Arts, Culture and the Making of Global Cities

Arts, Culture and the Making of Global Cities

Creating New Urban Landscapes in Asia

Lily Kong, Ching Chia-ho and Chou Tsu-Lung

While global cities have mostly been characterized as sites of intensive and extensive economic activity, the quest for global city status also increasingly rests on the creative production and consumption of culture and the arts. Arts, Culture and the Making of Global Cities examines such ambitions and projects undertaken in five major cities in Asia: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei and Singapore. Providing a thorough comparison of their urban imaging strategies and attempts to harness arts and culture, as well as more organically evolved arts activities and spaces, this book analyses the relative successes and failures of these cities. Offering rich ethnographic detail drawn from extensive fieldwork, the authors challenge city strategies and existing urban theories and reveal the many complexities in the art of city-making.

Chapter 12: Culture, globalization and urban landscapes

Lily Kong, Ching Chia-ho and Chou Tsu-Lung

Subjects: asian studies, asian economics, asian geography, economics and finance, asian economics, cultural economics, regional economics, geography, cities, human geography, urban and regional studies, cities


In this final chapter, we step back from the rich tapestry woven from ethnographic material amassed for each city and the grounded analysis of site-specific contexts and developments to reflect more broadly about culture, urban landscapes and global cities. We take stock of what the specific cases tell us about cultural mega-projects and cultural clusters in cities, but, on an even larger canvas, we draw lessons more generally about urban governance, community engagement, cultural capital and city identities. Before we pull together and assess the learning points drawn from the case studies, we remind ourselves of the ambitions of the cities in question, recollecting why it is important that analyses of the Asian context as (only partially) represented by these cities are critical to the task of rethinking some of our existing theoretical knowledge, so often derived from observations of the Western world.

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