China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

4 - Demanufacturing Chongqing: Steel, Bullets, and Creativity in the Post-Mao Era

Friday, March 23
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Thurgood Marshall West, Mezzanine

Chongqing, the only special municipality and an economic center of the upper Yangtze region, is officially recognized as one of China’s heavy industry bases and a rising star of high-technology manufacturing. However, in the recent two decades, it is grappling with industrialization and deindustrialization, a struggle that will redefine the future identity of the city. This paper presents two case studies—Chonggang (Chongqing Iron & Steel Group) and Tongyuanju (the current Chongqing Changjiang Electrical Appliances Industries Group) to demonstrate how the decline of steelmaking and machine building is transforming the urban form of Chongqing. Focusing on the evacuated industrial sites left behind by Chonggang and Tongyuanju at the urban core, this paper aims to unravel the relationship between deindustrialization and culture-led redevelopment. Specifically, it poses the questions how post-industrial sites emerge, how they participate in a new round of urban expansion, what constraints they face, and how political/economic/cultural agents engage with the industrial legacies. By answering the questions, this paper offers insights into a contested process of place-making and memory-making in the post-industrial quarters of a Chinese metropolis.

Yanfei Li

University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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4 - Demanufacturing Chongqing: Steel, Bullets, and Creativity in the Post-Mao Era



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