Chinese New Towns

Negotiating citizenship and physical form (2015-2017)

The project looks at the construction of the “third-generation” of Chinese New Towns that will host another 300 million rural Chinese migrating to urban areas over the next 20 years. Conditioned by certain new key-words promoted by the Chinese government – such as “innovation”, “sustainability”, “inclusive growth” – this research investigates how, through the lens of architecture and urban design, physical form, can reveal experimental processes of the negotiation of both citizenship and social identity. It also explores how Chinese New Towns have appropriated urban models from different contexts.

Source of financing: Politecnico di Turino

Research team: Michele Bonino (PoliTO), Armando Alessandro, Mauro Berta, Filippo De Pieri, Francesca Governa, Angelo Sampieri, Francesca Frassoldati, Florence Graezer Bideau

Recent activities:

  • Regular seminar Architecture and Resistance
  • Master-course level Designing public place in Chinese New Towns 2015-2022
  • Documentary “What can Europe learn from China?” in 2016
  • International workshops In the frame of the H2020 TRANS-URBAN-EU-CHINA project “Transition towards urban sustainability through socially integrative cities in the EU and China” between 2017-2020

Recent publication:

  • Graezer Bideau, Florence et Anna Pagani. (2019), “Shaping Urbanity. Politics and Narratives”, in Michele Bonino, Francesca Governa, Maria Paola Repellino and Angelo Sampieri (eds). The City After Chinese New Towns: Spaces and Imaginaries from Contemporary Urban China, pp. 78-96. Basel, Birkhäuser.