Tag Archives: Nanjing

JWR Whitehand, Kai Gu, Urban fringe belts: evidence from China

JWR Whitehand, Kai Gu, Urban fringe belts: evidence from China

in: Environment and Planning B: Urban
Analytics and City Science
2017, Vol. 44

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Research on the fringe-belt concept has grown significantly in the past decade. This is particularly evident in parts of the world in which interest in urban morphology has been slight until recently.
The main emphasis continues to be the light that this concept can shed on the historico-geographical grain of urban areas. This paper reports a morphogenetic investigation into fringe belts that gives particular attention to the fixation lines associated with Chinese city walls.
Discussion is concentrated on a fringe belt related to one of the world’s longest and most massive city walls, that of Nanjing. The formation, consolidation and, in places, alienation of the Ming fringe belt of Nanjing has been influenced by natural and artificial fixation lines and the political economy of an authoritarian society. Understanding the changing spatial structure of fringe-belt landscapes has implications for the management of urban form in ways sensitive to its historico-geographical development.




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This lecture will be based on a research focusing on the Nanjing City Wall led by Prof. Cheng Yuning for more than 15 years. The lecture will be divided into 3 parts. Firstly, a brief review on the origins and development of China’s city wall, including Nanjing, will be introduced. Then, a specific spatial analysis will be carried out to compare the different development periods of the city and the surrounding space in history. The space evolution and the relationship between the city and the wall will be demonstrated and summarized. In the end, an urban project including the city wall area design, preservation guidelines and the detailed design of each wall segment will be presented for discussion.