Conference at Shanghai, China, June 1, 2010


Xuefei Ren, 

Mega Projects, Housing Rights, and Urban Citizenship in Shanghai and Mumbai 

This project examines the changing housing rights regimes amidst the urban renewal currently underway in Shanghai and Mumbai. I examine the policies and regulations that govern residential security and housing tenure, the alteration of policy implementations by electoral and extra-electoral contestations, and the opportunities and strategies for housing activism in each context. We find that political contestations have enabled the construction of a more protective, although precarious, regime in Mumbai than in Shanghai. Despite striking differences, in both contexts housing rights regimes have produced fragmented urban citizenship rights by distributing protections unevenly and inconsistently to urban residents. Finally, although the forms of housing activism differ, residents and civil society groups in both Shanghai and Mumbai employ a variety of strategies in their resistance against mega-project developments and displacement. In the process, they become active urban citizens by articulating their rights to housing and by making new claims to the city. This presentation is based on my larger project on Chinese and Indian cities in transition, which systematically compares urban governance structures, practices, and citizenship rights in Beijing, Delhi, Shanghai, and Mumbai through the lens of urban renewal and displacement.


Ho Hon Leung,; Raymond Lau, 

Renovate to Create: Housing Issues and the Concept of “Age in Place” 

The two Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) estates, the Ming Wah Estate (1962), and Lai Tak Tsuen (1975), have been under major renovation to meet the needs of the rapidly aging population in residential estates. Instead of demolishing the existing estates, and redeveloping the areas, this paper examines some of the major factors behind the decision for renovation. The factors include the population trends, migration of the population, and the theory of ‘age in place’. The paper also examines the changes made in the two estates, and highlights the functionality of the changes for the aging residents in places. These two cases bear important implications for other cities which are also facing the challenges of rapidly aging population and the dilemma between demolishment and renovation as creation.


ZHONG Xiaohua, 

The Spatial Practice in the Commercialization of Neighborhood: Case Study of Street Stores in Shanghai’s Old Residential Area 

During the past century, the residential neighborhoods of Shanghai have developed with the whole social change. With the periods of colonization, industrialization and modernization, the changing patterns of residential buildings intimate the political, economic and cultural relationships of different stages. Although the mechanisms of the urban planning and construction have always been dominated by power and capital, various of bottom-to-up ‘spatial practice’ by ordinary people create many new places, and develop new representations of space and new social relationships. Through the case study of street stores in old residential blocks, this paper explores in micro-scale that how the spatial practice, commercialization of residential area, influenced the community. fabric and group identity. 


KOU Huaiyun, 

The Study on the Practice of the Post-earthquake Reconstruction of Xijie Historic District, Dujiangyan 

The post-earthquake renewal of Xijie Historic District is a special case of reconstruction: according to residents’ decisions whether or not to rebuild their houses, and can participate in reform. In the implementation process, there constantly occurs with multiple interests overlap, collision and compromise among the stock-holders. From the planning perspective, relationships among them are in analysis and the way are discussed to reconcile the interests of the stock-holders under some policy framework, to promote harmonious renewal in the Historic District.


LI Yifei, 

Within Group Diversity: The Chinese Community in Manhattan’s Chinatown 

This study addresses urban spatial segregation in ethnic enclaves. Researchers in urban poverty, racial relations, and social stratification have generally treated ethnic enclaves as internally homogenous. Studies generally assume the internal cohesion of particular ethnic groups, which is then used to contrast the mainstream lifestyle. To advance this literature, I take the Bourdieuian perspective that apart from ethnicity, there are many more classifying properties as signs of distinction, such as a family name, the name of a region, an occupation and so on. Drawing evidence from first-hand ethnographic work in Manhattan’s Chinatown, the study demonstrates that all these classifying mechanisms generate multiple layers of distinction within the ethnic enclave. I find that the community is tied together less significantly by a common ethnicity, but more so by various overlapping sub-communities within the enclave, which include family name associations, clansman associations, occupational groups and many others. 


Jackie Jia LOU, 

Ways of Seeing Linguistic Landscape 

This paper examines how ways of seeing linguistic landscape are structured by ways of walking (de Certeau 1984) and how such activity spaces (Massey 1995) are further shaped by individuals’ geopolitical orientations (Eckert 2004). The largely bilingual commercial signage of the Chinatown in Washington, DC has become the subject of local debates (Gillette 2003, Moore 2005) as well as sociological (Pang and Rath 2007) and sociolinguistic analyses (Leeman and Modan 2008). In both, Chinatown’s linguistic landscape is foregrounded as the text to be seen and read. In contrast, this study takes linguistic landscape as a part of the geosemiotic aggregate (Scollon and Scollon 2003) of Chinatown and asks when individuals pay (or do not pay) attention to it and why (Jones 2004, to appear). 


Johannes Dell, 

Resources-efficiency: Identifying Some Strategies for Sustainable Urban Development 

For 45 years, AS&P- Albert Speer & Partner have worked internationally in large scale strategic city development, with a focus on resources-efficiency. The experiences gained helped to identify some strategies for sustainable urban development, which can help to plan, organize and implement large scale city-growth more appropriately: 

A:The principle of “de-centralised concentration” serves as a tool to improve urban development in agglomeration areas; 

B:The down-town landscape“ is a vital element to compensate the land use for built-up areas; 

C:The compatible “Organisation of Mobility” calls for a preference of public transportation; 

D: “Networks of infrastructure systems” are a prerequisite for sustainable urban development; 

E:Efficiency in city management and use of financial resources will profit from close “co-operation with private organisational structures”; 

F:The principle of resources efficiency must be followed throughout the entire planning process, from the regional planning to the conception of the single building. 


Stephen Shen, 

City Lights 

The development of the exterior lighting reflects the change of the modern society. We experience the rhythm of city life through artificial illuminations in the public places. Today, metropolitan cities are known by their competing city illuminations at night, how they value the lighting effects, and their concerns in the design of ‘the lights in the night scenes’. At the same time, the contrast between the interior and exterior lighting diminishes gradually as days turn to nights. At night, buildings express the structure with lights coming from the inside. The concept and effect of lights from the interior seemlessly connect to the exterior. The design of lights must adopt an holistic approach. From the area of dense populations to private residential environments, intensity of lights, energy efficiency and comfort are highly demanded.