Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/224133
Title: MEGA-EVENTS AND CHINESE CITIES : AN INVESTIGATION OF EVENT-LED URBAN REGENERATION IN GUANGZHOU THROUGH THE LIZHIWAN PROJECT
Other Titles: 大事件与中国城市:透过荔枝湾考究广州市在亚运背景下的城市更新
Authors: WHYE TSIN PEI, MELISSA
Keywords: Architecture
Design Track
Chen Yu
2011/2012 DT
Asian games
Event
Guangzhou
Lizhiwan
Regeneration
Issue Date: 11-Jan-2012
Citation: WHYE TSIN PEI, MELISSA (2012-01-11). MEGA-EVENTS AND CHINESE CITIES : AN INVESTIGATION OF EVENT-LED URBAN REGENERATION IN GUANGZHOU THROUGH THE LIZHIWAN PROJECT. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Lying on the cusp of tradition and modernity are China's major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai that have undergone rigorous makeovers through mega-events like the Beijing Olympics 2008 and Shanghai World Expo 2010. The challenge to retain China's cultural identity whilst on the tight leash of urbanization proves arduous as the pressure is on to establish a unique Chinese modernity that distinguishes China globally in the league of other East Asian cities. Issues of sustainability and quality of life in cities undergoing urban regeneration also come into limelight as China aims towards being a global nation. This dissertation stems from a reaction to the skepticism and criticism towards China’s event-led strategies, an issue brought under the media spotlight in the face of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. China's event-led urban regeneration schemes have been met with criticisms from detractors ranging the seemingly wanton destruction of historical urban fabric in paving the way for a market economy, to the cavalier attitudes towards the forced relocation of people, leading one to question if its people truly benefit from such event-led projects that have been legitimized as such. While acknowledging the catalytic role of mega-events in Chinese cities and the often forceful and vigorous nature it embodies, this dissertation attempts to investigate the reality of event-led regeneration conditions in China today and prove to a certain extent that the locals are indeed the beneficiaries of such schemes through the case study of the Lizhiwan regeneration project for the Asian Games in Guangzhou city. Invoking Smith and Fox’s definition of “event-themed” regeneration, meaning renewal that is inspired and not totally reliant on the event itself, this dissertation proposes that mega-events can have a positive catalyzing effect on long-term hibernating urban regeneration schemes that have broader aims and are naturally more people-centered. By tracing and analyzing Lizhiwan’s regeneration, this dissertation attempts to demonstrate how the project endeavors to mend the many historical, cultural and urban deficiencies of the old Liwan district through transforming the forgotten canal at Lizhiwan into a multi-layered public space for the “most elusive and most needy beneficiaries” of Liwan district, while simultaneously gaining more leverage in terms of “soft power” and achieving broader aims of district and city competitiveness. In analytical assessment of issues regarding forced relocations, cultural degradation, the abrupt and vigorous nature of mega-events, community participation, and collective pride of the people, this dissertation concludes in validating the claims of the betterment of lifestyle through improved urban environment for Liwan residents, and also the effectiveness of establishing a unique cultural identity as its competitive edge, in hopes to shed light on an alternatively “softer” side of event-led urban regeneration in Guangzhou.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/224133
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Restricted)

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