- Place Making in Shanghai Hongqiao Business District: An Institutional Capacity Perspective
- Urban Policy and Research
- Volume | Issue number
- 36 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The pro-growth, state-led institutional setting in China makes it easy to build infrastructure and physical space. Nevertheless despite the aspiration to create the qualities often associated with place making, many urban developments around new High-Speed Railway hubs lack essential urban qualities. This paper uses the idea of institutional capacity to explore the conditions that, in the Chinese context, might contribute to place making. The Hongqiao Business District, developed around a new transportation hub in western Shanghai indicates that the involvement of a varied set of actors that is not only guided by hierarchical relationships has several consequences for place making. It allows for value capturing to support unprofitable components of development plans such as public space. Furthermore, it turns actors on the district and street-offices level into constructive stakeholders of urban mega-projects and creates awareness of the importance of open knowledge management (transparency of information openness, use of local knowledge, etc.). While the Hongqiao conditions might not be copied straightforward to other Chinese cases, they could provide a source of inspiration for other projects that strive for urban quality.
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