbershop. They lack the critical mass necessary to support high-end transit to the workplace. In addition they build on what was previously open space. This reduces New Urbanism to a gated community without walls; the result of carpet planning* with stylistic cues. Its most prominent examples Celebration, Seaside, and The Glen are tantamount to a privatization of public space at the town-wide level and create an encapsulated town rather than a mixed, interactive community.

4 grass roofs

greenness must be marketable i.e. must be both cost-effective, and have the attractive power to generate green consumers

Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.3467 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A

upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E



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Without the conspicuous walls of the Chinese condo their privacy depends on isolation, gentrification, and citizens decrees. Some of these are light-hearted enough for example in Celebration its officially not permitted to be unhappy but for China the success of 20,000 gated communities in the US presents a rather less frivolous scenario. As China progresses most likely similar desires for a neosuburban lifestyle will burgeon. In the dichotomist Chinese environment, compounds sealed off from society threaten the durability of the suburb. The split cities* they produce prohibit the assimilation of migrants and low-income citizens into the suburban society. ES: Okay, so tell me a little about the specific history of the actual designs themselves.

was surprisingly progressive. We met a developer who from a commercial standpoint supported our ambitions for sustainability and urban diversity. The assignment was for an art and design district in Gao Bei Dian (GBD); an area of rapid change in east Beijing near the Fifth Ring Road. We felt this was a good example of the kind of space we aimed to capture with the Green Edge* concept. The area is a leftover plot wedged between highways, train tracks, and semi-urbanized villages*, but with impressive green features. In the first stage the project was intended to be purely an art district with large art studios, loft apartments, and galleries and offices for the creative sector. As you know in Beijing recently dozens of areas have been designated for the creative industries*; sometimes this is an effective method to elevate suburban areas struggling with their industrial heritage. But often its merely a government label void of real meaning, and applied

to postpone any clear decision. This put us on the spot to answer the question if an art district could really be designed would this kill the grass-roots qualities? Should artists be left to find urban niches themselves, as they have done successfully across the globe? Art districts come and go and nowhere faster than in Beijing, and this is only normal. But in Beijing they develop under strangely contradictory forces. Some like Dashanzi 798 have been acknowledged and flourish; others have been painfully short-lived and leveled without notification. This constant threat made us decide that a well-planned
Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.3467 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2 over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478519

creative district which would provide individual artists with a safe environment in which to live and work was worthwhile. But as the project evolved so did the assignment and even the actual site conditions. The reality of our central hypothesis of dynamic density* became all too apparent. Our challenge for the two designs we had made was to develop systems that would be flexible, yet diverse and detailed. The level of detail expected in a Chinese urban proposal approaches the
dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E

NM: Well, our first large urban commission in China






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architectural scale, and this unfortunately eradicates most flexibility from the design process. I believe this is one of the reasons why in China instant designs are commonplace. Our efforts to achieve extreme flexibility allowed us to safeguard the search for creative solutions. The systems weve engineered can withstand continuous alterations while maintaining their principle qualities. The two systems presented here are based on organic principles: one a backbone, the other a cell pattern*. ES: And how does this work out spatially? NM: The backbone or Strip* evolved from our desire to connect to the urban network via a public space at a time when the majority of realestate projects turn away from the public domain. Providing a space that offers both circulatory and locational qualities can be the basis for a dynamic and diverse street life. The reality of the Beijing suburbs, however, literally left us looking for loose ends to connect. The project site is naturally as cut-off from its surroundings as any walled community. In response we have designed a single strip that is both origin and destination; a distinctly urban zone that forms the backbone for urban development in one direction, and a clear demarcation from the surrounding ecological park in the other. These two aspects of the project city and park work together as one ecological system

that channels water flows and preserves energy. The ecological park replenishes the consumption of the urban strip. The park is a showcase for environmental design and encourages green consumers. The surface of the urban strip is almost entirely permeable and tapered to distort the perspective. From each end the total distance looks either very long or very short. Visitors are naturally drawn deep inside the area and then persuaded to wander through the park. The buildings are wrapped along the central axis or vista and connected by a continuous tensile sun-screen that protects the pedestrians against the hot Beijing summer. The built volume slopes down to offer maximum penetration of sunlight and an enhanced view over the park. Sustainable projects are generally only open to the south, but art studios require northern light. This provided an interesting opportunity to develop an intricate roofscape.

green buildings belong in the suburbs or rather, the green edge* of big cities
-

Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.3467 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A

upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E

0



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High dens

ity NOT hi

gh-rise!

Maximum buildable area at 50% = 66,000 M2

Jagged strips of industrial style light wells cut through the entire district. The windows face north, the south facing facades are covered with solar panels, the flat parts become terraces and walkways, the soft slopes are covered with vegetation. The natural qualities of the site have been enhanced with indigenous plants and natural installations such as the solar aquatic system and reed beds. Then the assignment grew, the site parameters shifted and the project gained a large amount of commercial and leisure program. The network of paths and designated routes wed planned through the site became much more elaborate, while the available surface decreased. Its an obvious solution to rely on tall structures to comply with Chinese building codes, and admittedly there are strong incentives behind the suburban skyscrapers we see emerging. But developed as single mega-compounds these environments more often resemble a form of Chinese Modernism* large blocks on a map of endless undefined cross-hatched grass; an urban approach which is leaving neighborhoods oddly inaccessible behind vast empty spaces. Within the context of the Green Edge* we proposed to aim for a low-rise solution without compromising the density. Using cantilevers, bridges, decks, skywalks and extensive sunken retail streets and squares the available space is greatly increased. Cars are removed from sight and the distinction between above and below ground, the street and the terraces is permeated. To achieve this, a formula was created for a single cell of 2,500m2 to be developed by a single architect. These cells are then grouped together to form larger patterns which can adapt to specific conditions such as trees or a river. The Chinese puzzle pattern of plazas and corridors is the result. ES: Your proposals speak also about the social aspects of the design, suggesting even a resonance with communist principles, and offering a soft transition from hutong* to skyscraper. How do you reconcile this with the markets current fetishization of the new and apparent unconcern with demolishing previous environments? Communism in China has demonstrated a capacity to engage successfully in large-scale development projects, but this has not always produced an integrated approach to urban design.


50%
4

cell

Flexible cell pattern

FOOTPRINT

Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.3467 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A

upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E



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1 The development model for the L-building draws on the capacity of the many dadui* in the suburbs to realize their own buildings on their own land. 4

NM: If you look at things over a slightly longer term, there is absolutely no contradiction between marketability and social concerns for the user community. The L-building is an architectural response to our research at the individual scale. Green projects, and particularly housing, need to be marketable. We feel that an increasingly critical consumer of living space will not accept the plastic-wrapped boxes on offer today much longer. A housing stock that offers greater diversity with preferably more comfortable homes is in itself more sustainable. This means part of the problem is purely architectural. I realize this is a direct critique of the design education in China that still has not been able to adopt a more conceptual approach, let alone nurture the creativity of its students, but sustainability, marketability, and attractiveness ultimately all combine to form a triple bottom line for any development. The letter L in L-building embodies these qualities. L is the primary shape of the apartment, but L also stands for Luxury and for Loft. We have designed the units as lofts not merely as the epitome of the architects dream apartment, but as a space that can easily be adapted from one owner to the next. The apartments can be either completely compartmentalized or entirely open, and thus can be made suitable for couples, small families, or a new generation of single occupancy tenants born out of the one child policy. The L-building as a whole introduces the further aspect of social sustainability, often missing in China and in

developments will become increasingly important in China, as more and more people find themselves not only relocated, but also questioning the benefits of that relocation. Both the GBD Art and Design District and the L-building mediate between Chinas traditional urban environment and the contemporary trend of upscaling*; between low-rise and the modern tower block. First the L-building complies with some rudimentary suburban desires a large private garden and your car at the door. But as a mediumsized, collectively developed, owned, and operated form,1 the L-building also resonates with more traditional principles. ES: Traditional principles as in the courtyard?

NM: Yes. It seems a contradiction and failed attempts prevail, but the Chinese courtyard or siheyuan* can be stacked. As a hybrid between a high-rise and a hutong*, the L-building retains the three essential qualities of a sizable garden, close connection to the neighborhood, and privacy. This is achieved by fusing the typology of the patio with terrace housing. The long walls of the immense terrace function as a courtyard on your rooftop. The protruding semicantilevered gardens catch the sun even when it sets behind the building. Walking to the end of your terrace you overlook the neighboring gardens, the park and the surroundings.

the general discussion. Nothing is more desirable than an apartment with amenities such as running hot and cold water, a toilet, and a view. But for the inhabitant the transfer from the ping fang* the simple derivative of the famous hutong* to the modern tower block is often less rewarding as time goes by. The traditional Chinese neighborhood, including the danwei*, had an exceptional social coherence. Qualities of the ping fang* that were taken for granted, particularly the sense of community, are disappearing. Recreating a community for the individual within an environment of large-scale
Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.3467 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2 over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478519 dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E

strip extended program






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THE L-BUILDING
A hutong high-rise hybrid *
2

floors ceilings walls windows doors

The basic buiding block of the project is an L-shaped terrace apartment. The apartment is stacked in a pattern which is shifted diagonally. This shift makes it possible to introduce an entirely new housing type. L

design Neville Mars Govert Gerritsen

Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.3467 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A

upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E

research and ecotech diagrams Kathy Basheva


 
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In China, low-density solutions such as the eco-village are essentially green chimaeras
7





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Before padding a city out with insulation, we need to imagine what living environments we actually want to inhabit

The outer sides of the L are closed; the inner side glazed. Apartments provide privacy for each other while terraces and interiors receive the maximum of direct sunlight. Orientation ensures shielding from prevailing winds. Views reach out to the park below.

Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71 green edge [glo] p.678 2E xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hukou [glo] p.678 7E hybrid hutong [glo] p.680 7B, [img] p.176 hutong [glo] p.680 1B

splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C rurban [glo] p. 684 5E urban proposals [img] p.3467 real estate refugees [glo] p.684 5C chinese dream [glo] p.688 D2

over-planning [glo] p.682 5D satellite fetish [txt] p.391 6F7J carpet planning [glo] p.672 8E split city [glo] p.688 5A semi-urbanized villages [glo] p.688 1B creative industries [txt] p.478519

dynamic density [glo] p.676 2D cell pattern [img] p.172 1A8B strip [img] p.162 chinese modernism [glo] p.674 7B ping fang [glo] p.684 2A danwei [glo] p.676 4A

upscaling [glo] p.690 7A siheyuan [glo] p.686 2D dadui [glo] p.674 5E

0



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lockdown*
2

Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

or fortification: the final formula

Neville Mars, Saskia Vendel

2.0

lockdown [glo] p.682 5B hutong [glo] p.680 1B privatopia [glo] p.684 6B nerdistan [glo] p.682 3D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D golden ghetto [glo] p.678 1E

split city [glo] p.688 5A teletopia [glo] p.688 7C danwei [glo] p.676 4A eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D confusion [txt] p.286327 checkmate real-estate [glo] p.674 4A, [img]

BURB p.23 carport [img] p.535 7H8J purple jade villas [img] p.194 7A8B decongested [txt] p.369370





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Fortification: the final formula


3

1 As stated in the 16th party congress 5

The gray brick and mortar walls, so distinctly Chinese and so beautiful, are being demolished; the old neighborhoods they encircle and the narrow alleys they delimit torn down. Of the 7000 hutongs* of 1949 Beijing, only 137 remain. The unremitting thrust of modernization and urban expansion has overhauled the old and replaced it with the new, and not only in Beijing but far beyond the coast and Chinas boomtowns. This trend is in line with the nations objective to become a welloff urban society1 a society that provides the foundations for a modern lifestyle, and offers the opportunity to become rich and independent. However, at the same pace at which the walls of ancient China crumble, new gates and fences are erected. Upmarket residential areas, built as fully-fledged gated communities, are bursting forth across the nation. As China opens up to the world and its economy stretches out, its well-off population is preparing for lockdown*. Around the world and in a variety of forms the phenomenon of fortification has made its mark: in South-America it is a village surrounded by barbed wire and cameras; in the US, communities for senior citizens are enclosed by deserts; in cases like Dubai complete cities even are being constructed as a continuous patchwork of fenced-off neighborhoods, controlled commercial compounds and mega-buildings. The fort typology is a response to an increasing demand for seclusion, a sense of safety, and community living. The words that have evolved to describe the nature of these
lockdown [glo] p.682 5B hutong [glo] p.680 1B privatopia [glo] p.684 6B nerdistan [glo] p.682 3D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D golden ghetto [glo] p.678 1E

communities are as diverse as they are amusing: Privatopia*, Nerdistan*, Euroghetto*, Vertical Themed Community, Golden Ghetto*, Split City*, Teletopia* all refer to enclaves where citizens have flocked together based on an ideology a lifestyle composed of either fear or hope. But more importantly the enclave should be understood as the typological success formula of market-controlled urbanization; most notably in areas of rapid growth. In the West this upsurge of walls has sparked a debate linked to social segregation and loss of public space. The public domain is reduced to (increasingly sophisticated) controlled commercial environments; spaces in between the enclaves are relegated to the status of leftovers. Increasingly inaccessible and of desperately poor quality, they only barely hold the city together. If the city is nothing more than a collection of islands and in between space its role as a communal environment is at stake. Nowhere has this formula been implemented more vigorously than in booming China. Neighborhoods with characteristics to fit any of these odd titles can easily be found, and although the debate never started within the context of Chinas economic development, the consequences of fortification are more profound than in the West. As the privileged draw together behind walls, the new classes of Chinas once
split city [glo] p.688 5A teletopia [glo] p.688 7C danwei [glo] p.676 4A eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D confusion [txt] p.286327 checkmate real-estate [glo] p.674 4A, [img] BURB p.23 carport [img] p.535 7H8J purple jade villas [img] p.194 7A8B decongested [txt] p.369370





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classless society are sharply delineated. Developers, landowners, investors, and residents have together invented a new territory within a territory. Entire networks of residential areas arise like interlinked modern fortresses, with private infrastructure, privatized services and self-governance. The gates and guards are just a symptom of a process of stratification that is less visible but evermore decisive for the spatial, organizational, and social order of Chinas urban society. With every wall erected, it becomes more apparent that the enclave has claimed a central role in Chinas urbanization process.

The modern Chinese enclave took shape with the arrival of the first group of Westerners in Beijing, shortly after the reform. The expatriates were not allowed to settle in amidst the Chinese population. Common homes or apartments were hardly available on the free market and of very poor quality. When housing legislation was eased, developers seized the opportunity to respond to the demands of the foreign employee with homes of Western quality and comfort. Built as small groups of lavish apartment towers, they were the first neighborhoods to be distinctly disconnected from society. When prominent Chinese, looking for privacy and luxury, began to occupy these apartments, both the free housing market and the Chinese gated community became a reality.

New identity In addition to the quest for security, the success of the closed community is driven by a quest for a modern lifestyle. The efforts of Chinas wealthy to individualize and adopt a Western identity are enormous. The Chinese enclave, from its start as a refuge for expatriates has been surrounded by an aura of Western luxury and eminence. Chinese developers have successfully capitalized on a growing hunger for status by building on the gated communitys inherent qualities of safety, and cultivating a flair for contemporary foreign chic. Today Chinas booming housing production is saturated with developers building only for the top of the market. The residential expansions are dominated by gated apartment buildings and gated neighborhoods. Through extensive market-research the group of potential home-owners is identified, categorized, and carefully targeted. For every echelon of the market a specific type of community has evolved. The combined factors of location, available facilities, architectural style mainly variations of the so-called Eurostyle* and building density define the status of the property. Even for the lower sections of the enclave market a sense of splendor and convenience have been achieved. Tall apartment towers are built in ever larger clusters. This leaves enough (financial) room to incorporate a number of facilities such as parking, club house and green space. Through this ingenuity the residential complex has developed into a range of new types; the tallest, largest, most compact and (if you include Hong Kong) most expensive exist today in China. These different types however are socially homogenous; fortification of market-driven real-estate has rendered the residential areas in China spatially and socially isolated.

New walls Even though in China the gated community is omnipresent, its appearance has hardly been recognized, let alone challenged. Rapid and uncontrolled urbanization consumes all attention, and gated communities are hardly remarkable in the new urban landscape. China has a longstanding tradition of enclosing and framing the urban fabric: the protected compound and the walled apartment buildings are not regarded as alien bastions, but as shining examples of regeneration and (unobtainable) Western luxury. In Chinese architecture and urban planning the wall has always been an important means to reify and underline the social structure. From the sequential courts of imperial China to the homogeneous strips of communist work units, the block has been used as the elementary component of society. The pre-communist city consisted of communities of the same clan, position, or occupation, and every individual was a member of a walled society. The life of the nobleman unfolded within the confines of the courtyard; life for the commoner was lived out within the crammed quadrants of the hutongs; and every Chinese farmer was surrounded and protected by the Great Wall. With the birth of the Peoples Republic of China the gray walls were built in concrete and erected around the industrial compounds. No longer necessary to protect anyone, they provided workers throughout community with clear political boundaries. New security The danwei* meticulously eliminated all uncertainty for its residents and provided for most needs from cradle to grave. Issues of politics and the Party but also personal matters such as housing, recreation, education and approval for marriage were arranged by the work unit. In turn the resident was forced to live as part of the collective and to use the shared facilities such as toilets and kitchens. In two decades the securities of the danwei* were lost. With the unwieldy transition from a collective and totally orchestrated society to one dominated by market forces, the average Chinese saw all of what he took for granted being washed away. The Chinese peasant in particular is today left to fend for himself. He is not yet regarded as an individual, but he is fully responsible for his individual success and survival. Unremitting mass migration resulting in overflowing cities, insufficient public amenities, expanding suburbs and imminent social upheaval are the logical consequences. Chinas gated communities have to be regarded within this framework. The new upper-class wants to dissociate itself from the masses and to break free from the chaotic and polluted urban realm, but is in reality completely surrounded by both. For those who can afford it, looking for new security behind the walls of privatized communities is a prophetic measure.

of autonomous residential districts and compounds. As such the enclave contributes not only to social segregation, but also affects the administrative structure. The national government even urges large residential projects to be built with the full array of fences and safety measures. Equipped with private security and governed by neighborhood committees, the enclave saves the state money and relieves it (at least in part) of its responsibilities to administer and maintain order. Their residents, once abiding by the laws of the danwei*, are now subject to house rules and social control established by a private enterprise. This makes the modern Chinese enclave as an administrative entity a compelling replacement of the danwei*. The private projects are used to spot-burn holes in the once completely state-owned carpet. The shift of power to private parties reinforces the fragmentation of jurisdiction. Vice versa, the fragmented jurisdiction stimulates the construction of gated communities. The responsibility of the different authorities involved in large residential projects is unclear. Moreover the number of contradictory and temporary rules and regulations contribute to the confusion*. This hampers the implementation of strategic plans made by regional (and national) government, and creates a hazardous milieu of obscurity and uncertainty for investors. Little room is left to engage in solutions of potentially greater social durability. Within the warped and disorganized urban context, clearly defined and fenced-off building sites are more appealing. The gated community has become Chinas tried and tested investment model for minimum-risk residential development. The procedures to develop a residential compound do not contribute to clear-cut city planning either. The government allocates an area and invites a small group of investors to take part in the development. The area is broken up into different building sites and rough directives are defined such as maximum building height, buildable area, and the type of
split city [glo] p.688 5A teletopia [glo] p.688 7C danwei [glo] p.676 4A eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D confusion [txt] p.286327 checkmate real-estate [glo] p.674 4A, [img] BURB p.23 carport [img] p.535 7H8J purple jade villas [img] p.194 7A8B decongested [txt] p.369370

New order The Chinese government encourages the construction


lockdown [glo] p.682 5B hutong [glo] p.680 1B privatopia [glo] p.684 6B nerdistan [glo] p.682 3D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D golden ghetto [glo] p.678 1E





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Marketing highlights of the Chinese gated community


Theme park with club house Interior and exterior swimming pool Schools, kindergarten Transit hub 24 hours patrol service 24 Supermarket Post office Beauty salon Car wash Laundry Gym Restaurants Cafe Foreign language training Intelligent systems a. Broadband in every household b. Videos on request c. Long-distance appliances control d. Satellite TV e. Electronic patrol system f. Video talk back g. One card ID system for gates and parking Greenhouse Vegetable plot and corn field Badminton court Table tennis room Tennis court Tea bar Net bar Reading room Shopping mall Plaza Musical street Food court Business corridor Recreation center Art plaza Activity center Fresh market Bank Shops Billiards room Reading room Elderly activity center Games room Dispensary Sauna and massage , Bath house Basketball court Public toilet Walk in Business Street Man-made lake Kids play center Fuel gas detector Smoke detector CCTV system Fire alarm Background music KTV Pharmacy Chess and card room Bowling room Mini golf court Shuttle bus Landscape and waterscape facilities , Playground and football court Residents committee Cameo, sculpture , Basement car park Racked ball room Chinese pavilion


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lockdown [glo] p.682 5B hutong [glo] p.680 1B privatopia [glo] p.684 6B nerdistan [glo] p.682 3D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D golden ghetto [glo] p.678 1E

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facilities. Then, true to form, the developers withdraw into seclusion. The Chinese business tradition prescribes absolute secrecy and the conjoining sites are developed without any mutual consultation. As a result, although each developer has carried out their own delimited market-research, no-one has considered the sum of actual needs across the area. We have branded this dominant phenomenon Checkmate Real-Estate* the product of a winner-takes-all approach which leaves the home-owner and the average citizen struggling for quality of shared space. Generally there is a surplus of commercial facilities, a lack of public facilities, and oddly mismatched infrastructure. In addition the market research has a very short focus basically until the apartments are sold. With the demography of China changing fast, this will leave floor space and parking space in short supply. Insufficient connections reinforce the extreme isolation of the enclave. At the same time the homogeneous nature and inadequate facilities maintain the dependency on the city. Against the danwei*, which provided for all the needs of its occupants, the modern Chinese enclave is highly reliant on logistics and puts a severe pressure on the infrastructure from the city to often remote areas.

urbanization currently needed to accommodate the immense number of new citizens could even reinforce and restructure the dispersed condition.

However, as the economy grows stronger, predictably the built densities get lower. In the last two years the number of villa districts has exploded. In Shanghai alone real-estate developers have completed 59 gated villa communities in the last year (2004). And downtown construction sites have become increasingly expensive. For the upcoming middle-class a cheaper type of villa community has become available on land far away from the city. The consequences of this trend (increased traffic, disintegration of the urban network) have not been acknowledged. Yet this type of enclave is spreading fast, and small island communities are defining the urban mass around Chinas mega-cities. Built as the gated version of the American suburb, they are fully dependent on highways and cars. The homes align themselves along the curving streets in strings of detached and semi-detached cottages with a small front and back yard and a carport*. Within the premises a select number of services are available such as a bank, a day-care center, a store and a clubhouse. One of the largest gated residential areas in the world based on this model has been built in Wuhan. Developed by a single company for a single community, it covers a million square meters. For its 200,000 occupants a range of services has been made available which include a complete package of social securities. Even though fully privatized cities are officially illegal in China, the gated community of Wuhan can compete with cities such as Celebration and Sun City in the US. The Chinese welfare state has paid the price for a wavering transition from socialism to a socialist market economy. Rapid but restricted expansion of the privatization of securities such as pension, health-care and education occurs from within the
split city [glo] p.688 5A teletopia [glo] p.688 7C danwei [glo] p.676 4A eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D confusion [txt] p.286327 checkmate real-estate [glo] p.674 4A, [img] BURB p.23 carport [img] p.535 7H8J purple jade villas [img] p.194 7A8B decongested [txt] p.369370

Villa-enclave The initial prototype for the Chinese gated community was the compact tower. The apartments provided comfortable yet inconspicuous homes for an upper-class that couldnt account for a large part of their earnings. Just like the secluded towers of cities in South-America, they generated small islands of extreme density in Chinas otherwise loose-fit suburbs. From the point of view of sustainable urban development, these tower-communities for the upper middle-class are a blessing. The fact that both the average and the well-to-do Chinese urbanite lives in dense building blocks is a source of hope for Chinas ever expanding cities. In a dream scenario, the
lockdown [glo] p.682 5B hutong [glo] p.680 1B privatopia [glo] p.684 6B nerdistan [glo] p.682 3D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D golden ghetto [glo] p.678 1E





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gated communities. For those who can afford it, the transition from welfare state to welfare city is smooth. More than the privatization of the housing market and the public domain it is the privatization of services and social security that constitutes the stratification of China.

blocks became available for the middle-class, residential areas for the upper-class with names such as Purple Jade Villas*, Woodland Villas and Golden Gardens began to flourish. Within the walls of these districts 80% of the ground is used for lakes, roads, gardens and parking. However, unlike the hyper-serviced tower blocks that have emerged in Hong Kong or the Wuhan welfare city, these gated areas are centers of unsatisfied demands. For most requirements the resident must leave the premises. To fulfill the full range of needs of these residents, a network of specialized facilities has formed around the gated communities. In similarly controlled quarters the best of what the city has to offer is assembled. A constellation of well guarded schools, sports and country clubs, shopping and restaurants form a complete support system. These clubs and societies are accurately

attuned to the lifestyle of their customers; with each wall the exclusivity increases, fending off anyone not in step with the exorbitant admission fees. This makes for an extensive network of private clubs for the suburban jet-setter: a succession of lobbies, lounges and lawns, all enclosed by gilded gateways exuding inaccessibility. Nestled in the periphery of the capital, this closed network has engaged in a struggle for space with the still expanding forest of basic apartment blocks. Many

Walls behind walls


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For the truly affluent, extraordinary security measures and a stringent set of rules are nothing to get distressed about. They voluntarily confine themselves to hermetically sealed suburban strongholds. North-east of Beijing thirty walled villa compounds are grouped strategically in relation to each other and the international airport. They are the ultimate Golden Ghettos* of China and set the standard for modern luxury and class. Their success seems to prove that as buildable land became scarce, abundance of living space gained importance. At the same time that compact tower

of the occupants of these flats used to live in hutongs*, but they had to make way for the center to be refurbished and decongested*. Evicted from their homes without sufficient compensation, they were effectively expelled from the center and their hutong* lifestyle, and forced to find refuge in the towers along the outer ring. However the cheaper flats of Beijing are not only wedged between highways and peripheral clutter, but squeezed also by the walls of clubs and villa districts. In the suburbs, the involuntarily confined end up face to face with the voluntarily incarcerated: Chinas stratification is halfway complete.

lockdown [glo] p.682 5B hutong [glo] p.680 1B privatopia [glo] p.684 6B nerdistan [glo] p.682 3D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D golden ghetto [glo] p.678 1E

split city [glo] p.688 5A teletopia [glo] p.688 7C danwei [glo] p.676 4A eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D confusion [txt] p.286327 checkmate real-estate [glo] p.674 4A, [img]

BURB p.23 carport [img] p.535 7H8J purple jade villas [img] p.194 7A8B decongested [txt] p.369370





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Topic: Economics Politics Sociology Ecology

Scale: National Regionaal City Block Person

Energy Architecture Urban planning Other: ...

The gated community has become Chinas investment model for minimum-risk development.





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hey fuck! whered the city go?


abstract dreaming / pouring concrete

Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

Adrian Hornsby

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residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C

real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D





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a spatial rhetoric of aWe THE AXIAL PROCESSION OR APPROACH


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THE GATE DISTANCE - ELEVATION - SIZE SYMMETRY, REGULARITY, VISUAL SEQUENCE OF INDIVIDUAL DETAIL LANDMARKS AT STRATEGIC POINTS, CENTERS OF CIRCULATION SIGNIFICANT NAMES BOLSTERING HISTORICAL IDENTITY

Straining to deny yourself or Why our parents all moved to the suburbs
The notion of the city presupposes social stratification. At the moment of its inception, the city is already organizing and selecting: it is creating a spectrum of roles and assuming the non-equality of its individuals. It is making choices among them. The very idea of urban program is a convolvement of resources; an amassment of agricultural surplus and its redistribution among those who have not produced it. It is an expression of concentrations of unevennesses and their arrangement; a zone of full-time specialists and organized relations. Inherent to any gathering of people are systems of their relative functions and collective behavior, and methods by which these are chosen. Through legal and managerial structures a hierarchy of these functions will emerge. And as personal power becomes weighted, almost certainly so will personal gain. The city is a point of collected differences, both from its surroundings and within itself. It is a setting for acts of assimilation and sorting a location for stratification to take place. This much is scripted into its concept-code. Gone is the lone individual on the good ground. Concomitant with stratification is the citys need to justify itself. The apparent inequalities material, spatial, and in terms of power to direct place an onus upon the city to explain its system of arrangements. Why this accumulation in this fashion? What advantage in this particular composition of forms? The hierarchy is called upon to give a concrete substantiation of its fitness, and the city, being a spatial entity, will produce a spatial response. Planning and architecture are deployed as exegetical structures as attempts on behalf of the city to make itself physically legible to its inhabitants. It must be on the surface, showing itself. It must be made to seem to make sense. The city builds awe-forms to manifest to society its stable stratified success. The foci of power are physically magnificent, from which the citys inhabitants derive a certain sense of rectitude. The individual acknowledges the presence of something greater-than-theindividual, of a collective power beyond themself. As this collective is the city, of which they are a part, they will take comfort in it, and draw identity from it. Control is achieved by displays of control, and thus the city draws meaning in. Impressive efficient access routes enhance and disseminate this intelligibility, as well as clarifying layout and rationalizing spatial sorting. Prominent awe-forms are located along them, and at their gates and intersections. The nature of the citys stratification is visibly reinforced by moving through it by its structures and infrastructure, and their spatial rhetoric of awe. However, at the same time that the city expresses order it is gripped by a pervasive anxiety. The straight lines the orthogony the expansive built surfaces are all the products of a dominance over pre-existing natural forms, which speak of power, but are also loud with dissociation. The millions of years in the open wild have bred into man a sense of beauty when regarding the natural world. It has been a selective advantage to experience hope and fitness when surveying those environments from which the urbanite is now cut off. The potential for alienation ensues. There is anxiety about the loss of the outside, and anxiety that the city is itself unnatural. There is the anxiety of the privileged concerning inequalities the city has thrown up, and a fear of too much exposure to them. It would be unbearable to know all of the city all of the time, or to be continuously within its mechanisms of display. Alongside processes of
residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D

STYLE

Beijing West Railway Station, 1996 Major railway stations are of particular importance to modern cities as they function as the exit or entry points for many citizens. They play the role of city gate one of special significance in China where traditionally cities have
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been built as a series of gates and enclosures. For literally millions of rural migrants, this building will be the first experience of the city. It is large but formally centralized, with an arch reaching over all those who come in or go out. There are many windows which are all identical and possess minimal individual features.

It opens onto a major arterial: six lanes of cross-traffic and a long straight wide road ahead. For the train traveler, now on foot, entry into the city is mediated by stacks of curling footways which transect multiple levels as the heavy vehicles go banging by. It is of bewildering complexity. It is bigger than you.

Bridges and tunnels also serve as moments of crossing into the city, and in this way take on a role beyond that of infrastructure. Contemplating different proposals, planners in Zhuhai expressed a marked preference for bridges in that they were visible.

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disclosure or physical legibility, to retain sense the city must also develop the quality of opacity. The patterns of city emergence must be apparent, but in degrees. There must be areas which are released from the areas around them. In this way the city develops grain, and with it processes of exclusion. Planning is not only sense-making through the provision of access but also through its curtailment; it is the mediation of the citys open and closedness. It is necessary to be able to move between areas without moving through them. It is necessary for the citys methods of showing itself to have a temporal aspect: for it to unfold itself sequentially and for its details to be the product of following them down. It is neither all there all at once nor completely shut away. The city recognizes the need for gradients of hiddenness. In this way the city gains its three objectives: i) To stratify: to gather, concentrate, and sort (goods, resources, skills, people). To be a location for stratifying operations and their productive use. ii) To make sense through acts of display: to allow access and reinforce stratification with its built forms, i.e. to control and draw in meaning (using awe, visibility, and expressions of a collective power which is greater-than-the-individual). iii) To maintain sense through acts of hiddenness: to mediate access and create areas of exclusion, i.e. to restrict meaning and assuage concerns that the city is unnatural.

BEIJING, June 9 Authorities in Chongyi County, Jiangxi Province, seized seven beggars and mental patients and dumped them in a remote place to improve the downtown outlook, the Nanfang Daily reported yesterday. Five of them are still missing, the newspaper said, adding that the other two returned to Chongyi days after a Civil Affairs Bureau worker and four police assistants dumped them in a remote part of neighboring Dayu County on January 21. One of the returned victims, a beggar identified as A. Liao, said he was sleeping near a supermarket that day when a truck pulled up. Several men got out and forced him onto the vehicle. The truck stopped after a long drive. During the trip, a civil affairs worker gave them each a pack of biscuits, A. Liao said. They forced the seven people off, and turned back, he recalled. Guo Dongxiang, 61, is one of those missing. She reportedly has been suffering from mental problems for 20 plus years. Her son, Wu Longsheng, said his mother left home about 3pm that day and never returned. A bureau official said the civil affairs and public security departments did it to ensure the downtown is free of eyesores as instructed by the county government. Theres no center for vagrants here, so we handled it as in the past, the paper quoted a bureau official as saying. www.chinaview.cn 2005-06-09 10:22:58

the city is bigger than you


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hiddenness. Too much display can incur upon privacy and foment divisiveness; but if the city ceases to present itself, then it is in danger of decentralizing, and so losing the advantage of being a concentration of information and communication. If the city is all exclusion there is no relationship between the stratified bands and so no point in gathering them together. And so on. The unhealthy city is characterized by failures in its processes of sorting, showing and hiding, which most often result in outbreaks that offend the citys sense. These are products of the city but are unassimilated to its structuring principles, and so become eyesores or displays of the unnatural. They interrupt the grain. For example a red-light district appearing in a residential neighborhood. Or a slum under a bridge. Unplanned disruptions threaten the citys notion of itself as a locus of wholesome stratification. Overt displays of poor living conditions, homelessness, and an intolerable number of beggars are implicit criticisms of the orthogony within which they exist. The city is failing to sort these people, and they are blots upon it. The phrase an intolerable number of beggars immediately poses the question of what that number is. How many beggars per hectare are tolerable, in which parts of the city, and in what countries of the world? Is more than zero in any place ever comfortable? Wandering in the Sanlitun area of Beijing with my friend and translator Carol Xiao I would often give a 1 RMB note to the vagrant streetkids there. Dont do that she would say. Dont give them that. They dont pay any tax on it. Jesus Carol, Id say. Theyd usually be about five. It

The healthy city is able to maintain sufficient equilibrium between these three forces to sustain growth. Their balance ensures efficiency and stability. Imbalances on the other hand stress the city and will impede its capacity for growth. Extreme stratification puts excessive strain upon the requirements for
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Control statements made by impressive architecture are undermined by the presence of outbreaks from those who have not been effectively sorted by the power structure. They are not only an eyesore; they are an implicit criticism of the way in which the citys stratification procedures are operating. In this picture a mother is being taken away by the police for not having a train ticket.

residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C

real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D

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would be 2am, with little hives of them around the entrances to westerner bars. Jesus Carol, Id say. The whole thing felt odd. It felt unnatural that there was an unnatural process at work creating such an encounter. The same question of tolerable numbers can be asked about levels of crime. Or the presence of ostentatiously opulent buildings, and their proximity to absolute slums. How many such outbreaks can a city bear and still make sense? The unplanned disruptions that take place within an unhealthy city damage its sense of fitness, and exacerbate the anxiety that it is in some way unnatural. They are not only an isolated eyesores but have implications that reach out across the whole idea of the city. Beyond a certain threshold the city itself will cease to make sense as an ordering principle and instead be interpreted as a bad environment. Things like gathering, concentration, stratification, wide roads and hiddennesses the principles of city-building itself will be seen as evil influences. And the immediate consequence is that good forms are perceived as those which do not exhibit urban characteristics. The question of naturalness becomes one of how to escape from environments which the city is in a sense quite naturally creating. Under these circumstances, while still perhaps economically productive, the city is not somewhere one wants to live. This feeling is particularly keen among those engaged in raising families, who have a strong desire to do so in a naturalseeming environment. Ironically the unit most often regarded as the modular block of systems of collective living is the one most susceptible to urban anxiety. As the stratified extremes of concentrated collective living become more apparent, the control-forms more disrupted, and the assuagement techniques less and less able to meet the demands made of them, increasingly the family will seek refuge from the city. It will undergo an anti-urban propulsion, and want to relocate itself outside. And yet it does not cease to be the core component of the city, nor does it cease to be wholly dependent upon it. There is this difficult dual desire to be both benefiting from the advantages offered by stratified city situations, and yet to be free of their consequences. There is this tremendous will to leave, as the city reads as being a bad form, and yet this is not possible as its badness is so heavily relied
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upon. Thus the desires become a kind of dream an urban dream straining to deny itself. A dream of simultaneous acts of exit and engagement; a dream of moving out, but not too far. This dream took real-world shape as suburbia: the nonurban retreat for urbanites undergoing anti-urban propulsion. As the family group moved out the city became the fled center of a residential donut*. The widespread creation of twentieth century suburbia, and in particular that of the popularized American Dream suburb, was made possible by the combination of affordable automobiles, the provision of long-term low-interest mortgages, and cheap modular building materials. It was made desirable by intensely explicitly stratified inner city conditions. At that time the cheapest building typology was extensive low-rise single family homes, and these factors in combination gave a physical definition to that moment of dreaming. It was what the West could offer toward achieving incomplete escape from the urbanism it had come to regard as sick. In stark opposition to the city it offered non-collective living and non-collective transport. It was something outside of all that. And it offered individual homes on individual lots of a scale that individuals could either build or conceive of building. There was nothing visibly greater than themselves. If the city had instigated itself on the principles of gathering and sorting, impressive physical manifestations of power, and complex structures of access and hiddenness, the suburb struck back with dispersal, long ranges of low monotony, and streets which led on to nowhere at all, or to simple factual dead ends. Unlike the stratified city the suburb was composed of segregated homogenous communities. It was a spatial illusion of equality, with the continuous grain and exclusiveness that the disrupted urban condition was failing to supply. As a spatial entity it offered an abnegation of the balance of urban imperatives, but did so without providing a move toward something qualitatively different. It offered none of the rural attributes of self-sufficiency or open land or the unification of work and home. It could neither make sense on its own nor be a continuous part of something else. Instead it was the product of a series of denials a movement away without moving toward. The dreaminess from which it stemmed did not produce a specific alternative. Rather it created something neither city nor

country; but a place none the less, and one defined by the act of trying to get away. It was the creation of an abtopia*.

the suburb as the spatial illusion of equality


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The suburb has sprung from the paradoxical desire both to be in the city and not to be in the city, and has forced both planners and real estate developers into the most gruesome contortions of rhetoric. Attempts to integrate the suburb into the urban tissue meet the continuous contradiction of ideals which lie at the root of the two forms: the abtopian* suburban urge produced by the dystopian interpretation of the city. The abtopia* will by necessity try not to be a part of the thing which it is in fact extending. It is a dream of self-denial which cannot give itself up. The current conditions of urbanism in China are deeply stratified and densely packed with unplanned disruptions, and thus create an ideal bed for dreams of abtopia*. The new wealth coming in and the rapid expansion of the middle class ensure that these dreams will find themselves spatial expressions: the real estate will be built. The question remains of what forms these dreams will build this time what are the defining factors which will determine the physical manifestations of an idea which is only a movement away from place? That the Chinese are dreaming, and dreaming of abtopias* is apparent. The following is a translation of an advertisement for Fortune Island, a residential development between the Fourth and Fifth Ring Roads of Beijing. Fortune Island, an exotic name which reminds people of the mystery of the tree of Buddha, or the scent of the small banana tree, or beautiful girls in coconut bras and grass skirts. Being the most prestigious townhouse project in Beijing, after the noble first project, the refreshing second and the novel third, Jade City adopted this new water-view design for its fifth project, Fortune Island, which brings a breeze of oriental romance to the whole real-estate project. beautiful girls in coconut bras and grass skirts It sounds like the most remote idyll in the world casually dropped into its fastest growing capital city.

However, for all it is reviled it is notable that abtopia* or the suburb as we know it has reproduced itself everywhere upon the instant that circumstances have made it possible. Biologically it is highly successful, and hardy. Moreover the service-forms that have developed to nourish it have gone on to become the global chains whose products the world most wants to buy. Its predilection for long-range shopping in malls and fast-food eating beside parking lots has shaped the landscape of the worlds goods. Nor has it been without its utopian proponents those who seek the ideal balance of its lawns and leafiness and its connection to urban benefits. But it has applied an enormous pressure upon extant urban tissue, and though cheap to build it has expensive ramifications. It is grossly inefficient in terms of land use, building materials, and heat consumption. Utilities and infrastructure have to be run over great distances to each individual house. There are large new precincts to police. Thousands of lonely streetlamps, burning deep into the empty night. Disaffected green men offering crossings to no one to nowhere. And most famously it has invented the traffic jam. Building itself frequently at densities too low to support public transport systems, and imposing long commutes upon its inhabitants, it combusts cubic kilometers of fossil fuels for its residents to move at speeds less than that of a bicycle.

residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C

real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D

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The Chinese residential urban development, or chiburb*


Dreaming of soft clouds off a pillow of solid rock

Soft Cloud verdure water-features tranquility small winding roads villa and car spacious living own house residential enclave

Hard Rock pollution dryness noise grid systems and heavy traffic inadequate public transport cramped conditions communist collectivism prominent industrial and political buildings

When I stepped off the plane in Beijing in March there was a strong wind. It was blowing right across me. I hadnt slept for maybe 30 hours throughout the flight an argument Id had with my girlfriend before leaving was going round and round inside. I think Id exhausted my fury long before, and from then on in it had been just swirl. I came down the steps and on the concrete turned to look out at Beijing. I could see only a gradient of dust and distant cranes. The wind blowing at them. On the bus on the way to the main terminal we all stood looking south as the wings went tapering by, and nose-cones and semaphore-men, all of us looking for Beijing. Beyond only ever the gradient of dust, and the looming of distant cranes. The level of pollution in Beijing is really something else. There are emissions, but its more the airborne particles you feel some of them wind-driven all the way from Mongolia, some the construction dust of the city itself. Everyday Id cycle home and pull the gunk from my eyes, stand and listen to myself breathe. Feel a screw somewhere tightening. One time I saw them demolish a three-story building simply by punching holes round the base and standing back. It collapsed and threw a huge cloud up and across the Dongzhimennei Dajie, just south of the Lama Temple. You can go round the CBD anytime you like and write your name with your finger on the windows of brand new glass skyscrapers. They say theyre going to have to do something about it by 2008 or itll be the slowest Olympics on record. They say therell be marathon runners stopping by the side of the road, holding onto their lungs. Beijing is extremely dry and dusty and noisy and polluted, and real-estate marketing has responded to

verdant, the tranquil, the cut-out of green space within which urbanism stops. The new residential developments in Beijing are literally fenced off from the world around them walled and guarded enclaves of non-city in the city, sudden tropical islands in all that concrete dust and beeping. By expressing a series of denials of the new private blocks hope to meet the inhabitants dreams of abtopia*, and thus become the form for the Chinese suburb. They are examples of how urban program may be reformatted to sell to anti-urban demand. Historical factors in China add further lacquer to the suburban ideal. The move into a private suburb-home is not only one away from the noisome city, but also away from former communist collectivism. The suburban family home is the runaway antithesis of the Maoist danwei* (where husband, wife and children were accommodated separately, and meals were organized according to worker-groups and eaten in canteens). The isolating aspect suburbia is elsewhere accused of can in China be the soft cloud dreamt of off the pillows of worker-dormitories. It is freedom from physical or societal megastructures. It is a clear statement of property ownership and a point of independence from controlled city objectives. It is a rebuttal of industry dominated landscapes, and the divide it enables between work and living space highlights the new individualism. It is its own thing. However, the real estate market in China is not that of the 1950s in the west, and the cheapest typology is no longer extensive low-rise abtopia*. The suburban dream

du[oXygen]st

this with promises of reversal. If the existing urban condition has immediate harsh qualities then the easiest form of allure is to offer their opposites: the
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real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D

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as it manifested itself in the US was determined by personal cars and long reaches of cheap land around smaller cities. In China however the city is already vast, and lack of land and the complications around securing it from the government make it an expensive concern. Moreover there is the problem of what kinds of projects the government will be prepared to back. On the other hand, cheap labor and advancements in technology have significantly brought down the cost of constructing multiple story buildings. These conditions make high-rise inevitable, and thus the private developer is caught in a bind: he has to build towers, and sell them as suburban living. Its a ludicrous position, giving rise to the ludicrous presentation of Fortune Island. The residential enclave does not try to be part of the city but apart from the city; does not try to interact with its surrounding environment but to seal itself off and sear its interior of urban qualities. They are isolationist building projects whose priority is the exclusion of the city rather than their place within it. The multiple story blocks create an anxiety of association with the tissue they are trying to reject, and thus produce a more extreme reaction against it. They proclaim themselves to be HIGH in all things nonurban while being LOW in all things urban. They are like standing soup cans, perfectly enclosed, wearing proud health labels. Their non-interaction with the city is expressed by a radical unconcern with related services, or the infrastructural implications of putting those people there. The residential enclave forms itself around the desire for abtopia*, and worries less and less about physical realities. Indeed as an increasing percentage of the apartments are presold, before construction is complete or sometimes even begun, its obligation to worry about physical realities is greatly diminished. It can be profitable purely at the proposal level, and subsequent construction is cheap. It becomes almost a concept product, where the built form is secondary. The brochure is more important than the developments concrete existence in the city. The design is more about feel or style than actual form or function. The project is no longer directed toward urban growth, but toward selling an idea of suburbia. It is about producing advertising materials which carry the sense of clean air, space, quiet, tranquility, without necessarily achieving them. They become exercises in
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illusion. Rich green lawns from genuinely tropical places are cut and pasted into the marketing images. The tower facades are colorfully tiled to create contrast from the typologically similar concrete monotonies of communist era block-building. The congested grid of physical Beijing is rejected in favor of little winding lanes within. The developments associate themselves with abstract qualities fortune, royalty, romance and companion non-places paradise, dream-house.

Some titles given to Beijing chiburb* developments Fortune Island Chateau Regency Fragrance Park Kings Garden Villas Natural City Silver Lake Villas Le Leman Lake Villas Lee Garden Apartments Somerset Fortune Garden

Following sportive activities or just to regenerate what better than pure oxygen? Here in a warm atmosphere and some light music guests can relax absorbing pure oxygen. Lee Garden Service Apartments Beijing, Oxygen Bar

In Beijing I lived in a residential enclave of twelve twenty story towers in the Chaoyang District. They were bright and tiled with blue and pink stripes, looking less like a forest of chimneys* than a line of standing sweets. There were two gates, both of them guarded. Vehicle entry was via the south-east gate, off a minor road, from which you passed along a one-way street and round a roundabout to exit through the west gate onto the Jiuxianqiao Lu, a major road. By denying vehicle access at the major access point i.e. the Jiuxianqiao Lu the system cleverly minimized through-traffic. Inhabitants would generally pass in or out on foot, and transportation by car would occur only once outside the compound. In this way even though the compound was, infrastructurally, very much car-dependent, relatively few cars ever drove through. It retained the feel of being traffic-free, while contributing significantly to the traffic problem on the Jiuxianqiao Lu. Obviously the noises heard and the air breathed were the same on either side of the wall, and were no doubt worse than before the enclave was built and all that extra traffic created. However, inside the wall you had the feeling that traffic was a problem that existed outside. It was a Chinese suburb-style illusion.

But the most interesting thing about the road system didnt strike me until I had been living there for several weeks. It was not the one way system but the roundabout. A roundabout with one entry and one exit on a one-way street is, I realized, completely meaningless. If there is only one direction of flow there is nothing for a traffic system to negotiate. You can go one way round the roundabout or the other it makes no difference, but you cant meet anything else on it. The other cars can only ever be behind you. And so what was it doing there? It took up a considerable amount of space there was the band of road all the way round and in the center a circle of sparse dry grass several meters wide. Moreover it cut a much larger space between the two groups of towers into two, leaving odd offcuts on either side. Because both of these were always near the road they were of low recreational value, and thus although there was a sense of space, there was very little usable space. The fact that the space wasnt really usable, and that there was seldom traffic on the roundabout, ensured that it was generally empty, and so it gave off an impression of low density, tranquil, quiet and so on. The same was true of other spaces between the towers. But not only did the roundabout suck up an otherwise potentially populated space, it created a curvy street. While serving no traffic function, it promoted the illusion of slow village-style suburbia, where winding roads come together at a small roundabout beside a green.

In Beijing the paradoxical tensions within suburbiadesire have reached new extremes, and have snapped out in expressions of overt oxymoron. It is like pressing the north ends of two magnets together. There is no such thing as urban nonurbia, as residential settings which are inimical to public transport and free of the blocked arterials they exacerbate, as selfsufficient moments of pure enclosure, as program which does not relate to the city it is dependent upon. These dreams of soft clouds need the roads and services and employment they shun. They need the collective aspects of the capital they deny. They are inevitably connected to the solid rock which has produced them. Chinese urban abtopia* is taking shape as a string of disconnected high-rise enclosures with suburbia-illusions whose real world effects are the deterioration of external urban quality and the provision of a senseless internal peace. This is the current look of the chiburb*. It is astonishing that the most rapid urban growth the world has ever seen is taking place while being conceptually at odds with urbanism itself. Moreover it is at odds with the urban reality it is creating.

real estate becomes a concept product, where the built form is secondary

As with other forms of abtopia* the chiburb*, within its guarded limited pockets, is mostly unstratified. It mostly represents a single higher income bracket.
residential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D

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there is no such thing as urban nonurbia


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real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D

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The construction of permanent real estate in China is being managed chiefly by private developers, whose interest is necessarily in profitable ventures. They will bend form and suppress function in order to attract available capital, which is concentrated in a new but narrow middle class. This class is the dreaming lung behind the real estate bubble. It is composed of those looking to buy apartments in which to escape the city with its harsh conditions and density of sense-offending outbreaks. However the concentration of capital is a poor representation of housing demand. The majority of people seeking accommodation in the city over the next twenty years and hoping to be sensefully stratified will be rural migrants. They are a small proportion of the capital available for real-estate projects, but a great many bodies. At present many are housed in prefabricated dormitories on construction sites or near factories, in the restaurants, shops and brothels where they work, or in patchwork slum-type dwellings in peripheral villages. They are given no special place in the dream, but if they are to be included in the city some planning will need to be done for them. I remember in June cycling along parallel to the construction site where they are extending the Beijing Airport Expressway. They were digging pillar foundations, and points for a tree-lining. Every twenty meters or so there was a migrant digging a hole in the dust, wearing blue factory trousers and light black plimsoles. Squinting, sweating. The handles of their spades were raw tree branches stripped of bark, and the heads popped out of a thin steel sheet. The heads were heart-shaped, with a pressed central channel for reinforcement, and a stem where you stick the tree branch in. So these migrants in their bare chests were digging holes in the dust in the brute sun as cars went flashing by. And me on a bicycle. Pile-holes for the elevated airport expressway. Wow, I said to myself. Its just like the building of a Great Wall.

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real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D





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The changing urban fabric


The City of Zero Liminality* and Real Sub-urbia*
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At the same time that the city is having to consider how to house its stratified dreamers, it is coming to terms with another of its most natural products that of congestion. The drive to gather, to concentrate, to control, and to allow certain routes of access by necessity involves larger numbers of people trying to get in and out of a smaller number of places. It is an implicit condition of interrelated areas of different densities an implicit condition of urbanism itself. Developments in telecommunications have obviated the need for certain trips, and yet have occasioned the grounds for many more, and often longer. Moreover recent shifts in lifestyle and employment practices have led to more frequent changes of living and work places. The two are now much less

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real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D





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likely to be closely related, and the modern urbanite will regard an easy route to work as a piece of rare felicity rather than a basis for where to work or live. Especially as the work-places themselves have been moving too. Due to the growing expense of central locations many companies have chosen to relocate further out. Decentralized developments in turn generate more decentralized activity, and increasingly even routes between non-central locations see rush hours. As urban growth and unpredictable movement patterns independently accelerate their collecting intensities, the transport system finds itself inundated with more people wanting to move further more frequently in more diverse directions. For this the automobile is ideal. It is fast, instantly available, and independently directable. However, while travelers on foot demanded perhaps 0.5m2 of circulation area each, once in cars they need at least 10m2, and much more if they are to move at any speed. Suddenly the streets are over twenty times too small, and horrifically congested. The citys power to gather and sort is hit, as is the sense of control. Axial processions and grand buildings lose the aspect of being greater-thanthe-individual as a group of individuals have brought

their systems to a standstill. Suddenly facing the equivalent of a stroke the city is forced to rebuild itself at lower densities on a larger scale with wider access routes. The spacing out of things alleviates certain high-points of pressure but increases distances. Nobody would think to walk to work anymore, and besides, the streets have become roads. They are noisy and dangerous and difficult to cross. Moving along them by any means other than by car becomes unappealing, and increasingly the experience of travel is characterized by stepping out of a work or living or service space and into a taxi or parking lot. The areas around things begin to deteriorate, and the desire to pass through them diminishes. The difficulty involved in making a series of stops at different locations and the disinclination around having to walk between them favors mono-destination shopping. These are large-scale non-local amassments and lead to the closure of many more local service providers. Linear arrangements of shops and restaurants fall into decay as business moves to bigger more distant centers behind vast parking lots. And so a further class of urban trip is motorized and starts to apply pressure to a wider area of roadspace. The roads are scaled up again to support supply networks to the service centers. Although the costs of

all this extra road building and car use are transferred to the inhabitant in tax and health problems, the size of the big goods marts and the volume of their sales allow them to lower their own product prices. Seeing this, the inhabitant is delighted with progress. He sees immediately how visible expenses have been shaved down and feels he is getting bigger bananas for less money. As he drives back through the local area, vacant shop fronts create a sense of disuse, and it seems even a little threatening. Certainly dirty, and poorly maintained . There are odd outbreaks, or eyesores, and the swirling litter associated with them. Perhaps someone is selling peppers on a smutched cloth or newspaper; their green skins alternately dark with exhaust grease, and pale with dust driven up from unfinished sections of the road. Nice inhabitants do not wish to be found along here, or stood waiting at the bus stop. Rather they hole themselves up in residential developments. They build walls. The rest of the shops outside give way to the wasteland and bus services are cancelled. Families keep their children in, except when they take them out to somewhere else. With the complete abandonment of the local the city is forced to compartmentalize itself. This place here for this one thing: here living, here shopping, here park (with entry

fee) . Each compartment is independently sealed. Everyone who can is now living in a chiburb* to get away from the roads, the outbreaks, the pollution. Besides, with the demise of both continuity and locality there is nothing outside left to be lost. The separation of use-areas means more long trips are required in and out of distant destinations. The scale is further exaggerated, and city-travel by anything other than car becomes impossible. Even the widened roads are now stressed, and have to be upgraded again. This time with people regularly driving 20km or more it is necessary to build systems which facilitate higher velocities. They make the leap to six lane arterials, and in between what were once the capillaries of public streets are swallowed up into private development chiburbs*, business parks, megamalls, etc. The arterials cut through the city with sheet walls to either side. There is no longer such a thing as the crossroads; only flyovers, slip lanes, stacked junctions, asphalt clovers. They move onto twins of concrete pillars and cease to have any contact with the program they pass by. Buildings formerly along their routes shift back, retreating from their drone and foulness and leaving them to run down evacuated corridors.

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real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D





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They become long strings through nothingness. Stopping once and standing back to look at them, trying to imagine where he grew up, the chiburbanite* is aghast at their scale; terrorized by the speed of things passing. Being so small and soft he has no way to negotiate such structures and so is forced to give them up. He looks around once (the vibrations are numbing his sense of touch). Only blank spaces echo darkly. And was there something moving in there? He returns to his vehicle. There is a plastic bag rucked against the front tire. The in between parts of the city have ceased to exist for him. He closes his door. Theyve been sucked away. Instead experience of the city is a sequence of sealed environments. The chiburbanite* goes from one specific location to the next via a car interior. Throughout he maintains his own atmosphere. There is no contact with the transition with the city itself. There is only a time gap. From room to elevator to car seat to elevator to room. The idea that things are connected in space is a purely conceptual concern. It can represent costs, but has no physical reality into which a chiburbanite* can fit. The city has become a solitaire board a discrete number of positions. In this model the marbles can sit in any one of the dimples, but in between is impossible. The in between space has all been flattened, and is hard. The solitaire board city is a City of Zero Liminality*. However, as the chiburbanite* progressively cedes liminal space, it is increasingly taken over by those left unassimilated by chiburban* grain. While the city rebuilds itself in concatenations of exclusive walled enclosures, those who are being excluded are forced to take up residence among the leftovers. Unable to participate in a city which has transferred itself entirely to delineated abtopias*, they form a parallel city in its abandoned zones. Under the hardtop, in between the dimples. This is the Real Sub-urbia*, existing literally beneath the urban area, under its transport structures, finding shelter among the concrete legs. There is the top-level urban scheme, and beneath it is this second sub-urban inhabitation. Without the economic means to travel by car and in a city where public transport has evaporated, the real suburbanites situate themselves wherever there is work, in temporary dwellings which shuffle along


behind sites of temporary labor. As each new arterial is built it draws along shanty towns of migrant construction workers, living at the head of its shadow. Liminal villages go up and disappear as new chiburbs* are undertaken and then completed. The areas beneath flyovers become the kitchens and bike shops of Real Sub-urbia* their stoves troughs of discarded steel; their water run off from the road. New hutongs spring up among the weeds surrounding concrete spaghetti junctions, and laundry lines are strung between the safety barriers. The sheltered avenue below an elevated highway is the site of a linear market. Real Sub-urbia* is the dark strata beneath the City of Zero Liminality*. The City of Zero Liminality* and Real Sub-urbia* together are the crudest possible expression of the citys stratifying urge. There is no attempt made to justify or unfold itself. Nothing is either shown or hidden it is only either part of your city or not according to within which chiburb* or under which concrete stack you live. Those parts which are alternately given over or totally inaccessible have no relevant existence. There is no inter-relation. There is no sense to any of it as a whole. In a way the entire entity is a series of disruptions to the sense that was once there. What is left is a set of stratified locations. No integrated planning has been done for it. It is simply nakedly abjectly there.

The solitaire board offers a discrete number of positions but no in between.


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Two Ways to Urban Plan


abstract visionary / organic emergence
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There are essentially two strains of urban planning. There are two ways of thinking about it, and all schemes and policies at heart emanate from one or the other. They are indicative of two almost pre-conscious positions about the nature of the human being. The first is founded on a belief in expertise and the power of ideas. Type I urban planning is confident of mans dominance over nature and therefore allows itself to take place in abstract fields. It believes that the key concerns of collective living can be assimilated into the world of thought, reorganized, and then put back into the natural world. It believes that citydwellers needs and desires compose a single body of information which the planner, through diligence and specialist knowledge, is able to comprehend, and turn into rational data. With strong thinking the planner is then able to perform operations upon that data, and consequently to construct appropriate schemes for those people. Because of the planners diligence, specialism, and capacity for strong thought, he will provide better systems for those people than they would for themselves. He will have derived the correct forms. Type I approaches maintain that man is capable of large-scale thought and mass organization. Indeed it is Type Is belief that mans ability to think in the abstract is his special attribute is what sets him apart from the natural world and gives him dominance over it. In this way Type I approaches often have transcendental resonances. They lend themselves to bigness and to visionary projects. Type II thinking distrusts this grandiosity, and will reject attempts made to dissociate man from his immediate environment. Type II planners believe that the source of mans genius is his ability to adapt to his surroundings, and to adapt his surroundings to him. Man is at his best acting among the circumstances in which he finds himself. His best ideas are creative responses to specific conditions. Abstraction will fail to net the complexities of a real world situation will
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often forget some huge and vital component and so will create weirdly incongruous propositions, or universal answers hopelessly misapplied. Not only will abstraction blank local problems, it will miss the chance to exploit local advantages. According to this way of thinking there are no correct forms only individual solutions. Those best fitted to do the solving are those actually in direct contact with the individual environments. Rather than believing in lone experts, Type II planning places faith in localized creative ingenuity. People, with their superior understanding of their own desires and needs, and their true contact with where they are, will sort out their own housing better than rarefied planners. The Type II planners role is more to facilitate this process, regulate it where necessary, and occasionally if required perform conservative surgery. In this way Type II approaches tend to be less visionary, and lean more toward multiple smaller cellular projects.
ABSTRACT VISIONARY everyone is identical to each other but not to the planner, who is pre-eminent ORGANIC EMERGENCE everyone is a planner, being encouraged into flight

Type I Tendencies People dont know what they want or how best to organize themselves visionary projections expert prescriptive, directive city beautiful heavenly formulation plan fetish for new technologies abstract theory geometric regular forms, lines compartmentalized functions big higher densities high rise institutionalized response large-scale government intervention organizational ideas left wing (paternalist) east (Soviet development)

Type II Tendencies People are better off making decisions for themselves emergent patterns non-expert conscriptive, facilitative romanticism of local earthly evaluation scheme fetishism of past survey, research following natural contours various forms, twists mixed-use areas small lower densities low rise greater diversity private enterprise, private developer market ideas right wing (conservative) west (Anglo-American development)

These two modes of thought about urban planning align themselves fairly swiftly with certain movements in the history of ideas, certain forms of government, and certain urban typologies. The scope of Type Istyle schemes requires strong centralized power structures, confident in their ability to execute proposals, and imbued with a degree of visionary zeal. They will be keen on technological advancements and the idea of progress, and will favor geometrical forms and long clean lines. There will be a slight inhumanity to the schemes, or at least an idea of highly ordered collective living something like a beehive or an ant hill. Its vogues have included the Renaissance, with its new delight in mathematical progressions; the colonial city; the post-war applications of modernresidential donut [img] p.405 abtopia [glo] p.672 2B chiburb [glo] p.674 2B danwei [glo] p.676 4A chimneys [txt] p.255 1G1J city of zero liminality [glo] p.674 3C real sub-urbia [glo] p.684 6C the chinese dream [glo] p.688 2D



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The harmonious city must first be planned by experts who understand the science of urbanism. They work out their plans in total freedom ... once their plans are formulated they must be implemented without oppositions. Le Corbusier

Perhaps the most powerful way of improving the fit of our environment, however, is to put the control of it in the hands of its immediate users, who have the stake and the knowledge to make it function well. If users are in control ... then a good match is more likely. Kevin Lynch

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ism especially in the Soviet Block when people were full of big ideas; and Maoist China (though here with greater focus on agrarian-industrial settlements than on cities). Type II thinking has associated itself more with the Garden City, Broadacre City, Victorian Romanticism in Britain (though not in its colonies), the American Dream, and recent trends focusing on cultural studies and the regeneration of the local. Rather than governmental intrusion it favors private development, and market-management via zoning and infrastructural layout. It takes the market to be a practical rather than theoretical representation of peoples needs and desires. While the collectivist thinking of experts and visionaries has most often stacked people in towers, the individualist decisions of people themselves have been more often toward individual houses on individual plots of land. The twentieth century has frequently set the Type II suburb-home with its own little garden against the Type I Le Corbusian parkland of towers. What is most striking about both these ways of thinking is the intense alienation that is associated with their two most natural recent expressions. While trying their hardest to please, Type I and Type II planning initiatives have met hard rain, and their attempts to force the citys stratifying operations to make sense have most often resulted in very divided environments. They have produced landscapes of frozen islands which have been heavily criticized. However relatively few cities stand dominated by one to the exclusion of the other, and most are composed of a variety of typologies and historical directives. Neither way of thinking has achieved a method which is widely applied without regret, and more often it is matter of tendencies. The current feel of China is toward Type II. Deng Xiaopings dictum Learn from facts is a clear kick against grand interventionist policy, and toward a less visionary approach. It is toward a Type II style indeterminacy and faith in low-level opportunism. Let things come to exist, and its users will pass judgment, it proclaims. Learning from facts can be seeing what people build and buy, how the market behaves and the city develops, and perhaps only guiding as required. This suits the current policy of


yet there is no expert formulating their position in the city or their integration into its fabric. Equally there is no process of organic emergence by which the chiburb* inhabitants integrate the development themselves by the process of using it. They are simply all moved in there at once after the thing is built. The scale of the chiburb* ensures that it is abstracted from the direct expression of local interests, and yet it has no abstract visionary plan within which it takes its place.

economic advancement through market capitalism, and the celebrated Chinese aptitude for entrepreneurialism. However the scale and speed at which urbanization is happening in China is in a sense inimical to the notions of local involvement and organic emergence upon which such an ideology is based. While the developments are directed by private interests, they are a long way from being expressions of private individuals with a strong sense of the area being developed. The somewhat anarchic ideal of groups of liberated individuals taking the city into their own hands and building for themselves is rather lost in the giganticism of private developers building blocks for upwards of 3000 people. What happens is that the essential principle which would guide such planning strategies i.e. the representation of local interests via their direct participation is lost, while the sense that planning on a bigger scale is no longer necessary is retained. There is still the appealing liberation from high-level abstract interventionist policy, while the counter-idea of low-level input from experienced users is swallowed up. Type I planner-thinking is carefully avoided, while the basic collaborative elements of Type II planner-thinking are excluded from the process. In effect it comes closer to being a policy of no planning at all. It has been devolved away from top-down planners and yet scaled out of the reach of bottom-up planners. Thus in China we see the rather puzzling situation of Type I style building projects being produced under Type II style management. The chiburb* developments are very much Le Corbusian towers in parkland, and

LANDSCAPES OF FROZEN ISLANDS two famously alienating environments often found side by side

of roads is only what conservative surgery Type II planners are able to perform. The separation of useareas and the deterioration of transitional tissue all follow quite naturally. And yet again its ultimate form its bigness, its inhumanity, its clear formal divides look more like the product of Type I visionary (if dystopian) thinking. Looking at it, it is much harder to believe that people actually in situ would build for themselves such manifestly unfriendly forms, and abnegate so completely their local environments. The space has been collectively abstracted, even though there has been no centralized abstracting mechanism to make that happen. It has come about as systems are built which allow local residents, who under Type II schemes should be the local planners, to abstract themselves from the processes of their urban environment, and that urban environment then rapidly becomes abstract to them. Actions which in their collected mass determine how the urban situation develops itself, are on the individual level the single acts of inhabitants removing themselves from the city, and getting into chiburbs* and cars. City-wide this translates into the city rebuilding itself with such swiftness and on such a scale that it is soon impossible to relate it to anything the inhabitants had ever thought of or could recognize. The city as they last saw it disappeared behind their backs. Carol Xiao, with whom I wandered the streets of Sanlitun at night, once told me about coming home to Beijing after six months in New York. They were building the fourth ring road around that time, and a new section of it now cut through the area near where she had always lived. She passed beneath the highway and looked around, somewhat confused. There were gray roads curving down and quadrants of leftovers from the demolition. Cars were passing overhead. She picked her bag up again and walked on, but found she couldnt find her way home. Quite literally. She couldnt find her way home. She just didnt know what things looked like anymore.

Equally the City of Zero Liminality*, with the loss of its transitional areas and the creation of its dark twin Real Sub-urbia*, come about as a Type II phenomenon. There is no emanating abstract expert insisting on this form; instead it emerges organically as individuals make decisions, and the city makes responses. There is a simple low-level abstraction of the process of transport, when people decide to remove themselves from the city and get into cars when going from one place to another; and there is a residential abstraction taking place as people move into chiburbs*. The subsequent upscaling

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The somewhat anarchic ideal of groups of liberated individuals taking the city into their own hands and building for themselves is rather lost in the giganticism of private developers building blocks for upwards of 3,000 people -

3000

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The City of Zero Liminality* as the Chinese Dream*?

The chiburban* inhabitants of the City of Zero Liminality* i.e. its upper strata simply do not experience it at all. While there is lots of movement, there is no spatial aspect to the program between departure and arrival points. The transit occurs, but without the citys involvement. In the meantime the lower strata are not able to move at all, having been excluded from the transportation network by not having access to a vehicle. For either group the city becomes only its static positions, and is experienced as a static collective. Without the passage of people the once continuous urban fabric starts to disintegrate, and already the city is losing itself. There is stratified gatheredness, but all separated out. Everything is greater-than-the-individual but with no collective focus. There is unilateral access and exclusion but with no city component to it. There is no point at which the city is showing itself: there is no display, nor is there a temporal unfolding of its environments. The low-level abstraction processes of abtopia* desire and widespread use of the motor car in conjunction with Type II planning approaches of an inappropriate scale have led to an excess of hiding. Exclusion becomes the dominant feature of such a city people the city excludes, and areas which the city is excluded from. If it is to maintain itself, the city must maintain the contact between its inhabitants and the urban fabric. It must maintain its role in acts of transportation, and must have transitional areas. For if the stratification of the city is to make sense, it must be able to relate its different levels to each other in space. If you can live in a city without being aware of it you cannot interact with its organization. And it is through transport through moving through the city that such an interaction occurs. The transitional area within the city is the space for dynamic pos-

sibility and the notion of unplannedness for the creative use of particular local spaces which Type II systems pride themselves upon. While the two points and the movement between them is planned, the exposure that occurs during that movement is what the local can exploit. It gives the movement and thus the city the quality of being dynamic. Going from one place to the other is full of the potential for unplanned interactions. You see things you were not consciously looking for, and become aware of the gatheredness of the city and the nature of its gathering. The city is speaking itself as you travel through it. The transitional area is where the city can express an identity a sense of place and itself and maximize the accessibility of random urban experience. In this way the city profits from its initial function of stratified gathering. Contact between the city and a car is the collision of two environments, whereas on foot it is the unfolding of one. In the dynamic city everything is fascinating every movement through the city is loaded with exposure, unpredictability, creative potentials. It is about the fertility of linear access routes rather than their destinations. And transitional tissue is important not only between departure and arrival points, but equally across each transition. Each change offers the potential for dynamic quality: from apartment to leaving the building, from building to public street, from street to public transport to service center and so on. Hard borders such as walls and gates provide little space for possibility and can be intimidating and discourage entry. But soft borders offer moments in which to experience the change in environment, and to linger between states. Movement becomes a dynamic series rather than a transposition from one point to another. Traveling through the city
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there is no longer a painful feeling of unnaturalness; instead there is a process making sense. Both congestion and stratification are conditions of urbanism. They cannot be solved at the city-wide level there can only be enclaves of their inexistence, which transfer the pressure elsewhere. These enclaves can be regarded as non-urban contributors to urban stress, or interruptions in the dynamic flow. How strong the stratification itself is and how distant its extremes, are not things that can be controlled by urban planning. Societal reform is as much a part of dealing with unplanned disruptions or outbreaks as better zoning is. However the way in which a societys stratification expresses itself and even develops is closely related to the urban forms it takes. For a society itself to be dynamic it must ensure a spatial relationship between its stratified

In the dynamic city everything is fascinating every movement is loaded with exposure, unpredictability and creative potentials
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desirable. However a degree of integrated larger thinking an adjustment of tendencies in the direction of Type I approaches is already occurring. The government is strong and centralized and equipped with considerable powers of execution. It already owns all of the land and is therefore necessarily involved on a partnership level with all private developments. Beijing is currently rebuilding itself almost anew from the dust, and given the strength of economic growth and the concentration of power, is capable of doing so in any number of different ways. One version of events is the untrammeled continuation of Business As Usual. But it will be the governments growing role in the public-private partnerships which will be able offer a different future. Their involvement, not only through zoning and

inhabitants continue to move through. While being able to think on the abstract level themselves, their citizens will remain grounded. It will be the wider concerns brought into the partnership by the government which will curb illusory abtopian* projects, and hold the city together through the development of meaningful transitional space. Such a partnership will build low cost housing as well as high, and maintain shared access routes. It will make the dream make sense.

bands. The current conditions for dreaming in China, and the reliance upon Type II planning when the urbanization is happening so fast, is leading toward a City of Zero Liminality* with an underclutter of Real Sub-urbia*. To avoid this progression some shift in approach is required. And so what is the alternative? A complete move to visionary planning is not at this stage in Chinas development conceivable, or even

regulations and approval, but also actively in the fields of market steering and planning initiatives will be able to negotiate the planning vacuum between top-down and bottomup approaches. They will be able to bring a coordinating perspective onto the different developments, and stratified groups, and their inter-relation. It will be their role to ensure that urban conditions sustain dynamic transitional tissue which its

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changing landscapes
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Xiao kang*

communist

pre-communist
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Topic: Economics Politics

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

BEIJING BOOM TOwER


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THE THEORETICAL PRODUCT OF THE MARKET RESPONDING TO ALL FUTURE DEMANDS: SUBURBAN STYLE LIVING IN THE HEART OF CHINAS CAPITAL.

ARCHITECTS: NEVILLE MARS, SASKIA VENDEL INTERVIEwS: ADRIAN HORNSBY, CHARLIE KOOLHAAS
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*CAN THE MIXED-USE MEGASTRUCTURE COMBAT OUR SEGREGATING SOCIETY?


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Fifty years ago the Chinese city was set to become an orderly grid of danwei*: small worker units packed around the bases of glorious factories, extending on past the edges of the horizon. The low even population dispersion would eradicate the potential for corrupting bourgeois downtowns, and the skyline would be dominated by monoliths of industry, rather than malls, offices, or exclusive residential blocks. Half a century on this concept of communist planning is wholly outdated, and nowhere more so than in Beijing. Rows upon rows of glittering apartments demarcate the envy-skyline of a vast metropolis. The housing boom has become the driving force of the nations optimism its glass towers are the new chimneys, massproducing modern urban lifestyles.

*CAN THE CITY WITHSTAND 15 MORE YEARS OF UNCONTROLLED EXPANSION?

*CAN ARCHITECTURE EVEN COMPREHEND THE SCALE OF THE URBAN PROBLEM?

However as the new China is taking shape, the drawbacks of modernity are becoming apparent. The sudden transformation of the city proves to be dense, congested, and ultimately unrewarding. The products of excessive motorization and fortification are urban gridlock and social lockdown*. Housing blocks and villa parks with their gates and cameras incrementally fence-off the public realm. Buildings and infrastructure have exploded well beyond the human scale. Big block architecture has taken over urban planning. What are the cornerstones of this new urbanism? Sprawl, exclusion, and copy n paste architectural remedies. This is the reality of the building boom at hyper-speed for half a billion new urbanites. BBT is architectures final attempt to tame the city.

one of those wacky billboards along the 4th Ring Road showing a villa on a green field with a tower already protruding behind thats anti-urban sentiment

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BBT CONCEPTS Stacked villa Green illusion Urban dream Vertical neighborhood

Start intervieW adrian HOrnSby neville marS

Guarded luxury Gridlock accessory Skyline view Valet parking Anti-urban Pro-urban Infinite shopping Luxury gradient Privacy gradient Sun gradient Floating squares No walls environment Consumer lifestyle engine Sprawl free concept Spare Space concept Pockets of potential Coarseness

AH: Why did you develop a new residential block? Across Beijing we find huge bright billboards advertising the arrival of large modern housing in vast green settings. They look comfy. NM: The current projects express an approach which is, essentially, anti-urban. They are conceived and marketed as pieces of garden-city: fully metropolitan villa retreats, high-rise

towers hidden in parkland. You only have to look at the names of some of them: Fragrance Park, Natural City, Somerset Fortune Garden. Incontrovertibly urban zones are being repackaged as moments of rural serenity. The very notion is at odds with itself, and completely incompatible with the reality of increasing urban pressure, and the rapidly expanding Chinese cityscape.

bbt Site
As Mao predicted, Beijing has developed as a forest of chimneys, only not the factory exhaust pipes of thousands of production units, but the endless repetition of the residential tower blocks. These are the new engines at the heart of Chinas consumer society.

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12,500 PEOPLE 5,000 APARTMENTS 6 HECTARES OF LAND 10X MANHATTAN DENSITY!

tower footprints

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THE CHINESE TOWER BLOCK HAS DEVELOPED ALONG TWO TRACKS; SEMI-CONNECTED TOWER WALLS FOR THE LOWER MIDDLE-CLASS AND SINGLE TOWERS FOR UPPER MIDDLE-CLASS ...

default

Le Corbusier

EVOLUTION OF AN APARTMENT TOWER


THE NUMBER OF APARTMENTS CONNECTED TO THE CORE HAS STEADILY INCREASED. IN THE BBT THE CRITICAL POINT IS REACHED FORCING THE CORE TO SWELL AND BECOME AN ATRIUM. ACCESSED BY SMALL BRIDGES, THE APARTMENTS BREAK FREE

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Hong Kong


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AH: Incompatible in what sense? NM: There are a number of problems being generated. First of all the contemporary Chinese block has become a fenced-off enclave girt by walls and accessed only through guarded gates. It operates as an isolated plot carved out of the city. As developments like these step-repeat their way around the ring roads, we see the incremental privatization of the surface area of Beijing. Whole blocks of public streets just disappear. Add to this the scale of the blocks, and consequently that of their infrastructure, and you get ribbons of fortified compounds opening onto six lane arterial highways. The cityscape is broken up into segregated units, and the size of those units has exploded beyond the scope of local planning. A kind of inhuman coarseness emerges in the urban texture not only on the physical level, but also on the societal. The economic thrust of these units is towards pure crude geographical stratification. The volume of land they take up is wholly disproportionate to their window of accessibility, and so creates map-bands of income homogeneity. The gates function on many levels. In addition to this phenomenon of lockdown*, the flashmotorization which accompanies such car-dependent typologies presents cities like Beijing with the scenario of total gridlock. Even the photoshopped green-space of the billboards is more circulation area than community space of any real destination quality. For people living in outdated Chinese homes, and confronted daily with the problems of a congested polluted city, these images are highly persuasive. But what they offer is a false concept.

Model: Premiere in DCF studios Beijing, Dashanzi 798 DIAF International Art Festival, 2004 Millennium Art Museum; In the line of flight Curators Zhang Ga and Alex Adriaanse V2 Guangzhou Triennial 2005, Guangdong Museum of Art Curator Hou Hanru Scale Material Size Parts 1:100 PVC on a wood and steel base 2 x 4.2 x 2.7 m (w, l, h) 29 towers; largest diameter 0.75, height 2.20 m, 2 podium blocks: 1 x 4 m 40

Movies BBTV Duration Format Color Sound Duration Format Color Sound Duration Format Color Sound 4.30 minutes DVD PAL Yes No 4.30 minutes DVD PAL Yes Yes 4.30 minutes DVD PAL Yes No

CCTV

PROJECTION

Lights

www.burb.tv/view/Beijing_Boom_Tower

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BBT is the theoretical product of a genuine market attempt to supply according to demand: suburban luxuries in the center of a major city. In BBT you can have your cake and eat it. The 12,500 inhabitants are accommodated in apartments on average 200% larger than common homes today, most of them with big balconies, and all supported by a full retail and facilities system. Theres drive-in parking, 2 subway stations, and 8 public squares. Moreover, we have built BBT on half the available land. The Spare Space concept sucks up offcuts situated around towers and amalgamates them to make at one end a real park, and at the other a building so compact it puts the subway within walking distance of all of its inhabitants. Thus the current trend in China of increasing individualism and space demand can be met. The design indicates the kinds of sacrifices which need to be made to ensure future living standards in a compact integrated urban environment.

Ah: AND sO whAT Is bbT?

NM: The lOgICAl


CONClUsION OF The CUrreNT ChANNels OF DesIre.

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overall structure
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high above the parking lot 3 different living typologies linked to different transport systems: high-end, elegant stacked villas (directly connected to the parking level) middle class living blocks (connected with express elevators to the subway) lower middle class social slabs (connected with escalators to the ground floor) some towers are divided into cheaper and more expensive apartments according to: - accessibility: the easier to access, the more expensive - sungradient: the more sunlight you get, the more expensive your apartment

the complex can be divided into 3 sections, based on sun orientatien and tower type: A: most expensive section, is orientated totally towards the south and contains mostly stacked villa towers B: middle priced section, is orientated partly towards the south and contains all kinds of tower types C: cheapest section, is orientated towards the North and contains the biggest hub towers

B
3 upper class

just above the parkinglot in between the different towers squares are unfolding directly accessible from the different squares are a range of facilities (sauna, swimming pool, clothing stores, KTV, bars, restaurants, etc.)

C
middle class 4

sun

grad

ient

private elevator

lower middle class

spare space 40% of the total building site is kept building-free, providing ample room for greenspace

express elevator

THIRD
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RING

ROAD

parking level Clearly divides building into above and beneath: with sunlight and without beneath parking level A walless city people can walk in and out freely Big Box retail inside the tower roots

small shops and offices on the outside of the tower roots giving the customers the possibility to shop in a half-open space.





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AH: What sacrifices and how integrated? Is BBT not only for the wealthy? NM: No. Unlike the billboard projects it has no bounding walls. We think of BBT not as a building, but as a genuine vertical neighborhood. Everyone can obtain a home here, but the sacrifice they make is life in a very condensed environment. The structure incorporates a number of inherent gradients which necessarily relate to comfort and to unit-cost. Among the upper levels networks of interconnecting bridges allow communication between bright and airy penthouse suites. But as you descend lower down the towers, increasingly you are forced to relinquish your access to natural light and privacy. There are 60 floors to drop through, and it is at the lower levels that you find the cheaper apartments. This is reinforced by the infrastructural scheme, where three decks service three different economic clusters. Pedestrians and cyclists pass underneath among markets and foodstalls. On the second level are the subway stations, and links to the main retail center and atrium buildings. Car owners enter from the highway direct to the third level, composed of open decks and express elevators to luxury apartments. This separation of flows based on mode of transport is a subtle yet effective way to enforce a degree of locale discrimination, by which different consumers are naturally guided to their most appropriate retail environment. It works for shoppers and shopkeepers alike. Throughout the block public space is reinvented as a continuously flowing semi-commercialized fully conditioned public podium.
 
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AH: 5,000 apartments on 6 hectares of land at ten times Manhattan density. 12,500 people implicitly compartmentalized according to the car they drive or dont have to drive and the fraction of the day they get to see. That sounds as close to dystopia as utopia, as much nightmare as dream. NM: And maybe it is. The project aims to reveal what the modern desires call for, and how radical the consequent measures need to be. It should be apparent that the desires themselves are as sordid and inhumane as their natural product. Beijing cannot withstand another 15 years of uncontrolled expansion. Copy-paste architecture cannot even begin to comprehend the scale of the urban problem. AH: And so as a design statement BBT aims to provoke these visions of future scenarios? NM: The goal is to stop people from ignoring or hiding from the urban condition, and to annihilate the anti-urban approaches currently in vogue. Instead we need to use all the urban means possible. Only by acknowledging the urban pressure can you respond to it. AH: And if that response turns out to be BBT?
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NM: Our next step is to re-engineer the city


 
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400 NEW CITIES BY 20 20

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. . . 3 social clusters
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undisclosed aspects of the bbt


Charlie Koolhaas written inquiries Dear Charlie, this e-mail interview sounds like a nice idea, but not this long list of questions. Can we have some foreplay?

Neville darling, i will do this interview personally as i have been slightly more intimate with your work than Rem recently. i dont usually bother with foreplay but ill give it a go just to keep you happy (i read in Cosmo that thats my job as a woman, and god knows i need employment). So with the last question we sent you, maybe you thought it was premature but i dont believe in beating around the bush, i wanted to know about what it means to you to be an European architect in China. Particularly as architecture, as seen in the Chinese media especially, is so the domain of the old white male intellectual in a turtle neck. i think that your BBTV film was about this, you played up the monotonous creepy side of this persona why did you do that, what was your message to the Chinese (maybe this is a broader question relating to the project as a whole) was it that they should mistrust the unemotional rationalism of European planners who will lead them down the road of a depersonalized and totally predictable life? and is this a European life? or are Europeans restricting life here to what they would/couldnt in the west? Okay maybe we can get to this later on in our interviews, lets go back to explaining the stereotypes: please describe the person presented as the Mastermind of the boom tower project? Why is the BBT project a European project? if the architect in your film had been Chinese what would he look like? in what ways would the project have been different - would the Chinese architect have had the same intentions but have inadvertently added some unexpected surprises that would make living there slightly richer? i want to get straight onto this subject because i hope this starting point will lead us in interesting directions. Also the persona that you portray is very much the persona that my dad has to fight against when Chinese people criticize his involvement in China and the CCTV building. So i am very interested in why you would potentially make working here more difficult for yourself, or are you offering yourself as a happy alternative to this? If you like ask me some questions too, so we have a two way; like all good foreplay should be. love, C
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Well, the man in the Sci-Fi office is the mastermind of the Beijing Boom Tower. Most people find him creepy because he is omnipresent. He has designed a building so crafty it is effectively controlling your life. But dont be fooled, for architects and planners all he represents is a fetish. He tickles our senses. The idea to design something perfect and total, no questions asked, turns architects on. Whats truly scary about him is his conviction. He believes in architecture as a solution for society. And in order to realize such an immense and intricate structure he needs to believe in this and in himself. He needs to be a megalomaniac. But his lack of self-criticism has undermined his projects and his ideas. A new understanding of the market led him to believe he could accommodate all of society in a single building by offering enough variety. The 29 towers protrude from a podium crammed with an array of facilities shops and entertainment - an endlessly refined gradient of social classes and wealth as the new distribution strategy for an ever more segregated Chinese society. Not a building, but in fact a city inside the city, designed as a Chinese-Western hybrid. Lets say Market Modernism. I must admit this presents a very a tempting model, and one that would go down well in China. Local architects have asked me where BBT would be built without blinking their eyes. In reality the super structure above the podium - the towers of the building - arent much denser than common residential blocks in China. And they are surely more spacious inside. The real problem that occurs in the BBT is that people dont seem to have a choice. Or rather they are presented with endless choices and seem to be compelled to partake in their consumption. China as you know is all about status. Getting rich is still glorious. The BBT offers plenty of opportunities to move up if you do get rich. But all progress has to take place within the structures of building. Like the Chinese society there is no opportunity for real change. The city as a whole - Beijing in particular - grows, changes and adapts constantly. In China demolition is of no great concern. It allows China and its cities to evolve at lighting speed. But built as a complete and ideal entity the big BBT can only be realized and demolished in its entirety. It either works or it doesnt. The process of trial and error which a region like the Pearl River Delta is famous for is negated. Western (as you call it European) architecture is bluntly super-imposed on the fertile Chinese cityscape. Mr. Mastermind is from old Europe. He represents the ideals of Modernism, modern architecture even. Architecture has become the trophy wife of the Chinese economy. He cant be Chinese, as China until recently simply didnt have its own modern architecture universities for one still only produce


draftsmen instead of designers. The Howard Roarks of China are emerging but in real estate development. This is where the money is, and certainly where the innovation is. The BBT too feeds on this very Chinese skill. We have meticulously maximized light, living and retail. In that sense its very Chinese: architecture on a calculator. With Chinas urban population bursting we felt it was important to explore the feasibility of an entirely artificial landscape. If the architect would have been Chinese the BBT would have been exactly the same, only with square towers. I was really interested in this Chinese method of making public space private, and also the innocence behind this. In England privacy always implies something slightly subversive - do you think there is a subversive side to this in China. What are they trying to get away from? are there things that the Chinese need privacy for that Europeans dont and vice versa? The architects of communist China went to painful lengths to eradicate all sense of privacy. Anything personal - a home, a thought, a secret - was subversive: not being fully integrated within the collective body was counter-revolutionary and a serious offence. Husbands and wives were accommodated in separate communal dormitories, and everyone ate together in large dining halls. Right from the start there was a harsh schism between the Party and the People. Even today your connections to the Party are crucial for your success in business. China is still a system inside a system. An army of black Audis swerves around the streets of bureaucratic Beijing. The room next door in the restaurant is noisy with the laughter of drunk rich middleman. But at least China is using its progress towards prosperity to reinvent itself. As money seeps down to other social strata a new society is forming. China is shedding its communal past and embracing individualism in the form of more subtle forms of privacy and collectivity. (Private rooms are the success formula in bars, clubs and restaurants. The privacy offered is particularly rewarding after a brief encounter with the crowd as you pass through the dining hall or club lobby. You leave behind the people waiting outside, on the dance floor, at the private tables and in the red upholstered cubicles. A long winding corridor reunites you with your friends in a suite thats looks like a mini version of the entire club, with your own bar, dancers and KTV.) The regimented society of the communist era has naturally progressed to form a sophisticated gradient of privacies and increasing opulence. Only the housing sector still depends on a very crude form of segregation. The different residential compounds, like the rooms in the club, represent well-defined niche markets. But bluntly fenced-off from the street and disconnected from each other they lack any real communal space. No dance floor, no winding alley to your home. The streets of Beijing, once a vibrant public realm, offer no solace:

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J view movie! http://burb.tv/view/File:969?node=On_B-TV

ak 2i like just to walk around its nice there are lots of shops | 15 this place is so much bigger than my previous place its got two levels, a big bathroom, and a super big big room | 10 i used to go visit my boyfriend everyday but since he has moved up he doesnt like to see me anymore so now i take walks by myself i see all

converted to highways they are occupied only by the black cars with tinted windows and the odd trash cart. All the fun is inside.
3

The buildings have grown bigger to absorb the street life, but not quite big enough to accommodate everyone. Through sheer size we hoped to address these problems in the Beijing Boom Tower. A building fit for all, with public squares, parks and retail spun together in a giant loop of continuous communal space. Safety is the common argument for Chinas fetish for walls, but the sense of security - or rather of threat - they present is misleading. The modern compounds of today force you through an archaic sequence of checkpoints manned by sleepy guards. A status symbol at best, this is all that is needed in a country where stealing from the rich requires a mammoth act of courage. BBT has no walls - a comprehensive CCTV (closed circuit television) system covers the entire public domain. Every step you take is captured from every angle. The movie of your life inside however is not just stared at by lax guards or shady police. All the homes in the BBT can zap to any camera in the building, move it around, and zoom in. Instead of watching China Central TV-news or Channel 9, you can take a virtual stroll around the parks and shops, making sure all is fine. This is the future of Chinese social control. The heart-warming but suffocating social environment of hutongs* and courtyards is re-engineered and replaced with an elaborate network of anonymous individuals watching over you. The podium looks amazing. If its true you can find your way freely from the street all the way to the upper decks then whats this passage like? It seems the three hollow towers are at the center of three distinct clusters connected with bridges, why? The large pedestals supporting the towers interlock to create crevices opening onto the street. In the center they form a dome-shaped space as a flip-verse of the podium: an urban grotto that contains all the polluting facilities and cheap thrills a large city needs


to survive - from garages to red-light districts, wholesale and mass-entertainment. The balconies and ceilings are shaded red-blue from the neon logos. Occasional triangles of daylight spill through from punctures in the parking deck above. Two levels thick, it slices the entire structure in two, separating the underworld from the top of the building; dark from light, the fortunate from the rest. But one can climb further and pass through the parking deck. Big box stores in the base of each tower punch right through the podium. For the middle-class entering the building by train the ordeal of transition is greatly reduced. Coming by car instant elevator access is granted to the entire podium and to all residential areas. The apartment towers are connected with bridges to form three distinct clusters, each with a hollow tower at the core. These clusters present another social gradient by creating different neighborhoods, served by different levels of facilities beneath them in the podium. The hollow towers contain additional vertical infrastructure, and enclose an enormous atrium, which serves as the heart of each neighborhood. The biggest tower can be seen as sixty story social housing slab that has been wrapped around itself to form a hollow tube of elevators and circular hallways. All this additional vertical infrastructure and all the bridges work together to offer the upper level homes the ultimate form of luxury possible in an apartment building - a private elevator. The precious core space in the slim tapered skyscrapers is used for express elevators to the penthouses. To reach the lower level homes you will have to pass through the bundle of elevators in the atrium tower and across the skywalk that connects to your house. This is the context that prompts real ambition. In the Boom Tower moving up in the world can be as simple as buying a bigger home: a skyscraping bungalow, a duplex with sun-terrace, or the double-suite-double-parkingcombo. BBT is high-rise heaven! You can enter at the ground floor and not look back until youve reached the top. It is the ultimate life-style engine providing the thrust behind Chinas freshly liberated consumer economy.


danwei [glo] p. lockdown [glo] p. hutong [glo] p. spare space [glo] p.

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policy sprawl*
2

Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

the internal logic of spatial production

Chang Liu

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397





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0.0 Beijing: Impressions and Contradictions

polis also comes to mind). It is characterized by a clear distinction between the urban and the rural, and by smooth density gradients, a single center, and a diversity of uses and outputs. There are several problems associated with this assumption when looking at China.

Slightly to the north of the Forbidden Palace, in the heart of Imperial Beijing, stands the hill of Jingshan. It was created using construction spoil from the building of the palace itself, and at 62m in height, once offered the tallest vantage point in the surrounding low plain. Looking back from its summit, the spatial logic of the ancient city is suddenly revealed. Golden roof tiles shimmer conspicuously atop the palace buildings. Beyond them stretches a careful reticulation of small lanes and gray siheyuans (the traditional courtyard buildings), all aligned on a powerful north-south axis. This dry gridded perfection is detailed with a myriad of swaying leafy canopies, balancing nature against order. A series of major roads carve the program into squares, and traffic is ferried along perimeters, while the parcelled hutongs* within all face inwards, and retain a neighborhood sense of calm. The resulting fabric is the spatial expression of a Confucian ideal: hierarchical order in the context of cosmological harmony. However, if you raise your eyes a little beyond this eloquence of roofs and paving, you find the vista obscured by a ring of encircling dust.

Western clich of monotonous suburbia, it is along the urban periphery, past the 4th Ring Road, that Beijing is at its most spatially heterogeneous. Residential towers with facades clean out of the plastic wrapping rise up out of a disordered scree of one story constructions. Migrant enclaves* scrap with peasant housing in between sudden blazing walled communities. The air is busy with the beeping and bustle of 24/7 street vendors, steamy restaurants, sidewalk kitchens, and sleazy hairdressing salons.i Authentic features of lively rural townships are thrown into paradoxical juxtapositions with urban high rise and five lane arterials. You speak to a local of Dahongmen, on the southern route out of Beijing, and he tells you that ten years ago this was a rural village of fewer than ten households. Such contradictions and astounding pace of change is just a brief glimpse into the countless complex spatial consequences of Chinas simultaneous social, economic and spatial restructuring since the reforms of 1978.

1.0 Introduction
The current debate on the issue of sprawl is central to any contemporary understanding of the post-Fordist / Keynesian / metropolitan etc. city. However, while there is no shortage of literature dedicated to it, there has been little agreement as to the causes, characteristics, effects, and methodological approaches to sprawl. But what continues to be implicit in any attempt to define a particular spatial expression as sprawl is a presupposed idea of an axiomatic norm. This norm tends to be conceived of along the lines of a compact monocentric city, handed down in some form or other from the ancient urban settlements of Mesopotamia (the Greek
i Hairdressers in contemporary China are like massage parlors in the West often a front for the sex trade.

TODAY BEIJING IS OVER 10X THE GEOGRAPHICAL SIZE OF IMPERIAL BEIJING AND GROWING, FAST!
7

Ideal cities of the past did not experience population hyper-expansion as brought about by the onset of industrial revolution. Most studies on sprawl tend to ignore rapid population growth and the inevitable demand it makes both for more space, and for a changing socio-economic relation to space. Ancient Chinese cities display a much greater degree of planning than more organically-developed European cities. Developments in transportation, manufacturing methods and economic transactions mean that the functions and lifestyles within urban and rural contexts bear an increasing resemblance to one another. The ideal of a monocentric compact city does not take into account the fact that in recent decades urban patterns in many cities across the globe have been growing towards polycentrism. The result of this is that certain standard measures of sprawl, such as travel time to a geographic city center, become misleading when applied to polycentric realities. By overemphasizing spatial features in the identification of sprawl one tends to categorize all discontinuous program as sprawl. This is not really useful in China where often leapfrog developments are part of a national strategy for engineering rapid urban expansion.ii Thus any static-shot assessment of sprawl becomes inadequate, as discontinuous sprawl-like tissue may in fact be an early stage in the
1 Walder, A. G. The state as an ensemble of economic actors: some inferences from Chinas trajectory of change Transforming Post-Communist Political Economy, Nelson, J.M., Tilly, C., Walker, L. (eds) Washington, DC: National Academy Press (1997) p.432-452 ii Inconclusively and within no specialized framework, the urban discourse has at various points associated mono-functional developments, lowdensity developments, out of town retail centers, discontinuous or leapfrog developments and development zones, gated communities, suburban sleeping towns, brandscapes, ExUrbs, downtown shopping malls, hypermarkets, land speculation, automobile dependency, even suburban growth, over abundance of infrastructure (infrasprawl*) and new, usually out of town CBDs with sprawl.

creation of an effective new district (speedsprawl*). Furthermore, due to the unique policy environment in China with regard to the definition of urban and rural land, urbanization tends to happen on an in-situ basis in the villages, often creating discontinuous arrangements (splatter pattern*). Because of the many ways in which sprawl deviates from the idealized classic urban form, it has developed a host of negative connotations which make objective observation and assessment difficult. In the post-reform era Beijings rapid urban growth has blurred the boundaries between healthy urban development and urban sprawl, increasingly challenging pre-reform conceptions of the urban and the rural. The government was faced with the immense task of turning a Soviet-style centrallyplanned economy into a competitive market-driven economy. The execution of such a change had to be accompanied by a radical transformation in the spatial organization of cities and their populations. Legislation restricting labor mobility, such as the hukou* system, which defined the pre-reform era, was accordingly relaxed, but in a staggered and often gray fashion. Alongside this a series of experiments relating to the ownership and use-rights of land were introduced, through which the government developed a pragmatic and sometimes ad-hoc approach, creating and amending urban policies as they saw fit. This has resulted in a definition-resistant state of flux for the urban realm. The persistence of a strong party-State since the economic reforms of 1978 has rooted and integrated itself into the Chinese market economy. As such, the institutional amphibiousness of Chinas Statemarket relations has blurred the boundaries between the public and the private sectors of society. The Chinese State can be viewed as an ensemble of diverse economic actors1: government officials often
Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

In the midst of this perpetual cloud something extraordinary is taking place. In stark contrast to the


policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B



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behave as entrepreneurs, corporate management teams, silent partners and investors in the market economy.2 Such activities are commonly found in East Asia and have been referred to as the developmental state.3 Globally, there has been a transition from the Fordist PCMP to a post-Fordist economy. Accordingly there has been a transition from the traditional role of the Keynesian welfare state (under which governments operated as management teams, intervening in the market only in times of failure) to a post-Keynesian workfare regime or neoliberal entrepreneurial state4, with governmental institutions actively facilitating and participating in market-level economic competitions on various institutional levels.

On a spatial level, this environment has created a wealth of interesting and diverse landscapes, typologies and unique social relationships, including: semi-urbanized villages (SUV*) rural urban syndicates (RUS*) floating villages* ethnic migrant enclaves* villages-within-cities* These spatial phenomena are economically significant as they cunningly fill the gap left behind by the inadequacies of the state-led formal economy, at the same time as pushing the boundaries of legislation and spatial capacities. Although some bear the trappings of shantytowns, they provide the essential services and cheap labor that allow their adjacent formal development to function more efficiently. It is therefore necessary to be very flexible and innovative in identifying sprawl in the highly dynamic contemporary economic and policy environment of China. To describe this simultaneously induced and selfconflicting developmental pattern and the policies which have shaped it, it is necessary to understand the institutions and processes which have generated those policies.

2 Laurence, J. C., Ma & Fulong Wu Restructuring the Chinese City, Diverse Processes and Reconstituted Spaces Restructuring the Chinese City, Routeledge (2003) 3 Castells, M. Culture, organizations, and institutions: Asian business networks and the developmental state The Rise of the Network Society Blackwells (1996) p.195205

often simply interpreted as belonging to a process of Westernizing. In accordance with this - so the interpretation runs - they are operating within a clear teleological framework whose logical product is the convergence of spatial form with Western cities.

the West. In China, globalization and its spatial consequences are strongly mediated by local forces and processes embedded in Chinas cultural, historical, economic and political systems. This section looks briefly at some of the more important macro-systems and their influence on spatial production.

4 Goldsmith, M. Local Government Urban and Regional Policy, Brookfield, Pierre, J. (ed.) VT: E. Elgar (1995) p. 4966

Chinese culture and social formation takes its primary structure and dynamics from the interplay of tributary modes of production (TMP) and pettycapitalist modes of production (PCMP).
-

2.1 The Chinese Political Economy

a pragmatic and ad-hoc governmental approach to urban policy has resulted in a definition-resistant state of flux for the urban realm
-


6 Gates, H. Chinas Motor, A Thousand Years of Petty Capitalism Cornell University Press (1997) p.19

Under such dynamic conditions two distinct positions from which the urban environment is being shaped have emerged in China. One is the conspicuously organic, bottom-up process of in-situ rural urbanization (or doorstep urbanization*) and peripheral urban development triggered by rural migration to cities. The other is the state driven development, where the urban governments practice of expropriating rural land at the urban periphery for development has precipitated an inevitable clash between two opposite and sometimes opposing processes of development*. The human cost of such conflict is well publicised in Western media, where a number of land disputes have ended up in violence on a scale not seen since the incident of Tiananmen Square.
0

2.0 The Chinese Political Economy, Territorial System and Administrative Hierarchy
Despite the cacophony of technological progress that marks modern China, aspects of the systemic and structural logic that sustained the vast Chinese Empire remain remarkably intact. It is here that many Western observers fail to gain a deeper insight into the inner workings of China by focusing on the material transformations and superficial phenomena without adequate understanding of Chinese culture. Contemporary developments in Chinese cities are
5 Laurence, J. C., Ma & Fulong Wu Restructuring the Chinese City, Diverse Processes and Reconstituted Spaces Restructuring the Chinese City Routeledge (2003) 7 Ibid. p.270

It is undeniable that in recent years the forces of global capitalism have left their mark on Chinese cities, manifesting themselves in a multitude of familiar spatial typologies the gated community, the shopping mall etc., and, arguably, urban sprawl. In this light the convergence theory appears credible. However, implicit in such a view is the idea that local urban forms undergo transition to superior Western norms, and as such globalization equates to homogenization. This is a conspicuously Western view, based on overemphasizing the immediately recognizable elements of a foreign city, and in the act of foregrounding them, concealing the complex local reality. In many cases spatial typologies which are ostensibly global can be produced by a number of distinct local processes.5 Thus even when these forms do appear, they work on a significantly different level from spatially similar counterparts in
hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Marxs Asiatic mode of production heavily influenced the way in which Chinas past economy has been perceived by the West and had a marked effect on the thinking of the Chinese Communist regime itself. Due to Marxs limited knowledge of China, he wrongly presumed Chinas indigenous economy to be similar to that of the Indian subcontinent, where the social formation was dominated by a tributary mode of production ( TMP) and a hierarchical class structure. Marx misread Chinas indigenous economy as belonging to a precapitalist natural economy, where subsistence producers locally trade small quantities of surplus goods as a convenience rather than for profit6. Recent work by anthologists and historians has shown that a petty capitalist mode of production (PCMP) existed in China since the Song Dynasty (960-1270 AD), where mass production of commodities for profit, lineage based corporations, waged labor, printed money and even private property all began to flourish. In short, China had a PCMP in operation from a bottom-up level for toward a thousand years, and it has shaped much of the evolution of Chinese culture. The American anthropologist Hill Gates interprets Chinese culture and social formation as taking its primary structure and dynamics from the interplay of tributary modes of production ( TMP) and pettycapitalist modes of production (PCMP).7 Under the TMP, government bureaucracies integrated
Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A



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[hutong*]
intricate streets, many too small for a car, thread among one story homes and family run shops. this area, photographed in 2005, has now been largely demolished.

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397





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[dormitory eXtrusion*]
2

residential towers with facades clean out of the plastic wrapping rise up from a disordered scree of one story constructions. this image shows an area under development along the fourth ring road of beijing. the two low rise buildings with blue roofs are temporary dormitory blocks which house the migrant construction workers for the adjacent site. unlike the suv*, which can be integrated into the urban fabric, this mini floating village will disappear as the surrounding buildings reach completion.

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397





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themselves into economic production both as a tribute extraction system and a production management system. This led to the stratification of the Chinese society, in turn naturalized by Confucian ideology. Under the PCMP, where the logic of profit-making predominates, counterideologies and practices contended against tribute extraction. The TMP, i.e. the government, saw the PCMPs activities as a way to increase its revenue. At the same time it sought ways to control and even on occasions curb it, regarding PCMP as a potentially destabilizing mechanism operating within the established order. The dynamic interplay between the two modes polarized each other. Where extremes of authoritarianism came to characterize Chinese officials, exaggerated commoditization characterized the general populace8. Such features have persisted into the twenty-first century, shaping many of the dynamics and idiosyncrasies of the Chinese economic miracle and the modern Chinese identity. The Communist Revolution continued and reinforced the TMP while failing to eradicate the PCMP (which the Chinese Communist Party mistook as capitalism proper), as witnessed by the persistence of black markets in the pre-reform eraiii, surviving even the Cultural Revolution. Since the economic reforms of 1978, the PCMP has blossomed. Within the space of ten short years township and village enterprises (TVEs*) proliferated to become the primary driving force behind much of Chinas miracle economic growth throughout the 80s and 90s. Hill Gates sums up the underlying strain in the Chinese social economic structure better than anyone else: For the last thousand years, petty capitalism offered an additional, non-tributary sphere of economic action to many, probably most, Chinese people [] Chinese commoners sought economic niches left vacant by the TMP, acting with clever dishonesty towards its principles and practices, ingeniously recycling for their own uses the sanctity
iii The distinction between capitalism proper and petty capitalism is that capitalism expands endlessly through the reinvestment of profit within a context of capital mobility, while the PCMPs heavy reliance on patrilineage means that profit is accumulated, with each member standing to profit from death of successive generations. In addition, profit produced under the PCMP in China is heavily extracted by the TMP. 

accorded to such key institutions as patrilineal kinship. Petty-capitalist practice in China began and remains secondary, subversive, contorted, dangerous and liberating. Such a relationship is as true of China today as it was a thousand years ago, and many of the emergent spatial forms in China are a result of this dialectical tension.

2.3 Territorial Administrative Structure in China Once in power the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) integrated its governing regime into the existing territorial administrative hierarchy with minor alterations. Five main territorial administrative tiers formed the hierarchy of the government. They were, in descending order of scale and political power: The central state in Beijing. The provinces (sheng), which were the four municipalities (zhixia shi) Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing and the autonomous regions (zizhi qu), which were autonomously governed areas of ethnic minorities. Cities (shi), counties (xian), and county level towns (chen zhen). Towns (zhen) and townships (xiang). Villages (which come under the direct jurisdiction of their county or xian) On a sub-urban level, large cities were often subdivided by districts (qu), which were in turn further divided into streets or neighborhood offices (jedao banshichu) and residents committees (jumin weiyuanhui). These were the lowest effective reach of the state and state surveillance.
11 Cartier, C. City-space, Scale Relations and Chinas Spatial Administrative Hierarchy Restructuring the Chinese City Laurence, J. C., Ma & Fulong Wu (eds). Routeledge (2005) 12 Lieberthal, K., Oksenberg, M. Policy Making in China: Leaders, Structures and Processes Princeton University Press (1998) 13 Laurence, J. C., Ma & Fulong Wu Chinas changing urban administrative system: spatial restructuring and local economic development Political Geography (2005) 14 Cartier, C. City-Space, Scale Relations and Chinas Spatial Administrative Hierarchy Restructuring the Chinese City Laurence, J. C., Ma & Fulong Wu (eds). Routeledge (2005)

presents sizeable organizational and jurisdictional problems. Since 1978, the city level administrative hierarchy developed into a compellingly complex system with four administrative ranks within the scope of being defined as a city. Centrally administered municipalities Province level cities Sub-province level cities County level cities In addition to this classification by administrative ranking, cities are also defined by their administrative characteristics or legal status. This forms a parallel organizational parameter, itself broken into three categories. Province level cities Cities with districts (sub-province or prefecturelevel) Cities without districts Thus a city may rank only as a county level city (class iv), while possessing the status of a city with districts (class b). Furthermore, there are currently six different categories of special status for select cities. These include, among others, the four municipalities (Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing), the special economic zones (SEZs*), coastal open cities, and cities designated to experiment with new economic programs.13 This complexity is a result of the state periodically changing the criteria for defining administrative units, especially cities [] in order to promote political and economic goals.14 An example of such territorial fluidity is that while in 1978 only 2,173 towns existed, in 2000 there were 20,312. These were for the most part upgraded from townships by a process of definition tweaking.
Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

2.2 The Cultural Legacy of the Chinese Territorial Administrative System China has its own unique territorial system which remains strikingly well preserved from its ancient origins in the Qin dynasty (265-420 AD). The basic territorial administrative unit the xian was first introduced by the Qin as part of state land reform. Since then a general two level structure dominated the imperial territorial administrative system in the relation between the imperial capital and the provinces9. The sheng, or province, was introduced in the Yuan dynasty (1260-1368 AD), being a unit constituted by a collection of smaller xian. In the Imperial era the local or xian administration had relative fiscal and administrative freedom. However, they were obliged to channel resources upwards to the central government in a tribute based pyramidal fashion without expectation of any (financial) return. This lack of material recipricocity created a great deal of contention between local administration and central government the two spheres of real power in the administrative hierarchy of China. Together they formed the cultural / conceptual framework for the Chinese territorial administrative system over the last millennium, persisting beyond the Communist Revolution under the guise of the central state, as supreme manager, and the jiceng danwei* or grass-roots working unit, as the lowestlevel operator. This dichotomy has prompted the remark that between these two (central and local) spheres of real power [] there was much administration but little authority.10

8 Ibid. p.43

9 Fitzgerald, J. The province in history Rethinking Chinas Provinces Routeledge (2002) p.1140

In terms of organizational structure, there were many similarities with the Soviet Union. Both shared a strong vertical imperative; however the Soviet Union was more hierarchical in its organization, whereas the Chinese state structure has emphasized both horizontal (shuiping) and vertical (chuizhi) features of structural organization.11 This meant having a wide range of bureaucracy at every level of the administrative hierarchy. As a result, governing institutions in China, like administrative units, are also typically understood in terms of rank at the province level, prefecture level, county level and so forth.12 On the one hand this structure arguably provides greater political and territorial control, but given its bulk and complexity
hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

10 Shue, V. The Reach of the State Stanford University Press (1988)

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A



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3.0 The Legacy of Maoist Era Beijing (1949-1978)


Cities in China are popularly referred to as postsocialist a description which, though in many ways inadequate, is not without a grain of truth. The socialist command structure and planned economy of the Maoist era created a context for urban development which was notably distinct from its market-driven counterpart in the West. Although much of this has since been dismantled on a policy level, its physical legacy remains, with the consequence that developmental patterns in the postreform era have taken place upon foundations and infrastructure laid in the pre-reform era. Therefore, revisiting the pre-reform logic of production (both socio-political and spatial-economic) helps a great deal in understanding post-reform urban conditions.

a system of land tenure, without the possibility of land exchange, land value was effectively nullified. It dropped from commodity status, and use patterns changed accordingly.

3.2 Danwei* Based Unitary Urbanism and its Spatial Impact on Beijing In order to facilitate the transformation of the pre-1949 market economy into a soviet-style planned economy, the CCP nationalized all urban institutions and enterprises and reorganized them into administrative work units called danweis*. All city dwellers belonged to a particular danwei*, which would provide them with a job and a home, both within a special danwei* worker compound (a dayuan*). The city was composed of these cellular compounds, each owned by the various danwei. This made up the CCPs vision of a hive-like city, where every individual was directly organized within a collective, involved in some form of state-directed productive enterprise, and set within a clearly defined hierarchy centered on the CCP. Although the different danwei* performed different functions they were organized in a similar manner. What they provided for their workers was not just the assurance of work (the iron bowl a Chinese euphemism for a job for life) but they also organized living space, leisure, health-care, food provision, education, entertainment etc. danwei* with better revenue even had their own sports grounds and theaters. But the central concept was that every danwei* supplied its workers with all the amenities needed to live comfortably. In reality, the fact that different danweis* had different budgets and operational costs meant that working for one danwei* or another would lead to very different treatment and status. Nevertheless, this organizational structure, in conjunction with a newly introduced urban residency permit or license called hukou*, effectively eradicated the need and capacity for labor mobility within Chinese cities. Throughout and after the land collectivization programs of the 1950s, the State proceeded to allocate collectivized land to danweis* free of charge (the land tenure system) and for an indefinite period. Although
15 Yang, C., Wu, C. Zhong Guo Tu Di Shi Yong Zhi Du Gai Ge Shi Nian (Ten-Year Reform of Land Use System in China) Zhong Guo Da Di (1996)

the danweis* had full land-use rights they did not own the land or have any power to make land transactions (constitutionally banned). The location and amount of land allocated to a danwei* depended on its political connections as well as the political environment in which socioeconomic functions and productions were planned and organized. In effect many danweis* were able to pick and choose where, what and how to build. With the disappearance of the land market and the free allocation of land to danweis*, the previous need to build on economically favorable land (especially for large valueadded sectors like retail) in order to optimize economic performance (which is a major contributor to urban compactness in cities with land-markets) was dissolved. During the period between 1958 (end of major land collectivization) to 1965 danweis* began to engage in the large-scale construction of offices, workstations, factories, warehouses and in particular dormitory-style 5-6 story residential blocks, all in a relatively low density inefficient manner. The potential impact of this upon the citys transport infrastructure was not felt at the time as there was little need ever to travel outside the danwei*, and car ownership was virtually non-existent. It was during this period that Beijing experienced its first wave of rapid urbanization and expansion, and also its first taste of sprawl. The central government, under the guidance of Soviet advisors, undertook the transformation of old city (the area delimited by the old city walls, where the Second Ring Road now lies) into a new administrative and productive center. They issued clear directives to danweis* to build new constructions inside the old city, but in actual fact most of it ended well beyond. This apparent contravention of central government decree was the result of a myriad of conflicting policies. In May of 1954 Dong Zheng, the head of the Beijing Institute of Building Affairs, delivered a report highlighting the problems which dogged the Soviet proposal of building inside the old city. He said, Since
policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

3.1 Tugai and the Introduction of Land Tenure System: Radical Departure from the Feudal Past The CCP regarded private land ownership as one of the main systems of exploitation of the peasant proletariat. Their mandate therefore, in their destined role as facilitators of the class struggle, was its definitive eradication. Soon after taking power in 1949 the CCP embarked upon the implementation of a series of radical policies aimed at a comprehensive overhaul of the manner in which land was distributed and managed. The regime instigated a land reform program called Tugai, by which land was confiscated from rich landlords and either held by the central state or allocated to local groups. By 1958, all land was either state or collectively owned. Urban land was state owned, whereas farmland was collectively owned with a few exceptions.15 The new Constitution banned all land transactions and land was allocated to danweis* free of charge. The consequence of this was that, although there was


16 Department of Party History in Beijing City Planning and Design Bureau Building Management Around 1954 Important Affairs In Party History (1995) p.1

the liberation, two thirds of new build has taken place outside of the old city the furthest constructions standing 16km from Tiananmen. This contradicts our compact development principle to expand from near to far, from inside to outside. Objectively there are many practical problems. Chief among these as noted by Dong Zheng was the problem of demolition and relocation. He said in the report, in 1952 the Bureau of National Political Affairs issued a directive stating new constructions must not affect the livelihood of existing citizens. But Old Beijing has a building density average of 46%, rising in certain areas to 70%. It is impossible for the demolition of old neighborhoods not to affect ordinary citizens. Secondly, danweis* are reluctant to spend the money, time and effort required to deal with this difficulty and prefer to build on the periphery of the city. In the same report he also pointed out, Danweis* applying for building permission usually demand large tracts of land which are appropriate and have good views. They also want to save money and time: they dont want to get involved in neighborhood demolition, and would rather be allocated land that is immediately buildable, with large reserves for potential future development. As a result, new constructions take place throughout the surrounding area, and the city has become like a scattered game of Go. Up to the end of 1953 only a third of the new buildings have been located within the confines of the old city. Many of them are hidden in hutongs*, leading some people to remark that they dont know where all the new buildings went to.16 This is not without irony since among key reasons for adopting the Soviet proposal to transform the old city were cost and compactness. It was reasoned that building within the old city would minimize expenditure by utilizing existing infrastructure. However, given that complications around building in the old city led to the widespread dispersion of new construction, the actual demand for new infrastructure proved to be massive. As the city spilled
Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C rapidly diminishing [img] p.397



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over its old walls it ran out in all directions all at the same time along low density curves. This marked the beginning of Beijing ringing*.
2

3.3 Dayuan* (The Big Yard) The Spatial Manifestation of the Danwei* Unitary City Once the initial phases of reordering and construction had seized Beijing, the dayuan*, or literally big yard, emerged as the predominant unit of sub-city level spatial organization. These were the spatial manifestations of the danwei* the physical worker compounds (complete with housing, schools, etc.) which the various danwei* set up and ran. A single danwei* could be managing a number of dayuan*, but each dayuan* would itself function as a complete entity within the urban context. The city was thus cellularized into walled up discrete pockets of land, each of which would have their own internal circulation, and a limited number of exits and entrances onto the boulevards running between them. Traffic would be forced to circumvent these blocks, which given their size (up to 80km2) significantly hampered flow, and led to a street pattern of infrequent but very large roads. Moreover, the power maintained over them by the individual occupying danwei* lent little cohesion to the city as a whole. Even into the 1990s the dayuans* accounted for 88% of total land use in Beijing, and due to the political influence enjoyed by certain danwei*, became a major headache for urban planners. In the pre-reform era with institutionally limited worker mobility it was conceived to be natural that danweis* built their individual hive-like units. The benefits were to protect the inner peacefulness and autonomy of the neighborhood from through traffic, and to help foster a sense of community and territorial danwei* identity. People often referred to themselves as belonging to a particular dayuan* for instance it was not uncommon to hear people say they are from the Petroleum dayuan*, meaning they work for or are the relatives of someone working for the Ministry of Oil and Petroleum. As mentioned before, different danweis* varied significantly in prestige and wealth, and so association with one or another was a means of identifying social status in a largely homogenous society. The imperative to facilitate better circulation in the post-reform era of greater mobility has led to the construction of many routes which cut through these dayuans*. Nevertheless, the basic format of larger roads at lower intervals persists, and makes its impact felt upon
19 Wang, J. Chen Ji (City Journal) Sanlian (2003) p. 82 20 According to Marxist theory, to ensure the victory of the urban working class over the bourgeois capitalists in the inevitable class struggle, it is necessary first to ensure their number

The consequent urban form we have now is endearingly referred to by Beijing locals as tandabing*, which translates literally to spreading of the pancake. This spreading was further exacerbated by the fact that danweis* had no economic incentive to return allocated land they did not need (officially this was against the law, but was widespread and remained unpenalized). Vacant disused lots were simply walled up and left, while further building might go on around or beyond them. The contradiction of government plans and the built reality as executed by the danweis* is a good example of the central vs. local duality at the heart of the Chinese administrative system. Although the central government had ultimate decision-making power, due to the lack of intermediate levels overlooking the spatial organization of the city, its ultimate form was determined much more by the collective behavior of local organizations. Each of these received the centrally formulated directives, and yet interpreted and carried them out according to their own discretion. The failure to build a compact city in prereform China is partially attributable to the 1,000 year old dichotomous governing structure.

21 Wang J. Chen Ji (City Journal) Sanlian (2003) p.6073

current traffic conditions. Compared to Western cities like London and Paris, Beijing has very similar roadto-built environment ratio of around 23%. However it has been estimated that in terms of traffic circulation efficiency Beijing falls behind by as much as 35%. The key to this seems to lie in the fact that Paris employs a much more detailed network of narrow single direction traffic lanes. These are thought to be much more efficient avoiding flow obstructions caused by cars turning left, and greatly reducing the deadtime required to allow pedestrians to cross.

to organize industry, and align it to state production quotas and redistribution systems. The second was that The capital of socialist countries must also be a major industrial base.19 The ascendant thinking at the time was that in order to secure the predominance of the urban industrial working class,20 their number (as a percentage of the city) must be ensured, and large-scale industrialization must proceed. Furthermore it was determined that Beijing must be the economic center of China, and only then would it be fit to be the capital.21 Once Mao gave Liu Ren, then deputy party secretary of Beijing, a real scare by asking him after watching the 1953 National Day parade Should we relocate the capital?22 He apparently felt that there werent enough workers in the parade.

22 Ibid. p.241255

3.4 Industry Fetishization and Its Post-Reform Ramifications Only when we revitalize and develop INDUSTRY in our cities, turning cities of consumption to cities of production, can the peoples regime be consolidated.17 Mao Zedong The American educated architect Liang Sicheng recollects that once, soon after the CCPs triumph, he accompanied Chairman Mao to Tiananmen to discuss the future plan of Beijing: once atop Tiananmen Chairman Mao pointed south and remarked, from now on there will be a forest of chimneys to the horizon [] I wasnt convinced. I thought to myself, China being so vast, agricultural and industrial production doesnt necessarily have to happen in Beijing [] It should preserve its historical city structure and architectural style and atmosphere.18 Liang made several proposals to the administration advocating the relocation of the administrative center to the west of Beijing, thus preserving the citys historic core. However, in spite of his tireless efforts, the regime, with the help of Soviet advisors, began to remold the city along the lines of Stalinist industrialized monocentricism. The first principle was the Transformation of cities of consumption to cities of production i.e. the city becomes an opportunity

17 Delivered as part of a report by Mao Zedong on 5 March 1949 at the 2nd Convention of the Central Committee 7th National Congress of the CCP in Xibaipo Village, Hebai

under a climate of prioritizing industrial development, resources of capital and labor were channeled into heavy industry to the detriment of all other sectors including agriculture, housing, and the urban environment
-

failure to build a compact city in pre-reform China is partially attributable to the 1,000 year old dichotomous governing structure
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18 Liang, S.C. Cultural Revolution Confessions (1968)


Political slogans of the immediate post 1949 period ran production first, living second and when production grows an inch, livelihood grows an inch. Under such a climate of prioritizing industrial
Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

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development, resources of capital and labor were channeled into heavy industry to the detriment of all other sectors including agriculture and the urban realm, creating a huge imbalance as compared with trajectory of most developed countries. The root of this problem lay in the PCMP under socialism. Once the state had demolished both the consumer market and the land market it had to assume the role of producer, purchaser, planner, and redistributor, not to mention investor. In the absence of a land market, or any real way of capitalizing on land value, investment in housing or urban infrastructure offered virtually no return. These options therefore presented themselves as significantly unattractive areas in which to reinvest surplus. A severe lack of investment in urban infrastructure and housing ensued, resulting in poor quality housing across the city, and a general deficiency in infrastructure. In the 1980s many low-rise areas still shared public taps and toilets (a single facility with running water and WCs served an entire run of housing). This persisted into the early nineties, and is still common in parts of Beijing today. Balanikov, one of the Soviet advisors, pointed out in his report of 1950, Beijing doesnt have major industry, but the capital city should not only be a center of culture, science and artistic activity but also a major industrial city. Right now the industrial worker population only accounts for 4% of the Beijing total, while in Moscow the figure stands at 25%. In this respect Beijing is a city of consumption: too much of the population is not working class but made up of merchants. In the same report, against Liangs plan of relocating the administrative center and creating a dual centric city, he advocated building the administrative organs inside old Beijing, centering on Tiananmen. Again from the 1950 report: First create a major traffic route or a square, for example Tiananmen Square, already full of historic significance, for the purpose of parades both military and domestic and also for national day celebrations. This will further increase its significance. The square therefore should be the center of the city.23 This meant large parts of imperial Beijing had to be torn down, provoking a response of disgruntlement to open hostility from Liang (who
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was the pre-eminent authority on ancient Chinese architecture). The Liang camp subsequently came to blows with Soviet advisors over their respective plans for Beijing. Liang pointed out that the Soviet advisors didnt realize the historical and architectural value of the old city. Unfortunately the regime at the time saw the old city as a vestige of feudalist values and went along with the Soviet proposal, with dire ramifications for the historical identity of Beijing. Maos personal preference must have had huge leverage in the ultimate decision to follow the Soviet plan over Liang Sichengs proposal. One of the most significant and lamentable alterations to the old Beijing cityscape was the demolition of its once magnificent city walls. In the Nanning Conference of January 1958 Mao remarked, The buildings in Beijing and Kaifeng [an older imperial capital of China] make me ill-at-ease. He went on to note that The value of antiques is a matter of perception: if one has to cry [referring to Liang Sichengs stubborn refusal to go along with city wall demolition] about the demolition of a city-gate and the creation of new openings, then it is a problem of political awareness. At a stroke Mao undermined the architectural expertise of Liang and made the problem a political one a field in which he had ultimate jurisdiction. The outer city wall was razed during the 50s and the main city up-rooted in 1965 to make way for the Beijing underground and Second Ring Road.24 The destruction of the city wall was driven largely by Maos personal misguided notion of the old. In his memoir, the deputy chief of the Beijing Planning Bureau recalls that even though many top ranking officials including the then Mayor of Beijing publicly supported the demolition of the city walls, this was mainly to get in line with Mao. In private they were very chary, and were seeking out alternative plans. Over this period heavy industry came to produce 63.7% of the total revenue in Beijing, and 120 out of 130 industry departments were located within the city bounds. This was an unprecedented phenomenon, unique amongst capital cities of the world. As a result the total number of chimneys in Beijing peaked at a staggering 14,000, producing considerable pollution.25 Industrial land use rose to as high as 20-30% of total land use. This compares to 5.3% in Hong Kong, 6% in Seoul,

26 Bertaud, A. and Renaud, B. Cities Without Land Markets: Location and Land Use in The Socialist City The World Bank: Policy Research Working Paper No. 1477 (1995)

and 5% in Paris.26 The industrialization of Beijing is now generally considered to have been a misguided failure. Wang Jun reports, Beijing under a lack of water and mineral resources over-pursued rapid industrialization, resulting in many difficult problems, and due to the Beijing-Tianjin dual economic development formulae, it also led to the recession of Tianjin. Mao Zedong and the Communists fetishization of heavy industry are still very much felt in the post-reform period. In 1991, 13 years after the end of Maoist era, a large percentage of industry was still located in the city center. This even though in 1983 the central government and Ministry of State Affairs issued a paper which clearly defined Beijing as the national administration and cultural center, and stated no more heavy industry will be located in Beijing in the future. In 1999 the Beijing City Council made the decision to start relocating factories, and over the following 6 years 134 polluting industries were moved out of the city center.27

secondly a transport option. Equally, the motivation to build roads at excessive widths came as much from a military as an architectural perspective the idea being that they would then serve as emergency landing strips and make shift helicopter pads. Cables were buried beneath the asphalt to prevent exposure and easy destruction. It was further reasoned that in the event of a nuclear strike on Tiananmen, generous road widths could help prevent the spread of fire.28

28 Wang J. Chen Ji (City Journal) Sanlian (2003) p.291295

4.0 Hukou* System: Labor Mobility and the City


Water flows down to lower places, but people flow up to richer places old Chinese proverb 4.1 Historic Roots

27 The Great Relocation of Industrial Enterprises Beijing Daily 29 May 2001

3.5 Sino-Soviet Split, Strategic Military Planning and the Construction of the Beijing Underground Throughout the planning and construction of Beijing the question of strategic military advantage also loomed large. Towards the end of 1950s the Korean War came to an end, and the relationship between China and the Soviet Union became distinctly sour. Nuclear war was, in many peoples minds, just over the horizon, and responsive strategic planning became an imperative. Sino-Soviet relations moved through suspicion and mistrust to a full break down in 1960 amidst personal animosity between Mao and Khrushchev, and a series of territory related disputes. Following the border incident between China and the Soviet Union in 1969, the government mobilized the masses to dig anti-air raid shelters all over Beijing. The proposal to build the Beijing underground was presented to the central government as first and foremost a military strategy, and
hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

24 Ibid. p.241255

29 Dutton, M. Street life in China Cambridge University Press (1998) 30 Surveillance of society was achieved by a system of periodic reports on good and bad household behavior; awards were given for praiseworthy deeds, while crimes resulted in hanging a placard in front of the offenders house. The population enumeration function of the system worked by requiring families to post a door-plate with data on household members by name, age, and particular characteristics such as disabilities, or out-standing contributions to the nation. (Dutton, M. Street life in China, Cambridge University Press, 1998)

Like many other administrative practices in China, the hukou* system is derived in its current form from organizational structures already centuries old. It traces its roots back to the baojia system a form of household administration and population registration that first gained popularity in the Song dynasty (960-1279 AD).29 The baojia system essentially acted as a means of state surveillance down to an impressively micro-level grouping households into packets of 10, then 100, then 1,000, and encouraging mutual surveillance on each successive level.30 The system was adapted and reused by proceeding dynasties all the way through to the Guomindangs (or Kuomintangs) Republic of China. This history of a political administration which permeates all levels of life was not lost on the CCP. Soon after the 1949 the Maoists began planning the more scientific hukou* system as their own update upon the baojia.

23 Ibid. p.8286 25 Ibid. p.6672

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

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4.2 The Role of the Hukou* System in the PreReform Era


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The hukou* system was first implemented in 1958. Its purpose was to provide a residential license or permit system which would ensure that people were only able to work and live in those places designated to them by the state. It effectively segregated the rural from the urban, and reduced all labor mobility to that which was organized officially. The benefits included a greater degree of precision as to where and how the population was located and managed. One major disadvantage was that in creating this rural / urban schism, the supposedly classless society was rigidly separated out, with people living in large metropolitan centers enjoying the best access to services, followed by smaller city dwellers, and so on all the way down to the village. Those who held an urban hukou* were employed by a danwei*, and put into direct contact with better education, free health care, higher incomes and cheap public accommodation, subsidized food, a pension, a job for life and so on. Those who held a rural hukou* on the other hand were effectively excluded from all of these. The irony being that while the CCP were demolishing the old city walls, and other historic emblems of segregation, new invisible walls were being erected in their place. The hukou* system of population management was integral to the CCPs regime. Having abolished consumer demand, the state was itself responsible for product distribution, profit and surplus, and the reinvestment of that surplus. This meant economic growth and indeed shrinkage was entirely reliant upon the States ability to channel surplus into new means of accumulation. Factories had to rely upon the state to purchase their products, and as excessive production could lead to state over-accumulation of products which, without market consumerism, could not necessarily be easily converted back into capital, there was a serious threat of the disappearance of state investment into unhelpful quantities of whatever it was the factories were producing. Because livingstandard-driven rural to urban migration could easily lead to a scenario of uncomfortable pressures piling up upon the state to redistribute enhanced
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levels of production, it became increasingly important to control this kind of movement. The hukou* system effectively prohibited the migration of individuals, and by maintaining a rural-urban dichotomy, the CCP was able to manage closely the behavior of the industrial sector of the economy.

4.3 The Hukou* System Post-1978 Large labor markets are the only raison dtre of large cities Alain Bertaud The role of the hukou* system is extremely complex in post-reform China. Virtually all bottom-up spatialdevelopment around the urban periphery is in some way influenced or directly attributable to the hukou* system. Furthermore, its continuing hand in the ruralurban dichotomy is increasingly presenting difficulties of a political nature to the CCP. Since the hukou* system inevitably blocks most forms of self-determined access to socio-spatial, political and economic advantages, it is unsurprising that many of the new spatial entities we see emerging upon the urban fringe, including migrant villages and SUVs*, have formed as a result of a strategies to circumvent its restrictions. Much of the lowest strata of Chinas new urban phenomenon can be seen as an expression of hukou* resistance, and facilitated if impaired rural to urban migration.

34 National Bureau of Statistics

31 Rural land is still collectively owned and each household with a rural hukou* can legally build three fangzi, which can mean anything from a single roomed shed to a 3 story mansion

The split between the rural and urban economies, enforced by the hukou* system in the pre-reform era, has been in part maintained by its persistence post-1978. A dual market remains in terms of access to goods, the prices of goods, services, and, most importantly from the perspective of migration, wage difference. A poor months pay in the city can match that of a years income in the village, and as such presents an enormously strong attractor. Moreover, given uneven pricing, what this money represents to a migrant when taken home makes it even more appealing. By taking advantage of ambiguous property rights31 in rural areas, what appears in the city to be a very low wage can, via remittances, be building a large house in the village (a symbol of prestige in rural China). In 1985 the state relaxed the stringent restrictions around working in the city by introducing temporary registration. However, gaining the right to settle in the city remained elusive, and in many instances not least in Beijing city authorities still engaged in waves of migrant expulsion.32 The hostility of the local authorities to migrant settlements, coupled to the altered hukou* system, has created in China a unique pattern of temporary migration. Unlike the industrialization which occurred throughout much of the West during the 19th century, where entire families relocated to cities, in China most migrants are single, aged between 18 and 30, and come to cities to work for a period before returning home to their original towns and villages to marry. This type of rollover migration* has been cited as one of the contributing factors to the continued success of the TVEs*, where money and skills gained in an urban environment return to rural settings, and engage in what could traditionally be regarded as more urban activities. It has also greatly contributed to the astounding rate at which rural China is urbanizing in-situ.33 Since the latter end of the 1990s, further relaxations to the hukou* system and a rising private economy have resulted in an increasing number of rural migrants finding employment in cities without the need even
hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

of a temporary urban hukou*. These migrants have been characterized as a floating population* arriving and starting work within a context of impressive economic liberalization, and without official registration. The jobs come mainly from construction, house keeping, and the restaurant / service sector. By 1998 the floating population* in Beijing numbered around 3.2 million roughly 30% of total population.34 Thanks to housing reforms and illegal constructions, there are an increasing number of ways for members of the floating population* to stay in the city for more extensive periods of time. Subsidized public housing and access to free services (healthcare, education etc.) is still not available without an urban hukou*. However, such rules are showing signs of being relaxed, and in 2005 official channels opened up for the rural population to settle permanently in the city. This still involves transferring to an urban hukou*, and is usually achieved through the purchase of an urban property (above a certain price, of course) a route still out of reach for the vast majority of rural migrants. For those unable to gain an urban hukou* there are 3 practical housing options. The first is an SUV*: accommodation in housing provided by peasants in villages close to urban areas. In the 1997 migrant population census in Beijing this accounted for 13.65% of the migrant population. The second option is cheap housing in the inner city. The housing reforms of the mid-90s saw the privatization of public housing, and an emergent housing market has been able to offer accommodation to migrants. This comes usually at a higher rate than in an SUV*, but has the advantage of better access to a wider range of employment opportunities. In 1997 it accounted for a further 13.71%. The third option is housing provided by employers, and includes the floating villages* created by companies to house their workers (often either near a factory, or on or near construction sites). Although free to live in, these developments tend to be extremely crowded,35
Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

32 Liu, X., Liang, W. Zhejiancun: Social and spatial implications of informal urbanization on the periphery of Beijing Cities 14(2) (1997) p.95108

virtually all bottom-up spatialdevelopment around the urban periphery is in some way influenced or directly attributable to the hukou* system
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33 In-situ urbanization is not unique to China but has counterparts in other south east Asian countries, where the term desakota is used. The term was coined by McGee, T. (1989, 1991) who identified these morphologies with Bahasa Indonesian, combining the word for village (desa) with that of town (kota). 35 In the course of field trips we witnessed up to 30,000 migrant construction workers in one of the floating villages* in Wangjing. Workers were crammed within areas no bigger than 80x80m with virtually no amenities.

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

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and often poorly provided for. Nevertheless, this has been the predominant form of migrant housing in Beijing, accounting in the 1997 census for over 60% of migrant population. Migrants in China pose a paradox. On the one hand they are the driving force behind Chinas renewed cities both physically building most of the new constructions, and supplying the workforce behind much of the economic growth. On the other hand, their living situations are often squalid and unsanitary, and the result of their often ad hoc en masse settlements are significant strains upon the urban grid. It is a cruel irony that they are generally regarded by the city authorities as a blot upon that magnificent new urban fabric to which they themselves have contributed so much.

Perhaps the most prominent amongst these migrant enclaves* is Zhejiangcun, where the Zhejiang migrant population is predominantly involved in the apparel industry. Zhejiangcun is located outside the Fourth Ring Road on the southern urban periphery. With a peak population in 1998 of 80,000, it is one of the largest migrant enclaves* in China. The built environment is dominated by two to three story apartment complexes, migrant compounds, and older one story courtyards organized in a very dense fashion amongst narrow alleyways and streets. Most of these constructions have been built by the local rural population, whose freedom to engage in what has been an extraordinary transformation of a formerly quiet peripheral settlement has depended largely on a unique institutional loophole in the policies relating to rural and urban land. Since 1949, by constitution all urban land is State owned and all rural land is collectively owned. Thus two different processes govern urban and rural land, and the urban authorities have no right to build on rural land. Since the economic reforms of 1978, through extensive land reform and the development of legal frameworks, urban land transactions have been relatively well facilitated and protected by the law and state. However, no such framework has yet been put in place for dealing with rural land. The introduction of the household responsibility system has meant that individual households are able to negotiate land-use rights with local authorities for an extended period of time. In order for cities to expand beyond their previously defined territory they are obliged to expropriate37 land from farmers, who are in turn given fixed rate compensation. Expropriated land has to be designated urban in order for authorities to gain the right to build upon it. This means that rural land which lies along the urban boundary, and yet has not undergone expropriation or conversion, is effectively outside of any urban planning, regulation or legal process. According to policy, with a rural hukou* a household can build up to 3 fangzi (which roughly translates as building). With such a vague definition, a fangzi can mean anything from a one room shed to a 3 story mansion, and in the absence of anything more precise from the state, it has

been left to the discretion of local rural authorities to decide what is fitting. This gap in state regulation has been much exploited by the rural population on the urban periphery for the purposes of building extensive dormitory style complexes to rent to migrants. The large scale success of these operations have allowed a great many peasants to give up agriculture and become property developer-landlords. The local rural authorities have overseen this process with absolute complicity, benefiting from vastly increased tax revenues, and, in a number of cases, actually investing in such constructions themselves. The unrelenting stream of migrants has facilitated the spread and profitability of such schemes, and these rural administrative areas have witnessed a sudden flurry of low rise development. In the midst of this rural concrete blossoming, the local administration has had to fulfill only a fixed tax quota (see 5.2 Fiscal Reform for more detail), leaving a significant volume of revenue leftover for reinvestment. In the case of Zhejiangcun this has led to the development of a huge entertainment complex among the new apartment compounds and dormitories. The nearby urban authority, which confusingly also has a degree of jurisdiction in the area, has tended to view such developments as sprawling ghettos, and makes periodic threats to demolish them. However, in reality little is done as they have to reach into their own pockets to pay for demolition, and do not stand to gain any real financial reward for doing so, not to mention the increased risk of civil unrest. In rare cases rich migrants have even illegally leased land from peasants and built apartment complexes or big compounds to accommodate fellow migrants from Zhejiang themselves. This has resulted in some courtyard style two story complexes with central atriums, drawn from the architectural vocabulary of Zhejiang province itself. Illegal activities and increasing environmental strain have prompted many quarters including the media to complain, culminating in 1995 in a violent confrontation between the local urban authority, bearing renewed
policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

demolition plans, and the inhabitants of Zhejiangcun. Some demolition did take place; however many Zhejiang migrants simply moved to the next village out. Since then relations have much improved and Zhejiangcun is now semi-officially recognized or at least the local urban authority turns a blind eye. Part of this recognition lies in the success of the Zhejiangcun apparel business and subsequent reinvestments made by Zhejiangcun business leaders in new ventures in rural municipal Beijing. To the delight of the local urban authorities, these have generated significant employment opportunities. Many other migrant enclaves* did not have such luck. During the fall of 2005, DCF conducted a series of fieldtrips around Zhejiangcun and witnessed first hand some of the extraordinary successes of the local rural population. Interviews were conducted, and among stories we encountered one of the most striking was that of Mr. Wang and his long standing friend and neighbor Mr. Qiu. They were both brought up in the area and have been living there for over 40 years. However, although their homes border each other, Mr. Wang falls into a different municipal district and has an urban hukou*, while Mr. Qiu holds a rural hukou*. They described how just over ten years ago, in 1995, the area surrounding Dahongmen, where Zhejiangcun is now situated, was a wheat field with only ten households in the vicinity. All of them were one story courtyard dwellings. Today the difference between their homes tells the story of how migrants have changed the fortune of their lives. Mr. Wang still lives in his courtyard house with his family and his daughters 8 dogs, under the shadow of this neighbor Mr. Qius massive 2-story complex, complete with huge plasma screen TV, mahogany paneled interior, chandeliers, massive terrace, garage, and attached section of flats for letting, which Mr. Qiu tells us he designed himself. He explained the reason for building a 2 story compound so high: current local policy sets a 2 story cap on new constructions, and yet with no regulation in place to
Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

4.4 Case Study: Migrant Enclaves* in Beijing The Chinese State has a long history of treating (private) business, particularly southern Chinese business (the basis of entrepreneurialism in China), as a source of fiscal income rather than as an engine of wealth. This led to harmful practices of excessive taxation and favoritism, breaking the rules of fair competition. Without the state reliably enforcing property rights and fair market practices, the Chinese entrepreneurial culture has over the centuries evolved a strong sense of trust in kinship and local connections as a means of organizing economic activities and transactions effectively bypassing the state, and embedding market mechanisms in socially constructed networks.36 Since the market reforms of 1978 China has witnessed a massive resurgence of such networks, and we see place of origin and kinship connections playing a major role in the formation of migrant communities and business networks. Often entire migrant villages are composed of migrants from a single region in China who are engaged in one type of business. Beijing in particular has witnessed the emergence of several such villages or enclaves over the years. Due to fiscal, environmental and a whole host of other reasons they are much despised by the local authorities, who have tried to get rid of them with varying degrees of success.
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37 This process has created alarming political tensions between urban and rural areas as compensation rates do not follow market values. This imbalance has been the focus of a wave of recent rural unrest in China. 36 Castells, M. Culture, organizations, and institutions: Asian business networks and the developmental state The Rise of the Network Society Blackwells (1996) p.195205

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[suv*]
2 3

location: beijing, south, outside the 4th ring road peak population: 80,000 demographic: overwhelmingly populated by Zhejiang temporary migrant workers architecture: predominantly 23 story apartment complexes constructed informally by the local rural population thanks to a unique policy loophole

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

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define how high each floor can be, and cognizant of the local authorities capacity for change, Mr. Qiu gave each floor generous ceiling heights with a mind to a possible subsequent conversion to three shorter floors, thus future-proofing the building for a potential 50% gain in letting space. In pre-reform China having an urban hukou* meant an automatic privilege, but as we have seen the table have indeed turned, at least for Mr. Qiu. However, despite rapid urban construction and the urban lifestyle which inhabitants of Zhejiangcun are now wont to lead, due to the lack of formal infrastructural investment many roads remain unpaved, clean tap water has to be collectively shared, and sewage and drainage systems are all left wanting. Such are the characteristics symptomatic of villages close to urban centers, although not all of them have migrant populations originating predominantly from one particular part of China. They are collectively referred to by the scholars Deng and Huang as SemiUrbanized Villages (SUVs*).

rapidly assimilated into a recirculation of urban wealth. However, the relationship is not regulated and often leads to vice and crime (gambling, aforementioned hairdressing parlors etc.). Moreover, due to population explosion and the lack of infrastructure on the SUV* side, these developmental clusters can also lead to rapid environmental degradation. Consequently the local administration is prone to regard such developments as eye-sores and sprawl, and strategies adopted to deal with them are rarely significantly more enlightened than wholesale bulldozing. This is a lamentable end to the RUSs*. Although they do exhibit all the civic defects outlined above, they are also dynamic, lively, and fleeting, and provide customized responses to the gaps and incoherencies endemic in official developmental plans. The SUV* component provides a flexible resource base from which missing services naturally spring forth from for example, a migrant on a moped with a covered shell, who offers you cheap fast transportation for short range journeys. These convenient caddies* supply an effective patch for the wide areas in between transport terminals, and by occupying a comparatively small area of road space, alleviate traffic, as well as bringing a much needed liveliness and diversity to the rather austere uniformity of new urban developments.iv There is a massive potential for these emergent spatial forms to evolve into healthy and integrated urban tissue given the right infrastructural investment and regulation.
iv Unfortunately the drivers of these que bi le (literally lame twat happinness), are often reluctant to work during the day as they operate under the constant threat of police removal and vehicle confiscation.

39 Tang, W.S., Chung, H. Urbanrural transition in China: beyond the desakota model Chinas Regions, Polity and Economy: A Study of Spatial Transformation in the Post-Reform Era Li, S.M., Tang, W.S. (eds.) Chinese University Press (2000) p275308

5.0 Decentralization, LandUse Reform and Fiscal Reform: Towards a Postmodern Heteropolis
It doesnt matter if it is a black cat or a white cat if it catches mice, it is a good cat. Deng Xiaoping38

5.1 Cities as the Driving Engines of Growth In 1982 the then Premier Zhao Ziyang explicitly promoted city-led development.39 Such an openly pro-urban policy found support on all levels. Soon after that, in 1983, the State Council passed the policy of letting cities exercise leadership over xians and there followed the wholesale abandonment of collectivized communes and daduis.v Since then, understanding the new advantages available to cities, many counties have pushed urbanization in order to gain city-status. In 1988 alone 47 xians were redefined as cities; in the year before that 2940 made the changeover. The total number of cities has been on the increase ever since. This shift taking place on the administrative and official levels of recognized cities corresponds well with bottom-up activities, where the post-1978 blossoming of TVEs* has led many rural townships and villages out of the orbit of the rural economy, and increasingly involved them within networks of economic production and consumption which operate beyond the boundaries imposed by traditional divisions between cities and xians. Thus the process of their economic expansion was taking place via a series of transgressions of outdated administrative models, and with economic expansion now at the forefront of the political agenda, it was clear that it was the models that needed to change. The extensive rescaling of the previous sheng, xian and xiang three tier administrative hierarchy firmly placed cities at the helm not only as the driving engines of economic growth, but also as centers of political influence (on the down side this led to a further weakening of the already neglected rural sphere). The act of reconfiguring the administrative hierarchy and making the tiers more permeable
v The dadui, or village level administration, is the lowest level in the rural administrative hierarchy of China. Literally meaning big production team, the daduis of the pre-reform era were collectivized units of agricultural production, and enjoyed tremendous local decision-making power. As collectivized farming was replaced by the household responsibility system, many dadui took on the role of organising local enterprise and pooling collective investment processes which have contributed greatly to Chinas economic rise. The term dadui is rarely used nowadays; in this post-reform incarnation they are better known as TVEs.

38 Speaking in 1962 on his views regarding the emergence of private rural responsibility system which proved to be much more efficient than the party doctrine of rural collective communes. This eventually lead to his downfall during the Cultural Revolution, which branded him as a Rightist 40 Ding, R. S. Local Regime Construction Contending Series of Social Science, Volume: Politics and Law Cao, J. Y. (ed.) Shanghai Peoples Press (1991) p.115121

4.5 RUSs* (Rural Urban Syndicates) and Missed Opportunities Due to the rapid urban expansion of Beijing, with increasing frequency official development projects (mainly residential) come within close proximity of SUVs*. This clashing of top-down and bottomup developments has sparked new possibilities for urban relations which suggest ways in which rural migrants might be integrated into the official urban fabric. The resultant urban interaction has been colloquially referred to as Chenxiang Jiehebu, which roughly translates as Rural Urban Syndicate (RUS*). These are two separate modes of urbanization driven by completely different processes. However, when they meet at the urban periphery a very interesting dynamic is created, and often a form of symbiotic mutualism is developed by which the SUV* component of the RUS* responds to the needs of the often underplanned official development with a vibrant informal economy. The influx of a newly enriched Chinese middle class enjoys the benefits of local services, and the flow of migrants is
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In 1978, two years after the turmoil and devastation of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) came to an end with the death of Mao Zedong, the pragmatic new leader Deng Xiaoping commenced the instigation of a massive administrative, economic, and spatial restructuring of the ideologically driven political system left over from the Maoist era. Inefficiencies nurtured under the socialist mode of central planning became apparent, and extensive reorganization was undertaken on all fronts to make way for a new PCMP. The transformation of the cities from sites of production to sites of consumption had to be made, and to facilitate urban growth engines the territorial administrative system was rescaled to privilege the urban. State power was decentralized, and fiscal responsibility localized. Market institutions were set up on all levels and TVEs* emerged. Land use reforms rescaled urban administrative relationships and made land use more flexible. A legal framework for land transaction was established. The adoption of the open door policy in 1979 ended Chinas decade long isolation from the West and consequent engagement with the global economy. On a domestic level, the state policy of cities leading xians firmly placed the urban realm at the center of new strategies for growth.

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397



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is clearly a means employed by the Chinese state to adjust its spatial practices in order to propel economic development and better channel the flow of resources. City-level administrations enjoy special financial and fiscal rights. The direct result of this has been competition among the different xians to attain citystatus, which is achieved largely through urbanization and investment in urban infrastructure as well as attracting investment. Such intra-governmental competition has played an important role in the rapid urbanization of rural China, and in furthering economic growth. In China, space is no longer a derivative outcome of the PCMP but is actually the state strategy and solution to the sustenance of the new regime of accumulation.41 In other words, in China, urbanization and urban restructuring i.e. the handling of space, and the definitions and privileges applied to it is the primary means by which government institutions of all levels push for economic growth, and contest for political territory.

on central government, without grants distributed through the central administration, there was little local institutions could do in terms of medium to large projects. This accorded with the socialist regime, as without a consumer marketplace to respond to unplanned demand, unplanned expansion could place unwanted pressure on the state redistribution system, while offering little by way of financial reward to local administration. Thus there was little incentive for spontaneous local expansion, and in order to facilitate growth advanced planning conducted via the state was wholly necessary. With the introduction of the market in 1978, the state was required to take on a different role, disarticulating its policies from many spheres of direct action, while simultaneously engaging with the market on all levels throughout the hierarchy. Financial responsibility and decision-making power was gradually released to lower levels, and horizontally distributed to less central bureaucracies of the state hierarchy. With the state emphasis on the city as the driving engine of economic growth, and the state policy of cities leading xians, more local administrations began to implement their own policies and techniques for fostering urbanization and economic development. This resulted in an environment of total urbanization on multi-scalar levels. As such, the Nanhai xian (in Guangdong Province) local administration coined the slogan driving forward on five wheels (wugelunzi yiqizhuan), meaning simultaneously at the scales of county, township, district, village and individual. Appropriately enough, Nanhai xian is now a city. In the case of Beijing, this spatial competition between different qu or districts has led to a number of similar development zones being built simultaneously in different locations. Thus while Chaoyang District along with the municipal administration is loudly publicizing its CBD, Xiecheng District is busy constructing its massive Financial Street. On a local level, and within the context of the village, both the danwei* and the individual have embraced the possibility of forging new social and economic connections across different tiers. This has been facilitated largely by mass migration to cities and towns. The dual process of a top-down disarticulation of state centralized power and bottom-up socio-economic

participation has brought about an inevitable meeting in the middle. This meso-level of organization finds it most compelling expressions along the urban fringe.
42 Ding, C. Land policy reform in China: assessment and prospects University of Maryland (2003) Routeledge (2003)

41 Laurence, J. C., Ma & Fulong Wu The Chinese City In Transition Restructuring the Chinese City Routeledge (2003)

To witness the effect of having multiple scales of actors all flexing their spatial muscles simultaneously one only has to look to the profuse spatial heterogeneity and fragmentation occurring at the urban periphery of contemporary Beijing. There, within the same square kilometer you can find luxury entertainment complexes equipped with pools and tennis courts hard up against migrant enclaves*, motorways, middle class gated communities, makeshift garages, supermarkets, brothels, alleyway complexes, enclosed dayuan* army residences, one story courtyards, temporary retail stalls where some migrants also live in, busy retail streets for both high and low ends of the consumer spectrum, hospitals both official and unofficial, and a whole host of floating villages*.

eventually adopted across the country, closely resembles Hong Kongs land leasehold system, where again foreign investors can gain access to land by leasing it for a certain period. Investors are asked to pay up-front for land-use rights, fees and rents.42 Over the following decades land-use systems have been evolving in China. One of the first things the administration did was to introduce a landuse fee on foreign enterprises and joint ventures. The bureau of land administration, established in 1986, is responsible for and in charge of land policy reform, land allocation and acquisition, the monitoring of land development, comprehensive land-use plans, and the implementation of land laws. In an attempt to develop the land market in China, the Land Administration Law was passed in 1986, legalizing the private use of state-owned land by private companies and individuals. In 1991 the State Council pronounced The Provisional Regulation on the Granting and Transferring of Land Rights over State-Owned Land in Cities and Towns, setting the concrete legal framework for land letting, transferring, rent, and mortgage and land-use rights.43 Interestingly the Constitution had banned any transference of land-use rights in 1982, which was amended in 1988. In 1989 land-use tax was introduced, and all danweis* and individuals were obliged to pay tax for the use of land in cities, towns and industrial and mining districts.44 The rate of land-use tax depended on city size and profitability. In 1993 a land value increment tax was introduced. Under the new legislation parties and individuals involved in transactions of land-use rights gained a net profit of more than 20%. This policy, effectively encouraging the transfer of land-use rights, was aimed at the massive spatial inefficiencies left by the Maoist era. Creating conditions which made it profitable to transfer unused land, it optimized land use and promoted urban and economic development.
Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

5.3 Evolution of Land-Use Rights and the ReEmergence of a Chinese Land Market
43 Valletta, W. The Land Administration Law of China of 1998 and its impacts on urban development. Proceedings of the 2001 World Congress of Urban Planning Shanghai (2001) 44 as Ding, C. Land policy reform in China: assessment and prospects University of Maryland (2003)

in China, space is no longer a derivative outcome of PCMP but the means by which that regime is fed and furthered
6

44 Ding, C. Land policy reform in China: assessment and prospects University of Maryland (2003)

5.2 Decentralisation, Multi-Scalar Urbanization, and Meso-Level Socio Spatial Convergence In the pre-reform era, although the local enjoyed relative spatial freedom in its carrying out of central government orders, it was denied the opportunity to expand on its own initiative. Seeing as the fiscal system was organized in a pyramidal order focused


Foreign investment has flooded in since adoption of the open door policy in 1979. The Chinese Government had to revise its long-standing land tenure system in order to accommodate an increasing demand for land. In order to experiment with the market economy the Chinese Government instigated a series of special economic development zones (SEDZs) along the east coast to attract foreign investment in the early 1980s. Initially there were only four: Shenzhen, Shantou, Xiamen, and Tianjin. Many policy experiments took place in these SEDZs before the results were rolled out on a national scale. To allow foreign companies to gain access to land a land leasing system was introduced, and companies were allowed to lease government owned land for fixed periods of time. The state retained ultimate land ownership, and thus land-use rights and ownership were effectively separated, opening up the possibility of a land-use rights market. This system,
hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A



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rural urban syndicate urban: tiantongyuan (tty) population: 30,000 location: beijing, north, outside the 5th ring road demographic: relocated beijingers, people from dongbei (area in the north of china)

tty is the new build component of the tiantongyuandongxiaokou rus*. an expansive development housing many relocated families from the hutongs* in the center of beijing, it offers a clean modern environment, but far out on the 5th ring road in a formerly undeveloped area, it lacks vitality and local services.

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397





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[rus*]
tty2: urban rumor locals recount the secret story behind the development of tty: the developer, a mr tian, was a friend and laoxiang (someone hailing from the same hometown) of the then deputy head of the department of construction and industry. keeping himself apprised of plans related to the positioning of the olympic village and supporting infrastructure, mr. tian learnt of a major new highway set to pass right by a rubbish dump. by promising free houses to local officials (a common practice among developers, referred to as tail units*), he was able to purchase the land for a mere 90,000rmb (us$12,000), gain permission to build a large new development of affordable housing, and, naturally, turn a terrific profit.

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397





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rural urban syndicate rural: dongXiaokou (dXk)

location: beijing, north, outside the 5th ring road demographic: minority local rural population, majority migrants from diverse parts of china
3

dXk is the suv component of the tiantongyuandongxiaokou rus*. formerly a quiet rural setting, the area has been transformed by adjacent developments. the massive centrally authorized tty sparked a bottom-up response: local residents started building and renting to migrants, who themselves built more, bringing in more migrants. this thriving informal local economy provides tty with much needed life and diversity. as it develops, through its own organic logic dXk is able to become a self-sustaining community. however due to the fact that the local migrants are unlikely and unable to stay on a permanent basis, there is little regard for the environment.

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397





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[rus*]
dXk2: sad demise? as an unauthorized development dXk exists under the continual threat of demolition. while home to many thousands of migrants and their local businesses, it lacks proper infrastructure (transport, electrical, sanitation etc.), and the majority of its buildings are thrown up without reference to fire regulations or qualified structural engineers. as a result, such suvs* can come to be regarded by local officials as blots upon their jurisdictional maps. in the summer of 2005 dXk was partially demolished to make way for a prospective new development. however as soon as the bulldozers left, the peasant construction teams re-entered, and dXk was rapidly rebuilt for a new wave of rural-to-urban migrants.

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397

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The new legislation gave the danweis* an incentive to hand their accumulated excesses of land either back to the state, to developers, or to develop the vacant plots themselves, prompting increased landuse efficiency in existing danwei* owned areas. More efficient land-use patterns emerged across Beijing as land-value based on land rent began to demarcate urban function. Traditional retail centers like Wangfujing and Xidan witnessed a renaissance as a result. As the state maintained land ownership it also monopolized land supply. Although the market managed the resale or transfer of land-use rights, and so to some extent determined their value, the initial sale of land-use rights, and therefore the volume made available to the market, occurred solely through the state. This mixed system of a relatively free market operating within constraints laid down by an ultimately dominant state is the basis for Chinas current socialist market economy.

to make up for the shortfall local governments had to increase financial gain within their jurisdiction. Since revenue in cities came mainly through tax upon enterprise, facilitating business growth and attracting investment became a top priority. This made local governments overly keen on developing transport and communications infrastructure, often at the expense of social infrastructure like parks. The most profitable means to extract revenue from land in China is through the sale of land-use rights, and so the local administration pursued a course of supplying new development land through the highly contentious process of development zoning and the subsequent expropriation of rural land. This was facilitated by the state exercising eminent domain over the use and conversion of rural land. The incredible rate at which these development zones were created in the 1990s has been referred to as zone fever. According to Hok-Lin Leung, a scholar on urban planning, every administration, provincial as well as municipal, has bypassed central government to create their own development zones and embarked on an orgy of development and competition, each setting up its own tax policies, subsidy schemes and land policies. Spatially this created a renewed wave of inefficient land use. Many such zones were discontinuous from the existing urban program, and the over supply of land meant many remain sold and fenced in, but undeveloped. This further exacerbated the splatter pattern* witnessed on Beijings urban periphery. The central government has recognized the myriad problems with such a developmental pattern and have at times issued directives putting new zoning practice below province level on hold. However, such practices continue unabated, and probably wont change unless a new precision emerges in the fiscal relationship between central and local government. Such strong commercial interests surrounding urban development and the strength of the local government sideline any attempts at urban planning beyond those which are first and foremost economically motivated. On the one hand these conditions are very favorable for the stimulation of local level economic activity. On the other however, the longer costs are often hidden. One obvious problem is the erosion of the effectiveness

of environmental planning. The official urban plan of Beijing drawn up by the Urban Planning Bureau featured a green belt separating inner Beijing and outer Beijing. In reality, over 80% of the first green belt has been consumed by developers, and second green belt (planned as an amendment for the failure of the first ring) is already 40% gone and rapidly diminishing*. In such a spatially competitive and flexible environment even international businesses can lose out. One such well-publicized example is the forced relocation of Beijings flagship McDonalds restaurant. In Beijing, McDonalds signed a 20-year lease agreement for what was the worlds largest McDonalds [] However in December 1995, 2 years into the lease, McDonalds noticed bulldozers leveling the structures adjacent to the Great Palace. To their chagrin, Hong Kong-based Li Ka Shing, one of the worlds wealthiest men, was backing a commercialresidential redevelopment site two blocks away from Tiananmen Square and this meant Ronald had to pack his McNuggets and leave. Industry experts say that McDonalds should more or less accept this as a part of doing business in a country whose rulers have placed a higher emphasis on rapid redevelopment than on contractual niceties. Though they complained quite publicly and managed to get a weak promise from the administration to receive a future comparable site, McDonalds appears to understand that this is the risk of doing business in China. Ian Hunter, Big Mac in China: And the Cattle Grew Restless Anomalies Project (Stockholm School of Economics & European Institute of Japanese Studies, 1997)

5.5 Rural Land Losses and the Introduction of the Farmland Protection Act The states dominance in the field of land supply has made the expropriation of farmland for conversion into urban land (and the subsequent sale of landuse rights) a highly profitable activity for urban administrations. However it has caused large areas of fertile farmland to be lost to urban development and zoning practices. In 1988 Land Management Law was introduced to impose an annual land quota for the conversion of farmland to prevent excessive losses, and to protect against environmental damage. However, alongside fiscal restructuring and the changing priorities of local governments, these issues only ever attained a certain level of importance, and excessive land conversion continued. Between 1986 and 1995, agriculture lost more than 1,973,000ha to non-agricultural uses. It is thought that this figure, supplied by the China Statistical Bureau, may well be significantly low as it fails to acknowledge the large number of unauthorized transactions. The rapid depletion of farmland has caused alarm amongst top officials, and eventually in 1994 the State Council passed a set of Basic Farmland Protection Regulations, more popularly know as the Farmland Protection Act. The act strictly forbids conversion of highly productive farmland into construction sites. This however has contributed much to the already discontinuous nature of the development zones and new urban areas set up by local governments. Development plans which encounter protected farmland have simply moved further out and built themselves on the other side, causing higher infrastructural cost and spatially inefficient structures. Beijings urban periphery has become a patchwork of agricultural and urban development, prompting the term splatter pattern*.

5.4 The Fiscal Reform, Zone Fever and Green Belt Retreat In the pre-reform era central government controlled almost all revenue and expenditure. Between 1949 and 1953 44% of the total fiscal revenue went to the central state. After 1978 various reforms led to a fiscal contracting system whereby local government only had to hand-over a fixed quota or a percentage of their fiscal revenue to higher-level government. This contract was subject to adjustment and negotiation. Effectively, this gave local government an incentive to stimulate the local economy as this would now generate more revenue for themselves. However, such concessions stipulated the fiscal revenue to central government. In 1994, the central government introduced a tax assignment system to increase central governments share of the tax revenue. As a result, the central government revenue increased from 22% in 1993 to 55.7% 1994. The local governments greatly decreased share of fiscal revenue meant that many were spending more than they where able to bring in. In order


policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397



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6.0 Conclusion
2

The spatial restructuring of the Chinese City is deeply rooted in the changing regime of accumulation, and the changing administrative structures which surround it. This process of transformation is driven by changes in macro-level policies, and by interactions with local social, political and economic forces. Some of these draw deep from Chinese history, exhibiting characteristics which derive from territorial structures centuries old, and the basic central / local dualism at their core. The constant tension between the TMP and PCMP is more pronounced and confusing in the post-reform era as the boundary between the state and the market has become blurred. The transformation of Beijing should not be interpreted as transitional, which implies a convergence with the spatial pattern of existing market-driven cities. Instead, the process of interaction between domestic and global forces, and between top-down and bottom-up processes, is highly vibrant and open-ended. Under the dynamic environment of policy sprawl*, the traditional notions of urban sprawl produced in the West, where state / market, and urban / rural relations are more defined, fails to provide an adequate understanding of the growth of Chinese cities. Policy sprawl is the result of the pragmatic and often ad-hoc approach of the Chinese administration when dealing with new demands on space. By retaining its dominant relationship to land while allowing a degree of market definition and flexibility, the Chinese state has managed to integrate the ingenuity of the local economy into nation wide policies of spatial production. By clearly setting forth cities as the driving engines of growth the Chinese Administration opened up an unprecedented wave of urbanization on all levels. This appears to have been the state strategy in facilitating a new political economy.


At the urban periphery where the fastest and the most heterogeneous development is happening, the emergent spatial pattern and its efficiency will be highly dependent on any potential resolution between the two dominant competing modes of urbanization and socio-economic interest. These can be characterized as state or formal-economy driven projects, and local or bottom-up developments. At the moment, such resolution is the wholesale demolition of the space formed by bottom-up economy. As demonstrated in the case of the RUS*, where rural and urban phenomena developed into a symbiotic relationship, the potential for formal urbanization and local bottom-up urbanization to work together to produce healthy, efficient and lively urban tissue is completely missed by such demolitions. As urbanization continues to be the driving engine, the most pressing question for Chinese urban policy makers, planners and architects is, how can architecture and planning integrate such complex emergent forms and make them work for the Chinese economy, rather than allowing them to deteriorate into the shanty towns that haunt so many of the worlds rising economies.

stamp of the Jin dynasty (11151234)

stamp of the Ming dynasty (13681644)

stamp of the Qing dynasty (16441911)

stamp of the Kuomintang government (19111949)

stamp of the Chinese Communist Party (1949present)

stamp of Chinas Coming Out Party (2008 Olympics)

policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A hutong [glo] p.680 1B migrant enclave [glo] p.682 2C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D speedsprawl [glo] p.686 8E splatter pattern [glo] p.688 2A

hukou [glo] p.678 7E doorstep urbanization [glo] p.676 2C development [txt] p.222223 SUV [glo] p.688 1B RUS [glo] p.684 6E floating village [glo] p.678 6B

village-within-city [glo] p.690 7B dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A SEZ [glo] p.686 4B dayuan [glo] p.676 3B

Beijing ringing [glo] p.672 4D tandabing [glo] p.688 6C rollover migration [glo] p.684 6D floating population [glo] p.676 8E caddies [img] p.691 7F7J tail unit [glo] p.688 4C

rapidly diminishing [img] p.397



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[policy sprawl*]
1. sprawl created by policies which though aimed at reducing sprawl in fact augment it 2. policies which themselves sprawl opacity created by sprawling policies obscures the possibility of legal development and facilitates widespread abuses on the part of corrupt officials and their private partners
TOWERING CHINA domino installation, 5.2m x 3.7m DCF / Neville Mars
 
certainty dream

[floating village*]
the floating village* is chinese public-private collaboration perfected: streamlined deployment of a massive no-wages, no-demands workforce (reminiscent of the communist era) constructing government endorsed urban mega-projects for a fiercely competitive real-estate market. while the village itself is endlessly mobile, those within it are locked in place. this photo shows a floating village* completely surrounded by the brand new wangjing skyline.

wangjing
3

[im]mobile





floating village
7

0



Floating village
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floating village
7





floating village
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floating village
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dynamic density*
2

Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

re-engineering the city

Neville Mars text: Neville Mars / Adrian Hornsby research: Elaine Ho, Yue Hongdan

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E





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MONSTER METROPOLIS
2

FORMS WITHIN THE MODERN CITY ARTICULATE A COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE. SUCCESSIVE GENERATIONS OF DESIGN SOLUTIONS ARE REMAPPED ON TOP OF ONE ANOTHER WITHIN A CONTINUOUS CHANGE-RESPONSE-ADAPTATION CYCLE. AN EVOLUTIONARY PROCESS ENGENDERS THE NOTION OF AN ORGANIC FORCE. THE CITY BECOMES A BEAST: POWERFUL, DISAGGREGATED, INTRACTABLE, OPERATING ACCORDING TO A LOGIC OF ITS OWN, AND WITHOUT REFERENCE TO AN OPERATOR. DISTRICTS BECOME ORGANS, HIGHWAYS ARTERIES, URBAN GROWTH THE EXPRESSION OF A DISTINCT AND MONSTROUS WILL. RAPIDLY THE URBANIST FINDS HIMSELF LOCKED IN BONDAGE TO HIS OWN CLICH. EFFORTS TO TAME THE BEAST ARE REMEDIAL; OVERARCHING DESIGN IDEAS SUBJUGATED TO CONDITIONS IMPOSED BY A SOPHISTICATED METROPOLIS.

YET THIS MONSTER ANALOGY IS IN CHINA ESSENTIALLY PASS. SHEER SPEED OF CHANGE HAS EFFECTED A RADICAL BREAK. CITIES ARE EITHER CREATED ANEW OR REBUILT UTTERLY. THERE CAN BE NO EVOLUTION TO FLASH DEVELOPMENT. INSTEAD A CORE PROFITMOTIVE DRIVES MULTIPLE HYBRID VENTURES IN THE PRODUCTION OF ONE-GENERATION-URBANISM. THE MASS INDIVIDUALIZATION OF SOCIETY, IN COMBINATION WITH FRESH OUT-OF-THE-PLASTIC MARKET MECHANICS, STRIPS THE PROCESS OF ANY SUPERIOR ORDERING PRINCIPLE. NEO-CORBUSIAN LANDSCAPES ARE BEING BUILT, BUT ON GROUNDS OF PRAGMATISM NOT IDEALISM. THOUGH DENSE, PROJECTS ARE PERFECTLY UNINTEGRATED, AND THE RATIONAL CITY IS NOT ACHIEVED. STATE CAPITALISM REPLACES SLOW EVOLUTION AS THE PRIMARY MANUFACTURER OF SPATIAL CONFIGURATIONS.

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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OPERATING UNCHECKED AND AT HYPERSPEED, SUPPLY IS NOT SUBJECT TO MATURE DEMAND. SPATIAL PRODUCTS COMPETE ON THE BASIS OF THE CITY THEY ARE SUPERSEDING (READ DEMOLISHING), NOT ON THE FUTURE CITY THEY ARE COLLECTIVELY CREATING. THE DESIGNER NOW WORKS ON THE LEVEL OF THE HYPER-METICULOUS MICROPLANNING THE CHROME-FINISH ON THE BELLS OF 1,200 DOORS; THE WINDING ROAD WITHIN THE GATED COMPOUND WHILE THE SUM OF THESE METICULOUSLY DESIGNED MOMENTS I.E. THE SYSTEM ITSELF REMAINS UNDESIGNED. INSTEAD THE CITY IS THE SPATIAL DERIVATIVE OF MARKET-DRIVEN UNINTENTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: MUD*. MUD* IS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING URBAN FORMS FASTER THAN PLANNERS CAN MAP THEM, CITIES ABSORB THEM, OR CONSUMERINHABITANTS REJECT THEM. THE POTENTIAL NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF MUD* LOOM LARGE DUE TO THE ESSENTIAL INELASTICITY OF REAL ESTATE PROJECTS. WHILE THE INVISIBLE HAND THOUGHT

TO GUIDE CAPITAL MARKETS IS ABLE TO KEEP TURNING, MUD* FORMATIONS ARE CAST IN CONCRETE AND RESULT IN STATIC CONFIGURATIONS. A SINGLE ITERATION OF THE BOOM-BUST CYCLE WITHIN CITY-BUILDING WILL HAVE LONG TERM CONSEQUENCES FOR CITY SHAPE AND PERFORMANCE. MUD* DEFINES THE ULTIMATE FORM. FRAGMENTATION BECOMES THE ULTIMATE THREAT. THE PURPOSE OF THE CITY IS TO FACILITATE DIRECT CONTACT BETWEEN LARGE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE. IF THE CITY CEASES TO REMAIN LINKED TO ITSELF, IT FAILS. A BODY WHICH OVERSEES THE WELFARE OF THE CITY AS A WHOLE, AND THE PROFITABILITY OF THE CITY AS A WHOLE, WILL NECESSARILY CONSIDER THIS ITS PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY. THEREFORE ANY OVERARCHING THEORY MUST ADDRESS THE KEY ISSUE OF MAINTAINING FLOWS. THE ORGANIZATION OF DENSITIES THROUGHOUT THE URBAN REGION IS PIVOTAL TO THE EFFICIENCY OF TRIP-PROCESSING AND TO THE SAFEGUARDING OF URBAN INTERACTIVITY. AT THE HEART

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E





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OF COMPREHENSIVE URBAN DESIGN IS A METHODOLOGY FOR LOCATING DENSITIES INTELLIGENTLY.


2

MODERNISM EXHIBITS A DENSITY FETISH. CULTURAL CONSCIOUSNESS GRANTS IT A METROPOLITAN AURA. THE ICONOGRAPHY OF ADVANCED SOCIETY, LEANING CUPIDINOUSLY TOWARD SCIENCE FICTION, INVARIABLY ASSUMES ULTRA-DENSE STRUCTURES OF CLOSE-KNIT MATHEMATICAL BRILLIANCE, THROUGH WHICH INHABITANTS SURGE AS MULTITUDINOUS AS ELECTRONS. THE AVERAGE RESIDENTIAL CONSUMER HOWEVER, DESPISES DENSITY AND MOVES TO THE SUBURBS. HIGH DENSITY INTERVENTIONS WITHIN EXISTING CITY

FABRIC OR SATELLITE SUPPORT TOWNS HAVE PROVED NOTORIOUSLY UNSUCCESSFUL. WHILE BOOSTING THE DENSITY OF PEOPLE PER SQUARE KILOMETER, THEY FREQUENTLY DIMINISH THE DENSITY OF SERVICES PER PERSON, AND VITIATE DIVERSITY. ANALYSIS OF PREVALENT URBAN DISTRIBUTION PATTERNS SUGGESTS A NORMATIVE DENSITY CURVE WITH TWO ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS. FIRST: HIGH PERFORMANCE DENSITY IS COMPOSED OF A CONTEXTUAL MATRIX OF DENSITIES, INCLUDING PEOPLE, PROGRAMMATIC MIX, AND FUNCTIONALITY. SECOND: DENSITY OCCURS WITHIN A TEMPORAL CONTINUUM OF URBAN EXPANSION AND SHIFTING DENSITIES. PLANNING DENSITY CANNOT BE REGARDED IN TERMS OF STATIC ACHIEVEMENTS, BUT INSTEAD MUST INCORPORATE AN UNDERSTANDING OF FLUID INTERACTIONS IN BOTH SPACE AND TIME: DYNAMIC DENSITY*.

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E





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DYNAMIC DENSITY* (DD) CONCEIVES OF AN OPTIMAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FOOTPRINT AND POPULATION. URBAN EXPANSION PATTERNS ARE INTELLIGIBLE AND SHOULD CONFORM TO STAGE OF GROWTH MODELING. SCALES RUN FROM VILLAGE TO METROPOLIS, AND FROM RURAL TO URBAN ECONOMY. THE RESULTANT FRAMEWORK PROVIDES OBJECTIVES IN TERMS OF SIZE, SHAPE AND URBAN TEXTURE FOR DEVELOPMENTS ACROSS A WIDE REGIONAL NETWORK OF HIERARCHIES AND INTERDEPENDENCIES. THIS FACILITATES FUTURE PLANNING. IN PLACE OF REMEDIAL MEASURES (E.G. TRANSPORTING DENSITIES OUTWARDS), DD SERVES TO RENDER URBAN FLOWS MORE EFFICIENT. THE CITY AND ITS NEW CONSTRUCTIONS ARE EVALUATED USING ACCESSIBILITY AS THE BENCHMARK OF QUALITY. DD FORMULATES A TWO-TIERED APPROACH: DYNAMISM PLANNING IN FLEXIBLE FRAMEWORKS THAT ANTICIPATE CONTINUOUS CHANGE EVEN AFTER COMPLETION DENSITY PROMOTING COMPACTNESS AS AN UNAMBIGUOUS DIRECTION TO COORDINATE CHINAS PLANNING EFFORTS. DD* GOALS ARE FREQUENTLY UNATTAINABLE IN CITIES THAT HAVE FORMED UNDER SYSTEMS OF SLOW EVOLUTION. DEFENSIVE HISTORICAL IMPERATIVES HAVE FOCUSED MORE ON INCULCATING A POLITICIZED SENSE OF PLACE THAN ON INTEGRATING THE INEVITABILITY OF FLUX. THE SITUATION IN CHINA NOW IS DIFFERENT. DENSITY ITSELF IS IRRECUSABLE. POPULATION AND BUILDING
CUNNINg CITY BURB p.26 SPONgEMALL BURB p.53 COURTYARD VILLA BURB p.30 gBD p.160 BBT p.251 BOLONI HOTEL p.510 STAY WITHIN THE gREEN EDgE*

DENSITIES ARE AMONG THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD, AND MUD*DEFINED INTERACTIONS PRODUCE NATURALLY COMPACT TYPOLOGIES. APPLYING DYNAMIC PLANNING LOGIC TO THE PHENOMENON OF MUD* OFFERS THE OPPORTUNITY TO HARNESS CHINAS PREDILECTION FOR HIGH-RISE HIGH-SPEED DEVELOPMENT AND SET IT TOWARD THE PRODUCTION OF FUTURE-PROOFED CONFIGURATIONS. IN STARK OPPOSITION TO EVOLUTIONS MULTI-GENERATIONAL URBAN MONSTER, FOR WHOM THEORETICAL APPROACHES TO DENSITY ARE NOT BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE, IT BECOMES CONCEIVABLE TO BUILD CITIES WHICH ARE FORWARDS COMPATIBLE: URBAN STRUCTURES CREATED BY FLASH VENTURES, WHICH THROUGH AN UNDERSTANDING OF DD INCORPORATE WITHIN THEIR FABRIC THE POSSIBILITY FOR FUTURE ADAPTATION. IMMEDIATE INSTANTIATIONS OF MUD* FORMS CAN BE HARSH, BUT ANTICIPATE FURTHER CHANGE. READ-RESPOND OPERATIONS ARE PERFORMED AFTER THE FACT OF CONSTRUCTION, BUT UPON LAYOUTS WHICH ENVISAGE SUBSEQUENT EVOLUTIONS. WHAT TRADITIONALLY HAS BEEN PATCHWORK BECOMES REFINEMENT. WHAT INITIALLY APPEARS TO BE BRUTALLY INORGANIC BECOMES HUMANIZED AND COLORIZED. THE SHEER THRUST OF HIGH-SPEED URBANIZATION BECOMES A MEANS TO SURPASS THE NATURALLY MONSTROUS CITY. DD MAKES THE MONSTER WORK FOR YOU.

PROMOTE CITIES Of 1 TO 2.5 MILLION

NO NEW CITIES

PUC p.53

L-BUILDINg p.176

DISCOURAgE BRICkIfICATION p.672 PROTECT RURAL AREAS

[village ]

[town ]

[city ]

[metropolis

[xiao kang* grid ]

[Super Satellites ]

[Jing Hu* urban field ]

DD IN ACTION TYPOLOGIES SIT WITHIN SPECIFIC POINTS OF THE DENSITY CURVE AT EACH DEVELOPMENTAL SCALE. THESE WORK IN CONJUCTION WITH POLICIES WHICH CURB NON-DYNAMIC EXPANSIONS.


dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71



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DCF PREMISE
3

DD* MODEL
# DYNAMIC QUALITIES REQUIRE FLEXIBLE PLANNING SOLUTIONS # SPACES PRODUCED UNDER CURRENT CHINESE HYPERSPEED ARE STATIC # COLLECTED TOGETHER THESE FORMS RESULT IN MUD* # HYPERSPEED DEVELOPMENT WHICH ANTICIPATES CHANGE CAN LEAPFROG MUD* ABNEGATE PATCHES INCORPORATE DYNAMIC DENSITIES

# URban DEnSIty IS PhySICal anD haS a gEogRaPhICal loCatIon # URban DEnSIty haS ShaPE, anD a tRaIt oF DISPERSIon # DEnSIty IS thE RESUlt oF ItS ContExt anD It gEnERatES a ContExt # DEnSIty DynaMICS aRE tRaCEablE # It haS a SPEED anD a DIRECtIon

# density is dynamic!
5

# compact yet comfortable integrated yet fleXible

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E





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Exploding Beijing
CASE BEIJINg: DD RE-ENgINEERS THE CAPITAL
-EXPLODING BEIJING: ACCELERATING FRINGE / DISINTEGRATED CENTER

MAPS OF BEIJING CANNOT BE MADE FAST ENOUGH. THE SPEED OF RENEWAL DEFIES ANY STATIC REPRESENTATION. EVEN A PERFECT DATASHOT FROM SPACE WOULD BARELY CAPTURE THE REALITY OF A CITY IN TRANSITION. GROWTH BECOMES STEP-CHANGE IN THE CONTEXT OF JUDDERING POLICY SHIFTS AND AN ENVELOPE OF EXTREME TIME COMPRESSION. THE CITY LEAPS SIMULTANEOUSLY OUTWARDS, INWARDS AND UPWARDS. WHILE THE GOAL IS COMPLETE METAMORPHOSIS, IN REALITY THIS IS NEVER ACHIEVED. EVEN A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING ABOUT WHAT SHAPES WILL EMERGE REMAINS ABSENT. IMPACTS UPON URBAN SOCIETY ARE NO LESS RAMPANT OR CAPRICIOUS. FURIOUS OUTBREAKS OF THE NEW CITY THREATEN TO CHOKE THE WHOLE, OR DERACINATE IT ALTOGETHER FROM ITS OWN SENSE OF PAST AND PLACE. OPULENT CEILINGS RAISE CHANDELIERS FROM THE RUBBLE. MIGRANTS PICK OUT BRICKS FOR THEIR OWN MAKESHIFT VILLAGES. A BALLOONING POPULATION OF XIAO KANG* AND INTERNATIONAL URBANITES RUSH TOWARD THE NEW DOWNTOWN NODES OF WORK, LIFE, AND LEISURE. AT THE SAME TIME LOCALS ARE BEING SWEPT UP AND RELEASED OUT IN THE SUBURBS. THE TWO GROUPS GLANCE AT EACH OTHER AS THEY CROSS UNDER THE SHADOW OF A WRECKING BALL. THE NEW URBAN FABRIC IS DENSE, YET COMMANDEERS AT ONE END WIDE TRACTS OF ARABLE LAND; AT THE OTHER EATS INTO THE HISTORIC HEART. STARCHITECT MEGAPROJECTS ARE CONCEIVED AND INSERTED AT DESIGNATED POINTS TO PROJECT THE IMAGE
dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258 coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537 dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321 zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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OF THE CAPITAL CITY OF A FUTURE SUPERPOWER. MULTILANE HIGHWAYS LACERATE THE CENTER. CUT-OFF TISSUE IN BETWEEN IS THROWN OUT IN CHUNKS TO THE MOST RAPACIOUS OF ACTORS WITHIN A STILL TEETHING REAL ESTATE MARKET. ALL ALONG THE URBAN FRINGE, WAVE AFTER WAVE OF RESIDENTIAL MEGABLOCKS, GIVE RISE TO ENTIRELY NEW SUB-CITIES. THE COMBINED PRODUCT IS AN EXPLODING BEIJING: ONE FRAGMENTING OUTWARDS WHILE DISINTEGRATING AT THE CORE. THE CONCENTRATIONS OF URGES AND OUTBURSTS GLITZ, SHANTY TOWNS, WALL STREETS, MODERN AMENITIES, NEON, LUXURY, STREET VENDORS, OLD STYLE MAOISTS ETC. IS AS BEWILDERING AS THEIR FRACTURED SOCIO-SPATIAL INTER-RELATIONS. EXCLUSION IS EVERYWHERE AND OF EVERYTHING (PEOPLE, WEALTH, POLICY IMPLEMENTATION, RULE OF LAW), AND DIVISIONS APPEAR WITH THE SAME HARSHNESS AND IMMEDIACY AS ALTERATIONS TO THE STAGGERED SKYLINE. CRITICISM BOTH FROM OFFICIALS AND CITIZENS FOCUSES ON SEVERE CONGESTION AND RISING REAL ESTATE PRICES. BUT WITH CHINAS CONTINUING RECORD-BREAKING LEVELS OF INVESTMENT AND TOTAL LOVE FOR THE MOTOR CAR, THERE IS LITTLE TO SUGGEST ALLEVIATION ON EITHER FRONT. UNABASHED, LOCAL PLANNING DEPARTMENTS CONTINUE TO OK (READ PARTNER) EVER MORE STRATIFIED AND DISPARATE PROJECTS. AT THE HEART OF BEIJINGS CURRENT CONTRADICTIONS AND SNAP RELOCATIONS IS THE FRAUGHT SHIFT FROM MONOCENTRIC RING CITY TO POLYCENTRIC MULTICITY. SHANGHAI HAS PURSUED A POWERFUL SATELLITE MODEL; THE PEARL RIVER DELTA AN OPEN MARKET REGIONAL NETWORK. BEIJING IS AT THE HEIGHT OF ITS AMBIGUITY AND BLUR. AS SUCH, IN THE MIDST OF PERIPHERAL BALLOONINGS, COARSE UPSCALING, CONGESTION TO THE POINT OF DYSFUNCTIONALITY, HAZE, AND BLATANT SPEED, IT IS THE ESSENTIAL CASE STUDY FOR DD.

*
8

*
dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258 coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537 dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321 zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E





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BEIJINg: PORTRAIT Of A CITY BEIJING IS MUCH BIGGER THAN YOU THINK, AND EXPANDING MUCH FASTER THAN OFFICIALS ADMIT. THE DEFAULT WESTERN VERDICT IS THAT IT SPRAWLS. BUT SPRAWL IS A TERM FREQUENTLY BANDIED, YET SELDOM SUBSTANTIATED WITH A DEFINITION. IT HAS BECOME A CATCH-ALL PEJORATIVE FOR UNWELCOME URBAN EXPANSION. IN ONE SENSE THERE IS IN FACT NO SPRAWL IN THE CHINESE URBAN CONTEXT. BEIJING SITS AT ONE END OF THE LARGER METROPOLITAN FIELD OF JING HU* A CONTINUOUS (SEMI-)URBANIZED

REGION WITH AN AVERAGE DENSITY OF 944P/KM2. THIS FIGURE IS COMPARABLE WITH A MEDIUM-SIZED AMERICAN CITY. ON THE LEVEL OF PURE DENSITY, JING HU IS SPRAWL FREE. HOWEVER, ANALYSIS OF BEIJING REVEALS A NUMBER OF NEW FORMS WITH DISTINCT QUALITIES, SOME OF WHICH IMPACT NEGATIVELY UPON THE URBAN DYNAMIC. PASSING FROM THE HISTORIC CENTER (THE BLACK HOLE) OUT THROUGH THE SURROUNDING URBAN CORE (THE PERICENTER) INTO THE RURBANIZING FRINGE (THE GREEN EDGE) AND THE WIDER FIELD OF GRAVITY, WE HAVE IDENTIFIED THESE FORMS AND EVALUATED THEM AGAINST THE ESSENTIAL CRITERION OF CITY ACCESSIBILITY. A SPRAWL SUFFIX IS USED TO INDICATE RISK.

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E Jing Hu [glo] p.680 7E [img] p.71





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Sprawl has become a catch-all pejorative for unwelcome urban expansion. DCF sprawl derivatives describe and evaluate specific characteristics of that expansion which impact negatively upon accessibility.
2

. .
3

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E





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1. BEIJINg: RINg BY RINg A TYPOLOgICAL SECTION


2

BEIJING IS A CITY DOMINATED-DEFINED-DIVIDED-CONNNECTED-SERVICED-NAVIGATED-RATIONALIZED AND MOST COMMONLY DESCRIBED BY ITS RING ROADS. THE CONCEPT FOR A RING AND RADIAL SYSTEM CAME INTO EXISTENCE IN THE 1950S, AND CLEARANCE WORK STARTED IN 1965. HOWEVER, THE CONTINUOUS BELT HIGHWAYS OF TODAY HAVE ALL BEEN COMPLETED DURING THE POST-REFORM ERA. PLANNING STRATEGIES PREDICTED THAT THE FOURTH RING ROAD WOULD SERVE AS THE EDGE OF THE CITY CENTER, THE FIFTH LINK SUBCENTERS, AND THE SIXTH CONNECT SATELLITE TOWNS. REALITY QUICKLY OVERRAN THE SKETCHES. BY 2007 THE CITY CENTER SPILT WELL BEYOND THE FIFTH RING ROAD IN ALL DIRECTIONS. BEIJINGERS TALK RINGS ABOUT THEIR CITY TO TELL EACH OTHER WHERE THEY ARE (NEAR THE NORTH THIRD RING ROAD, BETWEEN WEST THIRD AND FOURTH ETC.). THE RINGS ALSO MAP THE TYPOLOGICAL AND POLITICAL HISTORY OF THE CITY.

hutongs* carry an undeniable social quality, and provide the essential context for the citys historic sites and traditional identity. Bulldozing and redevelopment, dating from the 1990s, has eaten away large patches of the old fabric. A new wave of interest, inspired in part by cultural heritage foundations, but also by monied foreigners seeking a more Chinese environment, has recently rehabilitated the value of the courtyard home. However, although large parts of the center are now officially protected from demolition, renovation-restoration-mod-con makeover projects are pursued without sensitive regulation, and rapid and often crude transformation of the historic environment continues.

Second to Third Ring Road THIRD RING ROAD: 4km long; 2.9km2 surface area The Maoist reconditioning of old Beijing maintained the cellular principle but redrew the cells, this time carving the city into separate units controlled by different danwei*. Each danwei* integrated home, work and leisure within the confines of the cell, thus negating the need for commutes. However the units themselves expanded, directed by their own individual needs and ambitions, and with little regard for overall city form. Development was frequently land-inefficient and uncoordinated. At the same time that the car-inspired American consumer was driving out past the urban periphery to build a new suburbia, China too, under a productionist logic, was pushing beyond its city-boundaries. Ironically before cars or roads were introduced on any major scale, Beijing already found itself encircled by suburbs. A single housing typology was deployed: six story soviet-style walk-ups, all facing south.

The First Ring Road At the center of historic Beijing lies the Forbidden City, itself encircled by the Imperial City (a collection of lakes and parks), in turn set within the old inner and outer city. A defensive city wall (now the Second Ring Road) once girt this basic structure of an annulus of citizen dwellings around the preserve of the emperor. The origins of Beijings ring-based transit system lie in the 1920s, when a 17km ring tram line was constructed to connect key points throughout the non-imperial wall-bound area. The disassembly of the tram lines in the 1950s reduced this once clearly defined route to a collection of road surfaces. Gradually these ceased to carry any special significance. Nowadays, the First Ring is little more than a question: What is it? Where did it go? Within the Second Ring Road SECOND RING ROAD: 32km long; 1.4km2 surface area

Third to Fourth Ring Road FOURTH RING ROAD: 65km long; 4.7km2 surface area The reforms which started in 197 marked a new era for Beijing one of land values, investment in infrastructure, and real estate projects. Beijings already distended spatial configuration fueled big road thinking. The new highways of the 190s, including the Second and Third Ring Roads, lashed Beijing with asphalt. The nascent development market responded with highway tower mass housing: slabs, crosses and hash shaped extrusions*, footed on large roads, reaching 25 stories, and wholly car-dependent. The dramatic upscaling of both building and street resulted in a new urban coarseness.

Central Beijing is still dominated by hutongs*. A clear grid of major avenues demarcate cellular congregations of tight single story dwellings, themselves clustered around courtyards and along roads barely wide enough for a single car to pass. Historically this structure indicated celestial order; today it forces the bulk of traffic down a limited number of invariably busy intercellular arteries. The cultural and indeed economic value of the hutongs* is a source of no little controversy. Inhabitations are mostly cramped and basic, with many homes relying on communal toilets for elementary sanitation. However, the

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

Fourth to Fifth Ring Roads FIFTH RING ROAD: 9km long; 5.5km2 surface area The sudden rise of Beijings super rich, in conjunction with the emergence of profit-driven development opportunities, rapidly led to a bevy of luxury residential compounds. These bear many of the same features as

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E



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Low-rise Walk-up High-rise

Coarseness of residential Beijing *

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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their predecessors (from danwei* blocks to highway towers) cellularity, non-integration, homogeneity and essential monolithicism and yet the pronouncement of these qualities in the young market context is that much harsher. The compounds walls and guards reinforce economic disparities with physical divides. The building process is one of seal and sear, by which a single block is fenced off, scorched of all previous qualities, and an international luxury imaginary is imported and materialized on site. Lying at some distance from central Beijing, these exclusive gated communities, with their idiosyncratic reinterpretations of the Eurovilla or the Chinese watergarden (though never so traditional as to forget several generous carports), lay value claims to American suburban lifestyle, yet further stress the already ailing transit arteries.

speed of development around beijing 25 km2 50 km2 100 km2 per year

beijing
2007

Fifth to Sixth Ring Road SIXTH RING ROAD: 190km long; 13.km2 surface area Beijings relentless onslaught into itself razing old neighborhoods to erect new build throws both tissue and residents outwards. Mass redevelopment of the old city creates a reverse stream of former locals in need of new housing. Equally, new wealth and opportunities draw waves of migrants, and generate ad hoc program in cheaper locations. Beyond the Fifth Ring Road, among starkly delineated compounds and the slow concrete curves of elevated highways, mass creations of affordable housing unexpectedly arise. Monofunctional program quickly generates a bottom up response. Entrepreneurial zeal and obscure regulatory environments provide a fecund base for informal villages, which quickly emerge to service enormous underplanned developments, each housing thousands of people, and yet providing little else. As the perimeter of the city keeps creeping outwards, former villages are engulfed, and all along the rurbanized fringe buildings suddenly start gaining stories. Within the spreading mass, temporary pockets appear worker enclaves specific to construction sites; brief floating villages* inside the restlessly shifting city.

new town jingjin

Beyond the Sixth Ring Road As Beijings formal expansions bleed into booming villages (themselves upscaling) and bustling factories (with significant worker populations compounded on site), the question arises as to where the city actually stops so as to define where it can be stopped. The influence of the capital is still apparent, with new roads being built and logistics networks developed. But at this remove the gravitational force exerted on the commuter by the center is weak.

TS DEVELOPMEN BAN CORE ND THE UR D THAT THEY BEYO SPEE EXNG AT SUCH ARE EMERGI OF SEEPING D* LOGIC AFY THE MU FROM GRAVIT DE K FREE N AND BREA RE. THEIR PANSIO BAN CO E OF THE UR THE TIONAL FORC CT REVEALS Y N IN EFFE BAN GRAVIT RAY PATTER SP ELD OF UR OF THE FI SCOPE RSA. AND VICE VE DUSTRY PARKS, IN BUSINESS ExAMPLES: LLAGE BOOM HOTELS, VI RKS, HTDZS, PA

SPEEDSPRAW

L*

tianjin
2020

Predominantly through land appropriation for development zones urbanization in the region will accelerate to 100 km2 per year by 2010 and beyond. Beijing Planning Commission

* * *

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E





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BUT SERVE ERISTICS BIG OFL CHARACT ER CITY. BIT SPRAW MAY EXHI TO A LARG SERVICED, THE CITY RANSITION ND UNDERHE T S TO T BRUTAL A E NECADDITION E WITHIN SUPPLY TH LY APPEAR SARY PHAS Y L S AY QUICKL AY INITIA AS A NECE SIC INFRA RIALISM M OPMENTS M ENEU EVEL NG IN BA R ISSUE. FICIAL D TS LACKI AL ENTREP HEALTHY T SETTLEMEN Y AND LOC T NFORMAL TO BECOME BUT DENSI ANSION. EQUALLY I ABSORBED URBAN EXP AND LIFE. ESSARY COGNIZED CHANGE OF CAN BE RE OTENTIAL FIRST GES THE P STRUCTURE ACKNOWLED TIONAL AT L* MONOFUNC TRANSPRAW SITY AND TICULARLY H PAR SHEER DEN G THROUGH D GENAN*, THOU UBCENTER. HAS FORME N TONG YU TIA VIBRANT S U* A RUS* ExAMPLE: GHT RAIL BECOME A G XIAO KO D TO OF THE LI H DON E NSHIP WIT SUE OF HAS EVOLV E OPENING C RELATIO O THE TIS . WITH TH OTI RATED INT DIVERSITY THE SYMBI ELY INTEG ED LOCAL G NHANC ER IS LAR ERATING E E SUBCENT MASSIV LINK, THE BEIJING.

TR

AWL* ANSPR
D E

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E





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Intentionally and unintentionally Beijing is moving away from the monocentric city model
2

,
3

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E





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2. BEIJINg: HOME
2

BEIJINg HAS LONg SOUgHT TO DECONgEST THE CENTER BY MOVINg PEOPLE OUT. LAND REfORM HAS BEEN USED AS A TOOL TO fACILITATE THIS PROCESS. THE CHIEf PRODUCTS HAVE BEEN MASSIVE DEVELOPMENTS WHICH STRETCH THE PERIPHERY, AND THE LOSS Of DOWNTOWN IDENTITY.
-MOVERS AND SHAKERS (FROM RENOVATION TO RELOCATION) Unlike say New York or New Orleans, New Beijing is being built right where Old Beijing used to be. There was a city there already when they started, and as a result, the much-vaunted building boom of the last decades has equally been a demolition boom. Whole sections of the former city have disappeared. When the Urban Planning Museum unveiled an enormous 1:750 scale model of Beijing 2020, residents flocked less to see what was new than to find out if their homes had been swallowed up by the future. One of the main factors facilitating the progression of bulldozers across much of the old city has been its own parlous state of maintenance. Older buildings prone to deterioration inevitably suffered during the years of political instability leading up to the Communist accession to power in 1949. Thereafter the establishment of public ownership disincentivized inhabitants from the practices of good husbandry (most commonly associated with proud homeowners). Governmental responsibility for the aging housing stock proved insufficient in a context where repairs, let alone modernization, were not only onerous and expensive, but equally lacked any clear reward. By 1990 50% of inner city houses were deemed dilapidated. The House Transformation Program was initiated with a renovation objective in mind. A lack of funds and a lack of beneficiaries other than the actual residents (on the whole simple Beijing families with little political clout) made early progress slow. However in 1992 the Beijing government opened the trade of land use rights to profitable real estate venture, thus introducing market logic to a situation of poor homes on potentially valuable land. Private developers started to take an interest. . .. A small project in Debao neighborhood in 1993 involved the insertion of a number of commercial units into a Transformation Area. The sale of the new build recuperated the bulk of the renovation costs, thus firmly establishing the developmental value of land locked up underneath old houses. Traditional Beijing hutongs* were forced into an increasingly precarious position: for one, their poor state of repair meant they were commonly regarded by local officials as backward, an eyesore, and costly to address; furthermore, they were occupying land oozing latent profit. The outlook worsened in 1994 when a major restructuring of the tax system funneled a greater proportion
dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258 coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537 dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321 zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E





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of tax revenue toward central government, and encouraged local governments to be more entrepreneurial in dealing with the shortfall. Suddenly finding themselves dangling, the sale of land use rights was an obvious place to turn. In the name of tackling the poor state of existing housing, commercial developers were invited in, essentially to remove the former families, level their homes, and start building more profitable program. To ensure a healthy governmental slice, a strong emphasis was placed upon office and commercial space; and in order to accelerate this process of wealth generation through House Transformation, extremely favorable conditions were created for the development of Transformation Areas (the total volume of which within the four inner city districts strikingly rose from 1,577ha in 1993 to 2,210ha in 1995). With the land coming in so fast and easy, and with the value of the new build shooting up, returns for developers were such that real estate quickly became one of the most attractive sectors in the continuously booming economy. Thus through a series of policy shifts, what initially looked like an expensive public works program became a major driver of economic growth, and a means toward the realization of urban capital. In essence, it became a producer of MUD*. The backlash of this economic surge was that a policy whose origins lay in an objective to deal with poorer citizens leaky roofs and disintegrating windows was leased out as a tool to facilitate the cheap fast mass removal of thousands of downtown families. A couple of examples: under the green light of House Transformation, the Hong Kong real estate tycoon Li Kai Shing took on 10ha of downtown Beijing, just to the east of Tiananmen Square. In six months the area was evacuated, 1,00 families relocated, and the original houses wiped. In their place now stands the Wangfujing Oriental Plaza: a steel and glass megacomplex of shopping malls, office buildings, five star hotels, and service apartments. In West Beijing, one sixth of the inner city was emptied out including 14,000 families again in the name of House Transformation, in order to develop an area which would shortly be renamed Financial Street. Still under construction in 2007, Financial Street has explicit aspirations to become Wall Street China. With its towering skyscrapers and tackling cranes, it is a paragon of New Beijing. In the years 19912003 it is estimated that 500,000 Beijing families were relocated. Occasional nail families refuse to go, and mesmeric photos still turn up in the Western press of a single house engulfed by a vast construction site. But for the most part, people take the compensation, and move further out to new cheap mass housing. For the moved, living conditions generally are more advanced on a simple developmental scale, though undeniably something else is lost.

MONOSPRAWL*
URBAN EXPANSION THAT EXERCISES PRESSURE ON THE ACCESSIBILITY OF THE CITY BY GENERATING AN EXCESS OF FREQUENT TRIPS OF SIGNIFICANT LENGTH DUE TO INTERNAL INADEQUACIES. COMMONLY THESE ARE NEWLY DEVELOPED AREAS WHOLLY DEPENDENT ON OTHER AREAS FOR THEIR OWN BASIC NEEDS. THEY ARE MONOFUNCTIONAL, SOCIALLY STRATIFIED, LACK VITALITY, AND, OVERWHELMINGLY, ARE CAR-DEPENDENT.

ExAMPLE: VILLA PARKS*, REFORM HOUSING

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

0



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More roads, more traffic... Beijing is caught up in a self-fulfilling prophecy


-

,,

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E





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Costs to the city arising from congestion are equally alarming. Average vehicle speeds on the main streets of Beijing dropped to 12kmh in 2003, with lows of 7kmh, effectively throwing drivers back to biking speeds. Traffic affects the central ring roads for 13 out of 24 hours. This not only presents substantial direct losses in terms of fuel and man hours, but also degrades city accessibility. Places are often simply too arduous to get to. Professional and recreational decisions are restricted accordingly, leading to significant business losses.

From any position Beijing casts a pattern of blind spots places too inaccessible to treat as regular destinations. One has to conclude in daily life that much of the city is out of reach. 3. BEIJINg: CAR
-

BEIJINg HAS PURSUED A POLICY Of MASSIVE HIgHWAYS IN THE MIDDLE Of THE CITY. THE CHIEf PRODUCTS HAVE BEEN CONgESTION AND COARSENESS.
-JAM

, - ., ,.
A key contributor to Beijings poor performance in terms of traffic is the city layout, which both historically and currently displays a tendency toward cellular structures, with marked schisms between large intercellular roads and small intracellular roads. Hutongs*, communist dormitory compounds, blocks of dormitory extrusions*, gated communities, and the big office towers of the CBD and elsewhere all internalize large areas of road surface which are either closed off or unamenable to through traffic. Consequently, vehicles are all driven down a limited number of larger, more arterial roads. These tend to be two-way and multi-lane, with regular traffic knots at left turns and around compound exits and entrances. Crucially, these points of first contact with urban public space are gruesomely inhospitable. Most contemporary developments are either car orientated by design, or simply lack a competitive public transport option. Developers continue to break new ground in the suburbs without reference to a larger urban plan, and infrastructure is constantly playing catch up.

Building a massive road system in Beijing even at a time when car ownership was rare proved to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The summary evictions and constructions of the ring road building in the 190s were the prelude to the flash motorization that started in the mid 90s. People were seduced into cars, but equally they were pushed. Extreme disruptions to the city fabric made by the new super-roads rendered alternatives increasingly impossible. Distances got bigger, and the urban environment markedly less friendly to bicycles, or pedestrians trying to cross a road to get to a bus or subway stop. Add to this the allure factor the status attributed to car owners in China and the result has been unequivocal: Beijings vehicle fleet doubled from 1 to 2 million in the years 1997 to 2003, topped 3 million in 2006, and is expected to exceed 5 million well before 2020. Road building however has not been able to keep pace. In spite of massive efforts, including a doubling of paved surface area in the post-reform period up to 1999, maintaining former car-to-road space ratios is simply not feasible. Nor is it desirable. Inner city rings have consumed vast areas of downtown space, created stark divides between neighborhoods, and impacted severely upon air quality, not least in dense residential areas. Exhaust fumes account for over 50% of Beijings pollution, making it the worlds most polluted capital, with distinct corridors of dirty air hanging over the major routes. Respiratory issues are pandemic across the city, with lung cancer being the number one cause of death.

The contradiction between real estate development and traffic regulations is the biggest problem now facing Beijing. Wang Qishan, Mayor of Beijing (2004)

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E





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2000m
3

4000m

6000m

INfRASPRAWL*
IMBALANCE BETWEEN ARCHITECTURE AND INFRASTRUCTURE RESULTS IN INFRASPRAWL*. THIS CAN BE DEFINED AS, ON ONE HAND, DISRUPTIONS OF SPATIAL PATTERNS CREATED BY EXCESS INFRASTRUCTURE, AND ON THE OTHER, INFRASTRUCTURE THAT CONSUMES MORE SPACE THAN IT CAN SERVE OR GENERATES MORE TRAFFIC THAN IT CAN PROCESS. THE CITY KEEPS GETTING BIGGER, BUT USEFUL TISSUE GAIN IS MINIMAL - THIS IS COMPARABLE TO A RELENTLESS PURSUIT OF BUILDING HEIGHT, WHERE ACCOMMODATING ADDITIONAL UPPER FLOORS WITH ELEVATORS MEANS SACRIFICING SPACE AT THE BOTTOM TO SHAFTS. INFRASPRAWL* SUGGESTS A SIMILAR OPTIMUM APPLIES TO THE FOOTPRINT OF THE CITY AND ITS INFRASTRUCTURAL NETWORK. ExAMPLE: THE COMBINED SURFACE OF BEIJINGS RING ROADS COVERS AN AREA SUBSTANTIALLY LARGER THAN THE ENTIRE DOWNTOWN.

total 2 28 km
5

ring 2 1.35km2

ring 3 2.92km2

ring 4 4.68km2

ring 5 5.47km2

ring 6 13.81km2
dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258 coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537 dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321 zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E





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4. BEIJINg: SOCIAL

MUD*
2

INTRODUCTION Of MARkET REfORMS HAS fOCUSED ON URBAN DEVELOPMENT AS A MAJOR DRIVER Of ECONOMIC gROWTH. THE CHIEf PRODUCT HAS BEEN CRUDELY STRATIfIED CITY ISLANDS WHICH fAIL TO INTER-RELATE.
-EXPANSION AND EXCLUSION

The uncompromising overwriting of dense areas of Beijing in order to instate the ring road system has had radical consequences for the urban texture. Flyovers and clover leaves drew apparently arbitrary lines across old neighborhoods, introducing sudden divisions, cutting off odd quadrangles, and isolating the pedestrian within unnavigable skeins of road. To connect the different patches, thousands of footbridges have been erected, and tunnels dug.
4

At the same time, individual building projects have ballooned in size, disbanding the notion of local neighborhoods. Social interaction and commercial services have been displaced outside the residential realm in pursuit of large-scale compounds for the new middle class. The concept of suburbia is offered at high-rise density and executed with blatant copy-paste efficiency. Large wall-like congregations of towers encircle a small communal space on top of a parking garage. These are the new building blocks of Beijings remarkably coarse urbanism. In the cases of Tian Tong Yuan* and Wang Jing, single step developments accommodate populations approaching 500,000 people. Operating on such a scale, typological decisions rapidly define the masterplanning of an area. The new residential compounds act as single stamps, and yet their size makes them urban elements. They are inserted with minimum regard for circulatory ramifications or urban facilities, forming suburban bubbles within the downtown, and stark high rise at the fringe. The sum of these Chinese stamps, loosely jostled among highways and leftover space, comes to define the city, reducing urban design to the practice of bloated architecture*. The tendency of the stamps to be directed at single income brackets has also led to increasing social segregation. Expanding economic divisions within contemporary Chinese society find expression in fortified real estate projects, and while the introduction of a housing market has been a major growth driver toward the xiao kang* society, with it have come jagged housing inequalities. These are all the more striking when it is considered that communist standards of accommodation parity (at least among workers within individual danwei*, if not across the city or across the urban / rural divide) are for many within living memory.
dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258 coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537 dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321 zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E hukou [glo] p.678 7E

SPRA WL C REAT DUCE ED S THEM PRAWL BU BY POLI C SELV ES A T IN FAC IES WHI POLI CH W RE S T AU CIES E G PRAW O DEVE LING MENT IT, RE INTEN LOPM BSCURES . OP DED ENTS AND THE PART TO R ACI P P AND OF L EFACI OSSIBILI TY CREA OLICIES OCAL LITA W TED TY O OFFI TES F AC BY E HICH CIAL ExAM WIDE HIEV XCE S AN PLE: SPRE D TH T TRY AD A ING LEG SS EIR INTO HE HUKOU BUSE PRIV * SY S ON AL TION TH ATE STEM PART THE OF T E CITY P NERS LAGE . S HA HE RURAL PROPER W ROBLEMAT S FU HILE IZES SHIF FRIN RN TING GE ALLO MIGR WI ANTS ARE TEMP ISHED BE . ILLEG SURR ORAR AL R NG THE IJIN OUND Y DW ENTI URBA ENG WI ED A NG W ELLI NIZA TH A ND U ITH RIM LTIM NGS. THR OF C IN VILATEL ONST Y SW OUGH EXP ANTL ALLO Y WED. ANSION THES E

POLI

CY S PRAW L*





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For some old Beijingers housed within the more powerful danwei*, post-reform welfare structures have encouraged the purchase of their previously stateowned apartments. However for those drawn to the city by new opportunities and without the appropriate hukou*, the market is much less affordable. In addition to large scale estates for low to medium income inhabitants (such as Tian Tong Yuan* and Wanjing), and the upmarket gated plazas of flashier towers or villas (and the top end of Beijing real estate has entered the global elite of super-exclusivity), at the bottom end, illegal and uncoordinated development is profuse. Migrant worker housing may be attached directly to specific construction sites. Equally it may develop informally in response to an official urban expansion project (as with Dong Xiao Kou*), or operate as an illegal suburb bubble in its own right (as with Zhejiangcun*). Often these different faces of stratified Beijing are spatially dislocated. Sometimes they are wedged cheek by jowl in crammed sub-centers, leading to bewildering juxtapositions of dilapidation, wealth density, and communist history. Within such contexts, new expensive multi-story compounds dissever themselves from the nearby lower buildings by height and access ways, leading to a 3-D stratification* effect. The various strata correlate directly to a particular relationship with public space, whereby basement shanty-towners rely on their feet, commieblock residents traipse to the subway and back, and inhabitants of gated communities are permanently shielded from the urban realm by the windscreens of their cars. For the time being Beijings famously over-heated real estate market shows little sign of cooling. With apartment prices continuing to rise at 2030% per year (well in excess of stagnant wage growth), the haves are not only maintaining their distance from the have-nots they are in fact pulling ever further away. This accelerating economic disaggregation is another, this time socio-economic, aspect of exploding Beijing.

*
6

>10,000RMB/m2 ,00010,000RMB/m2 6,000,0000RMB/m2 4,0006,000RMB/m2 7 <4,000RMB/m


2

Updated from Huang, Youqin Housing Inequality in Transitional Beijing (2005)


nannies

Income homogeneity in Beijing has given way to income bracketing among residents. Apparently mixed income areas belie the reality of extremely segregated space. High rise commands higher rent, with separate movement envelopes through public space. At the building level, tower basements are colonised by migrant workers.

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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THE OffICIAL RESPONSE


AT THE HEART Of ALL PLANNINg STRATEgIES HAVE BEEN TWO gOALS: ENCOURAgE gROWTH CURB CONgESTION. THESE CONTINUE TO DOMINATE CURRENT PROPOSALS, EVEN THOUgH METHODS HAVE CONSISTENTLY PROVED TO BE AT ODDS WITH RESULTS.

-BEIJING 2020 MASTERPLAN In 2004, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning produced the revision to the 1993 Beijing Master Plan for the year 2020. The objective was to create new guidelines to accommodate the citys unprecedented expansion and tackle inefficiencies that had accumulated since the introduction of market reforms. Confronted by a city that seemed to be growing recklessly and even randomly, the first comprehensive plan for Beijing including elements aimed to respond to market (and market-like) urbanizing forces was formulated. The result was the Beijing Spatial Development Strategy. Further tweaking has yielded the contemporary planning proposals, which are focused on three key points. 1. High intensity development is to be promoted eastwards toward the metropolis of Tianjin, and, as an environmental counterbalance, low intensity development is to progress westwards toward the mountains. This forms the structure for the Two Axes Two Corridors Multicenters plan. By this, Beijing aims to retain its traditional north-south and east-west axes, and gain two corridors on either side of the center (running north-east to south-east, and north-west to south-west), which focus development, connect up and strengthen outlying polycenters, and thus relieve congestion in the downtown area. The Eastern Development Corridor is to be a dense straight of highly urbanized land incorporating both residential and business program along an arc of new satellite cities. The Western Development Corridor is to remain low density, with a focus on high-tech, eco-industry, culture, entertainment and leisure. 2. Designated cultural, historic, and environmental sites and open spaces are to be protected from (further) urban development. 3. The principle of develop transportation infrastructure first is to guide planning, and land development is to be confined within the capacity of the transportation system. Development of transportation infrastructure is focused on three modes: i. A massively upgraded road network, encompassing country roads, village streets, linkage routes, and expressways. The explicit aim is to bring node to center trips down to a one hour drive. Expressways are to be built connecting every suburban district and country center to the central downtown area, and linkage routes are to run from subordinate towns to country centers. ii. An extensive subway and light rail network. 20 lines comprising 561km of track are to be up and running by 2015 (from 4 lines of 142km in 2007). iii. An improved and diversified bus service. The wide reaching Bus Service for Every Village Project is to be continued, ensuring comprehensive bus services for all urban and rural residents of the Beijing area. Within the city proper, the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) will serve to reduce traffic by addressing the positioning of congestive bus stops. The BRT will be assisted by a centralized intelligent taxi data system, which will serve to minimize the number of empty cab journeys. *


Two Axes Two Corridors density curves 2000, 2005

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E



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REALITY CHECk
2

CONTEMPORARY APPROACHES CONTINUE TO ExPRESS THE SAME ESSENTIAL CONTRADICTIONS: DECONgEST THE CENTER BY ENfORCINg LONgER TRIPS; STAUNCH MOTORIZATION BY fEEDINg IT MORE ROADS. THE PLANS MOVE OUT PEOPLE WHO DONT HAVE CARS, BUILD BIggER BLOCkS AT BIggER DISTANCES, AND ExPECT PUBLIC TRANSPORT TO SOLVE COMMUTINg. THIS WILL NOT PROVE EffECTIVE. THE ILLUSIONS DRAWN UP WILL HIT A HARD REALITY IN THE fORM Of INACCESSIBILITY: THE ESSENTIAL PHENOMENON WHICH CHARACTERIZES MODERN BEIJINg. -WHILE BEIJING IS ADVERTISING ONE FUTURE, CURRENT REALITIES ARE STRAINING IN ANOTHER DIRECTION. THE HISTORY OF BEIJING PLANNING / REALITY MISMATCHES IS ONE OF ACTUAL GROWTH CONSISTENTLY OUTPACING NOT ONLY PLANS, BUT THE RATE AT WHICH THOSE PLANS ARE BEING DRAWN. PROJECTIONS ARE OUTDATED ON RELEASE AND LOOK LIKE OLD MAPS. PLANNING IS REDUCED TO POSTPLANNING: A MIXTURE OF WISTFUL THOUGHTS AND POLITICAL PROPAGANDA. DISPARITIES BETWEEN BEIJING AS A SUBJECT FOR URBAN DESIGN AND BEIJING AS A RAPIDLY EXPANDING MEGACITY ARE EXACERBATED BY THE PRIORITIZING OF ECONOMIC GROWTH (OFTEN REAL ESTATE DRIVEN) OVER DESIGN OBJECTIVES; THE INFORMALITY AND OBSCURITY SURROUNDING EACH AND EVERY INDIVIDUAL DEAL BETWEEN PRIVATE DEVELOPERS AND LOCAL OFFICIALS; AND THE LARGE, EXTREMELY ACTIVE, AND CONSISTENTLY IGNORED INFORMAL POPULATION. THUS THE CHIEF AGENTS OF SPATIAL PRODUCTION ARE DISENGAGED FROM CITY-WIDE PLANNING PROCESSES, WHILE PLANNERS THEMSELVES REFUTE THE MUD* PROCESSES BY WHICH DEVELOPMENT IS ACTUALLY OCCURRING. AS MUD* CONTINUES TO ADD MATTER TO THE REAL BEIJING, A FAKE BEIJING IS EQUALLY UNDER PRODUCTION. FAKE BEIJING 200 IS A GLOBALLY MARKETED CITY. IT CONSISTS OF A LIMITED NUMBER OF STARCHITECT BUILDINGS (BEIJING IS MODERN), UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES (HISTORICAL SEAT OF IMPERIAL POWER), AND THE VERDURE WALLING OF INFRASTRUCTURE (GREEN


CITY, SUSTAINABLE CITY). IT IS LENT FURTHER SUPPORT BY VIRTUAL BEIJING 2020 A CITY WHICH EXISTS ENTIRELY ON HARD DRIVES, AND IS VISITED VIA CGI FLYTHROUGHS OF IMPECCABLY METROPOLITAN DISTRICTS (GLASS WRAPS, STEEL DIAGONALS, ELECTRONIC MUSIC ETC.). FAKE BEIJING BRANDS ITSELF FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS, FOR TOURISTS, AND FOR ITS OWN POPULATION PLACATING UNREST WITH THE PROMISE OF AN ENTIRELY NEW CITY A NEW FUTURE LYING JUST BEYOND TOMORROW. BUT FAKE BEIJING IS ENGAGED IN A CONSTANT AND EXPENSIVE PROCESS OF SAVING FACE. IT DEMANDS ENORMOUS CASH INJECTIONS FOR ITS HUBRISTIC MEGAPROJECTS (THE OLYMPIC STADIA, CCTV, THE NATIONAL GRAND THEATER ETC.). SHABBY AREAS ARE PUSHED OUTWARDS. ENORMOUS VOLUMES OF WATER ARE DRAWN IN FROM OUTLYING CATCHMENT AREAS AND DISTANT DIVERTED RIVERS TO MAINTAIN THE THEATER SCREEN OF LUSHNESS. 30 YEAR OLD TREES ARE TRUCKED IN, STOOD UPRIGHT, AND CONNECTED UP TO AN AUTOMATIC HOSE ... CLEARLY THIS IS NOT A MODEL OF SUSTAINABILITY. TISSUE BETWEEN THE GLOBAL MEGAPROJECTS IS BECOMING COARSER AND HARSHER, AND THE WATER TABLE (NOW 90% CONTAMINATED) IS AT AN ALL TIME LOW. FAKE BEIJING PREENS ITSELF IN THE MIRROR AND WAITS FOR THE OLYMPICS. ALL THE WHILE, REAL BEJING IS SUBJECTED TO SPLINTERING FORCES.

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E



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jianwai soho Architectural projects have increased in scale to the point they arrogate the role of urban planning
-

,
3

cctv
4

third ring road

90% urban ground water polluted

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tonghui yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 tian tong river bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E





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Top-down megaprojects periodically push small informal developments further


2

out to the periphery.


-

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E





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POPULATION OBSCURINg MILLIONS


INITIAL PERIOD Of RAPID ExPANSION 19491957 First period of Sino-Soviet planning for Beijings population. Boundaries are redrawn and population limits set. Limits exceeded 3 new plans developed aimed to restrict population to between 5 and 6 million Real population 7.2 million (up from 2.7 million in 1953) Growth plan indicating development strategy for Beijing metropolitan area through to 2010: population limit set at 11.6 million Real Population growth: 10.13. million Of the additional 3 million, roughly 70% can be accounted for by the influx of migrants

REALITY CHECk I: MAPPINg gROWTH


2

1957 1951965 1959 1992 19912001

HISTORY REVEALS THE TOTAL INEffICACY Of ALL PLANS TO DATE, AND THE SIMPLER TRUTH Of UNCONTROLLED UNCOORDINATED ExPANSION, AMONgST WHICH THE fAILURES Of SATELLITES AND gREEN BELTS ARE A CASE IN POINT. PLANNINg MEASURES HAVE IN fACT SERVED ONLY TO AggRAVATE THIS PROCESS.

CONTINUINg RAPID ExPANSION

CURRENT 2020 fORECASTS 2007

1959

1983

Beijing Spatial Planning Strategy suggests a population of 161 million Analysis based on availability of water sets the limit at 1 million Estimates for population size in 2007 suggest the 1 million cap has already been surpassed.

If 1.6 billion is used as the total national population in 2020, the method predicts a Beijing population of 26 million in 2020. If the floating population is included based on its current percentage of the total population, then the Beijing population will be between twenty-four and thirty million people by 2020. Chengri Ding, Yan Song & Knaap, G. Growth Scenarios for Beijing 2020: Technical Report on Beijings 2020 Comprehensive Plan Revision Process Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (2005)

fOOTPRINT PLANNINg THE PAST


1950 1990
5

Area within the historic city walls defining the metropolitan footprint of Beijing: 62km2 Area of Beijing metropolitan area: 430km2 (c.7x) Growth plan indicating development strategy for Beijing metropolitan area to 2010 released. Contemporary footprint already exceeds expected growth. Footprint runs beyond 2010 proposal

1992 2000

1991

2000

SATELLITES fROM 40 TO 3
195
6

Plan released including proposal for 40 new satellite towns around Beijing 24 satellite towns built covering 100km2 of land and housing almost 1 million people Plans released promoting further satellites as a means to curb congestion Plans continue to pursue a decongestion-via-population-dispersion strategy. From the original 40 satellites, then 24 satellites, the focus is narrowed to 14 existing satellites. The expectation for 2010 is for these satellites to grow in population to 1.94 million (increasing population share from 14.% to 22.7%1) Contemporary plans acknowledge that of the 14 satellites only 3 (Shunyi, Tongzhou and Yizhuang) are investment-worthy. Nevertheless, the Beijing Old City Transformation and Relocation Plan continues to propose relocating residents from within the Second Ring Road out to the satellites.
1 Chengri Ding, Yan Song & Knaap, G. Growth Scenarios for Beijing 2020: Technical Report on the Beijings 2020 Comprehensive Plan Revision Process Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (2005) p.20

195197 192 1992

2007

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

0



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DESCRIBINg gROWTH: THE SHAPE, DIRECTION & TExTURE Of BEIJINgS DENSITY DYNAMICS
PANCAkE MODEL (SPREADINg OUT) IN SPITE OF REPEATED EFFORTS TO CONTROL POPULATION AND FOOTPRINT GROWTH, BEIJING CONTINUES TO EXPAND. BEIJINGS MUD* FORMATION HAS BEEN OBSERVED BY FIELDS OUTSIDE OF URBANISM. ANALYSIS OF BEIJING USING GRAVITATIONAL, ECONOMIC, AND NUCLEAR MODELING YIELDS A SINGLE RESULT: BASIC UNIDIRECTIONAL OUTWARDS SPREADING. THIS PATTERN, WHICH SEEMS TO ELUDE PLANNERS, IS ONE MOST RESIDENTS OF BEIJING KNOW ALL TO WELL. THEY DESCRIBE THEIR CITY BY REFERRING TO ONE OF THE LOCAL SNACKS THE TANDABING OR BIG SPREADING PANCAKE. THE INFRASTRUCTURAL RINGING OF THE CITY IS SIMULTANEOUSLY PROOF AND CAUSE OF THIS PATTERN. IT ACKNOWLEDGES THE PANCAKE, SUPPORTS IT, AND ENABLES FURTHER PANCAKE-LIKE EXPANSION.

RAISIN BREAD MODEL (ExPANDINg) THE CITY IS UPSCALING AS ARE ITS ELEMENTS: ITS ROADS, ITS BUILDINGS, ITS URBAN BLOCKS. BEIJING BECOMES A UNIVERSE IN WHICH EVERYTHING IS SIMULTANEOUSLY SWELLING. WITHIN THE EVER COARSENING TISSUE, POINTS BECOME MORE DISTANT FROM ONE ANOTHER, LIKE RAISINS IN A RISING LOAF.

DONUT MODEL (HOLLOWINg OUT) PROTECTIONS COVER THE HISTORIC CENTER, CREATING A DEVELOPMENTAL HOLE. SIMULTANEOUSLY HIGH RISE FOR THE NEW MIDDLE CLASS FOOTS ITSELF ALONG EXISTING HIGHWAYS, CREATING AN EXPANDING RING OF NEW BUILD. SLICK ARCHITECTURE AND PRIVATIZED COMMUNAL SPACE LENDS THIS FORMATION A GLAZING OF MODERNIZED APPEAL.

COOkIE MODEL (fUSINg TOgETHER) FEAR OF THE BIG CITY HAS MOTIVATED POLITICIANS TO PROMOTE SMALLER SETTLEMENTS, AND DIVERT METROPOLITAN GROWTH INTO PERIPHERAL SATELLITE CITIES. BUT DOES SMALL EQUAL STABLE? LOCATED TOO OFTEN TOO FAR FROM THE CENTER TO PROVIDE AN ATTRACTIVE CONNECTION, MOST OF THE PLANNED SATELLITES HAVE FAILED. BUT SUCCESSFUL SATELLITES ARE AS MUCH A CAUSE FOR CONCERN. UNDER THE PRESSURES OF MASS MIGRATION AND SUPERHOT REAL ESTATE, DEVELOPMENTS ON CHEAP LAND NEAR THE CENTER SWELL FAST. FOLLOWING THE GRAVITATIONAL ANALOGY, EACH SATELLITE SUFFERS ITS OWN DENSITY DECAY ALONG THE FRINGE. INSTEAD OF MAKING DISCRETE SHAPES, THE SPREADING FRINGES TOUCH AND FUSE, LIKE COOKIES GROWING TOGETHER ON A BAKING TRAY.

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E





certainty

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Counterintuitive curve: from the center outwards Beijings buildings get bigger; density drops
2

DENSITY

Floating Village* HEIGHT: story (bunk beds)

: ,,
3

Hutong* HEIGHT: 1 story

Modern Tower Development HEIGHT: 30 storys

Dormitory Extrusion* HEIGHT: 20 storys

Dormitory* HEIGHT: 6 storys


5

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E





certainty

dream

REALITY CHECk II: MUD* DOMINATION


2

WHERE PLANNINg HAS fAILED, MUD* HAS NOT.

-A FAR CRY FROM THE VISION OF OFFICIAL PLANS, BEIJING IS DOMINATED BY MUD*. MUD* DOES NOT RESPECT LIMITS. MUD* DOES NOT HOLD TO SATELLITE PLANNING. OVER THE LAST TEN YEARS THE CITY BEYOND THE FIFTH RING ROAD HAS EXPANDED MORE THAN 25%, COMPRISING A POPULATION OF 6 MILLION A 40% SHARE OF THE ENTIRE CITY. MUD* HAS EATEN THROUGH THE FIRST PLANNED GREEN BELT AND STARTED ON THE SECOND. BY WORKING FASTEST AT THE FRINGE AND WITH NO IN BUILT REGARD FOR OVERALL CITY FORM, MUD* HAS CREATED A LARGE DISAGGREGATED URBAN MASS. APPLICATIONS OF PLANNING ARE PERFORMED AFTER THE FACT RATHER THAN IN ANTICIPATION OF THE FUTURE. THE CONTEMPORARY POSTPLANNING RESPONSE TO MUD* IS MORE MULTICENTERS AND MORE INFRASTRUCTURE. THE TERM MULTICENTERS DEMONSTRATES AN UPDATE FROM SATELLITES IT ACKNOWLEDGES AND AIMS TO ENCOMPASS THE LARGE DEVELOPMENTS WHICH HAVE BROKEN OUT ALONG THE BEIJING FRINGE. BUT STILL, IN ESSENCE, THE MULTICENTERS REPRESENT THE LONG MAINTAINED AND EVER UNSUCCESSFUL AMBITION TO DECONGEST THE CENTER BY MOVING PEOPLE OUT. THE INFRASTRUCTURAL COMPONENT IS NO MORE PROGRESSIVE. THE PROPOSAL FOR THE WORLDS LARGEST SUBWAY NETWORK, IN COMBINATION WITH THE WORLDS DENSEST INNER CITY RETICULATION OF HIGHWAYS, IRONICALLY PROMISES TO RENDER THE CITY OUT OF REACH TO MILLIONS OF ITS INHABITANTS. THE INEVITABLE PRODUCTS ARE MORE CONGESTION, MORE COARSENESS, AND LESS AMENITY. PLANNED STATIONS WILL BE INACCESSIBLE, AND THE TRAFFIC SITUATION WORSENED. LANDING AN INFRAHYBRID ON TOP OF EXPLODING BEIJING WILL NOT PROVE EFFECTIVE. IT FAILS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE TEXTURE OF THE CITY IT INTENDS TO SERVE. THE PERIPHERY OF THE CITY WILL CONTINUE TO RUSH OUTWARDS, WHILE THE CENTER BECOMES EVER MORE DISRUPTED AND ATOMIZED. * * *
dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

Planned Greenbelt 1

Greenbelts actively contribute to outward expansion and fragmented tissue patterns. Local parks and private greenspace such as on the Lbuilding offer more rationalised solutions. Beijings first greenbelt was consumed by urban development before it left the drawing board. In an attempt to outpace urbanizing forces a second greenbelt has been planned. It is so large and vague it lacks any meaning in the spatial context.

Planned Greenbelt 2

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E





certainty

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Stretchmarks
2

Infrahybrid

Beijings stretched perimeter and planned infrastructure do not match up. The concentration of subway stations is in the center. Half the population lives in suburbs well beyond reach of this system.
3

To accommodate a Beijing

28 m
6

population of 20 million by 2020 at Fourth Ring Density would require a 28m expansion of the current perimeter

foot / bike access to subway network in 2020

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E





certainty

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2005
Density per ring

INTEgRATED PLANNINg - DD
2

UNDERSTANDINg AND WORkINg WITH MUD* IS PARAMOUNT. AT THE CENTER Of MARkET fORCES IS THE MARkET NEED fOR ACCESSIBILITY. ITS NOT A MARkET If YOU CAN ONLY gET TO ONE STAND.

CONTEMPORARY BEIJING CONTINUES TO PRESENT A STEEP DENSITY CURVE WITH HIGH LEVELS OF CENTRAL MASSING WITHIN THE FIFTH RING ROAD THE PLANNED NEW SUBCENTERS (RED) AND SATELLITES (LILAC) PROPOSE SHARPLY DELINEATED POINTS OF HIGH DENSITY. THIS FAILS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT GEOGRAPHICAL SPREADING WILL MOST LIKELY RESULT IN AN OVER FLATTENING OF THE DENSITY CURVE.
Suinyi 0.9m

Yizhuang 0.7m

Tongzhou 0.9m

Source: www.alain-bertaud.com
7

LARGE LABOR MARKETS ARE THE ONLY RAISON DTRE OF LARGE CITIES Alain Bertaud, The spatial organization of cities (2004)
OffICIAL gOAL population 18m
dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258 coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537 dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321 zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

historic center reduced to 0.9m urban core


8

4.9m 2.7m 5.7m

sub-centers satellites

2020
Planned additions
00

small townships 1.8m (+2m in rural areas)

0

certainty

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In spite of higher operating costs and logistical complexities, and often straight in the face of policy, cities continue to grow. The return benefit is growth of the labor market. The power of large labor markets offsets associated costs to such an extent that global megacities have risen in size, GDP and population to the point that their influence rivals that of their domicile nations. The disinclination of governments to accept the megacity is irrelevant in the face of its market power. On these grounds the continuing expansion of Beijing in particular expansion of the working population can be regarded as more grist to its mill. However, the key to understanding the large labor market is that for it to provide the return i.e. for the efficiency gains of the enlarged market to generate profits over and above the cost of the required additions to infrastructure and civic services it must be unified. For the labor market to operate effectively, employers and employees within it must be able to compete with each other across the board. As soon as it becomes fragmented, and the fragments cease to compete, then further expansions present the city with costs, but no competitive gain. In effect, the new tissue is more expensive than it is worth. Preventing fragmentation of the labor market requires that it be mobile. Any job must be accessible to any worker from any part of the city.

Source: An Artificial-Neural-Network-Based Constrained CA Model for Simulating Urban Growth and Its Application, Qingfeng Guan, Liming Wang (University of California, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2005)

MARKET -D MENT O RIVEN UNIN TEN CCURS. NING A IN SPI TIONAL DEV ND DES IGN AT TE OF SLICK ELOPECT LE BOTH C V ITY AN PLANDEVELO EL, AN UNC D P OO PM EXISTI ENTS CONTI RDINATED SL ROJN NG CI EW OF TY, A UES TO UPSC THE S ND BR ALE TH UB EAK G E AMORPH URBS. THE ROUND INVARI OUS EX IN AB PA URBAN GRAVIT NSION WITH LE RESULT: IN A F Y. IELD O F
dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258 coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

MUD*

Sprawlconstant: Following the gravitational analogy, we can imagine a sprawlconstant, describing an intrinsic density decay along the border of every urban entity. Both when the border gets longer (being streched or fragmented) or the pull between two entities gets stronger as they grow larger or closer together, this decay is augmented.

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

0

0

certainty

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Given market demands for mobility, it is unsurprising that MUD*-dominated expansion has clung to the monocentric core, and produced the tandabing (or pancake) rather than the planned satellites. Polycentric models with excessively specialized movement flows infringe upon the citys ability to crossconnect. However, a single tighter layout which incorporates subcenters will allow some trip structuring, and yet preserve city-wide mobility. Larger cities tend to polycentrify, and as has been observed by Fengjian and Zhou Yixing2, during the post-reform era of rapid growth, Beijing has progressed from the monocentric city of the 190s to a 1990s bi-nuclear city before becoming fully multi-nuclear in the 21st century. The fastest growth in term of added built volume has been along the Fourth Ring Road. Initially development focused on the north-east side, catering to the influx of foreigners with high-end compounds. Today equally on the west and even in the south vast areas are being upgraded from dormitory blocks to lower-middle class dormitory extrusions*. This has created a clear ring of residential development. Simultaneously a top down stepping-stone offensive of large specialized districts backed by the central government has spurred the diversity and growth of this ring most notably Zhongguancun, the CBD, Financial Street in the west, and the Olympic Village. These large-scale initiatives have been able to attract investment (as well as, particularly in the case of the Olympics, draw on enormous governmental slush funds) and boost employment, and by retaining proximity to the center, benefit from rather than disrupt the enormous reserve that is Beijing. Together these subcenters start to form a powerful new ring development. If we respect the imperative to preserve Beijings historic center in effect creating a hole we see a new center developing around it: an urban donut connecting the different nodes of work, home and leisure.

2 Fengjian & Zhou Yixing The Growth and Distribution of Population in Beijing Metropolitan Area: 192-2020 (2003)

* * *

accessibility considerations must factor in both travel time and travel distance = +

Density model showing urban configurations of increasing average distance between residents. The first situation closly corresponds to Beijing of the 190s. The last situation shows a business as usual scenario of ongoing suburbanization. DD aims to consolidate growth in a dense ring around the center.
Source: Alain Bertaud

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

0

0

certainty

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FEAR OF DENSITY AND CONGESTION HAS REDUCED CHINESE CITY BUILDING TO MOVING PEOPLE OUT AND ROADS AND URBAN VOIDS IN. THE RESULT: MORE FRAGMENTATION, LESS ACCESSIBILITY ....

50s

200

TOWARD A PERICENTER
THE PERICENTER fOLLOWS NATURAL MUD* ExPRESSION. PLANNINg EffORTS SHOULD CONCENTRATE OPTIMIZINg THIS EMERgENCE TOWARD AN EffICIENT fUTURE fORM.

-Dense concentrations within Beijing are not to be regarded as the problem but the solution. The mandate of the planner is to work with this imperative. Under the communist system of state allocated jobs and housing, the two were necessarily unified, but bureaucratically mismanaged. By far the greater proportion of the world has now adopted a free-market approach, apportioning the responsibility for living and working choices largely to the individual. There is no city in existence to suggest that under such conditions of relative free movement, people wont move freely in all directions: i.e. that residents will pay any attention to planning hopes for independent selfcontained elements within a larger urban framework. To quote Bertaud: the utopian concept of a polycentric city as a cluster of urban villages persists [only] in the minds of planners. In the real world, satellite-driven polycentrification leads inevitably to fragmentation, granulation, and disintegration, which in China comes with coarser urban fabric and outbreaks of monosprawl*, infrasprawl* et al. Random commutes persist, only in an ever more congested context. On the other hand, real world economic clustering has proved highly desirable. Natural concentrations of growth which remain within an integrated context form the basic structure for metropolis building. Beijing, with the developments along the Fourth Ring Road, is moving toward this inherent shape. Yet the transition is not without risk. It is important to guard against excessive specialization of districts, or to allow areas to become dominated by giant buildings positioned within massive set-backs serviced exclusively via large roads. Maintaining pan-directional ease of movement is key, with density being a vital part of any successful public transport system. To keep Beijings latent ring of subcenters fully accessible, and to curb the motorization-congestion tendency, it is necessary to transform it into a pedestrian orientated zone. Making the area where most people live, work, and travel also one which they walk through will ensure mixed and diverse programming, and a lively and naturally safer environment.
0

Beijng 2020 1,62 km2

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

0

certainty

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THE PERICENTER A DD PROPOSAL


2

DENSITY ZONINg STREAMLINES THE SHAPE Of THE CITY. DYNAMIC gROWTH TAkES PLACE BETWEEN THE THIRD AND fIfTH RINg ROADS. HIgH-SPEED PEDESTRIAN-ORIENTATED INfRASTRUCTURE SERVICES THE NEW TISSUE. THE PERICENTER BECOMES A THRIVINg CORRIDOR Of DIVERSE URBAN ACTIVITY, ABSORBINg COMMUTES, AND CONSOLIDATINg PUBLIC SPACE. THE STREETSCAPE IS REVIVED AS THE CITYS TRUE URBAN INTERfACE. -DD analysis of Beijing proposes refocusing development on the zone where MUD* is already most active i.e. between the Third and Fifth Ring Roads. The existing booming subcenters should be integrated within a continuous new center: the pericenter. This will offer the requisite space for growth within the current urban footprint. At present the density curve flattens across this zone. By raising pericenter densities to inner ring levels, it will be possible to accommodate a Beijing population of 20 million inhabitants without further pancake-like spreading. Providing space for residents and migrants within the city proper and successfully integrating the floating population will be key to controlling sprawl formations in the outlying areas of Beijing. Furthermore, pericenter development will alleviate congestion within the historic center by increasing the number of destinations located in the subcenter belt. Commuters will be absorbed into the pericenter, and through-traffic rerouted along it. The fact that the pericenter adheres closely to the current market-driven patterns makes it far less radical than the proposed satellite towns. It promises to form a unified coherent structure incorporating both top down and bottom up developmental forces in the territories where they already operate. Officially driven ventures, public-private collaborations, and low level entrepreneurial activities are all integral. The outwards creep of residential megablocks can be capitalized upon to create a clearly defined ring of high density. Recent developments such as Tian Tong Yuan* literally stop on a line of twenty story towers. Here the urban fringe is in fact a wall. This can be used as an extremely effective city edge inspiring growth to infill the pericenter rather than pursuing more distant developments of diminishing density. Shifting developmental pressure away from the geographic center has an important historical precedent. In the early years of the PRC visionary planner Liang Sicheng, foreseeing the impending conflict between the narrow streets of Beijing and modern traffic practices, proposed moving the admin-

Official 2020 expansion

Green Edge*
7

Collected together, the proposed expansions under the 2020 plan exceed the current acknowledged footprint. Effectively an entire new Beijing is added. The Green Edge* is the area beyond the urban core (as defined by the Fifth Ring Road) which is covered by the 2020 high-end mass transit plan. It aims to fulfill demands for both fast access to downtown areas and lower density suburban qualities. Combined with existing city tissue, the Green Edge furnishes Beijing with an area capable of accommodating a Beijing of 20 million inhabitants without impairing city accessibility.
0
dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E

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istrative center west and preserving the historic city core. Guided by Soviet proposals, which stressed the propaganda potential of Tiananmen Square, the CCP rejected the plans, and blacklisted Sicheng. The plans have since been recirculated and discussed in different forms. Relocating public buildings (of which there are over 400 in Beijing) to the pericenter will have two major impacts. Firstly, as trips related to official business account for a large proportion of single to low occupancy vehicles, the move will pull a major traffic contributor out of the center. Secondly, as governmental buildings can be forcibly repositioned to a fully planned location, they can be used to seed underdeveloped parts of the pericenter and drive up land values, thus incentivizing a market response. This forms the basis for the birch theory: significant hardy trees are planted in a degraded area to create the habitat within which other flora can then grow. Engendering flows of people and money fosters the creation of interprogrammatic mix among the specialized nodes. The pericenter should not be composed just of social housing and business districts, but be fully diverse, and appeal to the tourist, the shopper, and the general user. The pericenter is to be promoted through two mechanisms:

TURN YOUR PANCAkE INTO A DONUT


MICROPLANNED MEGAPROJECTS INDIVIDUAL ACTORS WITHIN GUIDED ENVIRONMENTS SATELLITES EXPLOIT THE GREEN EDGE* ILLEGAL MIGRANTS ENCLAVES FOSTER RUS*: INTEGRATE MIGRANT POPULATIONS HEIGHT / SETBACK / PROGRAMMATIC REGULATIONS LIBERATED ARCHITECTURE

1. To create a future-orientated compact plan, DD proposes a series of zones. These provide clear boundaries, with recommended densities and typologies suitable for different areas within the urban footprint. The zones act as a framework for steering future-proofed development while still apportioning considerable free reign to market players. BEIJINg ZONES BLACK HOLE* - HISTORIC CORE PERICENTER* The New Dynamic Center of Beijing GREEN EDGE* The Green Edge is the area beyond the pericenter but within the public transport footprint. It aims to offer a green moderately dense environment. FIELD OF GRAVITY* Beijings functional urban region 2. The pericenters true dynamic quality is to come from a fully integrated pedestrian-orientated high-speed public transport system. This will run in a loop through the pericenter to form a zone-backbone. By connecting the pericenter up to itself, a clear locality is given, encouraging both physical development and an enhanced sense of place. As higher densities and ease of access cluster along the ring, a new identity is formed that of a modern city center wrapped around the historic core. Beyond the pericenter buses will continue to dominate public transport (predictions for Beijings future suggest that as much as 0% of trips in 2020 will be bus dependent). This is the greenest and most cost effective solution for the greater municipal area of Beijing given the bus low vehicle to passenger weight ratio, and continuous flexibility of route planning. The pericenter will defuse the scenario of severe bus congestion in a single central location by spreading the focus of numerous bus routes from a vast region along the whole of its length. Buses coming into Beijing from the Green Edge* and more distant nodes within the field of gravity will be assimilated into the pericenter at the nearest point. Further trip processing will be run through the pericenter, and only trips with destinations inside the historic core will need to enter. Pericenter transport will be focused on the D-Rail: a maglev-travelator hybrid that renders the entire pericenter accessible to foot traffic.
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THE PERICENTER RETAINS A MODERNIST TRUST IN DENSITY. BEIJING MUST GROW UPWARDS AS MUCH AS OUTWARDS. BUT UNLIKE THE MODERNIST CITY BEIJING MUST ALSO TRUST ITS DYNAMISM. RECENT HISTORY HAS PROVED THAT STATIC INSTANT SOLUTIONS ARE OUTPACED BY ONGOING AGGRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT. WE CAN ONLY ASSUME THIS WILL CONTINUE. MUD* REVEALS THE INSUPERABLE URGE FOR OUTWARDS EXPANSION. FOR THE COURSE OF BEIJINGS FUTURE DEVELOPMENT DD PRESCRIBES FURTHER DENSIFICATION, AND A REINFORCEMENT OF THE CENTER OF URBAN GRAVITY. THE PATCHWORK OF MICRO-PLANNING IS REPLACED BY THE MORE ABSTRACT GOAL OF THE CONTINUED MARKET-DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT OF THE PERICENTER AND THE GREEN EDGE. COMPRESSING FUNCTION WITHIN THESE AREAS RECREATES PEDESTRIAN DISTANCES, AND NURTURES A HUMAN SCALE AMONG THE TOWERS.
* * *

dynamic density (DD) [glo] p.676 2D MUD [glo] p.682 6C xiao kang [glo] p.690 8C hutong [glo] p.680 1B danwei [glo] p.676 4A hash shaped extrusion [img] p.258

coarseness [glo] p.674 5C floating village [glo] p.678 6B speedsprawl [glo] p.686 7E transprawl [glo] p.688 4D monosprawl [glo] p.682 4C villa parks [img] p.536537

dormitory extrusion [glo] p.676 4C infrasprawl [glo] p.680 7D tian tong yuan [img] p.314317, 664665 bloated architecture [img] p.386387 policy sprawl [glo] p.684 5A dong xiao kou [img] p.318321

zhejiangcun [txt] p.306 2C 3-D stratification [glo] p.672 1A dormitory [glo] p.676 7C black hole [glo] p.672 6D pericenter [glo] p.682 5E green edge [glo] p.678 3E

field of gravity [glo] p.676 6E RUS [glo] p.684 6E



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A NEW URBAN DISCIPLINE


DD IMPLEMENTATION: COMBINE CLOSE CITY MONITORINg WITH A CONCEPTUAL APPROACH CREATE ZONES WITH DENSITY OBJECTIVES AND PROPOSED TYPOLOgIES fOSTER SMALLER DEVELOPMENTS WITHIN AN OPTIMIZED CITY CURVE ALLOW MARkET fORCES TO gENERATE DENSITY AND DIVERSITY ON A HUMAN SCALE.

25000 20000 15000 10000 50000

02

23

34

45

green edge* outskirts

DENSITY P/kM2

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

02

23

34

45

green edge* outskirts

POPULATION (MILLIONS)
 
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The Chinese Knot The ring roads of Beijing at the scale of The Forbidden City
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INSTALLATION SHENZHEN ARCHITECTURAL BIENNIAL 07 www.BURB.TV/view/Shenzhen_2007


8

DCF / Neville Mars, Li Juankun





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REAL-TIME BEIJINg
2

The commuter flies through a continuous hybrid travel ring. The planner distributes densities. As distances drop, travel gets faster. Can the D-rail save Beijing from disintegration? Commuter and planner look each other in the eye
3

AVERAGE DISTANCE AVERAGE TIME


5

INSTALLATION DEAF 07 www.BURB.TV/view/D-Rail 2 touch screens 2 projections 2 users Virtual Reality modelling: Crystal CG DCF / Neville Mars, Brice Bignami
 
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30

90

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,-
7

Neither planned nor organic, the city is ambiguos as light itself - neither wave nor particle
8

101958 40 2314113



Ya Men Kou Bridge, West Fifth Ring

80 6000 2020, 1500 10 ?



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80
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Liang Hua Bridge, West Third Ring

80% --D-rail D-rail D-rail




D-rail D-rail D-rail364 D-rail 205001000 202030 6000 2030 D-rail D-rail D-rail CBDD-rail D-rail D-rail D-rail

Wan Ping Bridge, West Fifth Ring



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Topic:

Scale:

the d-rail
2

Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

National Regional City Block Person

individualiZed mass-transit at hyperspeed

design: Neville Mars, Brice Bignami text: Adrian Hornsby research: Alex Beth Shapiro, Burke Greenwood, Randall Winston renderings: Crystal CG

2020

Dear commuter, dont Despair! The D-rail will be your Designated driver! Designed and Deployed to Decongest, Decarbonize and Destress!

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D-RAIL
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xIAO kANg* ON THE MOVE APPROACHES TO CITIES IN CHINA NEED TO BE BIG. THE SCALE AND SPEED OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENT PHAGOCYTOSES ALL OTHER METHODOLOGIES. INSUFFICIENT INTERVENTIONS ARE ENGULFED AND THEN DIGESTED. EVEN SMALLNESS NEEDS BIG PLAN PROTECTION. BEIJING HAS CEDED PROGRAMMATIC DEVELOPMENT TO THE MARKET: PRIVATE PROJECTS HAVE ATTAINED THE DIMENSIONS OF CITY MASTERPLANS, AND ARCHITECTURE HAS ABROGATED THE ROLE OF URBAN DESIGN. TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE IS NOW THE FINAL ARENA FOR CITYWIDE PROPOSALS. THE CHINESE DREAM, AND THE CONTEMPORARY CHAOS, DEMAND VISIONARY THINKING. CONDITIONS WITHIN BEIJING ARE EXIGENT. THE LAST 50 YEARS HAVE MADE THE CITY ENORMOUS. EXPANSIONS PAST AND PRESENT ARE DOMINATED BY MONOSPRAWL* AND INFRASPRAWL*, LEADING TO A FABRIC OF EXTREME COARSENESS. COMMUTES TYPICALLY REACH 23 HOURS. BUSES LACK COMFORT. TAXIS ARE IN THE SAME JAM. WHILE CONGESTION WASTES FUEL, DAMAGES PRODUCTIVITY, AND CONTRIBUTES MASSIVELY TO AIR POLLUTION (NOW 50% EXHAUST FUMES WITH CONCOMITANT ENVIRONMENTAL AND PUBLIC HEALTH COSTS), MOTORIZATION CONTINUES APACE. 1,000 NEW CARS ARE REGISTERED IN BEIJING EVERY DAY, AMOUNTING TO A 15% ANNUAL INCREASE ON A FLEET OF OVER 3 MILLION VEHICLES. THESE ARE ONLY THE REGISTERED ONES. ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL STATISTICS, TRANSIT BY PRIVATE CAR HAS RISEN FROM 6% OF TRIPS (196) TO 23% OF TRIPS (2003). THIS LEAVES 77% YET TO BE MOTORIZED. PUBLIC TRANSPORT LOSES ITS APPEAL IN A CONTEXT SLASHED BY ENORMOUS ROADS. COARSE BLOCKS EXAGGERATE DISTANCES, AND STATIONS BECOME INACCESSIBLE WHEN WRAPPED IN TWELVE LANE HIGHWAYS. THE STREET AS HUMAN-URBAN INTERFACE HAS BEEN WIPED: INSTEAD WE HAVE THE ROAD AS CAR THOROUGHFARE, AND THE ZEROING OF CHANCE ENCOUNTER. STANDING AT ANY POINT, BEIJING PRESENTS A SLEW OF NEUTERED VOLUMES PLACES YOU CAN SEE BUT CANNOT GET TO. THE PEDESTRIAN ENVIRONMENT IS CHARACTERIZED BY GLOOMY TUNNELS, HIGH FOOTBRIDGES, WINDSWEPT EXPANSES OF BROKEN ASPHALT, LONG DARK STAIRWELLS, BLATANT NOISE, DIRTY AIR.


INFRASTRUCTURE CAN BE USED AS A TOOL TO COUNTER THE CITYS MUD*-CREEP THE CONTINUOUS OUTWARDS EXPANSION AND INNER CRUMBLING. GOVERNMENTAL POWER IN CHINA IS INCONTESTABLE, FACILITATING THE PURSUIT OF STEPPING STONE PROJECTS (E.G. THE OLYMPIC VILLAGE). THE CURRENT PLAN FOR BEIJING IS TO SLAP AN EXTENSIVE RAIL NETWORK (400KM OF NEW TRACK) ON TOP OF A BOOSTED YET ALREADY OVERSIZED ROAD NETWORK. THIS PRESENTS A UNIQUE AND EXTREME INFRASTRUCTURAL HYBRID. IT WILL HOWEVER PROVE INEFFECTIVE. THE PRODUCT OF SUPERIMPOSING UNINTEGRATED INFRASTRUCTURES IS TWO INCOMPATIBLE SYSTEMS WHICH ARE MUTUALLY INCAPABLE OF ALLEVIATING THE STRAIN THAT INADEQUACIES WITHIN EACH LAY UPON THE OTHER. YOU CANNOT OUT-ASPHALT A CAR TREND. YOU CANNOT RAIL PEOPLE INTO PUBLIC TRANSPORT WHEN THE PUBLIC REALM IS SO FRAGMENTED. NO ONE SOLUTION SUFFICES, AND THE VOLUME OF THE PROBLEM CANNOT BE DIVIDED UP AND METED OUT. BEIJING STANDS TO BECOME A CITY LADEN WITH TRANSPORT SYSTEMS, AND YET IMPOSSIBLE TO NAVIGATE. THE QUESTION, HOW CAN CONGESTION BE DEALT WITH? IS THE WRONG QUESTION. INSTEAD WE SHOULD ASK, HOW WOULD WE LIKE TO TRAVEL? COMFORT IS NOT A LUXURY BUT A MEANS TO SHAPE CITY GROWTH. IN CHINA THE PRIVATE CAR CURRENTLY HAS THE STATUS, THE CONTROLLED INTERNAL ENVIRONMENT, AND THE INDIVIDUAL DIRIGIBILITY TO MAKE IT THE PREFERRED MODE OF TRANSPORT. INSTEAD OF CONGESTING PEOPLE OUT OF CARS AT HUGE COST A MORE ATTRACTIVE ALTERNATIVE MUST BE PRODUCED.

a capillary network forms between D-rail lines to render a publicly-accessible pedestrian city



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IN THE LOOP
2

THE D-RAIL IS A CONTINUOUS LOOP OFFERING NON-STOP TRANSPORT TO ANY POINT ALONG ITS LENGTH. ACTING AS THE URBAN BACKBONE, IT LENDS THE CITY DISTINCT FORMATION. IT CONSOLIDATES THE PERICENTER INCENTIVIZING PERICENTER DEVELOPMENT AND REDUCING SUBURB-APPEAL. IT ABSORBS COMMUTER TRAFFIC INTO THE RING AND DEFLECTS CROSS-TOWN TRAVELERS AROUND IT. IT CREATES CITY WIDE PARITY OF ACCESS, RETRUEING GROWTH TO THE CITY CENTER, AND REBALANCING LAND VALUES. IT IS AN ANTI-INFRASPRAWL* ANTI-MONOSPRAWL* MEASURE TO CONNECT, DIVERSIFY, AND DRAMATICALLY SHRINK THE URBAN NETWORK. ON THE D-RAIL THERE ARE NO STATIONS. THE TRADITIONAL STRUCTURE OF CENTRALIZED TRANSPORT NODES READ TRAFFIC KNOTS IS DEAD. INSTEAD THE D-RAIL COMBINES MAGLEV AND TRAVELATOR TECHNOLOGIES TO SUPPLY A CEASELESSLY MOVING BELT. RUNNING AT SPEEDS OF UP TO 100KMH THE ENTIRE PERICENTER IS RENDERED LOCAL. PASSENGERS GET ON AND OFF WITH ULTIMATE FREEDOM. THE SYSTEM IS SEAMLESSLY COMBINED WITH A FLUID RETAIL ZONE. ALONG THE TOP DECK RUNS AN UNINTERRUPTED PARK. COMMUTERS, SHOPPERS AND STROLLERS MINGLE THROUGHOUT THE FULLY PEDESTRIAN ENVIRONMENT. TIME SPENT IN TRANSIT IS NOT LOST BUT A PRODUCTIVE EXPERIENCE OF THE DYNAMIC CITY. THE NEW FOCUS OF THE CITY IS A DYNAMIC STREETSCAPE. THE PEDESTRIAN CITY SKYWALKS INTO THE SURROUNDING ARCHITECTURE OPEN UP AN INTERCONNECTING CITY-WIDE NETWORK OF HYBRID SPACE. A PUBLIC-PRIVATE REALM OF SUSTAINED FREE CIRCULATION TRAN

SECTS INDIVIDUAL BUILDINGS, FACILITATING THREADS, AND SUPPORTING CROSS-LINKING AND CREATIVE FLOWS. GREENWAYS COUPLE THE CITYS GREEN SPACES TO EACH OTHER VIA THE D-PARK. UNBROKEN GREENROUTES ARE ESTABLISHED THROUGHOUT THE PERICENTER. THE TRANSIT-RETAIL CORRIDOR IS FULLY INTEGRATED WITH CAR TRAVEL, SUBURBAN BUS ROUTES, AND A DOWNTOWN TROLLEY SYSTEM. THIS ENSURES SMOOTH TRANSITIONS BETWEEN INFRASTRUCTURES. VARIANT MODES OF TRANSPORT DO NOT INTERFERE WITH BUT RUN THROUGH EACH OTHER. A CONGESTION CHARGING ZONE OPERATES WITHIN THE D-RAIL, WITH PARKING PROVIDED ALONG THE PERIMETER. BEYOND THE D-RAIL AND RUNNING INTO THE SUBURBS A FLEXIBUS SYSTEM OFFERS FAST ACCURATE ACCESS TO THE PERICENTER. FLEXIBUS ROUTES ARE SENSITIVE TO THE CHANGING URBAN TISSUE THROUGH WHICH THEY PASS. AN ONLINE DATA-TRACKING VRAIL MONITORS AND STREAMLINES EVERY TRIP. THE D-RAIL IS AN OVER-ARCHING STRATEGY TO ACHIEVE COMPACT CITY FORM. IT SUPERSEDES THE CHOKE-RESPONSE CYCLE OF INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT BY PROVIDING A COMPREHENSIVE AND SEDUCTIVE SOLUTION. THE DYNAMIC ENVIRONMENTS GENERATED BY THE D-RAIL ARE ATTUNED TO THE PRINCIPLES OF DYNAMIC DENSITY AND EQUALLY ATTUNED TO MARKET DYNAMICS. THE VALUE OF COMMERCIAL SPACE REALIZED WITHIN THE D-RAIL MAKES DEVELOPMENT A PROFITABLE VENTURE. ECONOMIZATION OF ROAD CONSUMPTION WITHIN THE CENTER MEANS MORE LAND FOR PROGRAM. PUBLIC-PRIVATE COLLABORATION ON INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS HAS A LONG AND ESTABLISHED HISTORY. COST EFFICIENCY AND LAND EFFICIENCY ARE ACHIEVED THROUGH THE CREATION AND CONSOLIDATION OF VALUABLE LAND. WITH INCREASED MOBILITY AND CAPACITY, THE BEIJING LABOR MARKET BECOMES A MORE COMPETITIVE, HEALTHIER, BETTER INTEGRATED, AND MORE PRODUCTIVE FORCE IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY.

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congestion charge zone

Yes, its BIG!


2
3

trolleys

flexibus

TRAFFIC ABSORBED CARS REFLECTED

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NEW SUB-CENTERS EMERGE AS THE D-RAIL TAKES ON THE IDENTITY OF THE SURROUNDING CONTEXT
6

MEDIA DISTRICT





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The D-rail is a big attempt to dramatically shrink the urban network

FRED





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AEROPLANE
1

TRAIN

LIgHT RAIL

SUBWAY

TRACkS / STATIONS

TROLLEY

RIDE THE ESCALATOR, JOIN THE BELT, ENTER. FROM THE CARRIAGE YOU WATCH THE CITY GLIDE BY. RESPOND TO YOUR ENVIRONMENT. FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCT.

TRAM

TRAVELATOR D-RAIL PEDESTRIAN BIkE fREE PATH / NON STOP PADDY CAB MOTORBIkE CAR/TAxI

fLExIBUS





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A 64 KM TAIL BITING B EAST





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consumurbation*
2

Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

the economics of consumerization, clustering, & dependencies

Austin Kilroy

consumurbation [glo] p.674 4D SOE [glo] p.686 3D TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A yingzi danwei [glo] p.690 3D hukou [glo] p.678 7E

bootstrap growth [glo] p.672 8D

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Feeding the machine


2

The transformation of urban China from industrial communism into conspicuous consumerism isnt happening by accident. China wants to balance its legendary 9% annual economic growth1 currently generated by exports and investment2 through increasing domestic consumer spending.3 It also needs to soak-up 100150 million rural workers4 who are being rendered surplus by the closure of inefficient state-owned enterprises (SOEs*) plus improvements to manufacturing processes and market reforms in agriculture.5 In tangible terms, Chinese clothes, bags, watches, electronics already omnipresent in the global marketplace, from Moldova to Mozambique need to be consumed more in China itself. Cities will be the epicenters of this consumerist boom. Their efficacy as economic machines (generating higher incomes from which to consume6), sites of socio-cultural change (individualism expressed through consumption of fashion, media and technology), and deterministic mechanisms (people need to consume more simply to subsist in urban environments7), are the ingredients needed to make it happen. City-living engenders the money and desire for consumerization supercharging the economic treadmill: to each over and above his needs. And this social reality is also reflected in the governments economic agenda: Chinas economic future rests on transforming cities from industrial bases into exactly the sites of bourgeois consumption that Mao decried. This is the consumurbation* of China. To see consumurbation* in action, I flew to Chongqing. 1,500km inland from Chinas coastal boomtowns, my plane passed over lush tropical vegetation and terraced rich paddies. Stepping off the plane, being enveloped by hot air and shrouded in yellow mist, this was far enough up the Yangtze river to feel like a Chinese version of Heart of Darkness. But here was a metropolis of 5.1 million people bigger than Jo

hannesburg, Sydney or Athens sporting freeways and flyovers in physical contortions crazier even than Monaco. Skyscrapers tower over the riverbed, beside which a monorail system whisks the famously beautiful population from the High and New Technology Development Zone to department stores in the center. Part of the citys growing prosperity stems from the Western Development strategy, which aims to lessen regional inequalities across China and create growth poles in the west of the country (more about this later). The policy hopes to nudge the economic treadmill into life; mass consumption in Chongqing will then keep it going. Consumers in Chongqing are indeed spending a greater proportion of their income: in 2004 income grew by 12.2%, while consumer spending increased by 14.3%8 multiplying the injections of development money by reverberating it around the economy.9 Chinas Ministry of Commerce reported a 12.9% growth in retail sales for 2005, and predicts a further rise of 11% each year for the next five. These colossal countrywide objectives mean consumers will eventually need to be found in the countryside too. The Chinese government recently declared its intention to further encourage private spending, especially by farmers [i.e. rural-dwellers] [and] to foster new consumption themes, including encouragement to villagers themselves to consume more in situ rather than migrating to cities.10 But in a context where each urban household has on average almost four times the buying-power of its rural counterpart,11 these efforts will have relatively marginal effects. And although rural dwellers are beginning to work in factories rather than fields, and live in tower blocks rather than huts, these places will not truly be urban until they acquire the culture of mass consumption.12 Urbanization will be the vehicle for that consumerization, which itself will spread outside cities only once urban economic, sociocultural, and physical characteristics spread too.

1 Chinas average GDP growth rate from 1978 to 2005, China Statistical Yearbook, Beijing: National Bureau of Statistics 2 Chinas role as workshop of the world is so one-sided that most freighters leaving Chinese ports will return to China empty, injecting Chinas income flow with $101.9 billion of trade surplus last year 3 See, for example, Kai Ma, The 11th Five-Year Plan: Targets, Paths and Policy Orientation briefing at the National Development and Reform Commission, 19 March 2006 4 Zhan, S. Rural labor migration in China: challenges for policies UNESCO Management of Social Transformations Policy Paper 10 (2005) p.13 5 Solinger, D. The Creation of a New Underclass in China and its Implications Center for the Study of Democracy, Paper 05-10, June 22 2005 6 See descriptions of agglomeration economies and clustering later in this chapter 7 Kilroy, A. Consumurbation: Chinas social reality, economic hope but incomplete promise presented at the Fudan University International Urban Forum, Shanghai, 3 November 2006 8 Chongqing Municipal Government statistics: GDP increase to slow down for the first time 25 August 2005, Profile of economic and social development of Chongqing 26 August 2005 (www. cq.gov.cn) 9 One persons spending is another persons income, which is then respent, thus multiplying the original injection of income several times. This effect increases in magnitude when consumers spend a greater proportion of their income. 10 Xiaoyang, J. Consumption seen as new driver of growth China Daily, 16 March 2006. 11 Tables 3-18 and 4-1, China Statistical Yearbook, Beijing: National Bureau of Statistics. 12 Academic literature claiming an urbanization of the countryside (Friedmann, J. Chinas Urban Transition (University of Minnesota Press, 2005) and others) misses the point according to this contemporary interpretation of what it means to be urban

consumurbation [glo] p.674 4D SOE [glo] p.686 3D TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A yingzi danwei [glo] p.690 3D hukou [glo] p.678 7E

bootstrap growth [glo] p.672 8D



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Chinas economic future rests on transforming cities from industrial bases into exactly the sites of bourgeois consumption that Mao decried -

15 Gutierrez & Portefaix, Made in Hong Kong no more: Long Life! Made in China UrbanChina 07 magazine (Made in China: reality and ideality of the world factory) 15 March 2006, p.120

Shaping the machine: market economics as urban form


While consumerization becomes a constituent part of what it means to be urban, the physical form of that urbanity is being shaped by forces of production.

from suppliers in the zone by a route that generally takes not more than one hour. In practice, altogether we are a single vast factory scattered across the territory .15 China is aiming to replicate this phenomenon across the country. Already 80% of the worlds metallic-shell lighters and zippers are produced in Wenzhou city; the single town of Qiaotou produces 15 billion buttons a year;16 and Xiaoshan district in Hangzhou city accounts for 50% of global eiderdown production.17 More complex industrial clusters involving more firms and intermediate goods entail still more massive agglomerations. Reaching an efficient scale for electronics or automotive clusters may necessitate the linking of multiple cities. Currently between 28 and 30 city clusters are being discussed in government circles.18 Indeed Chinas most recent (11th) Five Year Plan explicitly states that city clusters should become the principal mode of urbanization.19 Physical form and economics are linked more tightly than ever. But crucially these single vast factories are not simply manufacturing zones for daytime work: workers dormitories are often co-located onsite, with washing lines strung in the windows and off-duty workers strolling along the roads. The vast factory is also itself a working living city. It constitutes the urban fabric for tens of kilometers along the freeways outside Shenzhen city, or Dongguan, or Guangzhou:20 tens of kilometers of low-rise factories, warehouses and dormitories. Such agglomeration is as much a part of Chinese urban form as the apartment blocks and villa sprawl described in other chapters of this book. It is splattered across previously rural areas, which had some of the highest rural population densities in the world even before they began the economic and physical transition to urbanization.21 The problem is that this working living part of the city isnt necessarily on the same plane of existence as its consumurbated* counterpart. Factories are most
consumurbation [glo] p. p.674 4D SOE [glo] p. p.686 3D TVE [glo] p. p.688 8D danwei [glo] p. p.676 4A yingzi danwei [glo] p. p.690 3D hukou [glo] p. p.678 7E bootstrap growth [glo] p. p.672 8D

16 Chinas second-tier cities the emerging hot spots China Briefing, June 2006, www.china-briefing.com 17 Webster, D. & Muller, L. Challenges of Peri-urbanization in the Lower Yangtze Region: The Case of the Hangzhou-Ningbo Corridor Freire and Yuen (eds.), Enhancing Urban Management in East Asia (London: Ashgate, 2002)

13 Porter, M. Clusters and Competition: New Agendas for Companies, Governments, and Institutions Harvard Business School, working paper 98-080 (1998) 18 Change in mindset needed to develop local economy China Daily Industry Updates, 6 March 2006, www. bizchina.chinadaily.com.cn/industry. shtml

Nowadays fewer people talk about Town and Village Enterprises (TVEs*), apart from the supersized TVEs* which have grown to such mutant proportions they constitute towns in themselves. The buzzword today is clustering, whereby many firms congregate in compact areas, capitalizing on the regional networks and external cost-savings gained from proximity to others in interconnected industries.13 Parts suppliers move close to manufacturers to reduce delivery time and benefit from face-to-face contact which promotes good guanxi a pool of suitably trained labor becomes available in a confined geographic area . In short, the financial and innovative logic seen in the high-tech industries of Silicon Valley, or the fashion-goods clusters of northern Italy, is being applied with a Chinese degree of scale and ambition to electronics, clothes, shoes, and myriad other mass-produced goods. This spatio-economic phenomenon manifests itself physically: industrial coagulations form which comprise whole new cities. Looking at China from space one would see a Petri dish of industrial bacteria, multiplying around initial nodes of production, and thickening into a dense mass. There is no better example than the Pearl River Delta. Sensationalized by architects,14 and studied in awe by economists, the PRD was the first location for Chinas spectacular economic growth, branding it as the workshop (sweatshop?) of the world. Now studded with factories and interwoven by freeways, the fabric of the region breathes production. As the CEO of Alco electronics factory proudly states: the materials and components that we use in our 49 production lines today arrive daily

19 Unofficial translation of 11th Five Year Plan, section 2, chapter 21. Original published March 2006

20 Cities in the Pearl River Delta 6

14 Koolhaas, R. (ed.) Great Leap Forward Harvard Project On The City (Taschen, 2001)

21 Friedmann, J. Chinas Urban Transition (University of Minnesota Press, 2005) p.40





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often staffed by migrants temporary workers from poor provinces whose families rely on remittances sent home.22 In heavy manufacturing or construction the migrant workers are most often men; in light manufacturing and services they are more often 18-24 year old girls. Migrants exist in staggering numbers perhaps more than 120 million people23 but long hours and desperately low wages mean that there isnt much opportunity for life outside the factory and dormitory. It sounds like the danwei* of old: work and life are once again concentrated within the compound. But here the term yingzi danwei* (shadow danwei) would be better. These migrants are often uncounted in official statistics, and the system is not formalized or a result of deliberate policies: it is simply a result of spectacular income inequalities between urban and rural areas which provide the incentive for migrants to come and work for wages which are low but better than those of their home villages.

level it has become the growth pole philosophy. It is debatable whether those inequalities were ever expected to rise so high that the Gini co-efficient25 would surpass 0.4 a threshold the United Nations Development Program, and the Chinese government itself, say risks social tensions.26 At present, instability is kept in check by the strong Chinese state, by the carrot of continuing economic growth, and by tolerance amongst first-generation migrants who remain grateful for wages better than the subsistence levels in their home villages, and who are conscious of their families dependence on remittances. But second and subsequent-generation migrants, who do not have the same memory of poverty in the countryside, are becoming more active in associations or unions.27 Economically underprivileged, spatially segregated, and socially disdained as outsiders, how much longer will it be before this stratification comes to a head, as it has done sometimes in European countries? In recent history China has been demonstrably willing to recast entire cities to fit new economic and social paradigms. When will environmental determinism or social instability (or both) cause a step-change in urban planning? Furthermore, what will be the economic consequences if inequalities are indeed reduced? The success of Chinas economy functions as a fascinating paradox, where continued income growth for individuals and regions at the top of the pile is contingent on inequalities with those lower down. Chinese cities, like cities anywhere, can exist only if there exists sufficient food for city-dwellers to eat without having farmed: they need an agricultural surplus in rural areas. In China today cities are dependent also on a surplus of human beings from rural areas a glut of labor which keeps wages low, international prices competitive, and thus permits the extraordinary rates of growth on which the country now depends. So Chinas economy is simultaneously dependent on, and hindered by, its corollaries: cheap labor keeps production costs low enough to swipe foreign markets, but also means workers are not becoming consumers within China itself. Urban growth from migration is not consumurbation*: it just puts peasants in cities. It helps the local economy to produce but not to consume. This is the incomplete promise of consumurbation*: millions of low-wage migrants are needed to facilitate it for others, but can engage only in a very thin version of it themselves.28

22 A strikingly high proportion of wage-earnings are sent home to families in the countryside often as soon as wages are paid to avoid the temptation of spending them, according to L. Yang (Attention to the rural migrant workers in the cities: they dont spend their earnings, they send it all to subsidize their families Public Security Net, 3 August 2005, www.law.anhuinews. com). Average remittances are estimated at $300 to $500 per year per migrant worker, out of average incomes of between $900 and $1500 (Huang & Zhan Migrant Workers Remittances and Rural Development in China presented at the Social Science Research Council, New York, November 17 2005). 23 Exact statistics are hard to find: the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences estimated 121 million in 2003; Chinas population census registered 144 million people spending six months or more away from their hukou* residence in the year 2000. UNESCO estimates the number may climb to 300 million by 2020 25 The Gini co-efficient is a measure of income inequality, where 0 corresponds to perfect equality (everyone has the same income) and 1 corresponds to perfect inequality (one person has all the income) 26 United Nations Development Assistance Framework for the Peoples Republic of China, 2006-2010 cosigned by Chinese government officials (March 2005) p.3 27 Domenach-Chich, G. Senior Program Specialist at UNESCO Beijing, speaking at the Czech Embassy on UNESCOs migrants programs, 23 March 2006

Stratification
5

Thus another plane of urban existence has been added below the rest of the city: populations who simply cannot partake in consumerization, confined by economic poverty and social stratification to factory dormitories, construction worker portacabins, or simply to migrant districts (migrant villages) on the outskirts of cities. Urban existence is stratified in one direction by suburban villas, freeways, and shopping malls; and migrant populations and yingzi danwei* structures are extending it in the other.24 These are the inevitable corollaries of Deng Xiaopings 1978 reforms which claimed to get rich is glorious, while recognising that not everyone would get rich at the same time. Inequalities between people and between regions would open up: those with better chances of success would not be hindered from seeking it, with the idea they would later pull up the rest of the country. At a national scale this was called the ladder-step doctrine; at a more intra-regional


In recent history China has been demonstrably willing to recast entire cities to fit new economic and social paradigms. When will environmental determinism or social instability (or both) cause a step-change in urban planning?
consumurbation [glo] p.674 4D SOE [glo] p.686 3D TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A yingzi danwei [glo] p.690 3D hukou [glo] p.678 7E bootstrap growth [glo] p.672 8D

24 I draw inspiration for these ideas from the study of disembedding by Dennis Rodgers: Disembedding the city: Crime, insecurity and spatial organization in Managua, Nicaragua Environment & Urbanization 16:2, October 2004, pp.113-124 28 It seems possible that wage remittances to the countryside will begin to build a consumer culture outside cities, but low wages constrain it to a very poor imitation of the consumurbation enjoyed by Chinas existing urban middle class (sources surveyed in Murphy, R., Domestic Migrant Remittances in China: Distribution, Channels and Livelihoods Migration Research Series paper 24 (2006) International Organisation for Migration)



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3 29 Researchers predict modernization progress China Daily, 9 February 2006 30 Inferred from statistics in Lester R. Brown, Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2006) 4 31 Colin Tudge, Help yourselves The Guardian, 18 February 2006, www.books.guardian.co.uk/review/ story/0,,1711282,00.html

Is this situation likely to change? Wages may rise once the limitless migrant labor begins to run out, or if the Chinese government enforces minimum wages for migrant workers. But apart from the consequences for Chinese exports which have come to depend on cheap labor, what will be the consequences for the environment? Eventually there exists a potential scenario of 1.5 billion people spending, consuming, discarding, building and driving just as people do in the West. Chinese official policy wants to increase both car-ownership and suburbanization to 50% by 2050, regarding them to be component parts of modernization.29 These are scary statistics 50% car-ownership would mean a 94% increase in the global car fleet.30 Already China consumes 26% of the worlds crude steel, 32% of its rice, 37% of its cotton, and 47% of its cement.31 In this context, the Chinese Dream begins to look like the worlds nightmare. The starkest scenario is that Chinas economic growth will grit up its own cogs through environmental determinism. Pan Yue, the countrys deputy environment minister, told Der Spiegel that the countrys economic miracle will end soon because the environment can no longer keep pace. Five of the ten most polluted cities worldwide are in China; acid rain is falling on one third of our territory; half of the water in Chinas seven largest rivers is completely useless.32 The Chinese government estimates that pollution erodes 10% of Chinas GDP each year.33 This is a totally believable statistic for anyone who has sat in one of Beijings two-hour traffic jams enveloped in a soft haze of smog and dust. Can the future still be altered? Or is China so far down its development path that the game is lost already? The concrete realities of car-dependency and suburbanization certainly render new public transport routes difficult to find. On the other hand sustainability and the circular economy have become buzzwords amongst government officials, who now aim to reduce resources consumption as GDP continues to rise. The rest of the world can only hope Chinese ingenuity is able to turn environmental tenets on their head as successfully as they have conventional economic predictions.

Looking to the future

Places like Changsha hint at an alternative future. Capital of Hunan province a predominantly rural region with scant international investment or domestic attention it is better known for sending migrants to the developed east than fostering growth itself. It might have been a city located on the flipside of Chinas success: sending food and workers to the cities but not progressing itself. Changsha has other ideas though. Having grouped together with neighboring cities Zhuzhou and Xiangtan, it is promoting the kind of regional networks and external economies of scale which have made the Pearl and Yangtze River Deltas so strong. 20 billion RMB has been garnered from the Chinese private sector for a light-rail project to link the three cities, which will themselves focus on their existing strengths in heavy industry and pharmaceuticals. In keeping with the current philosophical mode in China, the central three cities bill themselves as a growth pole for the rest of the province, while clustering around a specific industrial sector. Is Changshas bootstrap growth* using local resources without depending on a flow of migrants from elsewhere a more sustainable growth path; one which could be implemented across the country? There are two key questions. First, to what extent will growth remain grounded in Hunan province rather than just facilitating the ascent of Changsha, Zhuzhou, and Xiangtan to the elite superstructure of Chinese cities? The mechanics of the growth pole effect are not often or clearly elaborated how will the rest of the province or even surrounding provinces benefit? and the whole concept has worrying reminiscences of the Reaganite/Thatcherite trickledown effect which was supposed to follow increased inequalities in the US and UK. While experience in
consumurbation [glo] p.674 4D SOE [glo] p.686 3D TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A yingzi danwei [glo] p.690 3D hukou [glo] p.678 7E bootstrap growth [glo] p.672 8D

32 China Daily interview cited in Bill McKibben, Letter from China: The Great Leap: Scenes from Chinas industrial revolution Harpers, December 2005 33 Pollution costs equal 10% of Chinas GDP Shanghai Daily, 6 June 2006

the hinterlands around growth pole cities benefit from incomes spent in regional economies, but those benefits seem to fade two or three hours from the pole




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looking at China from space one would see a Petri dish of industrial bacteria, multiplying around initial nodes and coagulating into a dense mass -

consumurbation [glo] p.674 4D SOE [glo] p.686 3D TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A yingzi danwei [glo] p.690 3D hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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Chinas economy is simultaneously dependent on, and hindered by, its corollaries. -

34 Wing Chan, K., Henderson V. & Yuen Tsui, K. Spatial Dimensions of Chinese Economic Development, 18 October 2004, p.23 and table 14 35 Henderson, V. Urbanization in China: Notes for North Holland Volume, Center for Economic Policy Research, Cities and Geography conference in Paris, 1214 December 2002, p.15 and table 5 36 Inferred from presentation by Li Xiao-Jiang, President of China Academy of Urban Planning and Design (CAUPD), at the 1st International Conference of China City Planning and Development & 3rd China Planning Network Annual Conference, Beijing, 1416 June 2006

China shows that hinterlands around growth pole cities do benefit from incomes spent and multiplied in regional economies34 (and factories plus consumers move to the suburbs and then the urban fringe, expanding a peri-urban area into what was previously rural hinterland35) the benefits seem to fade two or three hours from the pole itself. With current transportation infrastructure, this is sometimes as little as 120km away.36 Central government funding for infrastructure projects is sparse, and the onus has been on local administrations themselves to find resources for infrastructure to attract this growth. The second question is about the consequences of competition between cities for growth. Fierce rivalry between large cities for investment and mega-projects is found also in smaller cities and towns. This commercial competition is good if it gets city ad-

ministrations to run tighter ships internally, but has also led to a bubble of speculative development and wasteful duplication. Changsha, Zhuzhou and Xiangtan cooperate with each other on some projects but also compete, offering land more cheaply than each other to developers, sometimes even free of charge. These price incentives are sometimes the result of corruption as much as economic ideology, but in simple financial terms they mean cities are getting into debt. Sometimes the city even borrows money in order to finance development strategies. What kind of urban China will result if these risks of mortgaging the present on the future dont pay off? Can every city win, or will the market-induced dualism of winners and losers be extrapolated to an urban scale too? Likewise, when these competitive strategies rely on finding a competitive advantage to exploit, or a range of products to cluster around, what will happen to those cities which simply cannot find their niche? And what will it mean for their inhabitants if cities have invested so much but lose?
consumurbation [glo] p.674 4D SOE [glo] p.686 3D TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A yingzi danwei [glo] p.690 3D hukou [glo] p.678 7E bootstrap growth [glo] p.672 8D





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Can every city win, or will the market-induced dualism of winners and losers be extrapolated to an urban scale too? -

Improvident dreams?
37 Daskalakis, Waldheim & Young, Stalking Detroit (2001), Barcelona: ACTAR, p.10 38 United Nations Center for Human Settlements, Cities in a Globalizing World: global report on human settlements (London: Earthscan, 2001)ACTAR, pp.324-326 39 City clusters to raise competitiveness of regional economies China Daily Industry Updates, 9 March 2006

sites, wastes land in speculation, pollutes, sprawls, builds four petrol stations at one road junction, creates deserted malls all over with dead centers in the middle.38 In China this speculative, competitive development means the Yangtze River Delta around Shanghai may have 48 airports for its 16 cities by the year 2020.39 Coordinated regional planning is being displaced by such capitalism, and planners in China face a continual struggle to catch up with and relate to the drive of economics.

Fuelled by a singular devotion to the imperatives of [] industry, [the city] continuously refashioned its own image according to the most recent production patterns, the newest paradigms of industrial operation [] urban arrangement in service of mobile capital, temporary employment, and free trade.37 These words were written about Detroit, but the ease with which the quote evokes Chinese cities prostitution to an industrial agenda is revealing. What are the dangers of letting commercial logic dictate urban development? The acres of empty and derelict factories one sees on the way into Dongguan are evidence of the incompatibility between such logic and the idea of livable cities. UN-HABITAT has counseled that the emphasis on the competitiveness of cities [] taken as essential for a citys ability to thrive in a global age, has the effect of apotheosizing the private market. The private market will naturally segregate: it abandons brownfield
40 Male & female migrants tend to be 1630, and to return to their villages to marry and establish a family 41 Estimated to be around US$30bn in 2005; see Cheng, E. & Xu, Z. Domestic Money Transfer Services for Migrant Workers in China Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (2005) p.4

Changing Chinas urban development path economically and spatially will be contingent on finding ways to align economics and planning more closely. Already the centrally-determined economic targets, which for many years meant local administrations prioritized economic growth above all else, are being supplemented by environmental targets. What planning targets, in terms of dwellings density or insights from social sustainability elsewhere, could now supplement these? And how can migrants be transformed from a Dickensian underclass into urban consumers? Encouraging more permanent rather than temporary40 migration might discourage dormitories and encourage consumerization if migrants are prompted to invest themselves in urban environments, but it would also risk emptying the countryside of valuable remittances41 as well as manpower. Some people would say these issues will be rendered obsolete if China achieves the economic transition it desires from manufacturing towards services, and the physical mode of its production-driven urbanization is morphed in the direction of call-centers and office buildings, thus serving the rest of the world in design and high-technology engineering just as it now does in manufacturing. But service-sector megalopolises in the rest of the world seem to indicate that economies of scale and human-capital externalities exist for services just as much as they do for other industries. It looks like clustering, consumerization, dependencies and dormitories will all define Chinas urbanization until 2020 and beyond.
consumurbation [glo] p.674 4D SOE [glo] p.686 3D TVE [glo] p.688 8D danwei [glo] p.676 4A yingzi danwei [glo] p.690 3D hukou [glo] p.678 7E bootstrap growth [glo] p.672 8D





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chongqing superblock
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chongqing superblock
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chongqing superblock
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utopian cities
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Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

or how the author solves the problems of rural china

Pan Wei () free translation: Adrian Hornsby, Yue Xiao ()

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introduction

1. in which the author has an idea for rapid urbanization

Compared to ancient western slavery and systems of agricultural serfdom, the Chinese free-peasant economy was really quite advanced. However, 2,400 years of immobility followed by the last 100 years of haphazard industrialization and ideologically charged political reform, has brought it to a state of 21st century crisis. Its current organization may be regarded as an end point. China fell behind other countries due to low per capita income, consequent stagnation of domestic demand, and high dependency on exports. This situation is inextricably linked to population / land mass ratios, where a field-stock of 2 billion mu1 is expected to provide income for a rural population of 900 million people, of whom only 500 million are actively engaged in farming. The notion of wealth growing in the field is tied to an agricultural era; wealth production cannot advance in the context of a one mu field economy. As the dilapidated rural economy, with its beleaguered secondary and tertiary sectors, comes into contact with a market economy, widespread insolvency followed by political instability is inevitable. The sole route to catching up with developed countries is to facilitate the safe rapid exodus of the rural surplus: out of archaic farmland structures, into modern urban economies. Therefore the core task of the Chinese government is to produce positive urbanization policies. The importance of this goes beyond economic expediency it is in fact an urgent political measure.

It is too expensive to enlarge the old megacities. It stresses both the urban infrastructure and the ecological capacity of the surrounding area. On the other hand, the widespread building of smaller towns is landexpensive and highly pollutant. The correct peasantdestination is the megacity, but China currently suffers a lack of them. Thus the author brings forth his bold solution: based on the principle of national macroeconomics, the population is to be redistributed such that of 1.5 billion people, 500 million are accommodated in new metropolitan areas; 500 million in existing megacities; 400 million in mid to small size cities; 100 million in rural areas. The key to achieving this is the building of sufficient megacities for a combined population of 500 million within 30 years. If each megacity holds 5 million, 100 megacities are required. Therefore if we build one new city per province every ten years across 30 provinces, the target can be substantially achieved within three cycles, or 30 years. The intellectual support for this scenario comes from 5 considerations.

beside China where rural pre-dominance is concurrent with large-scale commercial establishments; perpendicular, informed, and efficient government; widespread compulsory education; gross (if not excessive) industrial capacity; and the intense urge for urbanization among millions of peasants. This situation can be regarded as an urbanization arrearage*. The extent of the urbanization arrearage* and the pressure of the urbanization urge can be witnessed by current rail travel statistics: 100 million peasants take the train to the city every year. ii. Fast urbanization through peasant potential The revolution in China showed us that regarding the peasants as objects of charity, restriction, and limited education is not a sustainable method of government. The rural population has and will continue to play a key role in both modernization and economic growth. The peasants should be offered the opportunity to earn honor and pride in peacetime as much as in time of war. Denied this opportunity, in the context of a market economy, they may align themselves with rebels for the purposes of political insurrection. iii. Fast urbanization through the building of new megacities The fabric of the existing cities is neither so flexible nor so robust that it can withstand the target volume of peasant influx. Instead the peasants must be organized to build new cities for themselves. This is wholly in keeping with the glorious tradition of organizing peasants to face difficulties together. iv. Fast urbanization through the comparative study of urban development There are four major models for urban development in the world: 1. Europe The bulk of the rural population was steadily transformed into an urban population through industrialization, which converted peasants into factory workers.

2. Latin America Large numbers of farmers were forced into the city by latifundia reforms. Rapid growth of city slums ensued. 3. Japan Farmers served as soldiers during the longrunning war and then as factory workers when they returned home. 4. USA People gathered together quickly to join / create the urban economy via self-governance, advanced city-planning, and the freedom of large volumes of deregulated land. The US model is the most advanced and suitable for China. China however is now in a better position to embark upon mass urbanization than the US was at an equivalent stage in its history thanks to powerful economic growth, technological advancements, and the comparatively educated labor force. Urbanization in the US was heavily reliant upon a brutal civil war and the labor and movements of poorly educated recently freed African-Americans. The biggest obstacle China faces is the lack of discipline and high levels of selfishness among farmers, which makes them difficult to organize. Organization in this effort is critical because the Chinese environment, unlike the US, is not such that the task of building cities can be left to individual explorers and their potentially conflicting ideas. The plan has to be led by central government, and supported by local government. v. Fast urbanization through a policy of farmers build cities for themselves

1 Chinese unit of area: 1 mu is equivalent to 666.6m2. 2 billion mu is approximately 1.3 million km2.

1 new city per province every 10 years across 30 provinces


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10130 3,

Farmers are offered the opportunity to exchange their land and six years of construction labor for housing in the new city. Farmers must have land of their own was the basis for the peasant economy. Workers must have houses of their own will be the basis for the metropolitan society.

i. Fast urbanization through rural residential urbanization urge


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Almost all developed countries had at one stage a predominantly rural population. However, there is no case
 
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2. in which the author lays out a scheme for building a new city
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The author uses Jining in Shandong as an example. i. Location and budget

It should be noted that these numbers are purely imaginary and experts are needed to study plans carefully and convert property (farmland and future urban land) and labor into specific quantities. On the basis of these calculations it will be possible to float New Jining apartment exchange tickets. Crucially the land requisition itself will not require cash, in accordance with the principle farmers build cities for themselves. iii. Infrastructure

cost of say 20,000RMB on each apartment, this would constitute a total cost of only 20 billion RMB for 1 million apartments. To cover this the city government could issue New Jining Construction Bonds, to be paid off by future tax and administration fee revenue.

The government should gather together a team of global experts to devise the irrigation and urban planning. This will result in the most advanced urban design, in accordance with the saying a piece of blank paper is the most beautiful to draw upon. Banks should provide government-assured loans to attract domestic and international investment, using land and tax incentives and the promise of high return as the financial bait. With the governments announcement that it is building a New Jining for 6 million people opportunities will be created for venture capital and individual investment funds. ii. Land requisition

Infrastructure for the new city should be planned in advance and, starting with the drainage, be built over the first four years to cover a block 14x14km in dimension. Systems for water, gas, electricity and telecommunications should be integrated to make them clearly legible and easy to maintain in the future. The owning companies and providers should be related to and with each other. The apartment exchange market should allow the infrastructure to be built at cost. iv. Industrial belt Advance planning should identify an industrial area within New Jining and ensure that it is supported by related infrastructures. Work should be done at the outset of building New Jining to secure investment for the industrial belt. This will reassure rural workers concerned about employment prospects in the future city, and help maintain order throughout the construction phase. v. Residential Having requisitioned the land for free, the government should be in a position to apportion it to residential plots for free. Money for building materials, construction equipment, and the cost of hiring designers and engineers should be covered by the surplus building stock created (i.e. those apartments built over and above the total number required to guarantee the apartment exchange tickets). What if the value of this surplus building stock turns out to be insufficient for the expenses incurred? The government will need to budget carefully, and balance costs with money generated by auctioning off parts of the city center to commercial development. Besides, even if there is an outstanding

4 years building infrastructure plus 2 years on apartments sees the farmer-laborers installed in their new urban homes
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42

needed across Shandong to encourage poor farmers from other areas to participate in the construction of New Jining. A system can be implemented by which any rural couple from Shandong can work for six years on city-build projects in return for an apartment. An additional condition requires them to hand over their farmland and former houses in the villages upon receiving a key and residency card for New Jining. These plots of land can then be sold by the government, thus recuperating money paid out to farmers when they left the village for transport and living expenses during the six years of building. From the point of view of a poor farmer, six years of building can be rationalized against six years of deadend farming, the difference being that by the former they walk away with an apartment in a megacity. The scheme would be a fascinating one to embark upon, and with the assurance of six years of employment, would certainly beat hanging around in the village and gambling all the time. It would also be possible for entrepreneurs to come during the building work and set up ventures of higher profit for example, providing services to the millions of construction workers. These entrepreneurs would be potential customers for the higherend residential market, thus helping to finance the cost of building materials. vii. Labor force organization Even though the central theory of the fast urbanization plan is farmers build cities for themselves, its realization requires the government to involve itself in the organization of the labor force. The scale and complexity of the task would be sufficient to weed out incompetent officials by a process of natural selection. Worker groups should be organized along the lines of former towns or townships, villages, and farmer groups, with each group led by officials originating
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The first phase of New Jining should cover an area of 200km2. This is about one third of the size of Singapore, and less than 2% of the Jining prefecture. The second phase of New Jining should bring it up to 600km2, which is about the same size as Singapore.
6

Land requisition from peasants will be rationalized on the basis that apartments in the future New Jining will be granted in exchange for the requisitioned land plus 6 years labor constructing the new megacity. An example may be laid out as follows: the farmland of a family of three is exchanged for one apartment in the future New Jining; the house of this family can be exchanged for a second; if both parents work for six years building the city, they will receive one more. In this fashion a local rural family stands to gain three apartments in the New Jining, and thus become property owners. If in the course of building New Jining certain plots of requisitioned land are temporarily unoccupied, it will be possible for families to continue living and farming there until construction activities reach the site.
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Alternatively, the government could decide to subsidize the new apartments, and spend 20 billion RMB on converting 3 million farmers into urbanites. This could prove to be one of the best subsidies ever made. The enthusiasm of millions of laborers building millions of apartments for themselves would be a powerful attractor to other businesses and individuals thinking about investing in New Jining. And for the farmer-laborers themselves, four years of building infrastructure and a further two on their own apartments would see them installed in their new homes. Within ten years there would be a powerful and successful city, built by them, and belonging to them. vi. Labor sources But where will these millions of laborers come from? The total number of farmers on land directly requisitioned for the building of New Jining will not provide the required workforce. A province-wide effort will be



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from the same regions. This system has five major advantages:
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1. Easy to manage 2. Easy to distribute provisions 3. Easy to merge farmland freed up in the former villages 4. Easy for future city administration 5. Easy to educate those rural workers in their natural groups and help prepare them for becoming city residents At this point the author senses a potential problem in the building of New Jining: if the farmer-laborers do not like the conditions of the new city, they may want to return their apartment, and go back to their former life in the fields. This will be addressed shortly. viii. Education The experience of being organized into productive teams which build a new city and create wealth is already part of the education process for former semiemployed or unemployed rural dwellers. However, the construction site of New Jining should also be a university. Laborers will be expected to work forty hour weeks, in addition to which will be night school for workers. This will be laid on by the government with a teaching staff made up of professors, officials, students and volunteers. Over the six years, courses will be offered which provide workers with the knowledge and necessary training to become lawyers, economists, civil engineers, doctors, forensic investigators, social scientists, restaurateurs, interior designers, and experts in world affairs.

The Party should also provide some military and security training, as well as holding a wide range of cultural and sporting events. There should be regular competitions with the chance to win honor or receive punishment, with prizes available for the best workers. The most efficient laborers and organizers should have top priority when it comes to choosing apartments. ix. Impact on economic growth Creating organized labor forces creates production. Excellent administration enhances productivity. Efficient production in a stable context generates wealth. Each new megacity in China should make a significant contribution to GDP, not to mention improvements to the domestic human resource through training and skills. Further benefits to the national economy would come on three fronts. 1. The first consideration is the economy of those villages left behind by the new urbanites of New Jining. Those who remained as farmers would find that the availability of farmland, food production, and income all increased several fold. The demolition of the former homes and plots of three million former farmers, and the subsequent operation of land amalgamation and rationalization, would allow the rural condition to benefit from modern economies of scale. Thus the currently underperforming countryside will be converted into a well-managed productive sector. 2. The building of the New Jining megacity would require enormous volumes of materials not only cement, steel and power, but also materials for every aspect of modern urban life, and the machinery and technologies behind them. Textiles, plastics, electronics, engines and parts, and a wealth of knowledge will all be needed. The effort required to provide these things will give industry and business in general a terrific boost. 3. China would develop a larger role in the global market of resource distribution, which is an important part of the strategy for long-term development. At present China has an excess of foreign currency savings, but lacks metal mines. Through the building of new cities we would bring large quantities of key metals into China, thus gaining a significant future resource.

3. in which the author explains urbanization and considers the economic feasibility of his new city by answering three elementary questions

Every city that has ever existed started with the gathering of people, and the building of their homes. When making plans for the creation of a successful city, it is necessary to consider three elemental questions: 1. Why do people come to the city? (Should they come?) 2. What will people do there? (Will there be things for them to do?) 3. How does need become surplus i.e. how does a group of people in need of wealth, resources etc., become a group of people with a surfeit of wealth, resources etc.? (Can need become surplus in this city?) The author will now address these questions in relation to his proposal for New Jining. QUESTION 1. Why would three million peasants come to New Jining in Shandong province? ANSWER 1. To improve their quality of life. To understand this answer it is necessary to ask one further question: what does improving your quality of life actually mean? Human beings have three basic urges: the urge for food, for reproduction, and for shelter. Within the context of urban planning, to improve living conditions is to improve housing conditions and income, as the combination of wealth and high quality housing has the power to address these three urges. Generally the areas with the best housing offer the best quality of life, and house the richest people. For most Chinese citizens, owning a home of some kind will be the most significant piece of capital they acquire. Therefore the quality of that home is instrumental to any assessment of their wealth or the quality of their lives.

New Jining should also be a university.


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Thus the success of New Jining is contingent upon the promise of better quality housing, viz. a toilet, running hot and cold potable water, decent heating and insulation etc. Current living conditions in much of the Chinese countryside are comparatively basic, but the residents themselves represent a labor force with considerable building experience (from both local and migrant work), industrial experience (from work in TVEs*), and a minimum of nine years education. Couple this to the CCPs strong organizational capacity, and the potential to mobilize these residents and set them to building high quality housing stock becomes an almost tangible nearreality. The very nature of that stock will then ensure Shandong-wide metrophilia. QUESTION 2. What would three million peasants do in New Jining? ANSWER 2. All the things a young dynamic city needs them to do. The employment situation for the peasants of Shandong is very poor. Families on small plots of farmland work for maybe three months a year, producing barely enough to feed themselves. Beyond this, time is spent playing cards, board games and gossiping. There are those who work longer in the fields, pulling out grass by hand at the end of every day, but ultimately benefit little for all their pain and effort. In the meantime, writers pass through and give dolorous accounts of village life, describing parents who cannot even afford paper for the education of their children. Often nothing is done in the village because there is nothing worth doing. The villagers cannot improve their situation by, for example, building a road, as the government will not finance roads to such tiny destinations. And besides, what of worth could be transported in or out? The demand itself is too impoverished to warrant infrastructure, and thus a stone is laid over further development or employment prospects. This situation of limiting the opportunities and usefulness of work is disastrous as it is work itself which creates wealth. The impetus to work is maintained by high levels of demand. In New Jining, the building of the city alone would provide six years of continu

ous employment, effecting the creation of enormous wealth and a population of property owners. The outlook from there is that there would be a new city with new demands, resulting in contracts and dependencies on a scale unthinkable when its population was still dispersed among innumerable indigent villages. A thriving tertiary sector, previously nonexistent, would spring up. Production would follow demand, and at the same time demand further production. Refocusing the economy from exports to the nurturing of internal demand would recirculate wealth. It is a common fallacy that the economy leads, and shapes cities, when in fact it is the people and cities which come first, and stimulate economic growth. There are of course instances of failed urbanization, where people have come together in cities and created only unemployment and social instability. This is notable in Latin America. However, the proposal for New Jining distinguishes itself from the Latin American paradigm in three ways: 1. The urban poor of Latin America own no property, lack education, suffer from bad organization and feeble discipline, and subsist within structures of poor social order with a consequently weak investment climate. The fact that this is the case often in spite of rich physical resources only goes to demonstrate how little physical resources have to do with the creation of wealth. On the other hand, the residents of New Jining would own their own apartments, benefit from a minimum of nine years compulsory education plus a further six years of construction site night-school, would be hard-working, literate and strong-willed, and serried within a rigorous social structure comparable to that of Japan or Singapore. 2. The citizens of New Jining would be first generation migrants coming from situations of poverty and unemployment. With this background they would not be picky about jobs but, like the post-war Japanese, would be willing to work hard at anything. 3. The scientific urban design of New Jining with its comprehensive plan for the accommodation of migrants (often sorrily lacking in new towns in developing countries) would provide a city with excellent infrastructure and a plentiful supply of cheap labor. Such conditions are highly attractive to investors,

Often nothing is done in the village because there is nothing worth doing.
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offering the combination of logistical efficiency and an energetic labor market.


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with the conversion of need into boom. A city is simply a way to gather demands, and the capacity to meet those demands via work, into a single location.

QUESTION 3. Without money, how does job demand become job availability? How does so much need turn into so much boom? ANSWER 3. Labor and wealth are not the product of currency currency is an expression of demand met by production.

4. in which the author brings his arguments to conclusion

500 million people

Currency is used for measurement, exchange, savings and investments, and loans, but in all of these instances is serving merely as a representation of either work done or work to be done. It has no intrinsic substance or power. The only absolute requirement for the production of money is a group of workers, and if a city can provide this, it can invent its own wealth.

The concept of a city is in fact synonymous with the conversion of need into boom.
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Well organized collective work is the foundation for modern society. This is true whether the organization is done chiefly by the state, as under communism, or by bodies operating within a market. New cities will be the best place for China to organize its workers, and it is in this direction that development should proceed. But the author has higher hopes for New Jining than mere economic growth. Developing new cities will also create many crises, the solution of which will bring forward outstanding leaders. These leaders will be able to go on and mold new systems of government, which will allow New Jining to become one of the best inhabited environments in the world. Twenty-four centuries ago the Shangyang Reform set up the free peasant-economy, and established the foundation for a united rural China. China has now reached a new turning point in terms of its economy, the lifestyles of its people, and of Chinese society itself. Rapid urbanization provides the torque for this change. Offering rural residents the framework to build their own cities gives change to the people; the people in turn change the nation.

100 cities

Having built New Jining, its inhabitants could then mortgage their apartments (thus realizing work done) and use the capital to invest in new ventures of their own, as well as consuming the products of the ventures of others. The process of building a city is itself a way of storing up an immense volume of work done, and thus wealth. The fact that the city then has needs is the first principle of its subsequent economy: the needs can be treated as demand; demand in the presence of facilitated workers creates production; the meeting of demands with production runs off as wealth. The concept of a city is in fact synonymous


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cracking creativity!
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Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

the peoples republic of change* - talking creativity 798* is dead - cutting the boloni - chinese whispers

Jeanne-Marie Gescher OBE , Philip Dodd Adrian Hornsby, Neville Mars

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The Peoples Republic of Change*


Jeanne-Marie Gescher
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From media buzzword of the late 90s to essential policy focus for ambitious governments around the world, the creative city has become a metaphor for innovative thinking not only about creative sector activity, but about the fundamental relationship between business, society and government. Across the developing world, creative city concepts are seen to offer the chance to leapfrog traditional (linear) models and embrace the power of the networked economy. Point-to-point networking with a focus on connectivity rather than high-rise; urban regeneration for inspiration as much as economics; freedom and democracy as principles of economic organization as much as political ideals have all driven a blurring of the divides that traditionally separated the public-private-NGO spectrum. Creative city ideals seem almost made for China a country whose whole response to 21st century challenge seems to be an exercise in shock and awe. Images of Chinese urban chic emerging against a

communist canvas has created an ever increasing stream of creative city tourists, all seeking their own fix on what has become the fastest-changing piece of the planet where contradictions are the norm, and creative inspiration is almost guaranteed. City-state connectivity is accelerating, and many of Chinas cities are acquiring a whole new sense of what it means to be Chinese and creative. As other parts of the world have shifted their perspective to city as ecosystem, Chinas creative city focus is arguably an essential step in re-crafting relationships between business, government, and society and in so doing, coming to terms with that last frontier of the truly market economy: the individual. Within China, creative city themes are acquiring a force of their own. Governments, from central Beijing to downtown Shanghai, and from rural Guizhou to poetic Chengdu, are discovering that while public budgets alone cannot meet need, private sector investment tapping into creative aspirations can deliver very real returns as much for city branding as for rents. Even more astonishingly for those traditionally focused on the high-rise emblems of global wealth, the legacy

deserts of yesterdays industry seem to be custom-built for inspiration, innovation and the low cost knowledge environments that emerging creatives (creative entrepreneurs as well as enterprising creatives) crave. So what does this mean? Well, quite probably that China will depending on your definition of creative incubate some of the most creative cities on the planet. Some may be slickly creative hubs of commercial creativity serving the worlds fastest growing advertising market across a consumer market which is quickly expanding beyond the limits of the obvious metropolises of Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. Some may be creative in focus, but not necessarily origination or style policy-driven games village equivalents of the original high-tech zones. Some, like Shanghais Xintiandi and Beijings 798*, will be heavily branded and privately developed zones selling creativity for residence, work and roads delivered side-by-side with hospitals, schools and hubs for entertainment, recreation and knowledge. Some could well be independent reclamations of urban wasteland. In so doing, they could dramatically push the boundaries of the traditional

relationships between government, business, society and the individual. How many? Which models? What impact? Hard to say, but present indications are that China 2010 could be a very different place. While central planning may still be around, on-the-ground diversity is likely to be a defining feature of the Peoples Republic of Change*. Shanghais Xintiandi and M50, Hangzhous Animation Park, Beijings Feijiacun Music and 798* Arts Villages, Nanjings Design Park, Lijiangs Ancient City, Chengdus Games & Film Park and a host of others are likely to be but the forerunners of a host of innovative approaches to the creative city challenge. As they emerge, they will be accompanied by top-down blueprints and by a host of private urban developments which will be wired for online connectivity but may challenge the limits of exclusion. Will creativity survive? As the cost of urban living and working goes up, the independent elements of the creative class are likely to find it increasingly hard

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to compete with more affluent business tenants. Can the industrial wastelands reclaimed by creative independents survive against the commercial ambitions of would-be developers? The risks are clear but sharp government focus in certain parts of the country may deliver strengthened policy environments to level the playing field. Beijings Chaoyang District (recently designated as a national model for creative cities) is beginning to look at 798* almost as a heritage environment exploring ways in which affordable access can be maintained by the state as a means of protecting the inherently independent nature of the area. Will it be creative? As government policy makers engage whether through the design and delivery of custom-made creative zones or through the subsidization of independent creative spaces and plans and plan-driven-funding for the creative sector (by no means a made in China phenomenon) can creativity remain creativity? Clearly a struggle. The most recent (11th) Five Year Plan contains a plethora of policy targets at both the central and local level from strengthening the policy (and regulatory) environment itself, to promoting

resource co-ordination, as well as strengthening training and education, building pilot projects and centers of excellence, and expanding global trade initiatives and enterprise and related employment. But the collision of the official and the independent could well be a process to which China may bring an element of creativity all of its own. Contemporary China is all about the struggle between the individual and the collective, between rigor and flexibility, between rules and tradition, between conformity and independence. Permanent physical space is part of the struggle, but by no means all of it. It is also about voice, presence and individuality, with a high tolerance for change and even impermanence. The Peoples Republic of Change*. What could be more creative than that?

the more friends you have, the more opportunities you get
Chinese proverb

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Talking Creativity
Jeanne-Marie Gescher Philip Dodd
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whole of the city, have become iconic images of London for the local population as much as anyone else. In a globally competitive environment for creativity, effective, globally recognized branding is a key indicator of success. As yet, Beijing has no iconic image of its creative modernity (although the Olympics stadium or CCTV may become that). PD: My own sense is that we need to understand the crisis that has generated the new belief, from London to Beijing, in the creative economy. Manufacturing has withdrawn from the great cities and both for intelligent reasons and for reasons of desperation, cities are designating themselves as creative. The truth is, if all cities are creative, none are. How does a city differentiate itself in this dash toward creativity? Its clear, isnt it, that in the Darwinian struggle over creativity there will be winners and losers? Hence the fascination, in China and elsewhere, with cultural branding. Those that brand well will survive: such is the belief. And of course, its important that the brand reflects to some degree the reality. In London the opening of the new gallery of international art, Tate Modern, and the opening of the Eye, a large wheel on which you can travel and see the JMG: The cultural revolution generation of tourists (looking for bicycles, Maos red book and Tiananmen Square) is now being replaced by a new generation which can best be described as shock of the new: 798* now a compulsory point on the tourist map is but one of a range of destinations chosen for their China is not what you think appeal. PD: Culture is also more and more important to the tourist industry. More and more people travel as cultural tourists and visit Europe not only to experience the history of culture but also contemporary culture. 59% of visitors cited museums as an important reason for visiting London in the 1991 census; 34% for the performing arts. Often the creative industries provide

the soft infrastructure of tourism development (tourism is the biggest industry in the world) the small arts-orientated enterprises that create local fashion, small consumer goods, galleries, shops, stylish bars and cafs that city visitors enjoy visiting independently. JMG: Power no longer comes from the barrel of a gun but from a speed of light knowledge economy. As Chinas formal curriculum has been recast to drive more and better learner-based learning and the creativity that goes with that, policy makers are moving on to recognize that neighborhood counts: knowledge hubs that center on universities need connectivity with creative talent and both need access to business skills. PD: In the new information age, creativity as a skill is more and more important. In the UK, there is now an increasing, if sometimes grudging, recognition that cultural subjects in the curriculum are important spaces in which people can learn to exercise creativity. Equally, there is a recognition, particularly

JMG: Culture and creativity are now being recognized as significant economic drivers: economic sectors in their own right but also critical connectors to a wide range of urban must haves not least the branding, tourism and sense of creative identity needed to attract and retain human as well as financial capital. True to the contradictions of the socialist market economy, we now have a Five Year Plan (the 11th) which is putting innovation at the heart of official endeavor and encouraging key cities to see themselves as beacons of culture and creativity for wider economic and social gains. Beijing has become a focal point of official ambition in no small part because its creative independents have turned areas such as 798* into the poster childs of Chinas flash (as in, transformation at the speed of light) economy.

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at the university level, that cultural and creative students need business skills at the same time as it is recognized that business people need creative skills.
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JMG: Without destruction, there is no construction.1 Construction and deconstruction appear to go hand in hand in contemporary China. Instant urbanization can be a temporary phenomenon and purpose driven zones are hostage to wider economic change which can occur quite quickly. Beijings 798* and Shanghais M50 are testaments to the fact that economic adjustment is not just a Western challenge. Whats interesting however is that in an era of aggressive urban development, these spaces have managed to survive long enough for creative independents to get a foothold. PD: Culture is a very good vehicle of urban regeneration that, at least, is a common public sector perception. The large scale urban renovation carried out for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics created a new infrastructure, but the city authorities were concerned to ensure that local neighborhoods shared in the benefits by matching the international aspect of the Olympics with community-based participatory events involving the creative industries. In the
1 Mao Zedong, May 16, 1966

Berlin Mitte, part of the old East Germany, abandoned buildings and low rents allowed small cultural businesses to move into the area. These small companies dragged other services in their wake, in the form of bars and cafs and restaurants reinvigorating the area and helping to regenerate it. Above all culture has become of interest to governments and policy makers because its clearly now a major economic earner. Even in the most powerful economy in the world, the US economy, industries related to culture had overtaken aircraft manufacture as the biggest export earner, employing over 10% of the population. JMG: Contemporary China as shock is becoming a global theme. For Chinas urban populations, 25 years of relentless change have created an extraordinarily adaptive youth generation and one which is fascinated by its own experience. Prices of Chinese artworks may be going through the roof in New York but here at home, creative expression and interest in creative expression is a social phenomenon in which

the individual is finding his or her place in a world that changes everyday. PD: In an increasingly complex world where traditional notions of family and community and even nation are being reformulated, and where all of us recognize that all communities are imagined communities, culture is increasingly the space in which people discuss who they are and might be. In this sense culture will become ever more important. JMG: China is now actively developing creative city and sector policies. Policy work is taking place both at the central and local government levels but as in other parts of the world it tends to focus on the numeric, the definable and the profitable: what can be counted; what can be seen and what drives GDP. There is of course a recognition that the total fabric is what counts museums and events as much as design and TV but at the end of the day, policy makers are captive to their own limited architecture.

the future belongs in the long run to city states rather than nations
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PD: No one, anywhere, has adequately resolved how governments and policymakers should relate to the creative sector, imagined as an economic power. The reasons for this are numerous. At one level, there is the complex historical relationship between ideas of commerce and culture which has been imagined as an antagonistic one. Of course this is historical illiteracy. Shakespeare was in our terms a millionaire when he died; Hollywood is the biggest historical experiment between art and big business, according to that impeccable left-wing critic, Manny Farber. JMG: So possibly the socialist market economy embracing rather than resolving the contradictions of policy and the market is a pretty honest perspective.

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PD: Theres very little convincing historical evidence to help us understand why creativity is fuelled in certain places and in certain times so there is hesitation about what authorities should do. Once I was in Downing Street in London at a political seminar on the creative economy. At the end, a minister stood up and said: I see what governments need to do: nothing stay out of the way. Maybe he was right, or wrong. But one understood his bemusement. At the same time, the conditions in which ideas of a creative city are nurtured are so various that it may be hard for different cities to learn from one another. St Petersburg has invested heavily in creative businesses for reasons of tourism. The authorities there believe that cultural tourists (and this is the kind all cities want as they spend the most money) want a landscape of creative businesses and a creative quarter that they can discover. In St Petersburg, a creative quarter is nurtured to complement existing tourist attractions such as the Hermitage.

Sheffield in England was a world famous steel town which wanted a cultural initiative to help to provide employment as manufacturing left the city. But the public sector was so concerned with production that it forgot to ask what consumers there were for this production. Unfortunately, the answer was not enough. In short it is important to stress that the issues that China faces have not been solved elsewhere. That doesnt mean that cross cultural analysis isnt important. It is. But policies cant be imported like cars. They need to be culturally sensitive. JMG: Policy makers often use the terms culture and creativity interchangeably but with significant differences in meaning typically the cultural is attributed to traditionally state driven activity, while creativity is attributed to the independent sector; and while policy reform appears to favor convergence, the reality remains that these are two very different platforms. To complicate things (at least in terms of the number of policy-making institutions involved!), both

culture and creativity are being absorbed into wider policy initiatives around knowledge embracing the full spectrum of intellectual capital with a particular focus on science and technology. Complicated though it may be on the ground, the recognition of a link between these three culture, creativity and knowledge favors a very sharp focus on Chinas traditional intellectual hubs where intense education resources (including universities which are well on their way to becoming global intellectual powerhouses) are co-located with enterprise and independence. It also (potentially) attaches Chinas increasingly powerful technology engines around the digital distribution of content to the creation of content and interactivity itself. Search could well be re-invented here. And thats just the beginning. PD: My guess if Im ruthlessly honest with myself is that for too long creativity has been seen to be the domain of culture. And yet in the 21st century, it is

science entrepreneurs and biotech companies the best of which are defiantly creative that are going to be much more important to national economies and the global economy than the cultural one. But lets for the moment take the question you raise. For a start, if the creative economy is to be the driver of creative cities and my view is that the future belongs in the long run to city states rather than nations then there will need to be a radical overhaul in education. For instance, there are major universities in China as well in the US which are potentially hubs of creative enterprise. But is the education they are offering their students informed by the creative economy that they will join? My own view is that I doubt it. And that is only to talk about universities. What about schools. Should it be a right to have an education with a mouse (i.e. computer) as much as with a musical instrument. How can

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entrepreneurship be taught? Can it be taught? The industrial revolution in the West transformed education. Who is thinking about the changes the knowledge economy will demand of education? Never forget that academics feel that they have property rights over not only knowledge but the way the knowledge is transmitted. That will have to be given up. JMG: At a senior policy level, the link between creativity or culture and entrepreneurship is critical. It goes to the heart of job creation for a country which (depending on which numbers you look at) will need to create 400 million jobs by 2020. The trick is to harness the element of independence to engines of practical skill, capital, and markets (at home and abroad) which, at present, is a very hit and

miss process. The Club concept that you set up at the Institute of Contemporary Arts seems to have enormous potential to kick-start these linkages.

PD: When I was the Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (19972004), I commissioned with the political think tank Demos some short term action-focused research to discover what are the needs of the creative sector were. Once we had published the research and the process from commissioning the research to publishing the research took only six months we had to decide what to do next. One option was to prepare some more research. But we

the emergence of creative clusters around Chinas cities has given the people a chance and a place to explore their individuality
Chen Qianqian, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Beijing University, 2006

2006
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wanted to do something more immediately useful for the companies themselves that our research had shown were desperately in need of particular kinds of practical help. In response to these needs, I set up an informal club for these companies, to provide them business advice, whether on branding or on venture capital, and above all an opportunity to meet other companies whom they might wish to collaborate with. One of the key characteristics of this sector is that companies often work in partnership. The companies ranged from fashion designers with only two employees to digital companies with 150 employees. In character the companies ranged from music labels and design companies (from fashion to product and industrial design), to PR companies and architectural practices. Above all The Club was a self-help group costing little money where knowledge

and expertise was shared. It was run on behalf of the members, by myself, and an assistant. But it emphatically belonged to the members, and the seminars and events were driven by their needs. Sister clubs were instituted in Amsterdam, Glasgow and Taipei. The Club was, I suppose, an example of what the sociologist Manuel Castells means by the network society. Part of the intellectual fascination of the creative economy sector and of creative cities is that neither the public sector nor private sector has quite managed to understand them. The public sector is wary of the companies because they make profits (when they can), so the public funding bodies have not been able to recognize them within their categories; yet the traditional representatives of private business have not provided them with support because they do not act or look like either financial or manufacturing businesses.

JMG: Independently reclaimed 798* seems to have become the latest tourist hotspot even as the world gets prepared to descend on an Olympic Beijing whose design is far more made by government. This extraordinary collision of the unplanned and the planned seems to have become an element of creativity in and of itself. Beijingers (who are as much 798* tourists as foreigners) could be forgiven for feeling slightly schizophrenic but they seem to take it in their stride. This change is BAU is one of the most distinctive characteristics of the city (and much of the rest of China) and something that seems to give the city

a definite edge in terms of creative (read, adaptive, intuitive) thinking. PD: I am excited by the change that I see in China and Im here once a month! I have no doubt that through the 21st century China will become more and more important as a creative producer. In the early 20th century, there was an American population hungry for entertainment and Hollywood came along to meet that need. In the great cities of China there is a population hungry for entertainment and Chinese (and other) companies will arise to meet





Slogan of the refuse-to-buyapartments movement: potential apartment buyers across China are petitioning against the rising prices of apartments by refusing to buy.
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those needs especially in the digital domain. But I am equally aware that not everyone benefits from creative cities, or from the massive change that is transforming China. So how can the benefits of creative cities spread beyond a small elite (I hasten to say that this is not only a question in China)? Im

not fond of Richard Floridas The Rise of The Creative Class because it seems to be a Leninist book (the vanguard) but without the politics. If change produces creativity then how can those excluded from the benefits of creativity be included in the story? This is for me a key question.

JMG: Our world (in China) is dominated by the online and mobile environments. China has 420 million mobile users increasing by 4 million a month; 137 million online users expected to be 232 million by 2010; and an estimated 16 million bloggers at Q4, 05 expected to be in the region of 60 million by Q4, 06. The Beijing municipal government is working with the private sector

to integrate the use of wireless technology into daily life. The built and the virtual are being created hand in hand with huge implications for reach and connectivity within China and abroad. PD: The impact of mobile phones simply hasnt begun to be registered. But mobile phones are

from cotton to canvas


Motto for Shanghais M50 Suzhou Creek art district

digitize the future Motto for Shanghais Xuhui digital district

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city-branding has become a top priority in all Chinese cities


Su Tong, Vice Secretary General, Created in China Industrial Alliance, 2006 2

2006

at another level simply a metaphor for the network society, to use Manuel Castells again. Creative businesses are often better known abroad than at home and generate global networks. I brought 15 UK creative businesses to China in 2000; 7 of them have continued to work / network with their Chinese counterparts. But the most important dimension of the mobile and online world is the rise of user generated content the shift to a democratic idea of creativity. A creativity not of the few but of the many; dialogue rather than monologue. JMG: One of the things we work quite hard at is networking small creatives with global (and sometimes

just pure foreign) business a challenge given the architecture of the global (even global creative) businesses. Language, work styles, time and distance all add a particular Chinese characteristic to this. European governments, increasingly anxious to build not just large but small business links with China, are developing policy programs which may not hit the target. Training more Europeans in the Chinese language and in Chinese business practice does not necessarily address the most fundamental boundary which is that few Europeans have got on-the-ground experience of working in a small Chinese creative and vice-versa. Language is a huge barrier but so is pure familiarity.

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PD: Most of the time most of us are volunteered into doing what we do. So Im not sure abstract initiatives are what will work. The last 20 years have been about the West moving east. I set up my company Made in China because I think that the next twenty years will be about China moving west. Chinese notions of aesthetics, of lifestyle, will become more visible in the West. So in that sense China will come to be as much in the West as the West has been in China. In these new circumstances, new ways of cross-cultural collaboration will begin to develop. The West will begin to notice that one of its greatest pieces of


music, Mahlers Das Lied Von Der Erde, is based on six Chinese poems; Chinese stories (such as the Monkey King) will begin to percolate into Western imaginations. I think that all revolutions are long revolutions and that the kind of revolution of understanding you want will take time. JMG: We are often asked why China is focusing on creative cities when the global zeitgeist is all about ecocities and networking for sustainability. My own view is that the two are closely related and that without exploring creative fundamentals (independence,

networking, and collaboration) real ecocities are hard to achieve. Chinas energy around creative cities (policydriven and independent) seems to us to be a key factor in changing the relationship of the city to the planet. PD: Id like to believe that creativity and sustainability go together. But I see no reason they necessarily should do so. Between creativity and sustainability are the large mass of the population who are excluded from the creative economy and suffer the pains of a polluted planet. Im haunted by a phrase of an English novelist of the late 19th century, Thomas Hardy. He

wrote, when the poor have the power to choose between culture and luxury, they always choose luxury first. I recognize this in the history of my own family. If creative cities, the creative economy, and sustainability are to mean what they might, they need to heed the words of Thomas Hardy and think how the benefits of creativity can be shared, harmoniously.
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Chaoyang District Government will develop cultural and creative industry parks and incubation centers Chaoyang District Government, 2005

2003 2004

The site is an area of derelict land in East Beijing. Rising rents in 798* lead to clusters of nearby run-off art villages Suojiacun is built from scratch by a single development company on the model of warehouse spaces (not only fashionable but architecturally extremely cheap). Within less than one year Suojiacun Art Village is entirely rented out: over 100 domestic and international artists are in residence. Artists invest several million RMB of personal money in their properties (converting studios into studio-residences); curators and collectors pass through regularly. A conflict develops with the government concerning land use and Suojiacun Art Village is threatened with demolition. Artists respond with an extensive PR campaign, declaring Suojiacun to be the most international art camp in the world, having an impact abroad, and having its own Chinese characteristics. Officials grant the area a temporary reprieve.

2005
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Maoist era post reform 1990s 20032006

Dashanzi military electronics factory district built in Chinese-East German collaborative partnership. State-owned enterprises prove inefficient and uncompetitive many factories are closed leaving large vacant industrial spaces. Artists start to rent empty buildings, move in, show work. The 7 Stars Group (a profitable body with land-lease rights operating under the auspices of the Peoples Liberation Army), recognizing the real estate potential of land by the Airport Expressway, starts to apply developmental pressure. Artists respond with a drive for recognition, arguing that the areas cultural value should safeguard it from generic redevelopment (e.g. hotels, gated communities). Dashanzi International Art Festivals (DIAF) in May 2004, 2005, and 2006, bring international attention to 798* as an Art District. Though each festival is beset by politically-motivated obstacles, their success and growing fame attracts the interest of the local (Chaoyang) government, as well as that of profitable enterprise. Rents rise and more foreign and commercial outlets open (galleries, cafs, stores etc.). Chaoyang Government declares 798* a Creative Industries Area, and it is officially promoted domestically and around the world as Chinas leading art district. With the 7 Stars Group, Chaoyang creates a Construction & Management Office of 798* Art Zone and sets up a committee to liaise between tenants (now predominantly galleries rather than artist studio-residences) and the 7 Stars Group for the purposes of guiding future development. Membership of the Committee is reserved exclusively to 7 Stars Group representatives bent on realizing the economic potential of the now hip 798* area. The Committee pursues a plan for a Creative Business Zone, leasing land to high revenue companies which exhibit creative characteristics. Governmental protection of the area extends to the historic architecture (the East German factories), but does not specify use. The 7 Stars Group declines to renew the lease of artist Huang Rui a key organizer of the DIAF festivals and figurehead of 798s cultural regeneration. Huang Rui leaves. The 7 Stars Group launches its own May festival ( 798* Festival), and DIAF now moved to September is forced into other locations around the city. 7 Stars Group hires its own curator to control the content and feel of the 798* Festival, which, ironically, is dubbed Retroactive harking back to the previous 3 DIAF festivals that 7 Stars Group had politicked actively against. With complete control over setting rents on a building by building basis, the 7 Stars Group is able either to create favorable conditions or drive out tenants as they please. Having co-opted the festival, and now playing an active role in shaping the districts makeup, the identity of what was initially a grassroots movement is placed firmly in the hands of the company.

end 2005

Having given 24 hours notice, local government bulldozers roll in and demolish a section of the Art Village. Some artwork is lost. Artists whose studios are still standing move out, and the area is abandoned as too unstable. Official reason for the demolition is that the land was designated for agricultural use and developed without the proper permits. However this is largely considered to be a paper reason. Illegal development of agricultural land is extremely common in China (100,000ha of arable land illegally developed by cities in 2006), and had local officials wanted to preserve the Art Village, it is unlikely the land designation issue would have surfaced. Speculation as to the real reasons for the demolition of Suojiacun Art Village is inconclusive. Theories include: insufficient tea money (bribes) paid by the developer to local officials; tea money paid by the developer to the wrong officials, creating a backlash from those officials who felt they should have received the tea money; internal bureaucratic conflicts; ideological opposition to the artwork / artists.

late 2006

2007

The same development company goes back into Suojiacun, redevelops the demolished areas, and starts rerenting studios to artists. With no official change in status for the land itself, it seems likely that new bribes have smoothed over the previous bribe irregularities.

Nov 2006 May 2007

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gaobeidian north garden Cutting the Boloni


text: Adrian Hornsby architecture: Neville Mars

2001 the building of the 5th ring road LAND-TAKE REQUIRED FOR THE BUILDING OF THE FIFTH RING ROAD CREATES A STRING OF SPECIAL STATUS PLOTS OF LAND ENCIRCLING BEIJING. LAND FORMERLY CONTROLLED BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IS TAKEN BY CENTRAL GOVERNMENT TO FACILITATE THE NEW INFRASTRUCTURE. IN RETURN, LOCAL GOVERNMENTS ARE AWARDED OWNERSHIP OF PACKAGES OF LAND ADJACENT TO THE RING ROAD. THESE PACKAGES MAY NOT BE SOLD, ONLY LEASED, THOUGH LEASE CONTRACTS MAY BE LONG TERM. ONE SUCH LAND PACKAGE IS LOCATED IN THE GAOBEIDIAN AREA, JUST TO THE EAST OF THE FIFTH RING ROAD. 2005 international furniture company boloni leases a furniture factory Within the special status area of gaobeidian KEBAO WAS FOUNDED IN 1999 BY CAI MING AS A KITCHEN FURNITURE BUSINESS. IT RAPIDLY EXPANDED FROM ITS INITIAL STAFF OF SEVEN AND DIVERSIFIED INTO KITCHEN AND BATHROOM FURNISHINGS, DOORS, FLOORING, WALL PANELS, SOFAS, INTERIORS AND NOW ALSO INTERIOR DESIGN. A JOINT VENTURE IN 2001 WITH AN ITALIAN DESIGN CONSULTANCY GAVE RISE TO BOLONI. IN 2005 BOLONI TOOK OVER A FURNITURE FACTORY IN THE SPECIAL STATUS AREA OF GAOBEIDIAN WHICH WAS SUFFERING FROM WHAT AT THE TIME WERE HIGH IMPORT TAXES IMPOSED BY THE US ON KITCHEN FURNITURE. HOWEVER TARIFFS CHANGED, AND CAI MING FOSTERED INTENTIONS TO EXPAND THE FACTORY INTO SURROUNDING PARTS OF THE SPECIAL STATUS AREA. WITHIN ONE MONTH OF BOLONI LEASING THE FACTORY THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT EXTENDED THE ZONING OF THE CBD (LOCATED PRIMARILY AROUND THE EAST THIRD RING ROAD). A CBD FUNCTIONAL AREA WAS CREATED WHICH STRETCHED FURTHER EAST TO THE FIFTH RING ROAD, WITHIN WHICH FACTORY DEVELOPMENT WAS PROHIBITED. CAI MING WAS FORCED TO RETHINK HIS PLANS FOR EXPANSION, AND RECOGNIZING THE APPEAL OF NEARBY 798* (NORTH EAST FOURTH RING ROAD) AND SUOJIACUN (NORTH EAST FIFTH RING ROAD), WAS INSPIRED TO PURSUE THE IDEA OF A NEW CREATIVE DISTRICT. HE PROPOSED THE ADJACENT GAOBEIDIAN NORTH GARDEN (GBDN) AN UNDERDEVELOPED 4HA SITE CONSISTING OF OLD MOSTLY DISUSED FACTORIES AND A NUMBER OF HOMES BECOME AN AREA FOR CREATIVE INDUSTRIES. THIS SUGGESTION FOUND FAVOR WITH THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY OFFERED CAI MING LEASES NOT ONLY FOR GBDN BUT ALSO FOR A MUCH LARGER PORTION OF LAND A 90HA UNDEVELOPED TREE FARM TO THE SOUTH OF THE FACTORY, KNOWN AS GAOBEIDIAN SOUTH (GBDS). CAI MING SIGNED 50 YEAR LEASE AGREEMENTS ON BOTH AND STARTED TO RESEARCH AND DEVELOP HIS IDEAS, ATTENDING INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES AND VISITING CREATIVE DISTRICTS WORLDWIDE.

I dare to do this thing. Each year for 10 years my company has grown by 50%, and so I can afford to dare. Only in China could an interior designer initiate a big real estate project like this. In fact, 70% of developers in China are not professionals in the field. Only 30% are real estate specialists, but here it is so cheap to build and profits are so hot many people want to take the opportunity. Cai Ming, CEO, Boloni Kitchen & Bathroom Furnishings

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ee scr
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this guy is a cool guy, but he has no money, but I need him. I need different kinds of creative things.
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conference hotel store

20052007 cai mings ideas for the special status area mature but no development occurs CAI MINGS RESEARCH LEADS TO THREE CONCLUSIONS. 1. INSPIRED BY JANE JACOBS THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES, CAI MING DECIDES MIXED-USE PROGRAMMING IS KEY TO THE SUCCESS OF CREATIVE DISTRICTS. HE RECOGNIZES THAT INDIVIDUALS AND COMPANIES WITH LOW RENT POTENTIAL CAN BE SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTORS TO THE CREATIVE CAPITAL OF AN AREA. EQUALLY, HE FEELS THAT A MORE AFFLUENT COMMERCIAL COMPONENT IS NECESSARY, AND THAT SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS ARE REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN A LIVELY ATMOSPHERE. ONLY DIVERSE INTEGRATED CROSS-CONNECTED URBAN DESIGN CAN ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE CREATIVE COMMUNITIES. HE IDENTIFIES PROFIT-MAXIMIZATION AND THE LACK OF INCENTIVE TO PROVIDE CHEAPER UNITS WITHIN NEW DEVELOPMENTS AS A KEY OBSTACLE IN THE PRODUCTION OF CREATIVE DISTRICTS. 2. CAI MING NOTES THAT CHINAS RED HOT REAL ESTATE MARKET (WHICH HAS SEEN ANNUAL RISES IN THE REGION OF 30%) IS A POOR ENVIRONMENT FOR PROJECTS WITH LONG TERM GOALS. LAND HAS BECOME SO EXPENSIVE AND THUS INVESTMENT COSTS SO HIGH THAT INVESTORS ARE ANXIOUS TO BUILD AND SELL AT MAXIMUM SPEED. LONG TERM GOALS FOR A NEWLY DEVELOPED AREA
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ARE SUPPRESSED BY THE TWIN DESIRES TO RECUPERATE CAPITAL AND REALIZE PROFIT, AND ONCE SALE HAS BEEN ACHIEVED, INITIAL INVESTORS ARE RELEASED FROM THEIR OBLIGATIONS. CAI MING NOTES THAT UNDER THESE CONDITIONS THERE IS NO INCENTIVE TO AIM FOR SOCIAL OR EVEN ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY, AND CONSEQUENTLY THESE ARE NOT DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS. THIS LEADS CAI MING TO THE CONCLUSION THAT ONLY SPECIAL STATUS PLOTS OF LAND, SUCH AS THOSE AT GBDN AND GBDS, ARE SUITED TO DEVELOPMENT FOR CREATIVE COMMUNITIES. AS THE LAND IS NOT BOUGHT AND SOLD BUT RATHER TAKEN ON AS A LONG TERM LEASE, THERE IS A VESTED INTEREST ON BEHALF OF THE DEVELOPER (IN THIS CASE CAI MING) IN THE ACTUAL PERFORMANCE OF THE DISTRICT. AS SOCIAL AND CREATIVE OUTPUTS WILL FEED BACK INTO RENTABLE VALUE, THERE IS A CLEAR ECONOMIC MOTIVE TO FOSTER A SUSTAINABLE CREATIVE DISTRICT. MOREOVER, THESE GOALS ARE MADE MARKEDLY MORE FEASIBLE BY THE FACT THAT THE INVESTMENT COSTS ARE THEMSELVES SUSTAINABLE. WHILE CAI MING ESTIMATES THAT GBDN AND GBDS WOULD COST IN THE REGION OF RMB2BN TO BUY (A HUGE STRAIN BRINGING WITH IT INTENSE PRESSURE TO PRODUCE RETURNS), HE IS ABLE TO TAKE ON THE LONG TERM LEASES FOR THE MUCH MORE MODEST SUM OF RMB20,000 PER MU (666M2) PER YEAR. IT IS ACTUALLY POSSIBLE
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FOR CAI MING TO RUN THE PROJECT AT A LOSS FOR SUCCESSIVE YEARS IN THE INTERESTS OF A SUBSEQUENT PHASE. 3. CAI MING OBSERVES THAT IN OTHER CITIES AROUND THE WORLD, CREATIVE DISTRICTS TEND TO BE NATURAL FORMATIONS WITH THEIR OWN HISTORY, AND ARE DISTRIBUTED THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN DIFFERENT WAYS. THERE IS NO DISCERNIBLE UNIFYING PRINCIPLE. THIS PRESENTS A SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM IN CHINA WHICH FOR MUCH OF ITS AGGRESSIVELY-PACED DEVELOPMENT HAS RELIED UPON FINDING MODELS AND REPLICATING THEM (E.G THIS IS WHAT A CBD LOOKS LIKE, THIS IS WHAT A RESIDENTIAL GATED COMMUNITY LOOKS LIKE). THE LACK OF AN OBVIOUS METHOD FOR POURING CREATIVE DISTRICTS PRESENTS GOVERNMENTS OFFICIALS, KEEN ON THE TERM, WITH LITTLE BY WAY OF MORPHOLOGY, DETERMINING FEATURES, OR GROUNDS FOR ASSESSMENT. CAI MING REMAINS CONVINCED THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO BUILD A CREATIVE COMMUNITY FROM SCRATCH USING HIS PRINCIPLES OF MIXING AND CONNECTING. CAI MING APPROACHES HUANG RUI A LEADING ARTIST AND FIGUREHEAD OF 798* AND DCF TO COLLABORATE ON THE PROJECT (HUANG RUI TO RECREATE THE 798* SUCCESS STORY; DCF FOR MASTERPLANNING AND LATER ARCHITECTURE). IN THE CONTEXT OF THE GOVERNMENTAL / 7 STARS GROUP CO-OPTION OF 798* (LEADING AT THE END OF 2006 TO HUANG RUIS DEPARTURE), AND THE RECENT DEMOLITION OF SUOJIACUN, THE IDEA OF BUILDING A CREATIVE DISTRICT WITH LONGER TERM SUSTAINABLE IDEALS AND WITH THE GOVERNMENT ON BOARD SEEMS APPEALING. DISCUSSIONS LEAD TO A NUMBER OF PROPOSALS AND IDEAS. CAI MINGS DESIRES TO INTEGRATE THE NEW CREATIVE DISTRICT WITH HIS OWN ACTIVITIES IN DESIGN, ESPECIALLY OF INTERIORS AND KITCHEN AND BATHROOM FURNISHINGS, LEAD TO FURTHER IDEAS OF A CREATIVE AND DESIGN OR CREATIVE LIFESTYLES DISTRICT. THIS IS TO INCLUDE A BOLONI SHOWROOM AND A HOTEL WHICH WILL ITSELF BE A GALLERY OF BOLONI INTERIOR DESIGN. A SIGNIFICANT VOLUME OF LEISURE AND RETAIL PROGRAM IS INCORPORATED INTO THE URBAN PLAN, AS ARE THEATERS AND PUBLIC SPACES SUITABLE FOR FESTIVAL-STYLE EVENTS. WHILE GBDS IS TO BE AN ENTIRELY NEW DEVELOPMENT, IT IS DECIDED THAT THE HISTORICAL FEEL OF THE OLD INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS ON GBDN CAN BE USED ALONG THE LINES OF 798* AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL EXAMPLES OF WAREHOUSE TO WHITE CUBE STYLE REGENERATIONS AS ARTISTS STUDIOS. CAI MING SPENDS RMB8M CLEARING THE SITE OF ITS EXISTING RESIDENTS. IN ORDER TO BOOST THE AREAS PROFILE AND CONVINCE GBD LOCAL OFFICIALS THAT THE NOTION OF A CREATIVE DISTRICT IS POPULAR, CAI MING HOLDS A DESIGN COMPETITION, WHICH GARNERS CONSIDERABLE MEDIA ATTENTION AND IS CONSIDERED A SUCCESS. WITH THE RESIDENTS CLEARED FROM GBDN, A DEMOLITION COMPANY IS HIRED TO REMOVE A SMALL NUMBER OF BUILDINGS CONSIDERED UNSUITABLE FOR RENOVATION. HOWEVER A MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE INSTRUCTIONS LEADS TO THE ABSOLUTE FLATTENING OF THE SITE.

2006 ideas for gbds presented DCF PRESENTS AN URBAN PLAN FOR GBDS AT A GOVERNMENT SPONSORED CONFERENCE FOR CREATIVE INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS AT WHICH OVER 80 OTHER DESIGNS FOR CREATIVE DISTRICTS ARE PRESENTED. IT IS NOTED BY DCF AND CAI MING THAT NO OTHER PROPOSALS INCLUDE ANY REAL PROGRAMMATIC PLANNING, CONSISTING INSTEAD ENTIRELY OF SLICK ARCHITECTURAL RENDERINGS. THESE SHOW MODERN BUILDINGS WITH BANDS OF WATER, BUT VERY LITTLE INFORMATION IS GIVEN AS TO BUILDING USE, COMPARTMENTALIZATION, FAR*, NUMBERS OF PEOPLE, PARKING RATIOS ETC.. THE EXPERIENCE SEEMS TO CONFIRM THE SUSPICION THAT THE CREATIVE DISTRICT IN CHINA IS MORE A LABEL THAN A PLANNING PRINCIPLE, ALLOWING THE FREE PURSUIT OF PHOTOSHOP URBANISM*. 2007 mounting pressure on cai ming is intensified by a successful nearby development, ultimately leading to the collapse of the project SINCE TAKING ON THE LEASES OF GBDN AND GBDS, CAI MING HAS NOT RAISED A BRICK ON SITE. THIS IN PART IS DUE TO HIS OWN CONVICTION THAT IN DEPTH RESEARCH IS REQUIRED BEFORE STARTING. ALSO SIGNIFICANT IS THAT BOLONI IS PREPARING ITS INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERING (IPO) ON THE HONK KONG STOCK EXCHANGE, SCHEDULED FOR 2008. CONSEQUENTLY CAI MING FINDS HIMSELF EXTREMELY BUSY THROUGHOUT 2007, BUT REASONS THAT WITH BOLONI SHARE CAPITAL RAISED FROM THE IPO, HE WILL IN 2008 BE ABLE TO DEVELOP THE ENTIRE SITE AT HIGH SPEED. WITHOUT THE COMPLICATIONS AND TIME EXPENDITURE REQUIRED TO FIND CO-INVESTORS IN A CONCEPTUAL AND UNCONVENTIONAL PROJECT, AND WITH THE CONSTRUCTION BAN IN PLACE ONLY FOR THE ONE MONTH OF THE OLYMPICS, CAI MING IS CONFIDENT OF MAINTAINING A REASONABLE TIMELINE, AND ASKS THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT TO BEAR WITH HIM FOR ONE MORE YEAR. LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS HAVE HOWEVER BEEN WATCHING LAND VALUES IN THE AREA SOAR, FIRST AFTER THE CREATION OF THE CBD FUNCTIONAL AREA, AND SECOND WHEN PLANS ARE REVEALED TO CREATE AN EXIT FROM THE FIFTH RING ROAD DIRECTLY INTO GBD (THE COMBINED EFFECT LEADS TO A QUINTUPLING OF THE LANDS LEASE VALUE OVER TWO YEARS, FROM RMB20,000 PER MU PER YEAR TO RMB100,000 PER MU PER YEAR). THE CONTINUING LACK OF DEVELOPMENT ON THE LAND LEASED TO CAI MING BECOMES AN ISSUE OF INCREASING FRUSTRATION TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT, AND CAI MING RECEIVES ALMOST DAILY CALLS FROM THE TWO LEAD LOCAL OFFICIALS, PRESSURING HIM TO START WORK. THIS PRESSURE INTENSIFIES CONSIDERABLY WHEN A

real estate is too hot


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NEARBY PLOT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FIFTH RING ROAD IS TAKEN OVER AND TURNED INTO A TRADITIONAL MARKET SELLING OLD CHINESE FURNITURE, OBJETS DART, GOLDFISH, ETC.. THIS DEVELOPMENT, MANAGED BY A DEVELOPER WITH THE HELP OF THE LOCAL OFFICIALS, WAS EXTREMELY CHEAP AND FAST TO BUILD (ALL SIMPLE ONE OR TWO STORY BRICK BUILDINGS WITH NO BASEMENT) AND RENTED OUT TO COMPLETION WITHIN ONE WEEK. THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT, WHICH IN 2005 WAS COMPARATIVELY POOR, IS BY 2007 WEALTHY, HAVING SOLD OFF SEVERAL PIECES OF LAND. LOOKING AT THE HIGH SPEED SUCCESS ACHIEVED ACROSS THE WAY, THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT STARTS THINKING ABOUT CARRYING OUT A SIMILAR DEVELOPMENT THEMSELVES ON THE LAND THEY LEASED TO CAI MING. IN THE FACE OF THIS PRESSURE CAI MING IS FORCED TO PRODUCE AN EXTREMELY FAST DETAILED PROPOSAL FOR GBDN. IN TEN DAYS THE SITE IS DIVIDED INTO SEVEN PLOTS, 2 COMPETITION ENTRIES ARE PUT ON ONE PLOT, THE REMAINING SIX ARE HANDED OUT TO SIX ARCHITECTURE FIRMS, THE ARCHITECTURE FIRMS EACH SKETCH UP A BUILDING, INCLUDING THE DCF BOLONI SPA HOTEL, AND CAI MING INCORPORATES A WATER FEATURE INTO THE PLAN. THE RESULTS OF THIS HYPER-ACCELERATED DRAWING SESSION ARE UNCANNILY AKIN TO THE PHOTOSHOP URBANISM DESIGNS WHICH CAI MING HAD PREVIOUSLY OBSERVED AND REJECTED AS LACKING DEPTH. THE FEELING IS THAT HE HAS BEEN FORCED TO DO EXACTLY WHAT HE ALWAYS SAID HE NEVER WOULD. CAI MING HARBORED A STRING OF ESSENTIALLY UN-CHINESE NOTIONS INCLUDING CAREFUL PLANNING, SLOW DEVELOPMENT, AND LONG TERM VESTED INTEREST SECURED BY LONG TERM RETURNS. THESE HE FELT, THOUGH INAPPROPRIATE TO MOST OF THE CHINESE CITYSCAPE, COULD BE DEPLOYED IN THE SPECIAL STATUS AREAS OF GBDN AND GBDS DUE TO LOW INVESTMENT LONG TERM LEASING ARRANGEMENTS. HOWEVER, AS THE LEASES ROSE IN VALUE AND FASTER PROFIT MECHANISMS BECAME NOT ONLY APPARENT, BUT ACTUALLY CAME TO NEIGHBOR THE SITE, CAI MINGS MODELS BECAME LESS AND LESS ATTRACTIVE, AND LOCAL OFFICIALS LESS AND LESS SYMPATHETIC. THE LAST PLAN FOR GBDN IS PRODUCED AT CHINESE SUPER-SPEED IN RESPONSE TO THE CHANGING DEMANDS MADE ON THE LAND, AND EXHIBITS ALL THE DEFICIENCIES TYPICAL OF CHINESE URBAN DESIGN. NOTABLY THIS IS A PRODUCT NOT OF CAI MINGS PROFIT-MAXIMIZING URGES, BUT THOSE OF LOCAL OFFICIALS. THE PROPOSAL FOR GBDN IS REJECTED AS THE TWO CHIEF LOCAL OFFICIALS (ONE REPRESENTING THE CCP AND ONE LOCAL CIVIC INTEREST) SOLIDIFY THEIR PLANS TO RECREATE THE LOW INVESTMENT FAST RETURN LOW RISE BRICK DEVELOPMENT STYLE OF THE NEIGHBORING TRADITIONAL CHINESE MARKET. THIS THEY ARE CONFIDENT OF COMPLETING IN ADVANCE OF THE 2008 OLYMPICS. CAI MING, IN THE INTERESTS OF MAINTAINING A GOOD GUAN XI (RELATIONSHIP) WITH THESE TWO OFFICIALS, AGREES TO RETURN THE 50 YEAR LEASES HE SIGNED ON BOTH GBDN AND GBDS. THE TWO YEARS OF LEASING HE PAID FOR IS WRITTEN OFF, THOUGH HE NEGOTIATES WITH THE OFFICIALS FOR THE RETURN OF THE RMB8M HE SPENT ON CLEARING GBDN OF INHABITANTS AND PREPARING IT FOR DEVELOPMENT. CAI MING RETAINS HIS LEASE ON THE BOLONI GBD FACTORY. THE FACTORY ITSELF WILL BE MOVED OUT AS PART OF AN OPERATION TO CONSOLIDATE PRODUCTION ACROSS BEIJING. ON THE SITE HE PLANS TO DEVELOP A SCALED DOWN VERSION OF GBDN WHICH WILL CONSIST OF A BOLONI SHOWROOM, THEMED RESTAURANTS, A DESIGN HOTEL, AN ART HOTEL, A THEATER ETC.. HE INTENDS TO WATCH CLOSELY HOW THE GBDN AND GBDS SITES DEVELOP, AND CONTINUES TO BELIEVE THAT IN ANOTHER TWO YEARS, WITH THE CHANGING CLIMATES, IT MAY BE POSSIBLE TO RE-ENTER DISCUSSIONS WITH LOCAL OFFICIALS ABOUT MASTERPLANNING A CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT THERE. BUT FOR NOW AT LEAST, THE OFFICIALS HAVE CUT THE BOLONI. FOR TWO YEARS I HAD SO MUCH PRESSURE. I HAD A STONE ON MY HEART. NOW MY HEART IS HEAVY. BUT I AM RELAXED. CAI MING, 2007
plot division to urban plan

In China real estate keeps going up. In one year 30%. When its so easy to make money why research difficult things?
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In China, two years is a long time.


Cai Ming, CEO Boloni

- CEO

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chinese whispers
manufacturing creative space with Chinese characteristics
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Adrian Hornsby, Neville Mars

policy makers have a distinct preference for terms which guard their meaning. The concept of creativity is, especially in a business or legal context, wonderfully definition resistant (it is ambiguous, nebulous), interpretation hardy (responds well to politically motivated applications), and semantically flexible (it can be turned on and off). This makes it ideally suited to planning, where an area of land can be given an attractive label (inferred from the premise that cultural consumption can be used as an index for urban development hence the more creative a city, the more advanced and compelling it is) and yet real decisions about actual land use can remain essentially ad hoc and case by case.

A Cloud of Unknowing
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Chinese take-up of the creative ideal over recent years has happened at trademark super-speed. The spanking new creative economy now has appropriately flash both in terms of look and suddenness of appearance creative zones and districts, crammed with creative businesses offering creative goods to a creative class, all adorned with indisputably desirable creative characteristics. Moreover spot injections of creative industries have almost become panacean in their range of administrative uses applicable to fields as diverse as urban regeneration, labor management, cultural identity and the perceived threat of a cultural trade deficit, education, conservation, and even environmental and ecological concerns (the latent implication being that a hipper China cannot fail to be a greener China). But the real appeal of a more creative economy lies in its twin promise to deliver on the fronts of both employment and consumption. Rising wages in the Pearl River Delta are already threatening the regions status as the premier cheap assembly point for labor-intensive products a state of affairs not helped by the inexorable, if somewhat

the term creative industries has a curious and seductive intractability: it is definition resistant, interpretation hardy, and semantically flexible
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glacial, rise in value of the RMB. As waves of progress spread outwards across the mainland, they will carry this problem in tow. There is a growing feeling that for China as a whole to keep the supply of jobs in step with the pace of urbanization, it will need to move beyond its current factory floor status, and nurture a more services orientated and indeed creative urban dynamic. Creative jobs suggest an enhancement of the human capital involved, and hence justify the wage gains needed not only to maintain growth, but also to move toward a smoother distribution of wealth. Alongside this is the sense that greater creative production will lead to greater domestic consumption. The development of Chinas internal creative industries will go hand in hand with wider spending on creative outputs, and if China can be encouraged to save a little less, so the thinking goes, pressure on the worryingly tight investment and real estate bubbles will ease. Capital will flow away from speculation and into domestic brands, and Chinese companies will increasingly be able to control not only assembly of products, but design, marketing, and even market direction. In its most grandiose formulation, more creativity equals greater national autonomy. This somewhat theoretical enthusiasm for creativity or at least creative industries quickly translates into a more concrete need to produce creative environments. The crudest result is scores of creative districts which are legislated into existence, beset by development proposals, and surrounded by gawping and worried creative analysts. Can creative areas be manufactured? they ask. Isnt there a need for a more organic aspect a natural thronging of creative SMEs? What if the development of a new creative zone involves the displacement of people and the demolition of a culturally rich piece of the urban fabric? What is the relationship between culture and creativity? In fact, what is a creative enterprise? How should we define creative industries, and categorize what does and does not qualify?

For the same reasons the creative district has almost equal appeal to developers, who are able to lace a project with the significant value-add of creativity, and yet refrain from having to say quite what it is the development will be. Yet while this cloud of deferred meaning facilitates stealthy progress, it is also full of unseen hazard. The examples of 798*, Suojiacun and Gaobeidan North demonstrate how fast the policy of creative zoning and the notion of art-village-manufacture can throw up and then cut down creative urban program. In all three cases, the areas political status that of contributor to municipal creative capital proved to be both raison dtre and cause of death. The irony of 798* is that the governmental recognition which artists fought so hard to win was, as things transpired, the very mechanism by which it was taken from their hands. In Suojiacun, a lack of clear land-use rules precipitated an almost one year wonder: the by rote invention of an international art village, followed by its 24 hour demolition by bulldozer. At Gaobeidian North the entire process was replicated on the pure paper level. Other similar occurrences lead to a cynical interpretation that while there is a policy-driven flourishing of creative communities on city-planners maps, the government is simultaneously targeting on-the-ground instantiations. The big lose-lose situations come when naturally occurring creative districts i.e. ones which are not government planned, but are successful both commercially and creatively are either co-opted or destroyed, and the use of the creative label is in fact no more than yet another sophisticated strategy for expediting urban development.

This last is without question the rub. But it is also the root of creative industries success as a term. It has a curious and seductive intractability. China is far from being a simple rule of law environment, and
 
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Creation to Co-option
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tHe FeelinG tHat denSitieS OF pOpulatiOn in cOmbinatiOn WitH cOncentratiOnS OF WealtH Will lead tO Greater creative prOductiOn iS prOblematized in cHina by cenSOrSHip and piracy
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Governmental reticence about what the creative district actually is or may be produces a risky and at times contradictory state of affairs for developers and creatives alike. But on a deeper level what it perhaps belies is a fundamental unease on the part of the CCP with what creativity in China, or what creativity with Chinese characteristics, is or may be Western interpretations of creativity are heavily influenced by the Romantic ideal of the creative artist an individual who challenges society, and who through freedom of expression and the fire of his own profound and personal vision, is able to disseminate his ideas into society, and become, as Shelley would have it, its unacknowledged legislator. While arguably antiquated and essentially masculine in conception, this feeling for the lone artist undoubtedly informed the 1990s UK coining of the term creative industries, and has significantly shaped its meaning in the West ever since. It prizes mavericks, out-of-the-box thinking, and highly individualized responses to socio-political situations. So the problem that instantly arises when you export the term to China is that the two basic positions which it predicates are not there. Firstly, free speech: the Chinese government has an active role in content creation, not to mention content suppression. Secondly, the Chinese government does not operate a robust system of intellectual property protection. The creative individual has on the one hand his mouth stopped; on the other his ideas stolen. Unsurprisingly, censorship and counterfeiting are two points which the creative-artist-fetishizing West routinely criticizes China for. The CCP is keenly aware of these two problems, and the situation for both, in accordance with the construction of a new society, is changing. Heavy pressure from the US and the WTO has led the Chinese government to legislate more in defense of intellectual property rights (IPR), and the continuing source of complaints from Hollywood et al is now less about Chinese IPR laws than their implementation. This in part is attributable to the age-old disseverment in China between central policy and local officialdom. While senior government may encourage stricter enforcement of IPR, piracy can still be welcomed at the parochial level. A classic situation would be a factory producing fake brand t-shirts: the local official stands to gain from improved employment, the boost to the local economy, land deals, bribes, and even, in some cases, stake or partnership. While his operations remain under-regulated, the official is unlikely to become IPR-prudish. However as domestic enthusiasm for creative enterprise takes more solid shape, internal pressure is likely to rectify this discrepancy. Indeed in 2005 80% of IPR infringement lawsuits filed in China were between Chinese companies, indicating a growing national sense of idea-ownership. The issue of content control is decidedly trickier, and relates to what is for the Communist Party a fraught transition. Under communism proper, creative activity was regarded as a means of propaganda production, and thus essentially a tool for population management. The newer version however suggests creative activity should be regarded as a means of converting man-hours into capital, and thus an economic driver in truth, an industry. But unlike, say, steel manufacture, and just like propaganda, creative production has ideological content. So how do you treat an industry which makes money by producing ideas when idea
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xian tourism and cultural industries zone creative changan


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changanjie performance district the performance district animation village the animation center 798* creative art zone beijing creative center the crafts center beijing digital entertainment industry center cyber entertainment culture panjiayuan antiques trade district the antiques district digital xuhui digitize the future songzhuang artist village the creation arts village zhongguan leading creative industry base chinas silicon valley new media and digital zone the new media zone songzhuang fashion center the fashion center feijiacun music and arts village interactive arts qingdao hi-tech creative development zone creation 100 zhangjiang hi-tech park innovation is creativity shanghai creative industry center create the future design gardens and fashion alleys the design experts software gardens software development united M50 from cotton to canvas shanghai xintiandi where yesterday meets tomorrow in Shanghai today hangzhou digital development and animation park animate creativity

chengdu games and film park creative journey to the west lijiang historical cultural heritage city the ancient city

shenzen cultural products and design zone city of cultural exports and design guangzhou creative industries park creation = development





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production is supposed to be the preserve of the state? And how can you encourage free-thinking individuals when party-thinking always comes first? Its a dilemma which strikes at the core paradox of a socialist market economy.
2

reason of numbers, the worlds most viewed everything (uploads, downloads, streams etc.) will soon become in some sense China-focused. It follows that the weighting of the internet itself will be sliding east. With a population of 30,000 and growing too, China also boasts the worlds largest squad of internet police. The implications of these two facts for creativity are as enormous as they are unclear. The world wide web was released in 1992, and rapidly hailed as the most unifying and democratizing development in the history of the world. As it progresses through its teenage years, it is gaining some darker qualities. The initial purity of grassroots creativity with a global audience has been vitiated somewhat by a number of examples of small sites which first went big, and then went corporate. To name but a few, Murdoch bought myspace; Google and Yahoo did deals with repressive regimes (notably China); and as wikiscanner revealed, large corporations are manipulating the content of wikipedia to cast themselves in pinker light. Indeed one might ask if the internet isnt as ideally suited to corporate co-option as it is to bedroom nerd-stars. A second point to note is that content-control mechanisms such as the Great Firewall of China are creating internet subsets perhaps even internets, each with a different shade. It is striking that some of the best visited sites in the world (e.g. the BBC, wikipedia, Google) are either blocked or mediated in China. This means that one huge body of webusers doesnt get to see what another huge body of webusers look at most. Equally Chinas favorite sites are unapproachable to the vast majority of the Western online population due to a basic difficulty with Chinese characters. The implication is that the Chinese internet, with its distinctly Chinese characteristics, is actually becoming distinct. Now when you set this essentially Chinese internet within the context of the first point that of a basic internet-susceptibility to corporate co-option and consider the relationship between the CCP and Chinese companies (which because of tight governmental control of banks and lending are all operating in the hazy world of state capitalism), both the internet, and all of its creations, start to look very different. Through laying blocks and controlling buyouts, the Chinese government is able to shape its own internet one which is neither unified nor democratic. Content parameters and a kind of long-arm ownership of successful internet companies creates an environment of collective creativity with state guidance. The extent to which the CCP will be able to maintain its grip on both private enterprise and internet usage is open to question: international trading partners want to see freer banks, and nifty hackers are busy with mirror sites and backdoor code. But letting go entirely is certainly not a part of the partys plan . Creation yes, but co-option too.

This governmental bind has direct impacts upon the creative sector. The most obvious example is to be found in publishing. Book production is the biggest contributor to Chinas creative GDP, and yet is beset by difficulties relating to bureaucratic licensing structures and governmental restrictions upon ISBN numbers, which can be hard to obtain, and invariably require party approval. The same is true of magazine ISSNs indeed so much so that an ISSN black market has developed, through which unsuccessful or dormant
3

magazines illegally sell their publishing numbers to new publications. The start-ups may be leery of seeking a number of their own because of charged content; equally they may be simply reluctant to enter into the form- and bribe-strewn nightmare of applying for one.

How can you encourage free-thinking individuals when party-thinking always comes first? The dilemma strikes at the core paradox of a socialist market economy.
-

However these complications, like everything in China, need to be regarded in the context of a fast future. The more important truth about publishing is that it is itself entering a phase of radical transition, moving increasingly offpage and online. Indeed the Western ideal of the supreme creative artist is itself receding in the brighter context of web-based collaborative production, netgroups, blogs, postings, myspace, YouTube etc. People, not just a creative elite, are enormously more engaged in creative production than they were even 10 years ago, and this shift is largely due to technology. Affordable computers and digital recording equipment have given birth to a generation for whom prominent individuals will be less important than their own creative content and mass internet participation. Shelley-lovers pale and stay offline, but the kids are all clicking like crazy. Its not just the Chinese who are shifting ideas around about what creativity means: the concept itself needs to be updated, if not fundamentally rethought. The process of a global internet-driven refashioning of the creative paradigm is one in which China will exercise significant influence. There were something like 137 million Chinese internet users when I started this article. There are many more by now. Chinas online population is second only to the US, and with a far higher rate of growth (let alone growth potential), China will within the next few years become the largest nation of internet users in the world. Once there, it is likely to stay top. Already the worlds most read blog (over 100 million page views) is that of a Chinese actress-turned-director (Xu Jinglei), and, if only for sheer

In China the management of virtual and physical creative spaces run in parallel

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It is no coincidence that what happens in Chinas virtual creative space runs in parallel with what happens in Chinas physical creative space. Creative potentials in either realm can be seized or snuffed out coopted and controlled, or simply blocked by officials with terrifying speed. (The above example of the takeover of 798* resonates uncannily with search engines in China, which are all now forced to operate on a short government leash. The basic narratives of how Suojiacun and Gaobeidian creative districts have swung haphazardly from being condemned to being embraced and back again is one familiar to Chinese bloggers, and indeed to the status of wikipedia in China.) At the same time however, creative activity in both spheres is flying. Every time you look at it, conditions both are and arent encouraging, according to what you think creativity ought to be. Tensions around how the imported Western concept of creative industries should take shape in China are an unavoidable contributor to the terms highly ambiguous use. While the definition floats in limbo, spatial management (virtual and real) is contradictory, unpredictable, and in some sense, dark. But perhaps the meaning of creative industry is in flux equally because creativity itself is in flux. Global approaches to and uses of creative production are entering their most significant period of change certainly since Gutenberg introduced the printing press if not ever. What happens on the internet, more than anything else, is defined by its users. And with a vast body of users all operating in their own peculiar mediated space, China will be a major shaping force not only on the internet but in what being creative actually comes to mean.

<Foreigners China watch><www.zonaeuropa.com Roland Songs blog, probably the fastest and the best of the english language blog about current affairs of China plus the talk of the town in Hong Kong.><www. chinadigitaltimes.com (English)><www.danwei.org (english)><http://rconversation.blogs.com/ rebecca mckinon, former CNN correspondent in Beijing, currently the Hong Kong Chinese University media professor><http://www.chinalawblog.com The Life of a Lawyer at a Chinese Law Firm: Practicing Law in a Country Where There is no Law. (english)><http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/china/ a correspondent in China blog about people he met on his way walking through western Sichuan><www.HowardFrench.com><http:// blog.sina.com.cn/wangjun the Xinhua muckraker of the real estate in Beijing><http://blog.focus.cn/ myblog/1667369.html Hua Xinmins blog, a 1/2 French ><http://blog.sina.com.cn/u/1414672645 a group blog of photographers who record not so well-known historical buildings in Hubei><http://www.mindmeters.com/ blogind.asp?id=253 all about sex.... Liwens blog><http://muzimeizhenghun.bokee.com/ Muzimei, the first woman blogger in China shocked the nation writing about her sexual experience with a rock nroll star in Guangzhou, the first woman to podcast her intercourse is now looking for a partner of marriage><www. mindmeters.com (chinese)><http://www.sohoxiaobao.com/chinese/bbs/blog.php?id=9213 , a cunning political blog, his ID sounds the same as prostate gland><www.wangxiaofeng.net (chinese) this journalists ID is Dai San Ge Biao which literally means wearing three watches but its easy to identify hes making fun of San Ge Dai Biao, the political theory of the three represents, put forward by Jiang Zemin. Friends just call him San Biao.><http://blog.sina.com.cn/baiyongmei a Chinese lesbian blog><http://v35.blog.sina. com.cn/xujinglei Xu jingleis a movie star, director and online magazine editor. She blogs about her every day banality but is THE most popular blog in China. Her blog has been hit 100 million times.><www.plumcafe. com/ a bored Chinese housewife in the states blog about her daily cooking recipes which became an instant success. Her recipes were already compiled into three books. ><The two popular blogs about the stock market: ><http://blog.sina.com.cn/shaminnong><http://blog.sina.com.cn/u/1284139322><http://blog.sina. com.cn/housheboy ><http://blog.sina.com.cn/xiaopangblog ><www.guoxuelamei.com ancient Chinese civilization Spicy Girl ><http://blog.sina.com.cn/frjj ><Rao Yings blog: ><xiaojingzi><mumu when she first started, she always pasted an almost naked picture with some smart writing about social problem><the CCTV anchor whos campaign shut down the starbucks in gugong><Xu Zhiyuan><http://www.antiwave.net/><Ma Dis blog, great pictures. http://www.mylittledeaddick.com/blog/ ><http://myspace.com/NoPandasGallery><http://www.getitlouder.com/blog><>< http://pigu6.yculblog. com/><http://blog.sina.com.cn/play_lee ><http://blog.sina.com.cn/nanxianghong><http://blog. sina.com.cn/lihaipeng ><http://wys.blogbus.com/index.html southern weekend photojournalist wang Yishus blog><http://blog.5d.cn/vip/laojiang/><http://www.bullog.cn/blogs/wangxiaoshan/Default.aspx><http:

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cities without history


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Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

Neville Mars

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* Eurostyle
2

the story continues ...

FOrmerly a natiOn OF FarmerS, cHina iS nOW HalFWay tO becOminG tHe empire OF urbaniteS. duSt rOadS are aSpHalted Over, cartS turn intO carS, and cOncrete apartment blOckS are SWiFtly replaced by pink and lavender cOndOminiumS. WitHin tHe laSt decade tHe tidal Wave OF mOdernizatiOn HaS ruSHed Far beyOnd cHinaS cOaStal bOOmtOWnS and Out acrOSS tHe natiOnS Gray-Green landScape. many tHOuSandS OF villaGeS Have dOubled in Size, and planS FOr a SerieS OF entirely neW citieS Have been prepared, and are aWaitinG executiOn. tHe SHapeleSS lOW-riSe expanSiOnS dOminatinG cHineSe urbanizatiOn are punctuated by a myriad OF up-market HOuSinG prOjectS denSely OrGaniSed neiGHbOrHOOdS OF repetitive blOckS FrinGed WitH Small treeS and parkinG lOtS. tHey are a crOSS betWeen celebratiOn (a Suburban enclave develOped by tHe diSney cOrpOratiOn FOr tHe Faint at Heart, WHere unHappineSS HaS been OFFicially banned) and tHe prOjectS (a cOncept FOr inner-city vertical SlumS FOr nOn-caucaSian americanS WHere HappineSS iS Hard tO Find). tHey OFFer tHe Suburban cOmFOrtS OF cHeap and tranquil livinG in HOnG kOnG-Style tOWer blOck neiGHbOrHOOdS. and tHey all lOOk tHe Same. Given tHe pace OF cHinaS develOpment, tHe cOpy and paSte StrateGy makeS perFect SenSe: cOpyinG tHe urban layOut, tHe enGineerinG, tHe FlOOr planS Or Simply tHe entire city iS a teSted apprOacH. WHen tHe main Structure HaS been erected it iS a matter OF applyinG tHe riGHt Style. in tHe cHineSe HOuSinG
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induStry tHiS iS a delicate OperatiOn. tHe Style OF tHe buildinG, tHe Outer Skin, FulFilS a number a

collagetecture*

it can SOOtHe planninG cOmmiSSiOnS, ObScure tHe cOlOSSal Scale OF tHe prOject, and accurately cOnvey tHe price bracket tO tHe apprOpriate market nicHe.
practical purpOSeS

HavinG Seen dOzenS OF citieS acrOSS tHiS Great natiOn, i Have cOme tO tHe cOncluSiOn tHat in cHina aeStHeticS are irrelevant. Style, and even arcHitecture tHat cOllectiOn OF StyleS WHicH aimS tO Give identity tO undiFFerentiated buildinG maSS HaS been liberated OF aeStHetic relevance. tHe blanket OF GrayiSH pink tHat makeS up tHe cHineSe city Will SmOtHer almOSt any attempt at reFinement Or eleGance. and in tHe anOnymOuS tOWnS and villaGeS tHe need FOr neW HOmeS WitH baSic amenitieS iS juSt tOO acute tO WOrry abOut arcHitecture at any Great lenGtH. eye-catcHinG FeatureS, SucH aS a FOuntain, a GOlden HOrSe, Or a maSSive plate-Steel briSe SOleil, are Generally SuFFicient tO Hint at tHe intended GOal OF a State-OF-tHe-art luxuriOuS buildinG. at beSt a neceSSary burden, arcHitecture in cHina iS applied laSt minute. it SeemS tO be Squirted aGainSt tHe FacadeS like Sauce FrOm a Squeeze pack. tHere iS a cOnSiderable aSSOrtment On OFFer, ranGinG FrOm neO-cHineSe tO neO-mOdern and tHe recently added SuStainable Style. but juSt aS in tHe uS tHe prevailinG decOrative mOtiF iS neO-claSSical: an unaSSuminG recipe OF Greek, rOman, GOtHic and rOcOcO OrnamentS. Suitably branded eurOStyle* it WaS tHe FavOrite cHOice OF tHe cHineSe develOper in 2005. a SucceSSFul develOper keepS track OF Subtle SHiFtS in taSteS and trendS. at HiS cOmmand, a team OF cHineSe arcHitectS reSOurceFully drape cOlumnS, entablatureS, and parapetS Over tHe baSic StructureS OF tHe apartment blOck, and Sprinkle caSt-irOn liOnS arOund tHe prOperty. in tHiS FaSHiOn cHinaS Suburbia iS adOrned tO meet tHe lateSt taSte, and arcHitecture can keep up WitH tHe OutraGeOuS Speed OF cOnStructiOn. One GrOup OF tHe SO-called neW tOWnS preSentS a pinnacle in tHeSe cOpy and paSte practiceS. danGlinG FrOm SHanGHaiS Outer rinG rOad FOrty Five mileS FrOm tHe center a tOtal OF nine Satellite citieS Have been deSiGned in autHentic eurOStyle*. FOrminG part OF SHanGHaiS Suburban expanSiOn plan, eacH OF tHe prOjectS Will accOmmOdate HalF tO One and a HalF milliOn inHabitantS (equivalent tO tHe capital OF HOlland). a number OF eurOpean arcHitectS Have been SOuGHt Out tO deSiGn One tOWn eacH in tHe Spirit OF tHeir cOuntryS traditiOnal Style. diStinctly britiSH, italian, German and dutcH tOWnS
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Were all cOmmiSSiOned. SOme nOW Stand cOmplete, OtHerS are eitHer under cOnStructiOn, Or Have been cancelled.

Beijing Laffitte Castle


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tHe britiSH Firm atkinS WOn tHe cOmpetitiOn FOr SOnGjianG Garden city. tHe deSiGn iS a cOllaGe OF meticulOuSly cOmpiled mOmentS in britiSH tOWnSHip and villaGe arcHitecture, arranGed amidSt tHe rice paddieS OF pudOnG. GaOqiaO neW tOWn iS tHe name OF a Green Satellite city beSide SHanGHaiS cHemical induStrial zOne cHinaS larGeSt neW induStrial Site. deSiGned by dutcH arcHitectS it iS nOtHinG SHOrt OF a pSycHedelic reinterpretatiOn OF my cOuntryS native arcHitectural StyleS. tHe reSult iS a perFect pOSt-mOdern amalGamatiOn OF clOG-SHaped WindOWS, Stepped GableS, and SculptureS OF Giant tulipS beFOre a Skyline OF FlaminG exHauSt pipeS. tWO queStiOnS ariSe: WHat makeS tHe eurOStyle* SO pOpular? and, WHat Will tHiS Wicked pOSt-urban envirOnment lOOk like in tWO GeneratiOnS? tHe SecOnd queStiOn iS tHe Harder tO anSWer. i Sincerely HOpe cHinaS GreeniFicatiOn ScHemeS Will unFOld aS planned, SO at leaSt tHe Smell and SmOG OF neiGHbOrinG FactOrieS Will Have diSappeared. i HOpe tHe ecOnOmy Will perSevere, SO FactOry WOrkerS tOO Will live in clOG-SHaped HOmeS. but it iS mOre likely tHe blunt mixture OF cOntraStinG cOnditiOnS in tHe OutSkirtS Will Only becOme mOre extreme; induStry Will relOcate, and tHe FOrmer pOOreSt neiGHbOrHOOdS Will be tOrn dOWn tO re-emerGe FurtHer dOWn tHe rOad. it iS tHe tHreatened imaGe OF tHiS OutcOme tHat beGinS tO anSWer tHe FirSt queStiOn, and SuGGeSt cHinaS plea FOr cOSmetic SurGery. tHe vaSt plainS OF cHina cOntain nOtHinG, but are never empty. decadeS OF determined cOmmuniSm Have leFt a tarniSHed landScape a quilt OF FieldS, brick HOmeS, and ruSty induStrial ruinS. but cHinaS neW envirOnment, tHe SpreadinG Suburb, iS a FirSt OppOrtunity FOr SOme cOlOr, SubStance and identity. laSt year eurOpe Obtained apprOved deStinatiOn StatuS FOr cHineSe citizenS. tHiS Greatly SimpliFieS viSa prOcedureS, and iS likely tO reSult in Five Hundred tHOuSand cHineSe tOuriStS a year in HOlland alOne! already tHree crammed buSSeS OF cHineSe tOuriStS StOp eacH day tO eat luncH in my Old cHina tOWn biStrO. tHey marcH tHrOuGH tHe amSterdam alleyS in tHe Familiar mauve SuitS, HOldinG videO cameraS and jam jarS Filled WitH tea. travellinG abrOad HaS cOme WitHin reacH OF a GrOWinG number OF tHe cHineSe middle claSS, and eurOpeS capitalS Seem tO be tHe FirSt SpOtS tHey are draWn tO. citieS like amSterdam perFectly reSpOnd tO lOnG unFulFilled deSireS and undirected nOStalGia. tHe center, WitH itS drunken mercHant HOmeS neatly aliGned alOnG cute canalS, embOdieS WHat tHe neW cHineSe are
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lOOkinG FOr: HiStOry and Opulence in Full vieW. and in amSterdam tHiS Opulence iS private; tHe WealtH Here WaS Obtained by SelF-made entrepreneurS.

dutcH peOple in tHeir beautiFul HOmeS repreSent a SyStem OF individualS all crammed tOGetHer, like tHe cHineSe, and Gently kept in line in tHe eFFicient maintenance OF a StrOnG tiGHt Order. tHeSe are tHe idealized valueS OF neW cHina. tHe cHarminG Old citieS trimmed WitH GOld reek OF SucceSS. it iS tHeir cuteneSS, tHeir mix OF tHe petite and tHe Grand, tHe time-HOnOred imaGe OF tHe city aS it iS nO-lOnGer tO be FOund anyWHere in cHina, tHat iS impOrted On a maSSive Scale. cHina HaS eFFectively eraSed itS paSt. itS exiStinG citieS are On paper eSSentially tabula raSa; in reality, tHey are Only aWaitinG demOlitiOn. nO WOnder eurOpeS FeatureS Have becOme tHe deSired inGredientS FOr an inStant HiStOry On OFFer tO tHe FirSt GeneratiOn OF cHineSe HOme OWnerS. tHey prOvide tHe detailS tHat create tHe neceSSary SenSe OF identity; nOt repreSentinG eurOpe, but tHe identity OF tHe yOunG claSS OF Well-travelled cHineSe citizenS. FrOm a eurOpean pOint OF vieW, tHe deSiGn SketcHeS SuSpended On tHe WallS OF neWly erected tOWn HallS, and tHe tranSlucent mOdelS OF meGa-Suburban extenSiOnS, lack tHe appeal tHey Seem tO exert On mOSt OF tHe cHineSe audience. it SeemS tHe cHineSe citizen preFerS a FOrm OF imitatiOn mOdernity tO tHe currently prevailinG mOnOtOny. and, it muSt be Said, eurOpe tOO HaS itS SHare OF deSOlate OFFice diStrictS and nOndeScript reSidential neiGHbOrHOOdS, WHicH Seem tO edGe FartHer and FartHer aWay FrOm tHe city WitHOut anyOne beinG cOnSciOuSly aWare OF it. Still, it iS temptinG FOr a dutcH arcHitect tO becOme cynical WHen cOnFrOnted WitH a tOWn in traditiOnal dutcH Style tO be built aS a Satellite OF SHanGHai. tHe brand neW mOdelS OF bell-SHaped FacadeS and mini-mercHant HOmeS may appeaSe tOdayS reSidentS, but can tHey WitHStand tHe rapidly cHanGinG taSteS? mucH FaSter Still tHan cHinaS urban landScape, it iS tHe cHineSe State OF mind tHat iS tranSFOrminG. tOdayS cHildren, all prOductS OF tHe One-cHild pOlicy, are educated, ambitiOuS, and demandinG. mOSt likely tHey WOnt be SatiSFied WitH livinG in cHinaS Future eurOGHettOS*. Style may be irrelevant, until it iS FOrced upOn yOu. tHe neW neiGHbOrHOOdS all built at Once Will lack tHe deptH OF time. tHe HOpe tHat a cOrintHian cOlumn Or Spurted Gable Will Help iS dOubtFul. but in tHe end it iS SaFer tO Have SkyScraperS dreSSed-up in cOlumnS by cHineSe arcHitectS tHan tO Have a eurOpean arcHitect cOnStruct a utOpian niGHtmare. and cHina, tHe WOrldS tOuGHeSt adOleScent lOOkinG FOr a neW identity, mixinG and matcHinG aS He GrOWS, miGHt already knOW tHiS.

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Not only is the urban landscape reconstructed overnight our memory is being erased with a similar speed and intensity. Gray communist China, its flavor, its hue and life, indeed its people, will soon be a thing of the past. The procedure is simple, and unquestioned. Firstly a blue sheet wall, decorated sometimes with cheerful red lights, wraps itself around the area. Red banners are suspended from the buildings proclaiming sympathetic slogans such as, Stand hand in hand and help our neighbors move to their new homes. Then the infamous Chai* sign (demolition) is daubed upon the walls. They come down, and the new site blends in effortlessly among the city-wide strings of anonymous blue fencing. In a matter of days the area is turned to rubble, and work upon a new housing block commences. The more luxurious building sites are further adorned with extraordinary billboards* representing promises of the future. Admittedly I have a bad memory, but this behind the scenes make-over seems continuously to purge my mind of what the city was like the last time I looked. I try to recollect the feeling of walking the streets near my house untouched until only weeks ago. The Chinese dont suffer from nostalgia not for their recent history anyway and so I try not to. But in China the new comes all at once and undiluted. The unexpected balance of old and new, large and small, cheap and top-dollar which, for a fleeting moment, seemed to exist in Chinas mega-cities, is lost. It was only a temporary stage a phase of construction and transition. Last summer (2006) was a case in point. I was having a drink in my usual coffee shop down the road when suddenly the street was swarming with men in orange suits lugging drills. They set up and started work, uprooting cobble stones as they went, and within the hour had reached the place where I was sitting. Their blazing efficiency was already something, but real bewilderment only hit me when they started hacking away at the faade of the caf. One moment I am sipping coffee within the comfort of an air-conditioned bubble; only minutes later I am still in my Chesterfield, but now sitting outside. The entire front part of the old hutong* establishment was gone. In the bar I seemed to be the only one concerned by the fact that the building had just been cracked wide open. Utterly complacent, the owner remarks I dont think were sticking around much longer. The old faade apparently had extended beyond the red line of the newly planned street. Over the next few weeks my favorite seat in Beijing was the borderline between jazz and coffee on one side, and heavy-duty diggers swinging inches from my head on the other. Though I kept close track of the progress made, its hard to explain what the muddled hutong* street was like before this invasion, and before the clean-up.
eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D collagetecture [glo] p.674 6C chai [glo] p.674 3A, [img] p.369 8F billboards [img] p.561 3F4J hutong [glo] p.680 1B

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eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D collagetecture [glo] p.674 6C chai [glo] p.674 3A, [img] p.369 8F billboards [img] p.561 3F4J hutong [glo] p.680 1B





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Architecture seems to be squirted against the facades like sauce from a squeeze pack
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eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D collagetecture [glo] p.674 6C chai [glo] p.674 3A, [img] p.369 8F billboards [img] p.561 3F4J hutong [glo] p.680 1B

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Eurostyle* adds a sense of identity not of Europe but of a new class of well-travelled Chinese citizens
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eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D euroghetto [glo] p.676 6D collagetecture [glo] p.674 6C chai [glo] p.674 3A, [img] p.369 8F billboards [img] p.561 3F4J hutong [glo] p.680 1B





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too much joy and splendor


a guided tour through urban china

Topic: Economics Politics Society Ecology Energy Architecture Urban planning

Scale: National Regional City Block Person

Martijn de Waal

MarTijin De Waal ?? ?? ?

Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Caf [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E





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SCENE 1: THE LEISURELY FLYING OF A KITE WITH A VIEW OF THE MODERN CITY CENTER

A large lawn in a city park on a hill. The park overlooks a city that boasts an impressive skyline of modern skyscrapers. On the lawn, a father shows his son how to fly a kite.
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What, on that late fall Sunday in 2003, could have been a better way to spend one of my last afternoons in Shenzhen than relaxing at the Flying Kite Square on the slopes of Lianhua mountain? There I finally understood what everybody had been telling me the last few days: that Shenzhen was a beautiful city. A green city. A modern, well-planned city. A city with a high quality of life for the new class of young college-graduated professionals. Until that moment my impression of Shenzhen had for the most part resembled its depiction in the literature: an energetic but rowdy, chaotic, and rather Dickensian City, where the over-the-top opulence of golden skyscrapers contrasts with honking cars stuck in traffic, a vast army of one-legged beggars, and shady men in dark suits who offer girlfriends for the night. But here I happened upon a much more charming scene. I saw fathers who, accompanied by a cool breeze and their smiling wives, showed their sons how to fly a kite. Young couples strolled happily over the carefully tended lawn, holding hands, sipping a mint frappuccino-to-go, flaunting their Prada sunglasses, their Gucci tank tops. Or for those still halfway along their paths to success their Baleno shirts or Giordano polos.

1 Cartier, C. Transnational Urbanism in the Reform-era Chinese City: Landscapes from Shenzhen Urban Studies (2002) p.1526

College students leisurely climbed the meandering steps to the top of the hill, to have their picture taken with their hero: a giant bronze Deng Xiaoping. In Imperial fashion his statue was placed exactly at the end of the north-south axis of the newly constructed city center at the bottom of the hill.1 From here, the view was beautiful. Pink towers of luxury apartments flanked neat rows of middle class housing, all surrounded by lushly watered green strips. And although this was a city that owed its fame and fortune to its factories, there was hardly a single chimney in sight. On the contrary, the tall stand in the distance was the 384 vertical meters of green post-industrial mirrored glass known as Shun Xing Tower the 8th highest building in the world! Not far from there a prestigious new civic center was under construction, whose impressive architecture of glass and steel expressed both a will to be modern, and through its pagoda-inspired roof a hint that that this new modernity is not a mere copy of a Western ideology, but the
Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537 culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213 small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Caf [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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beginning of a new Chinese era. The happy couples with their kites, the beautiful light of the late afternoon, and the enticing view of this neatly planned part of town, altogether made for an almost perfect image of the city. One that at least corresponded with the one child policy propaganda paintings I had seen across the city, in which mothers wore sexy jeans and fathers carried trendy mineral water bottles against a back drop of colorful skyscrapers. It was a setting that was very much in line with newly minted official city slogans such as, Shenzhen, city of joy life and laughter can all be found there! or, Shenzhen represents too much splendors and wonders. A boundless ocean of joy! This was Shenzhen* version 2.0, a perfect city for a perfect new generation of highly educated youngsters the Cappuccino generation, the Gucci generation, the I Want generation*, or whatever they had been called by now. This part of the city at the bottom of mount Lianhua was proudly presented as an upgrade for the city that was once known for its raw, Wild West capitalism of the early eighties, its brutal sweatshops, and chaotic infrastructure. Not that those were all but gone, it was just that they were no longer supposed to be part of the dominant imagery. A few years earlier Shenzhen had developed the ambition to become a World City, to get plugged into the select network of international cities that command the global economy. And for that, it was decided, it needed a new, symbolic center, specially catered to the tastes of the international service economy. Away from the old chaotic business district away from the Shenzhen 1.0 that had sprung up next to the Luohu border in the cowboy years of the wild south the eighties and early nineties where I had spent my first few days. The scene made me think of the complimentary tourism brochures I had found in hotel rooms across the country. In China tourism for a large part revolves around the collecting of scenes, like the moonlight reflecting in the marvelous river, or seeing the fisherman boat at the lake shore. Travel guides and brochures usually suggest a whole list of local famous scenes, that can then be crossed off one by one. My vista from the top of Mount Lianhua, the leisurely flying of the kites with a view of the ostensibly modern city center, could easily have been one. Only this scene wasnt a repetition of an eternal returning past, but a glimpse of how the Chinese imagined their future. It was a scene lifted from The Chinese Dream*, the new unofficial ideology of this booming country that has captured the imagination of hundreds of millions of Chinese across the country: to live a wealthy and comfortable life in a modern, cosmopolitan metropolis. The modern cities like Shenzhen that had sprung up all over China were not just the place where this dream was supposed to come true. These cities also strongly propagated that same dream. They tried their best to display the story of modernization and progress. Not unlike the passages or World Exhibition of Walter Benjamins Paris, the Chinese cities with their modern architecture, their luxurious shopping malls and modern infrastructure, promised a new, truly modern life. It was this dream that urged millions of Chinese to trade their hometowns in far away places for a new life in cities such as Shenzhen, Chongqing, Chengdu or Shanghai. It was this dream that I was after when I started my trip. How was its story told? What were its promises and enticements? What did this mean for the expectations of the new generation? How realistic was this Chinese Dream? Where could we find counter dreams? What would happen if for too many people reality would not live up to the promises of The Chinese Dream*? Above all I was interested in the relationship between this Chinese Dream* and other new cities arising all over China. How did its architecture and urban planning tell the story of The Chinese Dream*? And how did the expectations of this dream influence the design and

planning of the cities? What issues did urban designers have to take into account when designing ever newer versions of their cities? To find an answer to these questions I would travel like a Chinese tourist. Like them I wanted to collect my own personal series of scenes. These scenes, taken from modern life in the cities, I hoped, would tell me more about The Chinese Dream*, and the issues that had to be dealt with when designing the Chinese city of 2020.

postcard Shenzen 2003

Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Caf [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E





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shenZen 2.0

SCENE 2: SIPPING A CAPPUCCINO IN A DESIGNER COFFEEBAR


Toddy himself remembered when he was a little boy, he heard the grown-ups talk about this city. There, they said, is a place where you can become rich. These stories were fuelled by recruiters who traveled to remote villages to hire farmers for the new factories. And by migrants who returned to their villages with both stories of success and their trophies of modernity watches, TV sets, money. Since then, The Chinese Dream* had evolved into three different packages. There was a Chinese Dream Lite, which held the aspirations of uneducated farmers from undeveloped regions who migrated to the cities in search of mere economic betterment. For them cities like Shenzhen were places were they could make some money in its factories. There was the medium-sized pack, The Chinese Dream Family Edition, which held the dreams of middle class life for urban professionals. For them the city was a place where they could realize their new lifestyle. And then there was the Supersize XXL edition, that promised tycoon-style living for the very rich. For them the city was the place where they could show-off their wealth in its ever more luxurious hotels, restaurants and real estate. Toddy and most of his fellow graduates belonged to the second category: striving towards a comfortable modern life in the city. We are a new generation, Toddy continued while taking a little sip of his cappuccino. He had only recently started drinking coffee one of the insignia of belonging to that new generation but hadnt quite grown accustomed to its bitter taste. We dont care about politics, he continued. We care about the economy. Toddy, like so many others, had come to Shenzhen because this was an apolitical city, across the high mountains, far away from the capital Beijing. That at the Flying Kite Square I had seen so many youngsters lining up to have their picture taken before Deng Xiaopings statue quite paradoxically seemed only to reinforce that attitude. To them, Deng was the founder of Chinas economic reforms, the father of this cosmopolitan and hard line capitalist city at the border with Hong Kong. Their university education, those Guccis and frappuccinos, the small private cars with which they had come to Mount Lianhua, the freedom not to have to worry about politics, they owed it all to him. We want to work hard and make a fortune, Toddy concluded. We want to build up our country. That is the dream of all the young people in Shenzhen. We want to buy a car and an apartment and raise a family.

A designer coffee bar, based on the popular Starbucks-concept, with a modern interior. At one table a young man works on his laptop. At another three men in suits are holding a meeting.
4

I met Toddy* in one of the new Starbucks rip-offs* that had sprung up all over Shenzhen. This one had orange designer chairs, white tablecloths and a menu that listed at least twenty varieties of coffee this was after all the new Chinese era of abundance. Toddy was one of three million college students who had graduated from university that year, a record number. Toddy belonged to a lucky cohort. He and his fellow students made up the first generation that was born after Maos death. To them, the bitter days of the Cultural Revolution happened in stories reluctantly told to them by their parents. In their life, every year on their birthday, the economy had grown by another five to ten percent. Now they were ready to start their career. By 2020 they would be the heart of the new Chinese middle class. Toddy had graduated from university in far away Yunnan Province only a few days earlier. Right after the ceremony, he had packed his belongings in a few boxes and taken a plane to Shenzhen. This was the city he had been dreaming about since he was a small boy. One of his former roommates had already moved here and offered him a place to stay. I was so excited when I landed at the airport, Toddy said. I felt the same way the Chinese who emigrated to America a hundred years ago must have felt. Shenzhen is the city of liberty. A city of opportunity. And now I am here! Toddy enthusiastically recited the unofficial Shenzhen mythology that in the last decade of the previous century had grabbed the imagination of many Chinese. This was after all the city where The Chinese Dream* was born. In the late 1970s Deng Xiaoping appointed this rural strip of banana plantations and rice paddies, just across a muddy stream from Hong Kongs New Territories, the first Special Economic Zone. Here, foreign investors were invited to set up factories and start joint ventures to sell their products. This was the place where capitalism entered China. Now it was a city of depending on who did the counting 4 to 7 million people. Not long after Dengs edict, stories about this new land of opportunity started to travel across the country. Somewhere in the south, it was whispered, there was a brand new city with plenty of jobs. A city with gold colored high-rise and moving stairs. In at least one small town far away, a high school renamed itself Shenzhen High, stressing the aspirations its education could fulfill. Soon people started talking about Shenzhen-speed the until then unheard of pace of development or the Shenzhen-generation those who had taken advantage of this speed and got rich first.

Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Caf [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E





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SCENE 3: CITY WITH CONCRETE CARCASSES, CITY WITH GOLDEN TOWERS

View on downtown from a slightly elevated position. The skyline holds both fancy new skyscrapers with pastel or gold tinted mirrored glass, as well as bare concrete structures of 20 or more stories that were never finished.
4

Chinese cities are not unlike software packages: they are continuously being updated to keep pace with the ever increasing processor speed of the economy and the ever increasing expectations of its users. Like software that is being rushed to the market, glitches and security risks only come forward after it has been widely distributed and installed, thus widening the demand for patches and updates. The designer coffee bar was one of the new features of Shenzhen 2.0. But when later that afternoon Toddy showed me around the rest of Shenzhen, the city quickly started to look different. Gone was the pictureperfect look from Lianhua Mountain. Here, in the Luohu district near the border with Hong Kong, we could sense the rush in which this city was put together. Different parts of this district were awkwardly connected to each other. In one street they had forgotten to plan the sidewalks. Two blocks further they had hastily inserted an elevated highway that suddenly cut the neighborhood in two. The cityscape of blue and green and gold mirrored glass was interrupted by a handful of incomplete bare concrete towers. During construction, the developers had run off with the money or failed to come up with a profitable business plan. The broad boulevards were full of cars. The shops, packed with fake brand name backpacks, shoes, and Tshirts, spilled onto the sidewalk. On almost every street corner hawkers offered cheap DVDs and inexpensive girlfriends. We had entered Shenzhen version 1.0, the older part of town that was built in the eighties and nineties. A group of young girls clapped their hands, trying to lure passers by into a big tent that was set up on one of the little squares. Inside they showed us large photo albums with wedding pictures. They were not taken in a traditional Chinese style a couple happily smiling in front of a waterfall, but resembled the photography style of glossy magazines. On the day of your life, you could pretend to play the lead in a lifestyle ad for an expensive perfume or high-end fashion brand. Beggars without arms or legs victims of long working days and lax enforcement of safety regulations in Shenzhens industry sat on the pavement. Some of them had written the tragic endings of their Chinese Dream* on large sheets of paper posted in front of them. The chaotic look of downtown Shenzhen was not caused by a lack of trying from the city officials. Patches in the form of campaigns were being distributed regularly. Official policy tried to encourage Shenzhen citizens to keep up the tidy postcard look of the city that I had seen on Mount Lianhua. In the Spiritual

Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537 culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213 small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Caf [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E



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Civilization Campaign, prizes were awarded for streets and neighborhoods without informal shops or illegal immigrant housing. Although this campaign was officially started to counter the unwanted by-products of modernization, in recent years the state changed its interpretation of Civilized Activities. It now promoted leisure consumption such as going out to the movies or acquiring computer skills.2 All sorts of campaigns were continuously staged to promote Shenzhen as an international city. One of the vice-mayors had set up a campaign to improve English-language skills. 57% of Shenzhen residents, he had found, believed they needed to improve their English.3 Official policy promoted, as Carolyn Cartier observed, not only the pictureperfect urban appearance, but also a modern urban lifestyle. A new ideology that according to Cartier would mold the populace to live daily life under a kind of Chinese Fordism in which daily activities are hinged to the temporal and spatial conditions of mass production and consumption.4 As we walked on, past Japanese noodle chains, DVD outlets and karaoke-parlors, we came across a small bookstore that doubled as another lounge bar. La Vie Materile, the shop was called. It had the usual features of a Shenzhen bar: large TV screens showed a live broadcast of the English Premier League, another menu with 20 sorts of coffee, a choice of 5 types of whiskey and three brands of beer, the latter promoted by three young girls in sexy Formula 1-style outfits with the logo of their employers printed all over. The collection of books was however remarkable. Most bookstores I visited in China always had the same foreign books on display: Harry Potter, and a handful of biographies of remarkable men and strong women like Hillary Clinton and David Beckham. This shop featured books on Dada and film history. Business, however, did not fare well. People dont read much in Shenzhen, the owner told us. They are too busy with their career. This was an observation I came across often in Shenzhen. Just after the Chinese new year of 2005, Shenzhen museums complained they received far fewer visitors than museums in other cities in the country. The reasons leading to this weird phenomenon relate not only to the makeup of the citys population, which has young migrants from all over the country as its majority, but also to the priority the city has put on economic development during the past two decades, noted Sun Zhenhau, president of the Shenzhen Sculpture Institute. There is no culture here, the owner of the bookshop acknowledged. But Toddy refused to agree. No culture is also a culture, he said. Do you think when America rose to power, there was much culture there? Shenzhen has its own specific culture. For a moment, I thought I understood what Toddy meant. From the early eighties on Shenzhen had become known as a rowdy city which attracted all sorts of vagabonds looking for quick money. According to some stories, the city was full of gangsters, prostitutes and drug addicts. Some apartment towers were completely occupied with young single girls: the mistresses of Hong Kong businessmen who had another family on the other side of the border. It was a dangerous city as well: between 1991 and 1998 127 businessmen were kidnapped and released for ransom. It was this culture that could be seen on the photographs of Shenzhen artist Yang Yong. He portrayed rich youngsters, lying on their expensive sofas in their flashy new apartments. Their closets were filled with designer labels, but the bored look with which they stared into the camera could only mean one thing: their lives were empty. I found more or less the same atmosphere in Mian Mians much hyped novel Candy. A lot of lost people came to Shenzhen from elsewhere, Mian Mian stated in an interview in the English translation of her book. They all dreamed of using money to save their life. That kind of existential void, in a place with no history and consequently no family or community ties, resulted in a cannibalistic society. It is such a cruel city. It has no heart, there is no such a thing as friendship there. No one is your friend. Yang Yong, when I had visited him on another occasion had said almost the same. The new generation is spoiled and egotistic. They want to get rich quick, but they also give up quickly, and then they get depressed. You dont read about that in the


newspapers. There they only tell you that life is getting better. Could his work then be seen as a criticism to the mainstream? I had asked him. No, he said. I am just an observer. Besides, there is nothing wrong with egotism. I am a big egotist myself.
2 Cartier, C. Transnational Urbanism in the Reform-era Chinese City: Landscapes from Shenzhen Urban Studies (2002) p.1526 3 We want to learn English, Shenzhen workers declare South China Morning Post, June 29 2004

Was this the Shenzhen culture that Toddy referred to? Toddy smiled awkwardly. I had clearly embarrassed him, bringing this up. This was not a topic he liked to discuss, and certainly not the idea of a new culture he had in mind when he came to Shenzhen. This is what I mean, Toddy said, when we were back on the street, pointing at the construction sites of luxury condos that we were passing. Many young people are creating a miracle here, because we have created a new city in a very short time, he claimed. In Shenzhen there are no old buildings, and no old people. We want to build up this country. It is good that the old buildings have been destroyed. They would

4 Cartier, C. Transnational Urbanism in the Reform-era Chinese City: Landscapes from Shenzhen, Urban Studies (2002) p.1527

The new generation is spoiled and egotistic. They want to get rich quick, but they also give up quickly, and then they get depressed. You dont read about that in the newspapers. They only tell you that life is getting better.
Yang Yong, artist, Shenzhen -

clash with the modern architecture. We dont need history here. We are creating it. And we are proud of that. That is our culture. Toddy hadnt come to Shenzhen for its sleazy nightclubs or its easy money. He had come their in order to build up his own life, and his country. To become part of a new mainstream culture, not to rebel against it. In the next few days I came across many more examples of the almost manic optimism that accompanied Toddys goals. Hardly anybody I met mentioned the prostitutes or the night clubs. Of course, they were still there. And of course, people still visited them. But they seemed no longer a part of the 2.0 version of the Shenzhen myth. Instead I heard this same mantra over and over again: Shenzhen is a new city. A city
Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537 culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213 small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Caf [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E



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where you can buy all sort of things. A city with nice restaurants and parks. A green city, a pleasant city. A city without history*, which in Shenzhen is meant as a positive attribute. Shenzhen is nowhere, wrote Ian Buruma. But for many young Chinese that is precisely its attraction. To be relieved of the burdens of home, history and tradition is a form of liberation. Opportunities await at the frontiers of the wild south.5 Whether or not Shenzhen still was nowhere could be argued about. Over the years its new 2.0 architecture was giving the city a distinct identity. But it certainly was a timeless city, a city without history*, a city that looked forward rather than backward, where the difference between now and new had almost ceased to exist. It was this culture of the new*, where every moment seemed to promise a better life that had made Toddy almost intoxicated. But listening to Toddy, it almost seemed as if the process of change had become a goal in itself. It wasnt so much the eventual outcome of the modernizing process that enthused him. It was rather the idea of being part of a generation, the feeling of belonging to a collective, that was about to change the world that energized him so much. Newness, modernity and change in itself had become the main force of this optimistic, collective energy, that I could feel everywhere in Shenzhen.

SCENE 4: CITY OF JOY, CAREFULLY DECORATED WITH PLANTS AND FLOWERS

5 Buruma, I. Bad Elements (Random House, 2001)

View of a billboard along a new highway, whose shoulder is remarkably green, thanks to its freshly sprinkled lawns and flowerbeds. The billboard promotes the city as a place where young people can have a good time, both in Chinese and English, and is accompanied by pictures of happy, smiling youngsters hanging out together. From the downtown area, Toddy decided, it was better to take a taxi to the neighborhood where he lived. Since it was already a little late, most of the traffic had disappeared by now, and the taxi sped along the broad boulevards, between impressive skyscrapers. As we came onto the ramp to the highway, Toddy announced that we would soon understand why he liked Shenzhen so much. You see, he said, Shenzhen is a green city*. And indeed, as long as we stayed on the freeway it was. The shoulders of the road had been turned into small parks. Flyovers were covered in ivy. The empty spaces within the clover leafs were flowerbeds. Shennan Avenue, I later read in a brochure that was meant to point out all Shenzhens amenities, is the longest parkway in China. The green area along the road is as large as 300 football fields and the over five million plants have helped to add a fantastic look to it. Every intersection and each block along the road is carefully decorated with plants and flowers. Critics later told me that this was the easy way to puff up the statistics. You can have an impressive number of square meters of parkland in your city, yet without wasting precious building ground. And while I thought it was somewhat paradoxical that the only way to experience a park was by riding on the freeway in your car, Toddy did enjoy these parkways. For him, it was one more proof that he lived in a modern city, where people owned private cars which gave them the freedom to go wherever they wanted. He proudly pointed at the billboards, that again affirmed the culture of the new*. Here, the old fashioned billboard on which political leaders such as Deng or Jiang posed in front of the impressive new skylines that their policies had fathered, had been replaced by images of modern houses on sale, golf courses, shopping malls of the future, and young people enjoying city life. I started wondering: Could this culture of the new* be seen as a Chinese variant on what Richard Florida had called the culture of the creative class?6 In the United States, his theory states, cities that are doing well economically, are known for their high score on his bohemian index a measure of artists, writers, and performers and the presence of their subcultural lifestyle, such as cafs with open mike evenings, squatters
Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537 culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213 small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Caf [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

We dont need history here. We are creating it. And we are proud of that.
University graduate, Shenzhen -

7 6 Florida, R. The rise of the creative class (Perseus Books Group, 2002)

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who organize pop concerts, and art galleries. The presence of these often underground venues attracts people that Florida has named the creative class: people who work in universities, at design-firms and adagencies, with consultancy firms or software development companies. According to this theory, status is attributed to creative artists that refuse to conform, who follow their own insights or inner drives and often even question and critique mainstream culture and practices. People in this creative class, even if they dont belong to this narrow group of artists, feel attracted to these countercultural values and the proliferation of different lifestyles in a city. At the beginning of this century, almost all of Chinas cities scored very low on this bohemian index. But could they make up for that with their culture of the new*? Toddy himself had told me that he did not want to place himself outside the mainstream, but rather help to build it up. Toddy and most of his generation didnt particularly care for countercultural ideas. For them, a city did not become attractive per se when it hosted a wide range of alternative and bohemian lifestyles. Instead, they were mainly excited by the fact that they were creating a new, consumerist mainstream culture. This is a slight but important difference: in the United States, espresso bars are popular because they have a certain bohemian atmosphere. They have a symbolic rather nostalgic value that refers to the places where artists and writers used to make wild plans for alternative societies. Where they discussed Sartre while sipping black coffee.7 Even present day businessmen feel attracted to this attitude it was after all all the rage when they grew up in the sixties. Even if you wear a tie and formal suit, when ordering coffee, you can shortly imagine yourself to be a revolutionary avant-garde artist. In China, Starbucks is popular because it is a modern and professional place where it is appropriate to hold business meetings. Here people discuss plans to build up the economy rather than dream of an alternative society. Here patrons discuss plans while drinking cappuccino, and imagine being the CEO of a large multinational company. For now Shenzhens new urban policy seemed geared toward the values of this new Chinese professional avant-garde. One of the main goals of Shenzhen 2.0 was to efface the chaos of its earlier versions, to impose an almost perfect order on the city. Shenzhens city branding campaign stressed Shenzhen not as a creative city with many lifestyles, but as a mainstream consumerist city, a city of joy, where young Chinese people have new experiences, like going to theme parks such as Windows of the World. Shenzhen, its brochures promised, was a city where you could play golf in fancy new resorts, or enjoy a day at the beach. I wondered however whether that would also be a smart decision for the longer term. Would future generations remain interested in this culture of the new*? Or would they, growing up in even greater wealth than Toddys generation, become interested in less material goals? Would they as some artists in Beijing and Shanghai had already started develop a more critical eye, and an interest in more alternative lifestyles? Would their growing wealth lead to more playful and experimental expression of their identities? Would they long for an urbanism that, much more than the postcard* Shenzhen 2.0, allowed for small pockets of resistance? The ordered and sanitized reality of Shenzhen 2.0 was of course more pleasant than the chaos of the earlier incarnations. But would future generations like it as much as everyone in Shenzhen now did? Or would they become rather bored? Of course they still could find whatever their urge was in the old downtown. But was there not a way to carry some of the action and energy of Shenzhen 1.0 into its updates? I asked Toddy what other cities he had considered moving to. For a short while he had considered Shanghai. It is also a modern city. But it is a lot harder to make it there. You have to have connections. Here in


Shenzhen its easier. Because it is a new city, nobody has connections, so you have more opportunities. Had he considered moving back to Lanzhou, the capital of one of Chinas inland provinces, where his parents lived? No, Toddy said. Life is cheaper there, but for young people it is not an option. There are no career opportunities. And more important: you cant enjoy yourself. In the coastal cities you can go to concerts and musicals. Last time I was in Shanghai to visit a friend we went to Les Misrables. You know, the real Jean Valjean from Paris was there! It was great! More questions started to come up. By the time we arrived at Toddys apartment, I couldnt help wondering how often one would have to renew a myth like the culture of the new*. The aura of newness that surrounded Shenzhen was at least partly imagined. Toddys apartment block certainly did not look new to me. In fact, he lived in one of the oldest buildings in the city, an early 1980s concrete block, drawn by architects who still worked with the algebraic logic of efficiency for which the communist housing of those days was known. It was almost an anachronism against the skyline of colored glass. But how long before these new towers surrounding Toddys simple apartment become in their turn anachronisms as well? I thought this question especially relevant since many buildings in China are constructed with such haste that already after a year or two they start to deteriorate severely. When in mid 2005 I visited Pudong, the new development across the Hangpu river in Shanghai, on its fifteenth birthday, I was struck by how they had already started tearing down the first new settlements which, barely more than a decade ago, they had so proudly presented as emblems of the future. In such a short space of time, they had become completely outdated and worn down. Was this going to happen across the rest of China as well? Would there also be a Shenzhen 3.0, a Shanghai 4.0, a China 7.2 once the newness of 2.0 started to wear off? In this country of continuously rising expectations, how do you plan and build for anything except the immediate future? That seemed an important question, since so much seemed to be based on the culture of the new*. Even the Communist Party was relying on the appeal of The Chinese Dream* and its promise of the new. Would China just keep on reinventing itself, constantly tearing down everything that was older than ten years for the new new thing? It would be hard, but might not be impossible. After all, The United States has already been a country without history, but with a vibrant mythical dream of opportunity for more than two centuries. The city of Shenzhen at least seemed to be following this update strategy*. At the time I visited, it was going through a difficult period. As more parts of the country opened up for foreign investment, Shenzhen had become too expensive. Factories looking for cheap labor supplies moved further up-country, and large companies chose sexy Shanghai over chaotic Shenzhen. To them Shanghai 3.0 seemed even newer and sexier than Shenzhen 2.0. Cities within China had entered a fervent competition, trying to outdo each other with ever higher towers and newer versions of their cities. Shenzhen was now trying to rebrand itself as a hi-tech center, a place with leading universities and research labs. Hence the new city brochures that no longer showed images of Fordist assembly lines, but instead boasted pictures of young academics in white coats behind their microscopes. Numbers crunched out by the University of Hong Kong underwrote these aspirations. In 2005, for every 100 people, there will be 85
Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537 culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213 small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Caf [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

7 See also Brooks, D. Bobos in Paradise (Simon & Schuster, 2001)



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mobile phones; cable TV will reach over 95% of the citys population; over 50% of its residents will have access to digital TV; for every 100 households there will be over 80 computers; for every 10,000 people there will be 4,600 subscribers to the Internet.8 The new Shenzhen also had an eye to becoming a green Shenzen. Brochures emphasized the quality of the new city and the attention the city government had for the environment as one of the main features. High Quality buildings have won the city numerous prizes, including the nations top Luban award and 38 other awards of or above the ministerial level in China as well as the first international prize from the Union Internationale des Architects, one of the brochures claimed, with the usual Chinese fondness for classification systems. Air quality and environmental soundness were amongst the most important new features of the updated version of the city, as were the parkways we had ridden on the way to Toddys house.

SCENE 5:
8 Escobar, P. Guangdong, the unstoppable worlds factory Asia Times, http://www.atimes.com/ atimes/China/GA25Ad05.html

LEARNING FROM YANG LIWEI

We want to work hard and make a fortune. We want to build up our country. That is the dream of all the young people in Shenzhen. We want to buy a car and an apartment and raise a family.
University graduate, Shenzhen -

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culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

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SCENE 5: LEARNING FROM YANG LIWEI

You must always believe that you will realize your dreams. Even if they seem impossible.
Yang Liwei, Chinas first astronaut 10 Becker, J. The Chinese (John Murray, 2002)

time again it was stressed that only two other countries in the world have been able to put a man in space. Yang Liwei gave the Chinese once more a reason to be proud of the achievements of their country. His canonization is symbolic of a shift in the official imagination. As Jasper Becker has noted, in the Mao years, the Chinese were told that they belonged to the Collective of Communists. In schools across the country there were portraits of famous communists: Lenin, Marx, Mao.10 But in the last two decades the position had moved from We are all communists to We are all Chinese. Schools in their halls now displayed portraits of famous Chinese: inventors, poets and politicians. Yang Liwei was just a new portrait in the pantheon of outstanding Chinese. But there was a further level at which people must Learn from Yang Liwei. Yang was not just a screw put there where his country needed him. He was presented as a hero who had personal ambitions, who set his mind to them, and realized them. He always dreamt of being an astronaut, he had said in many interviews. His whole lifetime he had studied hard to realize these goals, and now he was the first Chinese in space. In other words, in the new China it was no longer the state that was responsible for your life. It was the individual itself that had to take charge. When the Yang Liwei tour landed in Hong Kong a few days earlier, he had said so himself. In a fully packed sports stadium, he was interviewed by a few students. You must always believe that you will realize your dreams, he stated, even if they seem impossible. At the end of the ceremony the famous actor Jackie Chan joined him on stage. Together they sang a song, that combined the communist tradition of self-critique with an almost American optimism A Person Has To Better Themselves Forever. The Yang Liwei-campaign struck a note in a larger chord. After decades of forced conformism, it had now become the goal of many Chinese to become a special person, someone who stood out from the crowd. After decades of just surviving, this was a time where you could go out and try to realize your dreams. In one of the newspapers, the editor of the newly introduced Chinese Guinness Book of Records spoke about the enormous number of entries that they had received, ranging from an eighty year old man who could stand on his head to ten thousand school children in Shenzhen who had simultaneously brushed their teeth. As Chinese people live more comfortable lives, the editor stated, they have more time to do things they like. They have the time to live out their dreams. Everyone wants to be the best. I asked Toddy what he thought about the space program. Well, he said, You might like a certain delicious dish. But if you eat it every day, even the most delicious dish becomes a little bit boring. Did that mean he didnt care for Chinas endeavors in outer space? No, I think it is great that we have achieved this. It is a great scientific achievement. Only two other countries can do this. And Yang Liwei also proves something else. If you set you mind to something and you work really hard, then you can achieve it. Even though Toddy was enthusiastic about the program, he was not completely uncritical. Not long after the return of Yang Liwei China had announced plans for trips to and even a permanent base on the moon. Did you see this weeks Economist? he asked. On the front page it said, If China is indeed a modern country, is it still eligible for development aid? But there are still many poor regions in China. What good does a man in space do for them? Wouldnt they rather have had a new road?

An organized march or staged event celebrating one of Chinas official new heroes, seen either live on TV or on the streets downtown. Often followed by a commercial adaptation of the new hero, found on , supermarket displays and advertising billboards.
4

We climbed the stairs there was no elevator to Toddys apartment. Apart from a shiny, brand new refrigerator it was empty. The only other furniture was an unsteady kitchen table and two purple stools, made of bright plastic. That this building was a little run-down and old fashioned didnt seem to matter to Toddy at all. After all, this was just a temporary place to live. No need to buy real furniture. In a few years, he dreamt openly, he would own his own nicely decorated apartment.
5

After we had been sitting on the small caged balcony for a while, Toddy turned on the television. The news showed a clip of Yang Liwei the astronaut, or taikonaut in official jargon who was launched into orbit two weeks ago to become the first Chinese in space. On his return, the Communist Party awarded him the official title space-hero. Together with his capsule Yang was sent on a tour through the country, appearing in cities such as Shanghai and Hong Kong. And it wasnt just a political propaganda campaign. Clever businessmen had also embraced the new hero the Communist Party had spin-doctored. Watchmakers, mobile phone companies and dairy farms all advertised their official space-branded products. Their supermarket displays featured a space theme, urging customers to buy their brand of space milk. The television news had been showing bits of Yang Liwei every day since the successful launch. By now, we knew everything we could possibly want to know about him. We learned that as a young boy he had worked hard and helped his classmates, that he had always wanted to become an astronaut, and that thanks to his devoted study he had made his own dream come true.

Although Yang is a hero of the new China, his canonization fits perfectly in the communist tradition. But the lessons to be learned from Yang Liwei are different. Once, Chinese were supposed to Learn from Lei Feng, the manufactured hero of the Peoples Liberation Army who had proclaimed the true communist spirit: I am a screw that never rusts sticking to the place where the party assigned me. As Michael Keane has pointed out, in the days of Mao, people were regarded as raw material. They were denied the right to express feelings or personal aspirations.9 Yang Liwei however told a different story. At first of course his space trip was a symbol of modernity. China was no longer just the factory of the world, but a modern country with modern technology. Time and


9 Keane, M. Qinghong Lin Patriotism is not enough: Chinese intellectuals and the knowledge economy AsiaPacific MediaEducator, no. 11 2001 p.166

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A good question. The well orchestrated media event around Yangs space trip was another promise that China was on its way to becoming a modern country, a message that fuelled the imagination even in poor and backward regions, that renewed the promise of progress and newness. But I also wondered how long a regime could get away with constantly promising a better future without improving the actual living conditions in many poorer parts of the country. Here in Shenzhen the question could almost seem irrelevant. But it did make me wonder whether a city like Shenzhen should address those issues. How long would it be able to get away with just updating itself, without concern for the larger environment it was a part of? Over the years, the city was no longer a stand alone application, but had become integrated in both regional, national and international networks, which all operated at different speeds. There was the international network of global cities that Shenzhen wanted to become part of. There was the regional and even national network through which raw materials, finance, goods, ideas and people circulated, all driven by their own logic, at their own pace. The network of uneducated migrants of poor villages in hard to reach regions connected to Shenzhen by slow rail, bus connections, and a light information flow had a completely different dynamic from the network of Toddys generation formed by university cities connected by air, and a strong information flow. The Chinese Dream* of these two groups were not only of different sizes, but also acted at different speeds. Rather than just updating the city itself to the ever increasing demands of this last group, maybe the question should be how to find the right balance; how to keep these different networks operational at the same time; how to find the right conversion program between all these different operating speeds, between these different levels of imagination, between The Chinese Dream Lite, The Chinese Dream Family Edition, and the Supersize XXL.

chengdu 1.5

SCENE 6: DEVELOPING CHENGDU INTO A MODERN CITY

A downtown redevelopment plot, surrounded by white fences to which billboards are attached. These billboards show pictures of modern buildings, with young professional people wearing suits, ties and briefcases. In real life, provincial construction workers with yellow and red hard hats are having lunch, squatting on the sidewalk just in front of the building site. In the summer of 2004 I visited Chengdu, a city of around eight million in Sichuan province. Sparkle, an energetic 23 year old girl, had promised to show me around. She was a university friend of Toddys, and now lived in Chengdu. I met her in the lobby of my hotel, not far from Chengdus main square. While we walked there, Sparkle told me that she had grown up in a very small village in the backward province of Guiyang. It was there that she had taken on her remarkable English name. At high school in English class we hade to make up a name, she said. Sparkle sounded good. Her best friend went by the name Apple. Another friend called herself Bubble until recently. She now worked in an international hotel and the manager found her name unsuited to communicate with foreign guests. He had renamed her Wendy. We didnt know much about English then, Sparkle excused herself. One of the boys called himself Robot. Another KFC. One guy even called himself Rose, because he was a fan of Guns N Roses. Sparkle had worked her way up and was now an English teacher herself in one of the better middle schools in Chengdu. When her students took on English names, she tried to make sure that at least the boys wouldnt pick a girls name, she said. I found this name game an interesting metaphor. Over the last ten years or so the Chinese, in their drive to be modern, had started to copy everything Western they could get their hands on, without knowing much of the context or its true application. Not only in their names, but also in interior design, in product packages, in the development of restaurants and nightclubs, in architecture, in, well, almost everything. But over the last few years a small elite of Chinese had grown more sophisticated. Satellite television and international magazines showed them what the West or Japan in the East really looked like. A first group of cosmopolitans had even traveled their themselves. Little by little, this elite had now started to develop a more refined sense of style, which was slowly starting to trickle down into all aspects of life. But was it also
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happening in architecture? When we arrived at Chengdus central square, it turned out to be mostly off-limits. It was currently under reconstruction. Even Maos statue on the north side of the square was scaffolded to receive a fresh, new look. Chengdu had been a quiet provincial backwater for a long time, Sparkle explained. It was famous for its mild climate, its laid back atmosphere and its spicy, traditional Sichuan food, notably its hotpot. But recently Chengdu had found itself right at the front of a new modernization campaign. In the first round of Chinas opening up policies, foreign investors mainly turned to the coastal cities and former foreign concession ports such as Shenzhen, Xiamen, Ningbo, Dalian and Shanghai. Now, it was hoped in provincial capitals throughout China, the inland cities would get their share. An idea that was encouraged by the central government. These days, Go west, was an official motto. This, officials hoped, would somewhat close the poverty gap that had sprung up between the coastal regions and the rest of China. And thus, to prove that this new future would indeed arrive, that they too were part of the culture of the new*, all over western China, old cities were being torn down to make way for a more convincing modern look. As an advance on The Chinese Dream*, fancy skyscrapers were being put up at an incredible speed. Numerous cities simply called their own hi-tech zones into being, whether there actually were hi-tech companies or not. Large infrastructural projects such as highways and new railways were under construction to connect all these newly modernized cities. But where in Shenzhen the new city center was all but finished and the economy had indeed taken off, Chengdu was only half way to realizing its own version of The Chinese Dream*. If they were just finishing up Shenzhen 2.0, then Chengdu was the Chinese City version 1.5. Sparkle suggested a taxi ride through the city. From the back seat, she started to point out the recent changes. Many of the infamous concrete communist workers housing or at least those facing the through ways had received a fresh layer of deep red or bright green paint over the last few years. The modernization process hadnt stopped there. Like everywhere in China, in a Haussmann-like operation, old city blocks were cleared to make room for tall skyscrapers and broad boulevards. Ring roads were added at the time of my visit they just finished the third circular artery around the city in a losing race to keep up with the growing number of private cars. The whole city is being redeveloped right now, Sparkle proudly announced, pointing to the numerous fences that surrounded the numerous construction sites. These fences made it quite hard to see the actual transformation of the city. Large shining metallic screens were wrapped around old hutong*-style villages. Wooden fences kept bare wasteland waiting to be developed off screen. White stone walls withheld constructions sites from the public image. And if the emerging structures grew taller than their fences, they were draped in Christo-style green construction curtains*. Large parts of the old city were encapsulated in a cocoon, just like a caterpillar waiting to emerge as a butterfly.
7

I asked Sparkle what she thought of this modernization campaign. She liked it. But when she first arrived here, the shock was quite severe. I remember when I first came to Chengdu, she recalled. I was frightened and amazed at the same time. Those tall buildings, the beautiful lights at night. And then the shops. In one of them I saw a watch that cost 10,000 RMB! It takes people in my village twenty or thirty years to make that kind of money! Around noon, we stopped at one of the construction sites. It was lunch time, and the construction workers were released from work. Their yellow and red hard hats made it easy to recognize them. Not only for us, but also for a few local entrepreneurs who had traveled on their bike carts to the site to sell home cooked
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meals rice with cabbage and a little meat. The workers ate the food squatted on the sidewalk, using their helmets as a stool. These workers come from small towns in the provinces, like mine, Sparkle said. Usually they live in small barracks* on the construction site, or they camp on the unfinished floors of the towers they are building. That, I realized, was probably the closest they would ever come to The Chinese Dream Family Edition. One of the younger workers, who was 17, didnt seem to mind. Just like Toddy, he seemed impressed by the culture of the new*. We work hard, he said, but we have a good time. We are all from the same village. We work together, and we live together. At night we all huddle together, and tell each other stories. Theres really a good atmosphere. And I get to see the big city. Its an adventure. By then I was getting curious to find out what the new city so mysteriously under construction behind all these fences would look like once it was finished. But when we tried to peek in at the construction sites, we were quickly sent away by security guards. To get an idea of the future look of Chengdu, we had to make do with the ever present billboard-urbanism. Large signs everywhere in the city showed pictures of the new, coming city. They showed tall apartment blocks. Or American style horizontal suburbs. Both were deliberately modern and surrounded by ample green, landscaped spaces, where modern people (business men in suits, or young women dressed for leisure) could relax and find refuge from the hectic city outside. These would be places, they showed us, for successful people. To stress this point, these developments were given voluptuous names: The Rose Garden, Dragon Village, Purple Jade Village, Seasons Park (Home of Tycoons), Moon River (Private houses of the type of the seven-star hotel), Haoyang Plaza (The world-class Architectural Designers Masterpiece, feel the peace in such a pleasant and harmonious environment), or Yuppie International Condos. One even directly advertised itself as Place Realize The Dream. With a few exceptions, the buildings depicted on the billboards mimicked Western styles. They reflected the luxury of European baroque architecture. Pastel colors, pillars and other Roman ornaments were also popular. Most of them were still rather crude, kitschy copies. Others promised the glass and steel cosmopolitan attitude of modernism combined with the Chinese fondness for soft-tone colors. In a way the atmosphere these billboards promised was somewhat reminiscent of the European modernist movement of the 1920s. Western modernism as epitomized by Le Corbusier was a utopian program. As Mario Gandelsonas wrote in Shanghai Reflections, it proposed replacing the dreary, ugly and unhealthy fabric of the historical city with a modern green city of gridded avenues and crystalline Cartesian skyscrapers.11 It promised a new city with a rigid functional division for a new, modern man. The Chinese architecture as presented on these billboards made a similar claim. History and traditional building styles were swept away with a stroke of the wrecking ball to make room for an architecture of the future. But the architecture of these new buildings also had another function. They had to provide the city and its inhabitants with a certain prestige hence the often lush and opulent ornamental additions to the rigid demands of modernist architecture. It was indeed a new architecture for a new man and a new society. But it was made clear that this new society revolved around becoming successful in the market economy. A society in which it would be more and more important to show off your success, and flaunt your status. It was as Scott and Venturi would say a modernism built for man, not for mankind. It was a Chinese Moderni$m*. And this Chinese Moderni$m* was all over the place. It had become a gimmick, eagerly adopted by developers. The housing market in China had changed over the last few years. Housing construction is no longer driven by housing need for basic accommodation as defined in the socialist era but rather by demand for the ownership of lifestyles, 12 concluded academic researcher Fulong Wu. Since the start of the 1990s

Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537

The Chinese Dream is not that much different from the American Dream. It only has a higher density.
Architect, Chengdu -

the focus of housing construction had turned from simply meeting accommodation needs to enhancing and improving the quality of housing. The average space per person had shot up from less than 3m2 per person
13 Shenzhen, Basic Facts, brochure, p.66

14 Wu, F. Transplanting cityscapes: the use of imagined globalization in housing commodification in Beijing, Area 36, 3 (2004) p.232

15 Ibid. p.229

11 Gandelsonas, M. Shanghai Reflections (Princeton Architectural Press, 2002) p.8

to a little more than 17m2.13 But these numbers by themselves were not impressive enough any more. Project developers tried to appeal to the new class of home buyers by differentiating their products. They werent selling mere housing and shelter solutions any longer. They started selling a lifestyle, a modern forwardlooking lifestyle that resonated with the new middle class. Developers turn to globalization as a new source of imagination to foster suppressed desires,14 Fulong Wu wrote. Some projects were even sold as authentic copies of developments in the USA. In Beijing the suburb of Orange County prided itself on being an exact copy of a Californian neighborhood that, according to the brochures, won the prestigious New Homes in the USA 1999 prize. Or when the project itself wasnt a direct copy of something Western, it was at least popular to give it an English sounding name. The Chinese townhouse is a case in point. Prior to the nineties this form of housing did not exist in China. But rather than creating a new term, developers just transcribed the English, using three Chinese characters which when pronounced sound somewhat like townhouse: Tang hao zhi. Literally this means mouse in the soup.15 This confusing name is part of the process of modernity distinction. Just like the various English acronyms in common use in Chinese SOHO, CLD, CBD it is comprehensible only to an initiated in-crowd, who speak a little English, and flaunt their modernity by using these terms.

12 Wu Fulong, Transplanting cityscapes: the use of imagined globalization in housing commodification in Beijing, Area 36, 3 (2004) p.232

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

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SCENE 7:

DEVELOPING CHENGDU INTO A HISTORICAL CITY

A decayed historical neighborhood, downtown. The clamor of construction sites a few blocks away. The noise mingles with the soundtrack of everyday street-life: hawking newspapers, roasting kebabs, playing mah jong.
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During my stay in Chengdu, every day I was woken up at exactly 8am by the stern sounds produced by the morning protocol of my hotels security guards. Two of them marched up and down the street in front of the hotel. A third one carried a megaphone and shouted his instructions at the other two. From that moment on, a long array of different sounds rose up from the small streets in downtown Chengdu. There was the constant stream of hawkers who announced the products they had stacked on their bike carts: Lotus Leaves! Eggs! Toilet paper! When one of the newspapers arrived in the little kiosk across the street, the owner started a home made tape that repeatedly broadcasted the same sentence: The newspaper is in! In the early evening, right after dusk, in front of one of the small shops, middle aged women carrying large colored fans got together for their daily dance routine. Melancholic melodies rung from an old cassette player, guiding the women through their synchronized movements. These were just some of the more engaging themes that rose up from the constant background murmur of honking taxis, ringing rickshaw drivers, buzzing air conditioners, and the clamor from the countless small shops. To this soundtrack the wind added the clatter of a handful of construction sites a few blocks down the street: the humming machinery, the hammering drills, the growling concrete trucks. For the old one hundred surnames, as the common people in China are often called, living in the small alleys underneath my hotel balcony, the echoes from the construction sites must have sounded both ominous and promising. It was The Chinese Dream* size medium and large under construction down the street, and the locals here knew that their neighborhood was next in line for an upgrade. Some saw the forthcoming change as a possibility to realize their own Chinese Dream*. Others as the new Chinese Dream* is a very middle class event were reluctant to leave their old lives and neighborhood behind. It is estimated that two million people will be displaced in the modernization process of Chengdu, Sparkle said when she joined me for breakfast in one of the small restaurants near my hotel. Most of them were happy to move to a better place, she continued. But sometimes the newspapers have to help the government a little. If a few people refuse to leave, the news doesnt report on them. Rather it shows us stories of people who proclaim that they are so happy they left their old houses behind.

Not all of these two million had to make room for modernity. The people in the neighborhood of my hotel


Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

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were being moved out to make place for history. The small and chaotic street where we were eating our steamed buns with bean paste called Old & Narrow Street was appointed as a monumental site. It was planned to be renovated in the coming years, and to be restaged as an emblem for the historical Chinese way of life in Chengdu that has all but vanished in the modernization projects in the rest of the city. The renovation also had another goal. Chengdu wanted to plug itself into the (inter)national network of tourist destinations. Some tourists were already showing up. At one of the temples, I had seen several Chinese tour groups. Their patrons wore yellow and red baseball caps with Merry Holiday and Happy Vacation embroidered on them. The resemblance of their hats to the hard hats of the construction workers we met earlier that day was another reminder that China had become a country of two distinct social groups: the poor ruralites who traveled to the cities out of necessity, and the richer urban middle class for whom travel is a luxury they now can afford.

The shopkeeper acknowledged that he was the exception. Most people were happy when they received an offer for a new apartment. They were happy finally to embrace modernity themselves. These buildings are old, there is no sewage system, we have to cook outside.

But, he added, the new apartments are far away, beyond the Third Ring Road*. Some of the people who had moved out earlier had lost their enthusiasm by now. They miss the social side of the old neighborhood. One of them was a shopkeeper. He took the compensation money from the government. But the new neighborhood is quiet; he doesnt have a shop over there. He has no income. He wants to come back. But there is nothing he can do. The shopkeeper wanted to stay in this neighborhood. I will start a tea house and sell tea to the tourists. Then I can make good money too.

Sometimes the newspapers have to help the government a little. If a few people refuse to leave, the news doesnt report on them. Rather it shows us stories of people who proclaim that they are so happy they left their old houses behind.
University graduate, Chengdu -

16 Ming-Wai Jim, A. & Jackson Ford, N. Site-seen. The Touristic Re-Imag(in)ing of Hong Kong Gutierrez, Manzini, Portefaix eds. HK LAB (Map Book Publishers, 2002) p.296

It is however unlikely that in the redevelopment scheme there will be room for his tea room. In their book Hong Kong Lab, Gurierrez and Portefaix describe how the tourist industry emerged in Hong Kong. They quoted Victor Burgin who stated that tourists develop a popular pre-conscious, a preconceived idea of the places they plan to visit.16 This pre-conscious is fed by circulating images on television, brochures and through stories of friends and families. Tourism itself, as John Ury has noted, often becomes a pilgrimage to collect these images, and reproduce them oneself, through which they start becoming part of the recirculation. In order to attract tourists, the renovation of Old & Narrow Street thus needed to satisfy the expectations of the (inter)national tourist class. This time it was their imagination of China that partly set the agenda for its historical preservation. The small grocery shops, the people roasting meat skewers on their outside barbecues, and the simple restaurants were to be turned into gift shops and more luxurious tea houses. The small kiosks, the hawkers with their lotus leaves had to disappear into their new apartments beyond the Third Ring Road. Their authentic sounds were most likely to be replaced by the muzak that features in so many similar historic shopping districts across China. The watermelon vendor whose faade is made of broken wood panels, the improvised street cafs with bamboo tables and plastic garden chairs, the brightly neon lit mah jong salons in decayed brick buildings, they did not fit the tourist image of an authentic historic neighborhood. The old streets were to be redeveloped to realign themselves with what tourists, most of them Chinese, consider to be authentic China. The authentic had to be removed and sanitized to become authentic. Or rather, an old authenticity that of daily, working class life in the margins of modernization, had to make room for a new one that of the middle class, who in their roles as tourists wished for idyllic vacation spots. Every time I had a discussion with the locals of a soon to be demolished area about their removal, it almost felt we were discussing a natural phenomenon. As though it were not the outcome of a political decision made by other humans, but rather an inevitable, external force. A tidal wave, an earthquake, something that just happened to you, that you just had to deal with. Of course, Sparkle said when I discussed my thoughts with her, you cant do anything. Politics in China is something that just happens to you. They decide, and theres nothing you can do. Its like Confucius said, you cant really control your circumstances. The only thing you can do is try to make the best of it.

After our breakfast, Sparkle asked one of the shopkeepers what he thought of all the changes. About two years ago a government worker showed up in our neighborhood, he told us. He went from one family to another. The government had decided to turn this area into a tourist area, he had said, and that we had to move to a modern apartment building. The shopkeeper did not like this idea. I dont like the modern Chengdu. Ten years ago, we lived here very comfortably. We enjoyed the neighborhood. We drank tea in our garden. But now its a mess. Everyday when I walk inside I feel bad. Everything is so dirty now it used to be clean. Ive lived here for over twenty years. In the modern shopping malls I always loose my way, and I dont like the tall buildings. I want some space to tend to my garden. I used to know everybody here, but now most of them have left.

Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

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I was wondering however whether this was changing. I had read reports of one lawyer in Shanghai taking up lawsuits against the government and project developers. In other counties, people had started to organize around environmental issues. So far, the numbers werent impressive. One lawyer in a country of more than a billion with the guts to take on the government statistically comes down to 0%. Most of the local actions had been suppressed by the government. And the Shanghai lawyer had ended up in jail. But the numbers were on the rise. Through the whole of China, a Hong Kong newspaper had counted 74,000 demonstrations in 2004 alone. Would the government be able to continue suppressing these movements? I asked Sparkle what she thought about this. To my surprise, she had even heard about the Shanghai lawyer. I read about him in the Washington Post, on the internet, she said. You know, I dont like our government so much. They do not inform us well. When we had the SARS-epidemic, it was very hard to get real information. But now we have the internet. There we can find the truth. Or at least we can find different angles to the truth. This sounded interesting to me. Over the years I had read many reports about how the advent of computer communication and satellite television had helped to topple the communist regime in the Soviet Union. Could the internet do the same in China? You Western people think too big, Sparkle answered. You talk about human rights all the time. Here in China for most people that is not the most important issue. Politics is not that important. We are much more interested in information about for example food safety. There are a lot of scandals where companies are making money by selling bad quality products. On internet bulletin boards we can now exchange information about this. She had another example of the way in which the internet was empowering her generation: A friend of mine just bought a house. But when it was finished, it didnt look at all like the billboard advertisement . There was no communal swimming pool, and the roof was leaking. She used the internet to contact the other owners in the project, and they started a homeowners association. Before you could hardly do anything if you were cheated by a developer. But now you can organize more easily. In the United States homeowners associations are often accused of promoting solely the homeowners interests, rather than the interests of society or the city at large. But in China, at this point in history, could they be the beginning of a form of local empowerment that enables citizens to stand up against corruption? Toddy and Sparkle didnt show that much interest in politics. But would the rising economic standards and the new stress on individual responsibility lead to a growing political awareness? Would they keep up their Confucian posture if they had the bad luck to be cheated by a project developer or a corrupt official? I had the feeling they would not. After all, had they not by now learned from taikonaut Yang Liwei to take their lives into their own hands?

SCENE 8: LISTENING TO THE SOUND OF MUSIC IN THE SUBURBS

An almost finished modern-style suburb just outside the Third Ring Road. Its townhouses are surrounded by little gardens in which speakers are hidden. They broadcast muzak versions of golden oldies. The complex is separated from the rest of the city by a white wall.

The next day, Sparkle and I had lunch with a small group of Chinese architects. They had invited us to a restaurant that resold tradition in an ostensibly modern way. The outside featured historic architecture. The menu listed traditional Sichuan hotpot. The interior however had a retro-industrial look. Parties were seated along a shiny metal conveyer belt usually found in trendy sushi-restaurants. Small dishes of quails eggs, rice noodles, mushrooms, slices of cow stomach and lamb meat floated along the tables, which all boasted a boiling pot of chili peppered broth. Large television screens on the walls showed video clips of black rappers, followed by a commercial that advertised Oil of Olay skin whitener. Its very modern to have a sense of history, seemed the overall message of this popular restaurant. While we boiled thinly sliced strips of beef in the hotpot, I told the architects about my observations on Chinese Moderni$m*. They nodded. That is exactly what has been happening over the last few years. We call it Eurostyle*. The architect made a sour face when he pronounced the term. It is really ugly, another said. The market is mainly developer-driven, he explained. They come up with the demands for new projects, which are based on market research. Architects are usually confronted with two important demands. In order to get a higher return on investment, they are asked to keep densities high. And to lure prospective buyers, the new Chinese middle class, the design has to be modern. Young people dont want to live in the traditional courtyard houses with collective spaces. They want their privacy, and their own apartments. But most of all they want to show off that they are modern. But it is changing, the third added. Eurostyle* was very popular, but the over the last years the modern architecture has become more sophisticated. What I had seen so far was Eurostyle* 1.1, still popular, but witnessing growing competition from versions 1.3 and up. Also, architecture is getting more traditional. People have started to wonder whether it is really a good idea to throw all of our history away, and only look forward. After the initial enthusiasm for the modern, people were starting to look for their roots. But they
Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537 culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213 small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Caf [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E





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did not crave genuine historical styles. One of the new popular designs is historically inspired architecture, but with large modern glass facades. It was a historical modernism, a desire to express modernity, but at the same time acknowledging that this is a modernity with roots not just a transplanted global modernity, but
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a Chinese articulation of modernity. After we had finished lunch, the architects showed us one of their recent projects. They drove us from the center past the Third Ring Road, a trip that turned into a short history lesson in different Chinese Moderni$ms*. First we passed the simple white tiled blocks that were most popular in the late eighties and early nineties. Then we passed a number of Eurostyle housing projects. One of them was dominated by pink-colored townhouses with large balconies, and tympani carried on symmetric sets of Roman columns. When we drove further out, the urban density started to decrease. We were entering Chengdus hi-tech zone, Sparkle pointed out. And in this zone, the city suddenly started to stretch out. The highway connected isolated lots that hosted factories and research institutes. Chengdu had done well attracting international companies. One of the lots featured a research division of Motorola. On another Intel would build a new Chinese research campus. Chengdu is a good place for hi-tech companies, our hosts explained. We have good technical universities. But there are not that many companies out here yet, so its easier to retain employees than in Shenzhen. The urban landscape out here reminded me of the exurbs I had seen in California and Arizona. Just like over there, the business parks were interspersed with gated housing developments. It was one of these that our hosts had designed. The project was formed by a few blocks of townhouses and apartments that indeed looked modern. They were also a lot more stylish than the Eurostyle* buildings we had just seen downtown. Light colored bricks, wood panels, and large windows gave the houses an attractive exterior. Each house had its own lawn, and was surrounded by a light brown picket fence. The streets were curved and lined with lush trees and bamboo. The scene was reminiscent of American or even Dutch suburbia. Like most recently built housing projects in China, this was a private community. The young Chinese did not only like their privacy inside their houses, they also like their public spaces to be semi-private, and home owners collectively employed a large staff of guards and gardeners to keep the premises lush, clean and safe. It was however not as quiet as you would expect in such a suburban setting. Some of the flowerbeds hid small speakers that diffused a soft background muzak alternated with artificial nature sounds. The developer thought that Chinese people couldnt handle the silence, one of the architects explained. We are so used to having people around us all the time, that we would feel lost if it were completely silent. Like in many places in the world, the new middle class preferred order and privacy over the chaotic public downtowns. The SARSepidemic of a few years ago had made the craving for private, controllable spaces even more intense. But the so un-Chinese complete silence of suburbia also frightened them. The architects explained that the rise of private, gated communities* was not a completely new phenomenon in China. The patriarchal house economy of traditional China was already made up of courtyard houses that faced the outside world with windowless brick walls. The danwei* working units in communist China were also orderly planned communities where everything and everybody had their own place, fenced-off from the rest of the city. The new private housing projects fitted into this tradition, they claimed. When the architects took us back to the car, we passed the billboard advertising the houses they had just shown us. On a giant poster, a man was resting comfortably in a hammock above an endless stretch of grassland. His son and a dog accompanied him. Remarkably, this time there was no city, not even a building in sight. It reminded me of the billboards I had seen in the endless burbtowns around Phoenix, Arizona, that
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also tried to sell houses by showing pictures of happy families. Here, they promised, you dont buy a house. You buy the lifestyle of the American Dream. Thats right, the Chinese architects stated. That is what we are doing as well. You must know, The Chinese Dream* is not so different from the American Dream. It just has higher density.

In a short time, China has become very commercial. Everything now seems to revolve around the amount of money you can make. Not so long ago, you could also be admired by being good in something like chess. But now people will tell you: why bother? Why waste your time with a game?
Entrerpeneur, Chengdu -

?
,

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culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

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SCENE 9: THE I WANT GENERATION*

The interior of a recently built apartment, decorated in accordance with both minimalism and traditional Feng Shui.
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Would you like to live here? I asked Sparkle after we had said goodbye to the architects. I like the houses, she said. But it is quite far from the center. Some of her friends had just bought a house nearby. They complain that while the developers build nice houses, they forget to build the roads to them. Everyday they are stuck in traffic. Sparkle did hope to buy her own apartment soon though. It is my dream to one day own my own house. Next time you visit, I hope I can receive you in my own apartment But maybe I will first visit you, she continued. Yesterday I walked past a travel agent. They advertised trips to Europe; they only cost 10,000 RMB. If I save some money, maybe in two years time I can go to Europe. I can see Venice. Paris! And Amsterdam! Sparkles European ambitions startled me. When I met her for the first time, a little over a year ago, we had had an ice cream at Hagen Dazs. That was very special for her, she then said. Hagen Dazs, like Starbucks and Pizza Hut had become symbolic markers of distinction for young urban Chinese. For local standards their coffees, pizzas and strawberry shakes were expensive. But your money did buy you the feeling of belonging to a new class, to take part in the culture of the new*. If you save up for one or two months, Sparkle had told me then with great enthusiasm, You can invite your friends and have a great dinner at Pizza Hut! A mere fourteen months later her ambitions had already changed. She was now dreaming of her own house and even saving up for a vacation. Pizza Hut didnt do it anymore. By now she wanted to eat real pizza in Italy. Sparkle suggested we visit one of her middle school students, whose family lived in one of the new townhouses a few blocks away. A few quick text-exchanges on her cell phone and we were invited. Rebecca the student would meet us at the perimeter of her block, so the guards would let us in.

Rebecca was fifteen years old. She wore a white sweater that displayed a large American flag* and blue jeans. She was one of her better students, Sparkle said. Her family moved here two years ago. Their new apartment was tastefully decorated, in a style that was yet another amalgam of tradition and modernity. There was a large white sofa, a glass table and a large vase with a carefully arranged bouquet of flowers and twigs. The walls and ceilings were ornamented in a minimalist fashion, but this was done according to traditional Feng Shui rules. Feng Shui was forbidden under hard-line communism. Mao did not like its principles, since it implied natures rule over mankind. The communists preferred to think of things the other way round. If nature didnt behave according to the partys wishes, the brain power of its smartest engineers would tame it with


Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

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their bold dams, long canals and stunning bridges. But now Feng Shui had made a comeback not in the least via the boomerang of Western fashion magazines. Glossies like Elle and Vogue had discovered the oriental mystery of traditional Feng Shui years ago. Since these monthlys started writing about it, the practice had became popular again with trendy younger generations in Chinatowns around the world, and in China itself. Rebecca was watching an exercise show on the large television screen. A group of four young people performed dance exercises, while encouraging the viewers to move along. The scene looked like the middleaged women who congregated on the block of my hotel for their daily dance routines. Only, on television, the youngsters were performing not in an old hutong*, but before a painted backdrop depicting the skyline of a hypermodern city. Even here Chinese Moderni$m* had taken over the imagination. I asked Rebecca if she ever joined a group of dancing people on one of the many squares. No, she smiles shyly. That is for old people. I go to the gym. Rebecca volunteered to show me her vacation pictures. There she was, on the Great Wall. And here she posed in the tourist resort of Yangshuo. She had also been in Lijiang, one of the several historic towns that call themselves the Venice of China. She had had her picture taken in the traditional dress of the area. On the other pictures, she posed the in same way Chinese popstars did in magazines lying around her room. She leaned slightly towards the camera with a broad smile, and her hand supporting her chin. Or she had tossed her jacket casually over one of her shoulders, just like Coco, Kelly, and Elva did in Cosmo, Miss, and MeiMei. One of these magazines has recently called the girls of Rebeccas age the I Want generation. Did she feel that label applied to her? I think that is the right term, she agreed. We are very different from our parents. They always had to do what they were told by the Communist Party. They couldnt decide anything for themselves. We are different. We set our own goals. We want certain things, and we work towards them. Sometimes, it seems my parents dont understand our generation. We are international, we like Hollywood films and pop music. We read Cosmo, and learn about successful business women who drive a BMW. Thats my goal. I want to work hard to be able to afford a villa later in life. It was the same mantra I had heard so many times over the course of my last few visits to China. But Rebecca was one of the first who also included a what-if scenario in her imagination: I am optimistic about my own future, but I am also a bit worried. I am afraid the gap between the rich and the poor will become too big. And I worry about the situation with Taiwan. I am afraid at some point this may lead to war. I asked her how she saw her future. Would she live in the villa with her husband? Her parents? Or would she prefer a career above a married life? She smiled shyly. My question was perhaps a little too personal. Of course I want to be married. But on my own conditions, she said. Sparkle helped her out. In China it is a tradition to take care of your parents when you are old. I think our generation will still do that. A lot of people always tell us we are the little emperors, the first generation of one-child households, and that we are selfish. I dont think that is true. I would feel obliged to look after my parents. Only, I dont want them to live with me, not in the same house. But I would like them to live near me. I hope in the future I can convince them to come live here in Chengdu. That was the I Want generations not uncommon condition: they would take care of their parents, provided they followed them wherever their ambition was taking them. Rebeccas comments resembled a small article I had clipped out of the newspaper a few days earlier. In it, the ambitions of a mother and daughter are compared. When I was young, the mother said, my only dream was to become a worker. At that time, of course, it was the working class who had the best social status. All I ever wanted was to get a job to make a living. Most families were in dire economic straits back then and a job was


enough to satisfy anyone. My heroes were all the revolutionary martyrs. My career is the most important part of my life, the daughter replied. Ill make a detailed career plan before I graduate. I will take the entrance exams for postgraduate studies next year. People with higher education degrees are much more welcome in the job market these days. Further study is an essential way to sharpen your competitiveness. Initially, at least, I will not care too much about my salary. What is most important is the prospect for development.17 The generation that was growing up in China was a lucky generation. For them the future looked bright, and chances abounded. But it was also a pressured generation. They had not only to realize their own dreams, but those of their parents and grandparents as well. Some even claimed that they already expect too much, that their imagination had run off with them. Shanghai, I read in one of the newspapers is full of young people with overblown expectations, who actually have nothing much to do. The high streets shimmer with wealth and luxury, the paper wrote, and all the locals have become so arrogant that they are unwilling to do any sort of hard graft at all. Work is something that is done by migrants from Jiangxi and Anhui. To be born in Shanghai might be like winning first prize in the lottery of Chinese life, but the stamp of the city also means having entirely unrealistic expectations about ones own personal worth. Would the I Want generation end up as a disillusioned generation? When Rebeccas mother returned home from work a little later, I asked her about her ambitions when she was Rebeccas age. She didnt have too many. When I was about to go to the university, I was sent to the countryside. This was the time of the Cultural Revolution. Because of it, I never got a good education. My husband and I want to make sure our daughter gets the chances we didnt. We sent her to one of the most prestigious middle schools. Her cousin is already in Beijing, studying in one of the best universities in China. We hope she will be accepted there as well. For most of her life Rebeccas mother worked in the state bureaucracy. Only recently had she quit her job to start her own business: a driving school. With Chinas growing dependence on automobile transport, to her the future looked promising. But like her daughter, she was also aware of the drawbacks of rapid modernization. In a short time, China has become very commercial. Everything now seems to revolve around the amount of money you can make. Not so long ago, you could also be admired by being good at something like chess. But now people will tell you, why bother? Why waste your time with a game? You see, we are all doing so much better these days. We used to be poor, but at least we were secure. Now, if you get sick, or you loose your job, who will take care of you? Life is better now. But it is not always easier. The economy is growing and we are so much wealthier than we used to be. But nobody really knows for sure how long this will last, so everybody tries to get the most out of the current situation, while it lasts. There is no long-term planning; just the rush of get-it-while-you-can.

17 Signs of the times: Chinas lostand-found generations South China Morning Post, July 12, 2003

Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Caf [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E



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We are very different from our parents. They always had to do what they were told by the Communist Party. They couldnt decide anything for themselves. We are different. We set our own goals. We want certain things, and we work towards them.
Schoolgirl, Chengdu -





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suining 0.7

SCENE 10: GARAGE DOOR CITY

passing the time. But although clearly lagging behind the other two in architecture and economic growth, I did find the same vitality in Suining, the same fondness for the new and the now, that had struck me so much in Shenzhen and Chengdu.

In the city itself, this 0.7 version of The Chinese Dream*, was slowly being supplanted by newer versions. To the pride of many young people in town, a popular international restaurant chain had recently found Suining on the world map: just a few years ago Kentucky Fried Chicken started serving the Colonels favorite meals in a downtown outlet. Some investors had set up a tourist attraction nearby: The Dead Sea of China a themed swimming pool, where you can have your picture taken with actors dressed up as authentic Arabs. Reports on Chinas rising night-life tend to focus on the exclusive bars and trendy clubs in the coastal cities, which cater mainly to a small community of expats and super rich Chinese in pursuit of their Supersize Chinese Dream*. But in the past few years China has also seen an enormous rise in entertainment options for the common man. This local version of the experience economy is admittedly less spectacular, trendy, and media savvy, but probably more important in its overall impact. My first night in Suining I had dinner in one of these places the newly opened franchise of a Sichuan hotpot restaurant chain. The hotpot restaurant I visited looked like the Chinese version of the Rainforest Caf*. The ceiling was completely covered with flamboyant red and yellow colored plastic leaves. It was meant to give the impression of a city park in the fall. It was a popular formula, copied from nearby Chongqing, the manager explained. To give people living in the city the feel of nature. Like in most local restaurants, the atmosphere was very lively. Orders for beer were shouted loudly across the large space; the clamor of the animated conversations ricocheted off the walls. The clients were having a good time, that much was certain. At least 40 hotpots were fired up in the restaurant, all of them surrounded by large groups of locals. The boiling pots and the spicy broth made the place feel like a steamy sauna. Most of the male visitors had taken off their shirts, as if this were just another informal noodle shop. It made a spectacular sight: more than a hundred bare, sweaty torsos, hunched above steaming hotpots and underneath the fire red sky of plastic leaves. The hotpot restaurant was an example of how the informal spaces of the garage door economy were slowly being replaced by a more organized, scripted version of the city where customer-employee interaction was prescribed and overseen by a managerial class. The restaurant was neatly themed according to the plans made up, tested and marketed through the chain headquarters in Chongqing. The workflow process wasnt improvised as it was in the small garage door restaurants, but actually managed according to centrally prescribed procedures. Like all over China, also in Suining life was slowly becoming more formalized, according to the logistics of a consumer society.

A street in an average provincial town. The housing blocks are covered with white tiles. The bottom row of these blocks host garages with silver colored doors. Half of them are open and reveal that inside these garages people have set up small businesses: DVD rentals, shoe-repair, and informal restaurants. Traveling through China, Chinese director Xiaolu Guo stated in her film The Concrete Revolution, is like traveling through time. And indeed, after having visited Shenzhen and Chengdu, my entrance in Suining, a small provincial town in Sichuan felt like arriving in an earlier incarnation of The Chinese Dream*. The train ride from Chengdu to Suining had taken a few hours in a crowded but reasonably comfortable train. Soft Chinese pop music accompanied us while the cityscape of balconies, Roman pillars, tympani, glass and steel all still under construction slowly transformed into the concrete factoryscape, the suburbs, and then into the countryside where villagers were plowing the earth, walking behind their oxen. And thus, while the ticket collectors young girls with pony tails in blue uniforms played games on their mobile phones when we arrived in Suining, a city of a few hundred thousand, it felt as though I had been sent back at least one or two decades in time. Suinings main architectural features turned out to be low concrete buildings, some of which were surfaced with white bathroom-style tiles. A style that to the Chinese must have looked very modern when it was introduced in the 1980s, but was surpassed by the taller, fancier, and more luxuriously decorated Chinese Moderni$m* of the big cities. The pyramid shaped railway station with its small white tiles and dark blue glassed windows was constructed less than a decade ago. But it already looked out of date, a relic from an historic period. If Shenzhen was The Chinese Dream* 2.0, and Chengdu was version 1.5 then Suining was version 0.7. Its architecture was made not for the global information city, but geared towards a local, street economy. Most buildings featured an array of silver garage doors that opened up to apartment-sized spaces, housing a workshop, a small factory, or a store. There were the usual string of activities and the Mom & Pop outfits that you find in most Chinese towns: the DVD store, small noodle restaurants, furniture workshops, iron recyclers, hairdressers, and mah jong cafs. In one of these spaces, an old man had started his own karaoke salon. Hed invested in a television, a DVD player, and a few tea cups. As I passed by, two girls were singing a sweet sounding Chinese love song. These garage doors gave the city a two layered dimension. The ground floor is for work, industry and leisure. The more private living sections are one flight up. The street was the place where all these different functions met each other, and most of the streets were filled with people, working, selling, or just hanging out and


Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Caf [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E



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SCENE 11: THE CITY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER

An empty lot of farmland just outside a medium-sized city. A motorcade of black luxury cars stops and unloads government workers and investors. The former start to gesticulate enthusiastically and try to convince the other party that on this site soon a brand new post-industrial city will be built.
4

In my hotel I learned that Suining hosted a number of large factories, to be found slightly further out of town. One of the city officials that I had contacted had given me some promotional brochures and a VCDfilm. By now I had a whole collection of these, since every self-respecting town and city had made at least one movie. Chengdu had even hired internationally acclaimed director Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, Hero). Most of these films followed the same pattern. They always started with a short historical introduction. Already in the days of the Tang or the Ming or the Qin dynasty, they claim, the area was known for its vitality or innovation. This was usually followed by a few scenes that showed us the natural beauty of the region, claims that were underwritten by lyrical verses in which poets from the same historical dynasties celebrated the sunset over the local lake or mountains. Then followed the part in which the city was portrayed as a very modern place, where only the most modern machinery and infrastructure were used, and that welcomed investors in a hospitable climate. This was usually complemented with political slogans that referred to the new policy of opening up, and a long list of awards and ISO-standards that the city complied with. Suinings film was no exception, although in one aspect it did differ from the films I had seen in Shenzhen and Chengdu. These last two cities featured their tradition in hi-tech and R&D as their competitive advantage. Suining mainly boasted about its industrial strength. Here the narrator focused on Suinings factories and presented the city as a Food City, and a Textile City, where people were used to work hard. Poets from the Qing-dynasty already sung about the beautiful clothes fabricated in this region, the voiceover stated. These claims were supported with the upbeat music from the American film Flashdance and the imagery of the industrial revolution. Shots of pipelines were alternated with the ballet mchanique of rotating weaving looms inside a modern factory. The next day, I discovered, the city officials dared to dream even further ahead. The VCD we gave you is a little bit outdated, one of the officials excused himself when they came to pick me up for a tour of the city.
Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537 culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213 small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Caf [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

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Today we will show you the new Suining we want to build. A black luxury car with its engine still running awaited us outside the hotel.
2

The first stop on our official tour was a bare piece of farmland, just across the Fujiang river from the downtown area. A long strip of asphalt divided the yellowish grasslands along the river bank. The road was unusually broad, and even had two separate tracks for bikes. But apart from our small official motorcade there was hardly any traffic. Just a few motorcycle drivers who offered their back seats as a taxi. One of the local farmers used the asphalt to dry his grain, hammering it manually with his flail. That scene didnt curb the enthusiasm of the tour leaders. This is where the new government center will be built, they explained. Over there a large square with a park-like atmosphere would arise, flanked by two skyscrapers for the city workers. Their list went on: to the left, a top-end high school was planned; on the right a boulevard along the river for tourists. At the end of the road offices for hi-tech industry. At the next stop, the planning office for the new district more stories like this followed. The office itself was a small, neglected concrete building with scruffy carpet on the floor. But along the walls there were pictures of what the new Suining* would look like: tall, impressive skyscrapers, pleasant boulevards with fountains and romantic park benches, and luxurious Eurostyle* buildings with tiled roofs and classical pillars. The contrast with the real garage door Suining that I had seen the day before was enormous. I even got to see a fully fledged animated film the architecture department of a prestigious Chinese university had visualized their new cityscape. The camera glided through spacious parks, past prestigious towers, along pleasant boulevards, round impressive roundabouts, and up and down multiple fly-overs. The project looked amazing. Imagine the architecture and urban planning of a project like Canary Wharf in the London Docklands. Multiply that by four, and add two giant Buddha statues that will be constructed on the hills behind the new city as a tourist attraction. Then youll get an idea how these city officials envisaged their own future. If they get it their way, which I found hard to believe, they would develop 7.36km2 in the first phase, and a further 20km2 in the second. One hundred thousand inhabitants would initially find their new home in Suining 2.0 a number that would then be extended to almost half a million. And all of this, the planners claimed, would be built within the next five year plan, here in provincial Suining. A new city slogan is already minted: Suining, a Rapid Rising Pearl in Central Sichuan. The farmers that we saw sitting in the shade next to their modest brick houses will be moved elsewhere: theyll just have to make way for the future. By now, this must be a familiar scene in cities and towns all over China. I saw a similar presentation only a few days earlier in Chengdu where the city government was building a new hi-tech zone, south of the city. 82km2, the promoters boasted, and large international companies like Intel and Motorola had already signed a contract or even built a research campus.

19 Ma, L. & Wu, F. ed. Restructuring the Chinese City (New York, Routledge, 2005) p.14

Every city and county wanted to be plugged into the global economy. They all wanted to become top level Global Cities, afraid to miss out, to become what Manuel Castells calls the fourth world. These ambitions were not always completely unselfish. The newly built cities with their signature towers and luxury plazas and waterfront developments also functioned as a tribute to the personal leadership of the city officials. Its a public secret in China that their career is closely linked with the performance of their cities. All over China these leaders wished to demonstrate their visionary leadership and what better way to do this than to plan a hi-tech zone or new government district, preferably one that was just slightly larger than the plans of a neighboring town or city?19 For cities like Chengdu, with good infrastructure, universities, and a high service level, plans like this might prove to be a realistic and achievable goal; most other cities probably needed a reality check. That did not mean that the general ambition to lure investors to cities like Suining is a bad idea. The 500 million or so farmers that within the next twenty years will leave the countryside in search of a better life cant all go to Shanghai, Shenzhen or Beijing. Places like Suining could become an alternative destination in fact they already have. Suining was granted city-status in the early 1980s. Now there were 3.4 million people in the administrative district. New highway constructions had brought the megapoles of Chengdu and Chongqing within reach of a comfortable drive. What used to be a five hour bumpy bus ride is now at most two hours away by a new highway. Suining is thus, as investor-brochures state, ready to grasp the historical opportunity by sticking to the guideline of opening-up and pushing forward economic development. At the same time, this push for development, this urge to be plugged in, had changed the character of the Chinese cities dramatically. This will be the new Suining, proclaimed one of the city officials after the animation film of the new district had finished. The current city is an industrial city. This will be a city for the service industry. We want to attract the tertiary industry no more polluting industrial companies. The brochures that were handed out told the same story in slightly awkward English: The city is of elegant overall arrangement with rare trees being found everywhere, it promised. The garden and its shade, reinforcing steel bar and concrete, the natural greenness and wind, all these appears to be so harmonious that it forms an integrity of human nature, and architecture, which realize the conception of construct a human city of city with water, city with mountain, and city with greenness. In other words, the chaotic, industrial garage door city where people work in open workshops, live on the streets, and make a modest living by hawking small snacks and cigarettes, was discarded as old fashioned. The old city was literally left behind in the minds of Suinings planners. It was telling that in the animation I had just seen, the location that held the present city center of Suining was a blank spot of green pastures. It had vanished altogether. Rather than upgrading Suining 0.7, they simply started over on the other side of the river, creating a modern hi-tech city from scratch. The farm land was turned into a tabula rasa for their dreams of a modern China. The chaotic industrial city will be left for Suinings working class, as an undeveloped backstage area. The borders between these different zones might be even harder than they already look. The whole idea of a hi-tech zone, for instance, was to lure in investors by providing them with better facilities than they would receive in the rest of the city. Energy supply was guaranteed in some of the hi-tech zones around
Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537 culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213 small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Caf [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

The stories and images of modern China have not only fuelled the imagination of migrants and upwardly mobile city dwellers. Also government officials have had recourse to their visionary faculties. They too want a piece of the future. Fifteen years ago every city in China wanted to be like Shenzhen 1.0 and have their own Special Economic Zone, their own factories and foreign funded industry. Now even small provincial towns like Suining were trying to convince investors that they would be the next Silicon Valley of China, or at least a major tourist destination. According to Hong Kong newspaper The Standard, 183 cities in China then had the official goal to become a modern international metropolis,18 all of them very likely with their own empty river banks, their own VCDs and fly-through computer-animations.

18 Chinese construction minister criticizes city heads over image project, The Standard, Hong Kong, 3 February, 2005, found in Volume Archis 20#1





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20 Graham, S. & Marvin, S. Splintering Urbanism (Routledge, 2001) p.8

3 21 Castells, M. Hauling in the future The Guardian, 13 December, 1997, quoted in Graham, S. & Marvin, S. Splintering Urbanism (Routledge, 2001), p.15

the country while other parts of the city might suffer blackouts. Stephen Graham calls this phenomenon splintering urbanism. At one point, he claims, cities were guided by the principle of universal access, by which every part of the city was awarded the same level of infrastructural support, in terms of water, electricity and communication. Street, power, water, waste or communications networks, Graham writes are usually imagined to deliver broadly similar essential services to (virtually) everyone at similar cost across cities and regions. Fundamentally, infrastructure networks are thus widely assumed to be integrators of urban spaces.20 But in recent years, in a world wide trend, utilities and infrastructure have become more and more regulated through a market system no longer mere public services equally accessible for all, but producing marketable commodities sold or offered to specific interest groups. Rather than integrating the city as a whole, the new grids of communication integrate different spaces across the world. They do not so much connect different parts of the city, but connect the preferred hi-tech zones around the world with each other. The planet is being segmented into clearly distinct spaces, defined by different time regimes,21 Manuel Castells writes. The global economy will expand but it will do so selectively, linking valuable segments and discarding used up or irrelevant locales and people. The territorial unevenness of production will result in an extraordinary geography of differential value that will sharply contrast countries, regions and metropolitan areas. Suining 2.0 would be fully connected to this new network, Suining 0.7 just a few miles across the river might be left out. Most Chinese cities, as they were imagined and constructed would follow this scenario. They might become what David Mangin calls Villes Franchises22 cities that are build up of different controlled zones, made up of franchised shopping malls, gated communities, or government controlled areas such as hi-tech zones. These zones seem to neglect the spaces in between them: the older industrial parts of the city, the chaotic streets of the working class city, or the improvised illegal housing of poor migrants. But, I wondered, could we not also read this theory the other way around? Suining 0.7 never had a chance of being connected to the global economy. The new 2.0 version of the city, just might be plugged in. And could it then not function as a bridge between the global and the local economy? Would it be possible to design future updates of the Chinese city in such a way that these zones would be more connected? Would it be possible to develop a Suining 3.0 from which the 0.7 version and its inhabitants would also benefit? Could we think of the new Chinese city as a layered space, where old zones are not shut-off as backstage areas for cheap labor, but connected to these new cityscapes? In other words, would it be possible to design Suining 2.0 to be backwards compatible with version 0.7?

22 Mangin, D. La ville franchise : Formes et structures de la ville contemporaine (Editions de la Villette, 2004)

Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Caf [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E





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SCENE 12: EATING BITTERNESS

placed on the next generation. It is not unusual to find people who spend more than 50% of their income on their childrens education. Zhangs story also reminded me of what Sparkle had told me in Chengdu, when we were talking about the village where she had grown up. None of her childhood friends had gone to university. Some of them instead went to Shenzhen looking for a job in one of the factories. The first Chinese New Year, when they came back, their imaginations were fuelled. They talked about the high buildings, the escalators, the expensive merchandise in the department stores. But after a few years their stories started to change. They started to realize that they would never make enough money to buy those expensive brand name clothes they had boasted about on their first holiday. Let alone a car or an apartment. When they grew older, they also found that their employers started to find them less and less attractive. Many lost their jobs, and they were now back in her village, making a very modest living working the fields. And now, what will they do?, I asked. Is there a chance they will one day revolt? Sparkle didnt think so. Its better to try to adapt to the circumstances than to try to fight them. But I kept on wondering what her story meant for the Chinese imagination. When too many people stopped believing in the dream, would the machinery of economic growth come to a halt? Recent newspaper articles seemed to indicate that this might already be happening. After the Chinese New Year in 2005, many migrant workers did not return to their factories in the southern province of Guangdong. The workload was too hard, the payment too low. Is the reservoir of labor, that only a few years ago seemed so vast, now starting to dry up? Just before my trip I had seen the documentary film A Decent Factory, in which the mobile phone company Nokia tried to improve working conditions in the Chinese factories of their subcontractors. In one of the early scenes, high placed executives from Finland and Japan exchanged thoughts. In Japan, the latter stated, it is very hard to find people for simple production work. People are just not interested in doing that kind of work anymore. The Japanese generation Y wants to live an interesting life, with an interesting lifestyle. How long, I asked myself, before young generations in China will come to the same conclusion? In the newspaper, Liu Kaiming, director of the Shenzhen-based Institute of Contemporary Observation, had already pointed out that the migrant workers attitudes had started to change. This generation of migrant workers was born in the 1980s. They havent been through many difficulties in their lives and may be less willing to put up with hardship, he said. Their fathers faced huge economic pressure from their families, but the younger generation can quit when they want. The first generation of workers, other analysts claimed, were veterans of the Cultural Revolution. They knew how to eat bitterness, they were used to working hard and receiving just enough to get by. But the new generation of workers that had grown up with continuous economic growth, with success stories and pictures of The Chinese Dream*, what would they do when they find out they are not getting a piece of the cake? When surrounded by the culture of the new*, how long will they be satisfied to keep working their repetitive, uninteresting jobs? Will they indeed, as Sparkle suggested, comply with the circumstances and just keep on projecting their hopes onto the next generation? Will they maybe start organizing and negotiate better wages and working conditions for themselves? Or will they one day decide that the heavenly mandate of the current ruling party has expired, and, like the suppressed farmers in previous centuries, revolt?

A improvised tent, put up on the sidewalk next to a construction project. Inside the tent, ten beds are joined together. Outside one man is cooking rice in a large pot on a camp stove.
4

That afternoon I met a small group of rural migrants, who were camping on one of the streets near my hotel. They were repairing the streets around a newly erected apartment block, and lived in a small tent they had set up on the sidewalk. While the others lined up the cobblestones in the sand, Zhang was watching their belongings, and preparing their dinner: boiled rice with some vegetables. He came from a small village in the countryside, about twelve hours away by bus. He was recruited by another villager who said he had a job for him. They had worked in Chengdu for a while, but had now moved to another job in Suining. Unlike the young construction worker I had met in Chengdu, Zhang didnt really like life in the big city. The people are very unfriendly. They treat us like dirt. In addition to that, his days were long, and the work was quite hard. And rather than spending his money on the attractions of the city, he was saving it all up. I never go out its so expensive, he continued. In China we have a saying: No matter how beautiful the world is, there is no place as beautiful as home. If he wasnt here out of the pure necessity to make some money, Zhang would go back to his village right away, to The Chinese Dream* 0.0, the dream of an undisturbed life in a small village in the countryside. Zhangs experiences were not unusual. In most cities the migrant workers were regarded as an inferior class of people by the locals. They were seen as two-legged tools wrote Michael Dutton in Streetlife China. Or worse as criminals, as an uneducated societal residue who had no official rights.23 They had no place in the system. And since the strictly organized days of the communist danwei*, in which everybody was appointed a regimented place and outsiders were vilified, these kind of people were frowned upon. There was even a special word for them: Liumang, people without a place. I asked Zhang what he thought of all the new buildings. Zhang couldnt picture himself in one of those new apartments, he said. They were just too expensive. We are ordinary human beings, he answered. What can we do? In his imagination, there was no brightly lit future. Not that he had completely stopped dreaming. His hopes were set on his only son. Next year my son will go to university, he proudly stated. However, that turned out to be an expensive affair. Tuition would cost 7,000 RMB a year, and he was only making 500 RMB a month. I am worried how we are going to pay for that. My wife will have to come to the city to find a job as well. Just like Rebecca in Chengdu, Zhangs son had to live up to the unfulfilled dreams of his parents. It was again a story I had came across often. The older generation considers itself a lost generation. They see the country striving forwards, but more or less accept that they will not be able to participate. All their hope is


23 Dutton, M. Streetlife China. Transforming Culture Rights and Markets (Cambridge University Press, 1999)

Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Caf [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E



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At night I watched a DVD that Sparkle had recommended. Is there no criticism at all of the current developments? I had asked her. Is there no counterweight to the never ending optimism, to the cheering stories about modernity that I had found everywhere around me? She pointed me to the work of a young generation of film makers, notably Jia Zhangke. Now I was watching his film Unknown Pleasures. Officially the film was banned in China, but it wasnt hard to pick up a copy in one of the many DVD stores. The story took place in a provincial town, a city not unlike Suining. Even though this city is far from the cosmopolitan centers of the New China, the presence of The Chinese Dream* could easily be felt. Invisible speakers advertised a new lottery, that used modern methods and promised a quick way to become rich. A campaign team for a Mongolian wine proudly presented girls who performed a modern dance to promote the alcoholic beverage. The television news also promised progress: a new road a metaphor for moving onwards was constructed and would soon be completed. Just like in Suining 0.7, there were hardly any modern buildings in Jias provincial town, no design architecture or fancy shopping malls, no lush green parks along broad highways. Instead the city in Unknown Pleasures looked gray and unattractive. The apartments were small and crowded, the shops were unsophisticated and in the cultural center the paint was peeling off the walls. It was another reminder that the city, once the stage for culture was now an arena for commerce. An event promoting the Mongolian wine took place next to a giant billboard depicting the construction of a new highway a symbol for the road that China had taken toward blunt commercialism, toward Chinese Moderni$m*. The characters in Unknown Pleasures dreamt hopefully about this commercialism. When they found a one dollar bill hidden in a bottle of Mongolian Wine a gimmick of the marketing department they thought themselves truly rich. But in reality, the new society was out of their reach. The main characters lived in a dilapidated concrete apartment block. When they walked to the bus stop, they had to traverse a dusty open plane, surrounded by old houses that were almost completely demolished. Jia made his position clear: the old system is torn down, but most people in spite of all the promises get nothing worthwhile in return. After a failed robbery inspired by Pulp Fiction one of the main characters headed out of town on his motorbike, smoothly riding on the asphalt of the now finished motorway. After only a short ride, his bike broke down. The road might be finished, but he just didnt have the right means to travel on it. The promise of a road to modernity might be there, but like most people, he was going nowhere.

Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Caf [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E





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SCENE 13: ONE GAME ONE CONTINENT ONE GOAL

Workers Stadium, Beijing. The stands are packed with Chinese supporters, waving their large red flags. Every kick forward is greeted with great enthusiasm by the crowd.
4

In the summer of 2004 Beijing hosted the Asian Cup soccer tournament. On the black market I was able to buy a ticket for the match between China and Iraq, the quarter-final. That night the Workers Stadium was packed with people. Their faces were painted with red stripes and many of them were waving large red flags. A sign displayed the somewhat mysterious official slogan of the cup: one game, one continent, one goal. The fans cheered their team with great enthusiasm. When the referee gave the home team a penalty, they collectively held their breath. The tension was visible on their faces. It amazed me that every kick forward successful or not was greeted with enthusiastic cheers. Every attempt to get the ball in the general direction of the opponents penalty box was answered with applause. Every action no matter how well executed was greeted with great encouragement. Go China go! But when the enthusiasm of the crowd seemed to get out of control, when people stood up from their chairs to cheer, uniformed guards forced them to sit down again. The authorities were firmly in control. But it was a thin line that the stadium police were guarding between excitement and chaos. After I had collected my 13 scenes, I found the reactions of the crowd telling for what was happening in China. In China, also in the economy, every effort to strive forwards and every attempt to progress seemed to be greeted with an enormous enthusiasm, no matter how well directed. After decennia of economic depression, every small step towards a more affluent future, every new update of their economy, every new version of their cities and their lives were applauded. This was not a time, it seemed, to be critical, or to reflect. This was a time to take your chances while they lasted. It was these opportunities, and maybe even more the process of change than the change itself the culture of the new* that had excited Toddy in Shenzhen, Sparkle and Rebecca in Chengdu, and even Zhang in Suining, just like the soccer fans in the Workers Stadium. I had learned more on the several trips I had made to China in the last few years. For many Chinese, I had
Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537 culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213 small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Caf [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E

0



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found, it was important to belong; to be part of something greater than themselves, whether that was the crowd in the Workers Stadium or the feeling of being part of a new generation building up the country. For many, it was important to show off that you did belong. That you were materially successful in this new society. It was important to show that you were modern, that you did take part in the culture of the new*. Initially the markers of difference for these new collectives had been rather crude copies of Western symbols, but at the time of my last visit, there was a rising interest in Chinese traditions as long as they were packaged in a modern way. At the same time, this new generation had grown more individualistic. Some even boasted about their egotism. Within the collectives they had chosen to join, they started to claim their private spaces, their private lives, their private goals. Some, like the homeowners associations, dared even to organize the private goals they had in common with others, starting to challenge the central authority and the crude market forces. The new cities that I had visited followed these trends. Gone were most of the dreary, gray cities that foreign travel-writers had seen in the eighties. The architecture of the new city centers, versions 1.0 and up, reinforced the culture of the new*. They were exciting although somewhat chaotic places to dwell, and full of energy. Earlier versions had shamelessly copied Eurostyle* Western architecture to prove their modernity. Newer versions, like Shenzen 2.0 had grown more self-confident and infused Chinese traditions into their modernity. They even attempted to organize the chaos that made up the modern cities. Tourist districts became authenticized and sanitized, little informal shops made room for scripted experiences, and new gated communities provided an organized communal private space for the new middle class. They also gave its members a sense of distinction and identity. Older versions of this city however, once updated seemed to be discarded and neglected, just like the many outsiders who didnt have an official place in the system. About two weeks later China was playing again. The national team, coached by the former Dutch soccer star Arie Haan, had made it all the way to the final another proof of Chinas rise on the international stage. But this time the outcome of the game was less fortuitous. After a disputable decision by the referee, China lost 31. Outside the stadium some of the supporters started to riot to show their frustration and discontent. The government policy of nationalism seemed to turn against itself, the riot police had to come in to calm the mad crowds that were shouting anti-Japanese slogans. Again it seemed a metaphor for the broader dynamics in China. While official media blurt out a never ending stream of mostly optimistic images of a bright future, a tale of national progress, the stability of this bright future is threatened by at least two factors. First, the enthusiastic crowd might get too optimistic, might get drunk on their own success, and demand more and more. Toddy, Sparkle and Rebecca when they grow up and reach middle age, might challenge the authorities to share the political power. On the other hand the stability was also threatened by those who were frustrated because they lost their jobs. Because they were thrown out of their houses. Because they were treated unfairly by the officials. Because, like Zhang or Sparkles village friends, they started to realize that the newly minted Chinese Dream* will never materialize for them. Would the myth of The Chinese Dream*, just like in the United States in spite of abundant evidence to the contrary remain believable? Would new generations keep on dreaming up their own success stories? Would they keep on seeing the newly constructed cities, versions 2.0 and up, as reachable goals? Or would they start to wonder why so many of them are so ostensibly excluded from this picture?

Or will all of these scenarios play out at the same time? Will the economy continue to grow, producing a new middle class demanding more and more rights, at the same time that disenfranchised groups start organizing and trying to transform their fate, while new cities just keep on going up?

That would leave one big challenge, both socially and spatially: how can all these different developments be incorporated into one coherent system? How to design new versions of the city that stretch around the present as well as into the future?

This will be the new Suining. The current city is an industrial city. This will be a city for the service industry. We want to attract the tertiary industry; no more polluting industrial companies.
City planner, Suining

Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Caf [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E





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Politics is not that important. We are much more interested in internet bulletin boards, where we can exchange information about for example food safety.
University graduate, Chengdu -





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Toddy (22) was born in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province, with (2004 estimate) about 2.5 million inhabitants. His parents both worked as teachers in the Lanzhou school district, and Toddy went to one of the better high schools in the city. It was in Lanzhou when he first heard about the economic miracle in Shenzhen. He studied Economics in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province. Right after his graduation he moved to Shenzhen, where he lives in a small apartment that he shares with a former roommate and his older sister. Not long after he arrived he found a job through a career portal on the internet and is now working in an import and export firm. His parents are still in Lanzhou and he visits them once or twice a year.

Sparkle (23) was born in a small agricultural village in Guizhou, a seven hour bumpy bus ride from the capital Guiyang. The village has a few thousand people and has only one surfaced road. Most people make their money farming and are poor. Young people, both girls and boys, by the time they are 17 or 18 often move to the bigger cities in search of a job, and send the money they make home. Sparkle however did remarkably well in the local high school and decided to finish school and take part in the university entrance exams, which gave her the opportunity to study in Kunming, Yunnan province. She studied English and after her graduation she moved to Chengdu. There she found a job as an English teacher at middle school #2. She lives in the dormitory for the school teachers, and shares a room with one of her collegues. Some of her older collegues have recently bought their own appartments and this is also Sparkles ambition. She currently does not have a boyfriend, but she is chatting with a few guys on MSN. On weekends she sometimes goes out to restaurants or karakoke with her friends.

Rebecca (15) lives with her parents in a recently built middle class community in the south-west part of Chengdu. Her parents grew up during the Cultural Revolution and didnt get much of an education. They worked for the government for most of their lives, but recently they quit their jobs and started their own businesses. Rebecca likes both Western and Chinese pop music. The Taiwanese singer Jay Chou is her favorite. A few years ago for the first time in her life she went on a holiday. Together with her parents she joined a tour group which for one week travelled the south of China. She spends most of her time on her homework, but in summer she watches DVDs with her friends. She has one cousin who is a few years older and who was accepted at the university in Beijing, and from time to time they exchange e-mail and sms messages.

Zhang (48) was born in a small village in the mountenous western-part of Sichuan, not far from the borders with Yunnan and Tibet. Eight years ago a recruiter from a small town nearby showed up in his village. At that time Zhang did not join him, but when some of his old village friends came back and told them about the money they made doing construction work, he also left his village. The adventures havent all work out well for Zhang. Since he has a rural hukou* he does not have a lot of rights in the city. One time he wasnt paid for half a year. But although he doesnt really like his work and life in the city, he feels he really has no choice. Back home he would hardly make any money at all. Moreover, he has one son and would like to send him to university. However, that is a costly affair.

Note: the names of the characters in this story are not their real names. In a few cases the places of the described events are changed as well.

Shenzhen [img] p.670 1A4D I Want generation [glo] p.680 8B The Chinese Dream [glo] p.688 2D Toddy [img] p.547 4H Starbucks rip-offs [img] BURB p.25 city without history [txt] p.520537

culture of the new [glo] p.674 2E green city [txt] p.148183 postcard [img] p.543 4G6I update strategy [glo] p.690 3A hutong [glo] p.680 1B construction curtains [img] p.213

small barracks [img] p.328329, 654655 Chinese Moderni$m [glo] p.674 6B third ring road [img] p.648651 eurostyle [glo] p.676 7D gated communities [glo] p.678 4D danwei [glo] p.676 4A

American flag [img] p.539 5F Rainforest Caf [img] p.565 Suining [img] p.689 8F8J hukou [glo] p.678 7E





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interior perspective
2

a gradient of progress

Marrigje de Maar

interior perspective
7

00

0

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interior perspective
7

0

0

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interior perspective
7

0

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my dream survey
2

www.china-at-home.org

Adrian Hornsby, Neville Mars

..

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democratic design - toward a wikicity

of rapid change. it seemed that consultation approaches all too easily became locked in arguments about the facade of a single residential block, and missed the big questions like, what do you think a city should be? and, how do you want to get around? The root cause of consultation reluctance i think is a dated idea of too many cooks spoiling the broth - that whenever you get large numbers of people having their say on a project, it becomes very inefficient. The thinking goes, it takes too long to go through all that data, and youre much better off delegating responsibility to a strong project manager. but computers have changed all that, and with the internet blowing open the doors, it is becoming apparent that if you can harness the knowledge of a very large group of people, theyre actually the most powerful resource available. Two brief examples. in 1998 the founders of google realized that if they wrote a search engine which followed the way people used the internet, it would be much more intelligent than any of the search algorithms they themselves could write. Then in 2001 wikipedia again refocused contentcreation from experts to users, and provided the architecture for people who wanted the articles to build them themselves. in the space of a few years it has become the most up-to-date and widely reviewed knowledge resource in the world. far from being a burden, consultation becomes the basis for a project. so

why not try to apply this to urban design? what would a wikicity look like - a city which was being continuously rethought and refined by all the people passing through? www.china-at-home.org isnt an attempt to build a wikicity. its an online survey which asks for some data about peoples lives and dreams and the places they call home. its a way of trying to look at things from the bottom up. for a long time in China there was a situation in which one persons thinking went into a little red book, and this was then sent out to everyone for them all to read. so instead the web survey offers a different system: everyones thinking goes in, then the book comes out, and the information is available for upwards-filtering. we launched china-at-home.org on jan 26 2006, and its been taking entries ever since. we have no plans to close the site, and the results laid out below are not definitive - not least because there is no such thing as the definitive dream of a rapidly changing society. but there are expressions from moments within the construction process ...

in 2005 i went to a conference on the future of cities. The second session was a kind of spot-the-difference diptych, presenting on the left roger madelins development for Kings Cross, london, and on the right Terry farrells masterplan for Kowloon station, hong Kong. spotting the difference wasnt so hard. when farrell completed his designs in 1992 the entire site was underwater. by 1998 it was open. The project included 10 hectares of landfill, a major transportation hub, several thousand new homes, and a business district complete with fancy hotels and showcase towers. over a similar period of time madelin had just been stuck in planning offices. hed conducted surveys, disseminated designs, met with local groups, talked to the council, plunged through money .... he estimated that by 2010 hed be usd160 million into the project and not so much as a brick raised on site. in 2006 he was taken to judicial review by a group of disaffected residents. The difference between Terry farrells and roger madelins experience is, of course, consultation.
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Traditionally consultation is something developers grudgingly accept - almost a kind of halter that mature democracies oblige them to wear around their necks. it slows things down, costs money, and can severely impede delivery. less consultation, therefore, facilitates quicker growth. it can be argued that if this leads to the city making more money, then the inhabitants as a whole stand to benefit. all you sacrifice is the luxury of giving a noisy anti-change minority the chance to whinny and stall. in China its becoming an urban cliche to have a group of agonized foreign theorists standing on the sidelines wringing their hands (about control, coordination, speed and harshness of change, etc.) while undeterred and highly successful developments plough right past them. The trouble is that within the Chinese context, the scale and pressure of urbanization is completely mismatched to western notions of sensitive development. i wanted somehow to take the consultation debate to another level: not just individual proposals and local residents, but people across China, and the concept

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1. where were you born?

9. are you happy with your current home?

village (< 20,000 people) town (< 100,000 people) city (< 1 million people) big city (1 million10 million people) megacity (> 10 million people)
0

24 14 20 19 23
93

1 (not happy) 2 3 4 5 (very happy)

4 11 39 28 18

93

2. where do you live now?

village (< 20,000 people) town (< 100,000 people) city (< 1 million people) big city (1 million10 million people) megacity (> 10 million people)

1 10. who lives there with you? 4 17 20 59


93

parents friends partner children just you

32 22 29 9 15

93

11. how many people in total?

center
3

28 48 19 3 2

12 35 >5

65 33 2

3. do you live in the

near the center suburb satellite town countryside

12. what kind of building do you want to live in in 2020?

apartment block

34 16 8 27 14

0 dormitory building

93

4. do you like your city?

1 (not at all) 2 (not much) 3 (its okay) 4 (yes, its nice) 5 (yes, its great)
0

3 14 45 19 20
93

ping fang*/small house villa other

93

13. who will live there with you?

parents friends partner children just you

21 21 62 56 7

5. where would you like to live in 2020?

village (< 20,000 people) town (< 100,000 people) city (< 1 million people) big city (1 million10 million people) megacity (> 10 million people)

7 8 22 20 42
93

93

14. how many people in total?

12 35 >5

32 59 9

center near the center suburb 6. in the


6

18 37 32 5 7
93

15. in 2020, will you be living in your home city/town/village?

satellite town countryside


0

yes no

32 68

93

7. what kind of building did you grow up in?

apartment block dormitory building ping fang*/small house villa other

14 42 32 3 9
93

16. in 2020, where will your parents live?

with you nearby in the same city in another part of China 26 13 24 16 12 9

21 30 19 30

93

8. what kind of building do you live in now?

apartment block dormitory building ping fang*/small house villa other

40 43 6 3 8
93

0 walk

93

17. how do you get to school/work?

bicycle bus subway car

0 taxi

93

0



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26. do you like big cities?

< 30 mins 18. how long does it take? 1 hour 90 mins 2 hours > 2 hours

60 33 5 2 1

1 (not at all) 2 3 4 5 (lots and lots)


0

7 14 32 21 26

93

2 3 4 5 (very good)

14 41 15 6
93

27. do you think that there is enough green space in chinese cities?

19. do you think the transport is

1 (very bad)

23 yes no not sure 25 63 12

1 (very bad) 20. do you think the traffic is


3

38 26 26 6 4
93

2 3 4 5 (very good)

93

28. do you think that there is enough public space?

yes no not sure

20 70 10

21. in 2020, how will you get to school/work?

walk bicycle bus subway car

14 14 8 17 45 3
93 0

93

29. would you be happy living in a building with

1 story 5 stories 10 stories 30 stories 50 stories

27 40 38 22 6 13

0 taxi

22. how long will it take?

< 30 mins 1 hour 90 mins


0

69 28 2 0 1
93

0 > 50 stories

93

2 hours > 2 hours

30. do you like the way in which where you live is changing?

1 (not at all) 2

16 23 37 14 10

0 3

93

4 5 (lots and lots)

23. will you own a car in 2020?

yes no

75 25

93

31. where do you spend most time with your friends?

at home in malls or shopping areas in restaurants, bars, or clubs in public places (parks, museums etc.) in internet cafs other

23 18 35 12 2 10

24. do you think the roads around where you live need to

0 get bigger

42 46 12

93

stay the same get smaller

25. do you think the city is well connected?

2 3 4 5 (yes, very well)

28 36 15 3
93

32. how important are these things to you in your future home? big rooms/space

1 (no, not at all)

18

93

1 (low) 2

5 10 24 24 36

0 3

93

4 5 (high)

93





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1 (low) 2 modern feel 3 4 5 (high)

9 12 35 hutong* 22 22
93

1 (low) 2 3 4 5 (high)

18 10 30 16 25

0
2

1 (low) 2 old feel/history 3 4 5 (high)

18 23 skyscraper 27 19 13
93

1 (low) 2 3 4 5 (high)

9 16 27 19 29

32. how important are these things to you in your future home?

1 (low) 2 3 garden 4 5 (high)

3 6 16 33 park 42
93

1 (low) 2 3 4 5 (high)

3 3 9 25 59

33. in 2020 how important will these things be in china?

1 (low) 2 close to center 3 4 5 (high)

7 14 32 22 24
93

1 (low) 2 3 4 mall 5 (high)

7 6 22 24 40

lively/busy neighborhood

1 (low) 2 3 4 5 (high)

6 6 19 30 39
93

1 (low) 2 3 starbucks 4 5 (high)

38 12 27 11 12

1 (low) peace and quiet 2 3 4 5 (high)

1 3 communism 10 25 61
93

1 (low) 2 3 4 5 (high)

39 15 25 12 9

33. in 2020 how important will these things be in china?

1 (low) 2 3 4 car 5 (high)

7 6 the economy 22 27 38

1 (low) 2 3 4 5 (high)

2 0 12 27 59

1 (low) 2 3 4 train 5 (high)

4 6 23 culture 34 33

1 (low) 2 3 4 5 (high)

1 1 7 15 76





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1 (low) 33. in 2020 how important will these things be in china? the environment 2 3 4 5 (high)

3 1 5 5 85

36. where do you most want to go?

Europe America Canada Australia India travel in China other

48 12 5 4 8 10 14

1 (low) 2 making money 3 4 5 (high)

4 5 28 30

015 37. what is your age? 1525 2535 3550 5065 over 65

1 40 45 10 2 1

33

1 (low)
3

8 11 13 17 51

2 3 children 4 5 (high)

34. in 2020 how important will these things be to you?

1 (low) 2 3 love life 4 5 (high)

3 3 13 27 55

38. have you been to university?

yes no

93 7

1 (low) 2 3 friends 4 5 (high)

1 1 8 35 54

39. what is your current occupation?

student manual worker (low skill) manual worker (high skill) office worker (secretarial/administrative) office worker (professional) office worker (lower management) office worker (upper management) other

29 1 1 5 21 10 8 25

1 (low) 2 having fun 3 4 5 (high)


6

4 1 13

48

40. what do/did your parents do?

34

manual worker (low skill) manual worker (high skill) office worker (secretarial/administrative) office worker (professional) office worker (lower management) office worker (upper management) other

15 7 3 8 6 23 38

1 (low) music/art/books 2 3 4 5 (high)

2 3 10 25 61

35. have you travelled outside china?

yes no

54 46 all numbers expressed as percentages





certainty

dream

Cake-eaters delight
2

The first thing to say about the data we have so far is that it is by no means representative of China (nor is it about to become so with the current distribution of internet accessibility). The majority of responses are from city-dwelling university-educated under-35-yearolds. We dont regard this as a problem in particular. The idea was never to build a demographically balanced map or to limit or police the relative proportions of responses. Instead we wanted a flyby image of the future and the new Chinese pictures of tomorrow glimpsed by cruising through the quarters of today. We thought wed let china-at-home. org float, and as results came in and trends emerged, witness the landscape that was taking shape. Reading through responses I am struck by a kind of cool confidence China has in the midst of massive change. There is a sense that China is on the right track that there are problems and opportunities for improvement, but these will be met and progress will continue. Peoples dreams of 2020 tend to express a positive outlook with strong values as one dreamer puts it: good environment, good order, citizens quality of life improving. There is a hint that by 2020 people expect to be under less pressure; that perhaps by then China will have caught up with the West and development need no longer be so rapid nor so fervent (I expect fresh air with European feelings; even Beijing will become the place where the likes of David Beckham and Britney Spears will want to be seen). But for now the course is forward. When asked specifically if they like the changes that are taking place changes which are rocking minds and economies across the world most people breathtakingly answer, We like them okay. On the other hand, questions about peoples personal lives evoke much more passionate responses. Strong shifts are visible in how people see their family situation developing, with significant increases in


peoples aspirations for partners and children by 2020. Parents fare less well: under half the people currently living with their parents anticipate that this will still be the case in the future, and one third go so far as to relegate their parents to another part of China. The personal car makes a strong appearance. Even though 64% o