Unpacking proliferation of culture-led redevelopment in Chinese cities: Urbanization of local state, commodification of cultural resources, and uneven transformation of creative space
Map Library, Rm10.10, 10/F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Mr Jiang Ronghao PhD Student, Department of Geography, HKU
Over the past decades, culture-led urban redevelopment has become a preferred strategy for re-governing urban decline in cities worldwide. Competing interpretations have been made by some who celebrate the economic value and social engineering of cultural resources in the cities or who continue to subscribe the notions of neoliberal urban entrepreneurialism and creativity fix. Despite growing plurality in perspectives, a common scholarly tendency has been to prioritize the relationships between cultural resources and urban space within the broader structural process of post-Fordism and post-industrialism. Consideration of local complexities and socio-historical contexts that shape the practice and form of culture-led redevelopment and commodification of cultural resources has often been treated as a matter of second interest. A growing proliferation of culture-led redevelopment in a transitional socialist economy-China has provided a new opportunity to fill the research gaps identified from the existing studies. Drawing insights from the recent theories of urbanization of local state and commodification of resources, this research introduces a novel conceptual framework to understand the proliferation of Chinese practices of culture-led redevelopment. Research objectives are to characterize the nature and pattern of culture-led urban redevelopment, explore the new social and political conditions upon which culture-led urban redevelopment has been brought about, and critically evaluate its consequences. The research will be carried out through quantitative analyses of the statistical data for the prefectural-level cities as well as a comparative analysis of redevelopment projects practiced in Wuhan and Guangzhou.
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