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Urban China Series Featuring Leonardo Ramondetti: The Enriched Field: Urbanizing the Central Plains of China

October 25, 2023 @ 8:30 am 10:00 am

Speaker: Leonardo Ramondetti, Post-doctoral Researcher, Politecnico di Torino

Since the early 2000s, China has seen unprecedented urban growth, spreading to every corner of the country. Driven by the urban entrepreneurialism of major municipalities until the mid-2000s, the reins have since passed to the central and regional administrations which plan development in a more comprehensive and coordinated fashion. This turning point in urban policies has redirected planning activities: from the centripetal development of major cities through new towns to centrifugal urbanization fostering regional integration via wide-area projects and small-scale interventions. Drawing upon the urbanization in Central Plains, Henan Province, this talk discusses the socio-spatial implications of such urban policies and planning activities. It examines the emerging infrastructure, housing, and production spaces to provide an interpretation of this urbanization as an enriched field: a space characterized by great performativity in infrastructure, environment, and welfare, as well as imbued with narratives, stories, and meanings.

Leonardo Ramondetti, Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Development, is a post-doc researcher at Politecnico di Torino, and an Adjunct Professor at Università di Bologna. His field of research is contemporary urban design and planning, with attention to infrastructure-led development. He was part of the research ‘Chinese New Towns: Negotiating Citizenship and Physical Form’ (2016-2019), spending a five-month visiting period at Tsinghua University to study the urbanization processes underway in central China. He is currently working on the research ‘Rescaling the Belt and Road Initiative: Urbanisation processes, innovation patterns and global investments’ (2020-2023), including a five-month visiting period at Laboratoire Techniques, Territoires et Sociétés to further develop the knowledge in infrastructural projects. He is the coordinator of the China Room research group at Politecnico di Torino, and the author of The Enriched Field: Urbanising the Central Plains of China (Birkhäuser, 2022).

We would like to thank the MIT Sustainable Urbanization Lab, the Ashoka University Centre for China Studies, the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning, the University at Buffalo (SUNY), and the Harvard Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies for supporting this event. Please subscribe to our mailing list if you’d like to receive e-mail notifications: http://mailman.mit.edu/mailman/listinfo/urbanchinaseminar.

Presented via Zoom.
Meeting link: https://mit.zoom.us/j/7060207759


October 25, 2023
8:30 am – 10:00 am
Event Category:


Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies


Presented via Zoom

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