China’s Urban Century
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China’s Urban Century

Governance, Environment and Socio-Economic Imperatives

Edited by François Gipouloux

The achievements of China’s urbanization should not be evaluated solely in terms of adequate infrastructures, but also in their ability to implement sound governance practices to ensure social, environmental and economic development. This book addresses several key challenges faced by Chinese cities, based on the most recent policies and experiments adopted by central and local governments. The contributors offer an interdisciplinary analysis of the urbanization process in China, and examine the following key topics: the institutional foundations of Chinese cities, the legal status of the land, the rural to urban migration, the preservation of the urban heritage and the creation of urban community, and the competitiveness of Chinese cities. They define the current issues and challenges emerging from China’s urbanization.
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Chapter 11: Historic urban landscapes in Shanghai: the challenging path from recognition to innovation and appropriation within an accelerated socio-economic context

Françoise Ged and Shao Yong


Shanghai had been playing a major role in China in defining and establishing particularly innovative practices for the conservation of the architectural and urban heritage. In 2003, the municipality set up 12 protected sectors, representing one-third of the area of the town in 1949. Capacity for experimentation, associated with regulations defined by the city of Shanghai, is backed up by the establishment of committees of experts, including the architects and urban planners from the departments of the municipality and those involved in research and urban planning projects at Tongji University. Over the past three decades, experimental operations have been implemented in very different socio-economic contexts: before 1989; after Deng Xiaoping’s journey to the south in 1992; and after the housing reform and the new status of ownership for city dwellers.1 Land and property speculation, the definition and application of new urban regulations and the participation of residents constituted major steps in the whole process, which has gone hand in hand with a gradual recognition of whole chapters of the history of the city and the important figures who built it or lived there.

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