World Cities: Shanghai (World Cities Series)

ISBN 10: 0471877336 / ISBN 13: 9780471877332
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Synopsis: The World Cities Series stems from the vital need to consider our urban environment in the early part of the twenty-first century. This series offers you a detailed and intelligent analysis of the state of the world's most prominent cities and their visions of the future. Each book is full of comprehensive essays, illustrations and architectural projects.

Shanghai offers a captivating overview of one of the world's most fascinating cities. Documenting its historical development as well as its future promise, Alan Balfour and Zheng Shiling present insights from leading politicians, planners and architects. The book details the dynamics behind the city's phenomenal growth, the impact on its infrastructure and built environment, as well as the subtleties of dealing with existing cultural restrictions.
- The latest volume in the Academy World Cities series.
- An all encompassing view on this amazingly complex city.
- The book's four sections cover Shanghai's past, present, future, and how it might have been.
- Each section is lavishly illustrated and includes contributions from prominent players in the life of Shanghai.

From the Inside Flap: 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.

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Title: World Cities: Shanghai (World Cities Series)
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Shiling, Zheng, Balfour, Alan
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