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Performing the Ecological Fix Under State Entrepreneurialism in China

November 21, 2022 @ 8:30 pm 10:00 pm

Speaker: Fangzhu Zhang, ​University College London

​This talk examines the recent green turn in China by investigating a large-scale urban greenway project—’Greenways of Paradise’ in Chengdu. Using the perspective of the socio-ecological fix, we demonstrate that the local state has seized the opportunity provided by the central state’s ‘ecological civilisation’ to carry out green infrastructure development to upgrade environmental quality. We reveal complex motivations to incorporate environmental improvement into entrepreneurial urban governance instead of allowing economic growth to encroach on greenspace. Our state-centred analysis reveals that Chinese green urbanism has been promoted like a political mission, despite its implementation by development corporations. We argue that, while the socio-ecological fix facilitates capital accumulation, its deployment must be understood through state politics and actors.

​Fangzhu Zhang is an Associate Professor in China Planning and joint coordinator for China Planning Research Group in Bartlett School of Planning, University College London (UCL). Her main research interests focus on innovation and governance; urban village redevelopment and migrant integration in China; urban financialisation; and eco-innovation and eco-city development in China. She has been involved in several research projects funded by the British Academy, ESRC (UK) and the EU. She has published articles extensively in leading international journals such as Urban Studies, Regional Studies, Political Geography. She is founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal entitled “Transactions in Planning and Urban Research” (TPUR). Currently, she is working on the ERC Advanced Grant research project, rethinking China’s urban governance.

Zoom Meeting: https://harvard.zoom.us/j/96217779608


November 21, 2022
8:30 pm – 10:00 pm


Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies


Presented via Zoom

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