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Title: The rhetoric and reality of culture-led urban regeneration-a comparison of Beijing and Shanghai, China
Authors: Wang, J. 
Li, S.
Keywords: Authentic conservation
Chinese cities
Cultural industry
Culture-led regeneration
Industrial heritage
Issue Date: 2010
Citation: Wang, J.,Li, S. (2010). The rhetoric and reality of culture-led urban regeneration-a comparison of Beijing and Shanghai, China. Built Environment: Design, Management and Applications : 1-32. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: It did not take long for the two megacities of Beijing and Shanghai to embrace thefashion of culture-led urban regeneration. Forerunner is the case of Beijing 798, whereina semi-abandoned factory was gradually turns to the largest cluster of art production andart consumption. The process never runs smoothly as this zone is planned as high-techindustrial zone according to the comprehensive plan. During the past years, artistspetitioned for preserving the factory, claiming that the preservation is significant inconserving historical buildings and sustaining the only and largest 'artists' village'. Thecultural group in Shanghai is comparatively lucky as the municipal government promptlyannounced the plan of cultural rehabilitation of industrial buildings in 2004. Within 2years, around 80 dilapidated industrial sites have been converted to culturalinfrastructures. Shanghai Sculpture Space is the first project initiated by the government,who see the project as a model to demonstrate rehabilitation of heritage and to encouragethe development of creative industry.In both two cities, the process started when a cultural group moved to dilapidatedindustrial plants in the city, reusing them as studios. The spontaneous activities largelyinspire many other parties, who soon find it beneficial to actively involve themselves inthe process. Nevertheless, authentic heritage conservation by professional ways ofconservative interventions is, all of a sudden, advocated and appreciated widely, afterdozens of years of fearless deconstruction and reconstruction in China.Driven by global city making, both two cities see culture as a key to bolster a neweconomy and to deal with decayed urban sites. Meanwhile, differences are detectable dueto the various natures and meanings of local culture and therefore different roles ofculture assigned by the two cities respectively. When Beijing has long claimed itsorthodoxy in representing Chinese culture, taking art production as one pillar industry;Shanghai hardly hides its absorptive and sometimes eclectic nature, caring more onglobal standard of art consumption. This paper attempts to analyze the differences of thetwo culture-led regeneration projects, the spatial outputs of which stem from differentcultural circumstances and, respond to power relationships of a variety of actors in theurban regimes. © 2010 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
Source Title: Built Environment: Design, Management and Applications
ISBN: 9781608769155
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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