We are organising a series of events including workshops, seminars and conferences to gather thoughts, inspire research and disseminate outputs.
Online seminar 03/02/2023  China’s extended urbanization driven by the ‘consumption city’ in the context of financialized ecological civilization

On 3rd February, the ChinaUrban project hosted an online seminar to discuss financialisation and ecological civilisation in China. Dr Thierry Theurillat was invited to present his research work entitled “China’s extended urbanization driven by the ‘consumption city’ in the context of financialized ecological civilization”. The event attracted 22 participants.

Dr Thierry
Dr Thierry’s talk

He started his talk by illustrating urbanization processes in mountain areas related to Beijing 2022 Olympics. Chongli district has been financed by large residential area development, while Yanqing district has represented ecological civilisation. 

Dr Thierry then focused on the conceptualisation of urbanization in China’s post 2008 crisis era. Under the framework of “state entrepreneurialism”, China’s urbanization process reflects the financialisation of urban development on the one hand, and ecological civilization on the other hand. He drew on the concept of “consumption city” to explain these twin processes. 

He unpacked the land financialization process first, characterised by using land as a debt for infrastructure development. Meanwhile, he pointed out the issues of the mobility of capital and of urban value (rent) creation. This is related to the recent trend of emphasising the increasing role of the domestic market and the quality of the environment. Therefore, he summarised the changing model of urban value (rent) creation. That is, the focus has been swayed (even if not replaced) from production to consumption-based driving activities. 

The discussion is based on how to incorporate these two concepts together and the relationship between financialization and ecological civilisation.