The Urban Code of China
The Urban Code of China is written by a German scholar, who has served as a visiting professor for seven years since 2000 at many universities in China, including in Beijing, Shanghai, Harbin, Changchun, Jilin, Dalian, Qingdao, Zhengzhou, Xi’an, Ningbo, Shenzhen, etc., and even participated in some urban construction practices and decision-making. This book is an in-depth analysis and systematic review of the results of this experience by using urban semiotics, urban sociology, and other analytical methods.In perspective of cross-cultural comparison, the author deeply analyzed various phenomena of China’s contemporary urban space, and traced its connotation and essence, including urban public spaces with blurred boundaries, closed residential quarters, streetscapes with colors and lighting, European-style new district construction, urban villages, etc.
The author strived to explore Chinese characteristics in the production of urban space in contemporary China, and the conclusion of his observation is that China is not westernized at all. Although it is yearning for advancement, modern (imaginary Western) features in an ambiguous way, the deeply-rooted ideological concepts and social structure with rural collective color have not yet been transformed. All of these constitute Chinese cities in the eyes of a Western scholar.