How did Shanghai merge East and West in the era of colonialism? Who do you think benefited most from the city as it existed at that time?
During the era of colonialism, Shanghai served as the central source of commercial development in China. Due to this, the merging of East and West became possible which later on provided great benefits to emerging local business owners as well as that of the partnership that they have formed with other foreign investors.
How was Shanghai transformed in the communist era? What happened to Shanghai’s dynamic capitalist class?
During the years between 1949 towards the 1980s, Shanghai came under the communist control. The idea of the process was to clean up members of counter revolution which resulted to the death of many Chinese individuals during the time. The capitalist class was gradually erased from the society as elite places like Canidromes [elegant ballroom areas used by the capitalists] were transfored into execution areas.
How has Shanghai been transformed in the era of neoliberalism (market oriented development)? How have we returned to an era of East/West hybridization? Who seems to be benefiting the most?
As the 1990’s enter the pages of Shanghai’s history, the city seemed to have rebounded from a long time of peril under the communist rule. With a more stable governance, the city was able to recover and started to regain power especially in relation to commercial development. Familial arrangements have been controlled from large numbers to at least only three members each unit thus making it easier to manage the community as a whole. Capitalists from both the eastern and western parts of the world are noted to have been benefiting from such arrangement in the city since then.
How have migrants recently changed Shanghai? How is their Experience similar to that which you read about in Manchester or Chicago?
Since the city is embracing the concept of urbanization, the rules and policies of the area with regards migrants have been specifically created to cater to individuals who want to settle in the country for good. Seeing migrants as backbones to development [especially those coming from the neighboring countries particularly applying for labor jobs], the policies of the city have been adjusted accordingly. This is almost the same with those experiencing the welcoming hands of Manchester in UK and Chicago in US. In these particular cities, migrants are considered as primary takers of the role that defines their areas development towards a more extensive future that welcomes urbanization as a whole.
How has public space in Shanghai changed over time? What was it like before communism, during communism, and today? How can you see the hybrid East-West dimension in public space?
Due to the increase in population, public spaces in Shanghai became more accommodating to multiple-function buildings unlike those of the times during the communism era. With a much freer system of operation in creating public spaces, engineers and architects find it more challenging to host a huge number of businesses coming in to establish their own buildings in the area. Making use of the available space at the most practical manner is an utmost concern hence insisting that public space need be given attention to in relation to how many functions they may be able to serve the society with.