The rapid urbanization of China has been characterized during the past years by a unique process of countryside industrialization especially in some key coastal regions, like the lower Yangzi Delta, and has created a particular landscape of scattered industrial areas and new settlements surrounding dense urban areas. This new spatial structure has merged with the legacy of the previous agricultural socio-economic system and, physically, with a complex system of rural villages.
Even if the urbanization has been massive, for example in the conurbation Suzhou-Shanghai, some important areas have been left over and a journey through those areas would reveal today that new forms of peri-urbanity are slowly growing at the fringe of the city. The lecture will provide an opportunity to reflect upon the potential role that the system of rural villages could play in the future of the Chinese city.
Giulio Verdini, urban planner and PhD in Regional Economics from the University of Ferrara, is currently Lecturer in Urban Planning at the Xi’an Jiaotong – Liverpool University, based in Suzhou (China). His research interest lies in the area of the management of the urban growth in emerging countries; more specifically in the governance of the city fringe, the urban and rural conflicts, the urban containment strategies.
His research about the fringe of Suzhou is supported by the Suzhou Academy of Philosophy and Social Sciences (2011 and 2012). During February 2013 he is hosted by the Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine.