The Global Urbanist

News and analysis of cities around the world

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This week a New York Times article argued that China's urbanisation was destroying its traditional culture by depopulating its rural areas. Bart Orr replies that this argument belies a misplaced nostalgia through which Westerners perceive non-Western cultures.

Jinxi Chen takes us on a modern history tour of Beijing's urban structure, arguing that Mao's efforts to rebuild the centre preserved a concentric structure that could not work well for contemporary Beijing.

Yusaf Samiullah OBE argues for the complexity of urban environments, stating that this is what international development organisations must apprehend and address if they are to improve the quality of urban livelihoods.

From the Archives

Hints of reform for China's hukou system

The Chinese government hints at relaxing the hukou system, but only for smaller cities and towns, while Beijing fiddles with the management of its floating population.

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On Beijing

But reaching the western side, it becomes crystal clear that it is differentiated from the rest of the area: the village is completely sealed off, surrounded by walls and closed between 11pm and 6am.

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The Global Urbanist is an online magazine reviewing urban affairs and urban development issues in cities throughout the developed and developing world.

Its readers are drawn from the urban policy and international development sectors, and include urban planners, officers in local, national or international government agencies, civil society leaders, and researchers.

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