Tradition : connecting the past and present : a case study of Xintiandi in Shanghai

Qian, Fengqi 2016, Tradition : connecting the past and present : a case study of Xintiandi in Shanghai, Asian culture and history, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 10-17, doi: 10.5539/ach.v8n2p10.

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Title Tradition : connecting the past and present : a case study of Xintiandi in Shanghai
Author(s) Qian, Fengqi
Journal name Asian culture and history
Volume number 8
Issue number 2
Start page 10
End page 17
Total pages 8
Publisher Canadian Center of Science and Education
Place of publication Toronto, Canada
Publication date 2016
ISSN 1916-9655
Keyword(s) tradition
Summary Tradition and modernisation are often seen as a binary opposition. In an urban environment, traditional built form seems incompatible to modern way of life, and the adaptation of traditional neighbourhoods to modern use often causes controversy. Nowadays, ideas about ‘what is tradition’ become shifting, and traditional townscape does not necessarily mean an obstacle to modernisation. This paper reveals how the role of traditional elements is played in China’s urban development. The case study of Xintiandi, Shanghai, where traditional townscape is restored, highlights the connection of the city’s past and present. Xintiandi is a successful yet controversial city renewal project, where Shanghai’s traditional housing form Shikumen is restored and put into adaptive uses. In the course of urban modernisation, the role of tradition as a representation of the connection between the city’s past and present deserves more study. This paper aims to add a perspective to the literature on the study of tradition. It argues for the diversity and fluidity of the ideas about tradition., In this view, tradition is not necessarily in dichotomy with, or opposite to modernisation; rather, tradition justifies the needs of modernisation and supplements its outcomes. The paper is developed in light of works on tradition by Shils, Hobsbawm, Giddens and others; The case study of Xintiandi shows what Old Shanghai tradition means to this city today, and how traditional elements are adapted and used in the course of urban modernisation.
Language eng
DOI 10.5539/ach.v8n2p10
Field of Research 160810 Urban Sociology and Community Studies
210302 Asian History
Socio Economic Objective 950307 Conserving the Historic Environment
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, the author(s)
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Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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