This paper focuses on “Bund regeneration” in Chinese Treaty Ports along the Yangtze River, a specific category of waterfront development, which may provide some useful insights into the play of tradition and modernity entwining the East and West. The Yangtze River is an undisputed protagonist of China’s long history where Treaty Ports, as hubs for foreign trade, triggered unprecedented urban transformations. The vast literature on the colonial period reveals a complex process of construction / hybridization of a number of cities-cum-port-facilities where some of the resources available – traditional building types, urban patterns, focal points – became part of a new urban system. Entailing a high degree of experimentation, this process may help understand the contemporary Chinese city. Paradoxically, where a transitional form of urban environment developed throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the contradictory play of memory and countermemory has recently reached its apotheosis. As in many other Chinese cities, in the former Treaty Port of Shanghai “urban heritage” is addressed by enhancing major monumental buildings along the Bund, or else identifying “heritage districts” where to display tangible and intangible memories of a selected (fictionalised) past. This paper argues that examples of “museumification” of sectors of the historic riverfront go hand in hand with the increasing growth of domestic tourism. Tourism may therefore provide an original key to question the relationships between city-society-identity in the ongoing transformation of the Chinese reality.

Along the Yangtze. “Bund regeneration” between museumification and tourism consumption

Pallini, Cristina;Acuto, Federico
2017

Abstract

This paper focuses on “Bund regeneration” in Chinese Treaty Ports along the Yangtze River, a specific category of waterfront development, which may provide some useful insights into the play of tradition and modernity entwining the East and West. The Yangtze River is an undisputed protagonist of China’s long history where Treaty Ports, as hubs for foreign trade, triggered unprecedented urban transformations. The vast literature on the colonial period reveals a complex process of construction / hybridization of a number of cities-cum-port-facilities where some of the resources available – traditional building types, urban patterns, focal points – became part of a new urban system. Entailing a high degree of experimentation, this process may help understand the contemporary Chinese city. Paradoxically, where a transitional form of urban environment developed throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the contradictory play of memory and countermemory has recently reached its apotheosis. As in many other Chinese cities, in the former Treaty Port of Shanghai “urban heritage” is addressed by enhancing major monumental buildings along the Bund, or else identifying “heritage districts” where to display tangible and intangible memories of a selected (fictionalised) past. This paper argues that examples of “museumification” of sectors of the historic riverfront go hand in hand with the increasing growth of domestic tourism. Tourism may therefore provide an original key to question the relationships between city-society-identity in the ongoing transformation of the Chinese reality.
La città, il viaggio, il turismo. Percezione, produzione e trasformazione / The City, the Travel, the Tourism. Perception, Production and Processing
9788899930028
identity
urban design
Yangtze
Bund regeneration
tourism
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1041417
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