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Shaping Canton: The Mountains are High and the Emperor Far Away

Author/EditorCookson Smith, Dr. Peter (Author)
Publisher: Oro Editions
ISBN: 9781954081642
Pub Date10/10/2022
BindingPaperback
Pages324
Dimensions (mm)229(h) * 229(w)
The book takes as its starting point the city of Canton, at the heart of the most populous built-up metropolitan area in Mainland China, and a city that has for several centuries held a central position with regard to economic, social, and physical change in the country.
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The book takes as its starting point the city of Canton, at the heart of the most populous built-up metropolitan area in Mainland China, and a city that has for several centuries held a central position with regard to economic, social, and physical change in the country.


Shaping Canton focuses on the modern history of Canton. The text and illustrations explore and set out the various stages and events leading up to the modern city, by way of a reinvigorated Chinese superpower, from the founding of trade between Europe and the East in the late 15th century, to the beachheads of foreign influence, and forces of transformation through periods of revolution, political transition, and reform up to the present time.

The book takes as its starting point the city of Canton, at the heart of the most populous built-up metropolitan area in Mainland China, and a city that has for several centuries held a central position with regard to economic, social, and physical change in the country.


Shaping Canton focuses on the modern history of Canton. The text and illustrations explore and set out the various stages and events leading up to the modern city, by way of a reinvigorated Chinese superpower, from the founding of trade between Europe and the East in the late 15th century, to the beachheads of foreign influence, and forces of transformation through periods of revolution, political transition, and reform up to the present time.

Dr. Peter Cookson Smith is an architect, urbanist, and founder of the URBIS consultancy in Hong Kong, which has operated throughout Asia for more than forty years. He is a former professor of architecture and former president of Hong Kong's Institutes of Planning and Urban Design. He is the author of six previous books on cities and urban design, including his three most recent publications, with ORO Editions, Seeking Savannah (2018), An Enterprising Path to Barrio Chino (2019), and After Dante (2020).

Preface 7 Introduction 17 The Mandate of Heaven 21 Avenues of Commerce 49 Adventurism and Hostilities 87 Beachheads of Foreign Influence 111 An Emerging Modernism 141 Forces of Transformation 173 The Socialist Planned Economy 1949-1976 195 Reforms, Challenges, and Resurgence 229 Remaking the Canton Metropolis 259 The Political Paradox 299 Acknowledgments 316 Endnotes 318

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