Photos from the recently installed exhibition, “The Chinese Cosmopolitan City”, which documents the research conducted during the 2018 China Summer program, led by professors Shiqiao Li and Esther Lorenz. The exhibition is open until March 1st, with a gallery talk this Friday 1/25 at 5pm in the Elmaleh Gallery.
After three decades of rapid development, Chinese urbanization seems to have entered into a new phase, which is characterized by cosmopolitanism. While earlier examples of world cities in Asia such as Hong Kong and Singapore are illuminating, Chinese cities offer unique experiences as they engage with this profound transformation from social and cultural conditions not foregrounded in colonialism. The 2018 China Program investigated this new stage of Chinese urbanization, particularly in the context of increasing infrastructural integration of the world ambitiously planned by China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The program focused on influential factors of urban change: the flows of labor, goods, and innovations which resulted in Chinese cities adapting its spaces to new realities. We examined the instruments and institutions of the world system, and studied the spatial modifications in the Chinese city that anticipate a new era of urbanization not marked by quantitative increase but by a cultural change. These are presented as documentations of urban change, analyses of architectural developments, and understandings of cultural encounters in the context of global trade.⠀
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