alan balfour
world cities: shanghai
world cities: shanghai
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Shanghai: World Cities
Published John Wiley & Sons

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In the last decade Shanghai has been transformed into a city of world significance. Its speed and ambition are hardly equalled in history. Understanding this and the historical context within which it has taken place is in the best interests of the Western world.

The nature of this reinvention is on the surface so crude and expedient that it must be treated very carefully to appreciate fully what has been achieved. It is much more than what superficially appears to be vulgar display of what is facetiously called 'market Leninism'; it has drawn on all the imagination of the major corporate powers to form the stage for a future Chinese industrial dominance in Asia and beyond.

This change, from a monumental relic of colonial ambition and Chinese confusion into one of the most aggressively international mercantile cities in the world, has seen Shanghai emerging, not as some naive representation of Western reality, but out of the 3000-year history of urban culture in China - a culture whose rational administrative and financial structure has in many past ages managed human populations in a state of harmony and prosperity unmatched in the West. The dynastic capitals of China from Xian to Beijing have until the last two centuries been the power centres of the nation, reinforcing the absolute divine power of the Emperor. The emergence of a commercial capital able to rival Beijing in power and influence creates an as yet unresolved disturbance in the deep structure of Chinese culture.

All this is being embedded and supported in an explosion of building of unprecedented scale and ambition, as demonstrated in this book. Shanghai: World City showcases the most significant recent buildings, ongoing projects and possible future developments in this, one of the world's most fascinating and culturally complex metropolises.

Table of Contents::

Introduction - Alan Balfour
Imperial Cities - Alan Balfour
Shanghai - Alan Balfour
Photo Essay, Yu Yuan Gardens, River Towns, Old City - Alan Balfour
British Shanghai - Alan Balfour
Twin Cities - Alan Balfour
Photo Essay: Survivors, the Bund, Jing' an Temple - Alan Balfour
Architecture Before 1949 - Zheng Shiling
Japanese Occupation - Alan Balfour
The Communist City - Alan Balfour
Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism - Zheng Shiling
Challenges and Potential - Zheng Shiling
Photo Essay: New Homes, Chinoiserie, Pudong, Nanjing Road - Alan Balfour
Shanghai: Better and Better - Xia Liqing
Shanghai Builds
Epilogue - Alan Balfour
Table of Chinese Dynasties