Cities in transcontinental context: A comparison of mega urban projects in Shanghai and Belgrade

  • Paul Waley University of Leeds, School of Geography, Leeds, UK
Keywords: comparative urbanism; urban restructuring; mega urban projects; state ownership of land; Shanghai; New Belgrade


This study of urban developments in Belgrade and Shanghai is set in the context of comparative urban research. It presents two ostensibly contrasting cities and briefly examines urban development patterns in China and Serbia before focusing more specifically on mega urban projects in the two cities - Pudong and Hongqiao in Shanghai contrasted with New Belgrade. While the historical genesis of the Chinese and Serbian projects differs markedly, together they provide complementary examples of contemporary entrepreneurial urban development in divergent settings. China and Serbia share a heritage of state ownership of urban land, and this characteristic is still very much a feature underpinning development in Shanghai and other Chinese cities, as well as in New Belgrade. In both territories, state ownership of land has contributed to a form of urban development which - it is argued in this paper - can best be seen as state-based but market-led. The comparative study that this work initiates will, it is hoped, contribute to an understanding of contextual change in the two worlds regions of East Europe and East Asia.


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