The Bartlett School of Planning


CPRG: The Trials of China’s Technoburbia

13 November 2019, 5:15 pm–6:15 pm

Hangzhou, China

A China Planning Research Group Seminar: the case of the Future Sci-tech City Corridor in Hangzhou

Event Information

Open to





Fangzhu Zhang


14 Upper Woburn Place

SpeakerProfessor Nick Phelps, Chair of Urban Planning and Associate Dean International, Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning, University of Melbourne

Abstract: Set against the wider background of global suburbanization, this paper contributes to the emerging literature on the formation of technoburbia in China, and more importantly, the potential “urban contradictions” accompanying this process. Through a bottom-up empirical exploration of the Future Sci-tech City Corridor in Hangzhou and its embedded Featured Town initiative in particular, we observe how the future of technoburbia in China is by no means free from similar challenges in housing affordability and labor stratification. However, these contradictions are managed entirely differently in China. Nevertheless, the highly planned nature of China’s technoburbia also rubs up against political decentralization, demographic change and economic upgrading, implying significant trials and tribulations along the way.

Short bio: Professor Nick Phelps was previously Professor of Urban and Regional Development in the Bartlett School of Planning and Pro Vice Provost Regional (Southeast Asia and Australasia) at UCL. His books include Interplaces (OUP, 2017), Sequel to Suburbia (MIT Press, 2016), International Perspectives on Suburbanization (with Fulong Wu Palgrave, 2011) and An Anatomy of Sprawl (Routledge, 2011). He is on the editorial boards of Economic Geography, Urban Geography and Journal of Economic Geography.

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