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The History of a 'City Without History'

A bird's-eye view of Shenzhen.

An Evening Presentation by Professor JUAN DU, Department of Architecture, University of Hong Kong

Often cited as the miracle city of modern China, Shenzhen in just two decades transformed from the "land of fish and rice" into a glittering metropolis. However, behind the fa?˜ade exist blocks of densely packed gridded settlements. They are the resilient remains of a regional culture, and one of the most important components to Shenzhen's past and future urbanization. Professor Juan Du will venture inside these "villages in the city" to present the rich variety of informal modes of urbanization that have taken place.

How did nearly half of Shenzhen's population get packed into these unique settlements occupying less than 10% of the city's land? How did these former villages develop into self-sustaining urban communities unaffected by formal planning and municipal regulations? Can Asia, and the world, extract sustainable strategies and new flexible models of urbanism from the Shenzhen experiment?

Juan Du is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong. She has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Graduate Center of Architecture at Peking University. She co-curated the first Shenzhen Biennale of Architecture\Urbanism and her work has also been internationally exhibited at La Biennale di Venezia, the Guangzhou Art Triennial and the Hong Kong Architecture Biennale. Professor Du graduated from Princeton University and is a recipient of Fulbright Fellowship for research on transformations of the contemporary Chinese city.


Event Details

Tue 4 May 2010
2:30pm - 4:00pm

Helena May, Blue Room, 35 Garden Road, Central Hong Kong

HK$150 Asia Society members/full-time students, HK$200 Non-members (Priority for members)