The social life of Chinese small urban space

William H Whyte’s classic 1980 study of New York’s plazas started a mini-revolution in urban planning and design in the West. What of China? Many of the lessons learned in America have been repeated ever since, sometimes with scant regard for historical developments, social changes or cultural differences. We believe that Whyte’s much loved, oft-cited urban exploration is in need of an update. This film, shot in China, shows that maybe we should question some of these 35-year old mantras – rather than following them blindly. (A film by ChinaCommentary) by undergraduate students Li Yirong, Zhang Jiayun and Dai Ronghe with Austin Williams.

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