Virtual Special Issue on Urban China

6th Jun 2017

This Spring, Urban Studies published a Virtual Special Issue, edited by Shenjing He and Junxi Qian, entitled “From an emerging market to a multifaceted urban society: Urban China studies”. This issue recognized the engagement of scholars, from multiple disciplines, within this journal and across the broader field of urban studies, in the interrogation of the dramatic urban revolution underway in China and arising as a consequence of the economic reform since the 1970s. It plotted the broad span of advance across four well-established themes: globalisation and the making of global cities; land and housing development; urban poverty and socio-spatial inequality; and, rural migrants and their urban experiences. Significantly, it also moved to highlight three emerging areas of investigation and in need of further enhancement, namely: urban fragmentation, enclaves and public space; consumption, middle class aestheticisation and urban culture; and, the right to the city and urban activism. Such an issue, of course, cannot hope to capture the entirety of discourse on urban China to date, nor identify the full spectrum of future routes to advance. It does at least, however, recognize the importance of urban China studies globally, whilst also encouraging further engagement in the analysis of the challenges wrought by the speed and scale of urban transformation in urban China.


Over recent years, the surge in interest in urban China studies has manifest in a phenomenal surge in submissions to the Urban Studies journal, from scholars based in China and elsewhere. To this end and with the intention of facilitating dialogue, Urban Studies has determined to launch a new set of resources. From June of this year, Urban Studies will publish all article abstracts in Chinese. It will also provide a full translation of selected articles. Alongside these initiatives, Urban Studies will produce a range of web-based resources, in Chinese and in English. These will span guidance on writing articles with the capacity to engage in global urban studies debates and the identification of research phenomena requiring further interrogation. These resources will be built with the support of leading urban China scholars. We will also launch a unique Chinese social media campaign designed to connect scholars in China with Urban Studies content and to encourage their high-quality submission to the journal. Through time, we hope to add further resources as new opportunities to do so emerge.

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