Chinese cities and urban life
Professor Mark Jayne
In October 1986, the city of Wuhan in China officially became twinned with Manchester, in the UK. Wuhan is one of China’s fastest growing cities, and most recently worked with Manchester to highlight the challenges each city faces in tackling smart city issues, and the development of trade and economic exchanges that support sustainable development too; taking issues such as air pollution, water quality and soil remediation. So then, there is much to learn from Chinese cities. Urban theory, and the understanding of how cities work, has so far been developed, broadly, in relation to large cities in America, and similar areas. However, cities beyond the West, such as those found in China, Japan, and Vietnam are critically important to understanding urban change globally.
In this podcast we speak to Professor Mark Jayne, an urban social and cultural geographer interested in consumption, cities and identity. He is based in the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University. We discuss the complexity of Chinese cities, and the experience of those moving through them, and the how city ‘twinning’ links fairly ordinary cities in the UK with spaces around the globe and how these partnerships make places in social, cultural and economic terms.
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Couples dancing in the park, Shanghai © Christopher, Flickr