Urban Project

Urban Project

China has been experiencing rapid urbanisation over the past few decades, both in terms of urban land expansion and urban population growth. Concomitant with this is the dynamic development of the field of urban China research. Building on the extant scholarship, this project is devoted to local variations in political, economic, social, cultural, and spatial practices and processes of Chinese urbanism. While the transformation of different locales shares common features, it also has differences. By focusing on local variations of Chinese urbanism and identifying the extent to which these local variations are differences in degree or differences in kind, the project aims at generating new insights into Chinese urbanism and expanding our imagination of the urban. It represents an attempt to show the plurality of urban experience and narratives.

This collective research project builds on XJTLU academic staff’s individual research interests in urban China and fosters collaboration university wide and beyond. It invites a dialogue across disciplinary boundaries and methodological orientations that approaches local variations of Chinese urbanism through historical, social, political and cultural analytical lenses. Studies from a comparative perspective are especially welcome.


Researchers who are carrying out urban China research, who are planning urban China research, and who are interested in urban China research.


Fall 2020
Research sharing:

7 Sep Contesting urban citizenship in a Chinese megacity: an explanatory framework of mobility and immobility (Limei Li)
12 Oct Public supervision and local environmental information transparency in China (Rui Wang)
16 Nov Transforming urban Chinese infrastructure (Christiane Herr)
7 Dec From citizens to experts: changing patterns of participatory policymaking in urban China (Ceren Ergenc)
4 Jan A history of Muslim communities in Suzhou (Alessandra Cappelletti)

Spring 2021
Research sharing:

19 March Sense of place between and among hukou and non-hukou migrants: the case of Shenzhen (Huimin Du)
16 April Suzhi, limao and mianzi: between civility and self-identification of urban dwellers (Pawel Zygadlo)
21 May Two tales of activism online: an analysis of four feminist organisations’ social media posts in China (Xianwen Kuang & Lin Yi)
18 June Void deck space in the gated communities in SIP (Jiawen Han)

Field trip: Late June. More details will be updated later.

Fall 2021

Research sharing: (TBA)

Spring 2022

International workshop; Book/Special issue proposal submission