Association of American Geographers
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Spatial and Social Transformation in Urban China

When: December 13-14, 2012

Where: Hong Kong



China’s economic miracle and the unprecedented pace of urbanization in the past three decades have substantially changed the life of urban Chinese. Increasingly people live in luxury real estates with club house, swimming pool and other facilities. In just a few years, the percentage of private car ownership has soared to a double-digit level in major cities and car has become a major transport mode in people’s daily life. As a result of the increasing mobility, among other factors, individuals’ life space has expanded considerably and people’s life style has also diversified. On the other hand, traffic congestion and air pollution have become prominent problems in major Chinese cities. Soaring housing prices outpace people’s income growth and the affordability of homes is becoming a problem for many, especially the urban poor. Intensifying social polarization has heightened the tension between the rich and the poor. Opportunities to get rich and to advance one’s career are shrinking for the younger generation and it has become harder for them to climb the social ladder. Previous research suggests that China’s urban development experiences are distinctive not only because of its pace but also due to its scale and magnitude. Studying the issues that Chinese cities are facing today will enrich, if not revolutionize, the theories that have mostly been developed from the experiences of Western cities. This conference is a continuing effort of the Center for China Urban and Regional Studies and Department of Geography of Hong Kong Baptist University to provide a platform for scholars of China urban studies to share their latest research works and findings. The involvement of the University of Hong Kong, Ohio State University, Brown University, Hong Kong Geographical Association, the Geographical Society of China and Association of American Geographers will consolidate the internationalization of this platform.