A new master plan to restructure the city of Kunming in southwestern China in the context of China's transition to a progrowth, commercialized consumer society has led to massive destruction of century-old inner-city neighborhoods and the displacement of tens of thousands of families. The combination of a sense of lateness (lagging behind national and global development) and an emerging progrowth coalition between local governments and real estate developers is shaping post-Mao urban redevelopment. Several forms of civic opposition and popular discontent have been elicited by the restructuring. Although largely marginalized, these alternative views of urban forms and counter-practices help sustain a much-needed critical point of view that questions and destabilizes the seemingly inescapable machine of development. The insights emerging from the Kunming example help deepen our understanding of late-socialist power dynamics and suggest a new way of understanding state-initiated projects of modernity and development by giving serious attention to their spatial and temporal aspects.
|Publication status||Published - 2006|