chapter  6
Globalization and the development of new central business districts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou: Piper Gaubatz
Pages 22

One of the most visually striking aspects of China’s contemporary urban transformation is the rise of ultra-modern skyscrapers which tower above both the low-and mid-rise factory and apartment compounds of the prereform era and the one-and two-storey courtyard houses of traditional China. These new urban spaces embody the new interactions between China and the world in the reform era. The location and design of new high-rise “central business districts” (CBDs) in China is a direct result of the impacts of globalization on the organization of planning authority, the planning process and changing demands for new types of urban space. This chapter begins with a discussion of the reconceptualization of Chinese cities from locally oriented to globally oriented entities, the devolution of planning authority during the reform era from the central government to municipal governments, and the increasing involvement of private contractors-especially multinational firms-in urban design. It then presents case studies of the development and redevelopment of financial districts/central business districts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and reflects on the implications of these trends for urban form.