Development and Urbanization
Chinese cities have witnessed an unprecedented development of public transport in the past thirty years. However, from academic studies to professional practices, public voice is regarded as less influential than other socio-political factors. Nevertheless, this paper argues that ordinary people who are believed weaker in urban affairs significantly contribute to the urban transformation. With an ethnographic study at Shanghai South Railway Station in China, this paper shows that enabled by modern technology and a more placeless way of urban life, people like budget travelers, urban migrants, illegal taxi drivers, and vagrants have incrementally changed the spatial experience of the station which was proudly designed as a landmark of China's high-speed future. With this case, this paper highlights the influence of everyday life in the long run of public transport development. More importantly, it attends to show how the increasingly dynamic society has transformed the urban landscape. The hypermobility reified as higher mobility and accessibility is not only the desire of a government in the era of globalization but also provides a new channel for ordinary people to bypass the authority's control and achieve their interests. The infrastructure space like Shanghai South Railway Station consequently becomes one of such emerging public domains in this new context where people appropriate and transform the planned urban landscape in their banal and quotidian daily activities.