A collaborative research between Politecnico di Torino and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

About

Urban growth in Chinese cities, particularly far from major urban centers, reveal a complex urban-rural binary. Many studies have focused on the social and economic aspects of this territorial restructuring, while the forms and features of this urbanization process have received less attention. This is our contribution.

The project combines quantitative and qualitative methodologies in the analysis of recent urbanization in China, in particular high-speed railway (HSR) new cities, and try to answer questions like: What effects do HSR networks have on urban form? And what effects do they have on the factors determining urban vibrancy?

In addition to that, here we make available other projects related to urbanization in China conducted by the China Room (Politecnico di Torino), the MIT Sustainable Urbanization Lab, and the MIT Senseable City Lab

Research

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The research project aims to investigate the urban form of inner “small cities” along the Shanghai-Kunming infrastructural corridor related to their new High Speed Railway stations.

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This paper presents evidence supporting the claim that China’s bullet trains are playing the role that allows individuals to access the megacity without living within its boundaries. 

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Using satellite imagery and online archives of government documents, this paper identifies 180 HSR new towns in China and uses data on establishment growth to measure the local vibrancy of the new town at a fine spatial scale.

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This project looks to the transformations that are currently underway in those Chinese territories that are identifiable as “small cities”, and which for a long time were excluded from the expansion of China’s major mega-city regions.

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This paper measures the knowledge creation consequences associated with the construction of China's high speed rail (HSR) network that connects mega cities, that feature the nation's best universities, to secondary cities.

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High speed rail transportation technology has greatly enhanced market accessibility, reduced time costs thus expanding labor markets, and strengthened regional agglomeration.

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