2016 Shanghai

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Conference program

IGU Urban Commission: August 15th to 21st 2016

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2016 IGU Urban Commission Meeting – Shanghai – August 15-20 2016

Co-organized by Urban Geography Commission IGU (IGU-C12-39), East China Normal University & Center of Urban Studies and Urban Planning, The University of Hong Kong, and Urban Geography Committee, Geographical Society of China (UGC-GSC)

CONFERENCE VENUE: East China Normal University, 3663 North Zhongshan Rd., Shanghai, 200062



New Deadline for abstract submission: March 31 2016
Acceptance of abstracts: May 20th 2016
Registration and payment: May 21st – July 15th 2016

The IGU Urban Commission has long been committed to encourage geographical research on new Urban Challenges emerging in an increasingly Complex World, and to facilitate academic exchanges and communications among urban geographers from different places of the globe. The Center for Modern Chinese City Studies, East China Normal University and the Center of Urban Studies and Urban Planning at the University of Hong Kong will co-host the 2016 Annual Meeting of the IGU Urban Commission, in collaboration with Urban Geography Committee, Geographical Society of China (UGC-GSC), and IGU Urban Commission.


Allen J. Scott
(Distinguished Research Professor, University of California – Los Angeles)

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Urban studies today is marked by many active debates. In an earlier paper, we addressed some of these debates by proposing a foundational concept of urbanization and urban form as a way of identifying a common language for urban research. In the present paper we provide a brief recapitulation of that framework. We then use this preliminary material as background to a critique of three currently influential versions of urban analysis, namely, postcolonial urban theory, assemblage theoretic approaches, and planetary urbanism. We evaluate each of these versions in turn and find them seriously wanting as statements about urban realities. We criticize (a) postcolonial urban theory for its particularism and its insistence on the provincialization of knowledge, (b) assemblage theoretic approaches for their indeterminacy and eclecticism, and (c) planetary urbanism for its radical devaluation of the forces of agglomeration and nodality in urban-economic geography.


Fulong Wu

(Professor of Planning, Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, Central House, 14 Upper Woburn Place, London, WC1H 0NN)


This presentation will review recent studies on urban China and discuss the implication of urban China research for the urban theory. Echoing the recent debate over specificity vs generality of the urban theory, this paper tries to understand the evolution of the concept of ‘the city’ in association with Chinese political economic changes and argues that the concept cannot be properly understood without interrogating the position of the city in its national economy, multi-scalar governance, the institution of land, dynamics of financing infrastructure. The making of the ‘urban’ has been made through transforming work-units into a more territorial-based economic governance – namely the city as an asset for growth. The paper will discuss the development of new town and science parks as examples to illustrate how urban development has been orchestrated by the local state and how this development is operationalized. The understanding of Chinese cities opens up new possibilities of understanding the urban with a greater attention to governance which involves a wide range of actors in territorial politics. This also requires more understanding about the complexity of city planning, because although the Chinese context of planning is quite specific, recent reading of entrepreneurial governance and declining of democratic participation in the West would need to be further interrogated.



This year, a special focus will be made on “Governing Globalizing Cities”.

The recent decade has seen a rising number of globalizing cities, mainly from the developing world.  These globalizing cities have played an important role in the national and regional economy, yet they also face great challenges such as economic growth and social equity, political and social stabilities, ecological and environmental sustainability. Arguably, these emerging global metropolis are becoming increasingly “ungovernable” considering the immensity and complexity of urban affairs and the heterogeneity of stakeholders and interest groups involved. Governing globalizing cities therefore becomes a pressing and significant agenda for urban scholars around the globe to address. In this regard, globalizing cities serve as ideal laboratories to explore the thematic foci of the IGU urban commission, given their socioeconomic significance and politico-economic position in the global urban hierarchy, as well as the urban challenges and complexities they are facing.

In addition to this focus, participants are invited to submit extended abstracts for individual papers, and/or proposals for panel sessions or roundtables on the following thematic foci :
1- Complex Urban Systems and processes of cities’ transformation
2- Technological innovations, creative activities in cities,
3- Innovative and smart building and transportation in cities
4- Polycentrism, small and medium size cities
5- Sustainable to resilient cities
6- Shrinking and aging Cities
7- Urban Governance, planning and participative democracy
8- Contested Social Spaces
9- Subjective/objective Well-Being in cities
10- Urban Heritage and Conservation
11- New concepts and methods in urban studies



Abstracts and proposals must be sent to IGUShanghai2016@126.com

before 31th of March 2016

The abstract (around 2-3 pages) must include the following elements:

• Theoretical background
• Research questions
• Methodology
• Results/findings
• Significant/general conclusions

Form for abstract submission must be send with the pre-registration form below




You can propose panel sessions with 4 to 5 linked papers.

The relevance of the articulation between papers will raise debates.

Please propose a title, a rationale (15 lines to 1 page) and the list of papers to: IGUShanghai2016@126.com

The related papers must be submitted according to the general procedure (see before).

For Round Tables, please contact the chair who will co-organize it with you, with local organizers and with the steering committee (Celine.rozenblat@unil.ch)



Monday August 15: Arrival, registration, steering group meeting and welcome reception

Tuesday August 16: Keynote speeches, Paper sessions (full day)

Wednesday August 17: Paper sessions (half-day)
Fieldtrip in Shanghai (half-day) Theme 1: Historical heritage and urban regeneration: the Bund, Tianzifang (folk cultural district)

Thursday August 18: Paper sessions (full day)
Fieldtrip to Zhujiajiao

Friday August 19: Paper sessions (half day)
Half-day fieldtrip in Shanghai Theme 2: new development: Pudong New Area (new CBD), Shanghai EXPO park, Songjia New Town

Saturday August 20: Fieldtrip (full day) – Shanghai to Suzhou

Sunday August 21: Transit from Shanghai to Beijing by High Speed Train


Free of charge for PhD candidates whose abstracts are accepted

800 CNY (120 USD) including Opening reception, All lunches and coffee breaks (4 days), Two group evening meals, Three excursions, Conference materials (same price for delegates and accompany persons).

Partial registration (15th -17th or 18th -20th, August): 400 CNY (60 USD) including two days’ lunches and coffee breaks, one group evening meal, one excursion, conference materials (same price for delegates and accompany persons).
Payment methods will be announced in the acceptance letter.

Deadline for registration and payment:

July 15, 2016

Please register at http://igushanghai.ecnu.edu.cn/ .
Registration fee (free of charge for PhD candidates whose abstracts are accepted)
1.      Full registration (15th-20th, August): 800 CNY (120USD)
2.      Partial registration (15th-17th or 18th-20th, August): 400 CNY (60USD)

Payment methods:

1.      Pay through the conference website with credit card (http://igushanghai.ecnu.edu.cn/ , recommended).

2.      Overseas remittance  : BANK TRANSFER

(Please indicate “2016 IGU Shanghai Conference” and your name)
Address: NO.3663, North Zhongshan Road, Shanghai 200062
Account Number: 435159245526
Bank: Bank of China, Shanghai Branch
Bank Address: NO.23, Zhong Shan Dong Yi Road, Shanghai
Additional information about the conference is available on the conference website http://igushanghai.ecnu.edu.cn/ . We look forward to meeting you in Shanghai.


Option 1: JW Marriott Shanghai Changfeng Park 
(http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/shacp-jw-marriott-hotel-shanghai-changfeng-park). Discounted rate for the conference:  Standard Single: 800 CNY (breakfast included); Standard Double/Twin: 900 CNY (breakfast included)
Option 2: Shanghai Yue.Qingshui Bay Conference Center
Discounted rate for the conference:  Standard Single: 358 CNY (breakfast included); Superior Double/Twin: 398 CNY (breakfast included); Business Double: 438 CNY (breakfast included)


Center for Modern Chinese City Studies, East China Normal University
Center of Urban Studies and Urban Planning, The University of Hong Kong
Urban Geography Committee, Geographical Society of China
Urban Commission, International Geographical Union


Prof. Yuemin Ning (Conference Chair), East China Normal University
Dr. Shenjing He (Vice Conference Chair), The University of Hong Kong
Prof. Celine Rozenblat (Vice Conference Chair), Chair of the IGU Urban commission, University of Lausanne
Prof. Bindong Sun, East China Normal University
Dr. Yue Shen, East China Normal University
Dr. Werner Breitung, Xi’an Jiaoting-Liverpool University
Dr. Elfie Swerts, University of Lausanne


Prof. Yueming Ning (ymning@re.ecnu.edu.cn)
The Center for Modern Chinese City Studies, East China Normal University, Shanghai (former director of UGC-GSC)
Prof. Bindong Sun (bdsun@re.ecnu.edu.cn)
The Center for Modern Chinese City Studies, East China Normal University, Shanghai
Dr. Shenjing He (shenjing.he@gmail.com)
Department of Urban Planning and Design, Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong
Dr. Werner Breitung (breitung@gmail.com)
Department of Urban Planning and Design, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University


Conference dates: 15-20, August, 2016
Extended deadline for abstract submission: March 31 2016
Acceptance of abstracts: May 20 2016
Registration and payment:  May 21 –  June 30 2016

FOR ANY INFORMATION: IGUShanghai2016@126.com


Pregistration Form

Participants must join to their abstract this pre-registration form:

(The payment will be made after the acceptance of abstracts. The payment information will be delivered along with the acceptance letter)