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Return to capitalism : the impact of foreign investment on planning and development in Shanghai

conference contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Jiaping WuJiaping Wu
The establishment of foreign settlements, along with industrialisation and the expansion of foreign investment, dominated the planning and development of Shanghai between the 1840s and 1940s. After 1949, Beijing took control of planning and development of the city through strict allocation of investment, which ideologically sought to erase the social and spatial structures inherited from the capitalist economy. Since the introduction of economic reform in the end of the 1970s, China has rejoined the global economy, and the influence of western capitalism that was vital to the development of the city has resumed. The planning of the city has once again adopted a capitalist and global - oriented planning approach. Attraction of foreign investment has become the principal objective of urban planning and development. This paper examines the two expansions of western capitalism and their influences on the planning and development of Shanghai. It focuses the developments of foreign investment and the implementations of the city’s major metropolitan plans and examines how urban planning reconciled the social, economic and spatial conflicts under different modes of production and how two waves of capitalism link each other in spatial reproduction in the city.


Parent Title

Transformations : booms, busts and other catastrophes : 11th Australasian Urban History

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University of Western Australia, Crawley W.A.


University of Western Australia

Place of Publication

Perth, Australia

Peer Reviewed


Open Access


External Author Affiliations

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Education; Not affiliated to a Research Institute;

Era Eligible


Name of Conference

Australasian Urban History / Planning History Conference