Until 1978, China was a rural society. With China quickly urbanizing, its urban rural balance has radically altered. The country has transformed into an urban society, with farmers moving into skyscrapers at an amazing speed. And the urbanization project continues: Prime Minister Li Keqiang has recently announced that urbanization will maintain to be the key of the Chinese economic model.
This transformation has obviously had an incredible impact on the countryside. Over the past decades hundreds of millions of people left their village to seek a better future in the city. And cities, in their turn, started to swallow villages, incorporating them in their continuous expansion. It has lead to a new spatial logic, in which the urban and rural are not so much opposites anymore, as well as they are interrelated, spatially, socially, culturally or financially.
What is the effect of this urbanization on the countryside in China? In what ways can the countryside coop with or contribute to the challenges urban China produces? This lecture series invites architects to speak about architecture without architects, artists about a revival of the countryside, academics about food production and researchers about urban-rural integration. Because we think that if we want to understand urban China, we definitely need to understand the rural.
Down to Earth – Understanding rural China
HKU/Shanghai Study Centre
Lecture series fall 2013
10 October – 3 December
Curator / Writer / Publisher, Bishan, Anhui
Huang Sheng Yuan
Fieldoffice, Yi Lan,Taiwan
Maker / Farmer / Programmer, Shanghai
Wen Tie Jun
Founding Dean, School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development
Renmin University, Beijing
Shaxi Rehabilitation Project, Yunnan
Standard Architecture, Beijing
Launch Scapegoat Magazine
John Lin + Joshua Bolchover – Rural Urban Framework, Hong Kong