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Urban China Series Featuring Yang Yuzhen — The Production of Public Space and Collective Memory: A Chinese Inland City Across Time 杨宇振:公共空间与集体记忆的生产——一个中国内陆城市的历时样本

October 31, 2023 @ 8:30 am 10:00 am

Speaker: Yang Yuzhen, Professor of Architecture and Urban Development, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Chongqing University

***This talk will be in Mandarin.***

Modern public spaces in Chinese cities have undergone significant changes over the past century. The transformation of Chongqing, an inland city, is an essential part of China’s modernization process from east to west. The evolution of the Chaotianmen (朝天门) area in Chongqing provides a representative case for understanding and recognizing the public spaces in modern Chinese cities. This talk first explores the historical changes, forms, and symbolic transformations of the Chaotianmen area in Chongqing since the 20th century. It analyzes the differences in the spatial reconstruction of Chaotianmen across different historical periods. It further explores the similar conditions of several other cities in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. While discussing the material, social, and conceptual dimensions of contemporary public space production, the author argues that the constant appropriation and rewriting of public space in the historical process is a universal state of collective memory, and how to deal with this problem has become a key issue in the process of contemporary urban development.

Yang Yuzhen is a Professor of Architecture and Urban Development at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at Chongqing University, China. His research focuses on the political and economic transformation of Chinese cities from the early 20th century. He is a member of the Academic Committee of the Urban Planning Society of China, and a council member of the Architect’s Branch of Architectural Society of China. He was a visiting scholar at GSD, Harvard University; a researcher of Residency Program at Bellagio Center, Italy. His representative works include:One Kilometre City: Everyday Life, Crisis and the Production of Space (2022),History and Space: Chongqing in the late Qing Dynasty and Its Transformation (2018),and Spatialization of Capital (2016).



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


October 31, 2023
8:30 am – 10:00 am
Event Category:


Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies


Presented via Zoom

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