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Landscape Architecture Frontiers

Landsc. Archit. Front.    2018, Vol. 6 Issue (1) : 8-27     https://doi.org/10.15302/J-LAF-20180102
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Pluralism and Temporality in Place Identity Revisited: A Critique of Plac e Identity Construction in Contemporary China
Zhengneng CHEN()
Graduate Research Assistant in School of Design, University of Pennsylvania 54 Old Colony Avenue Third Floor, Boston, MA 02127 USA
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Abstract

The trend of global urbanization has put the contemporary cities in identity crises by accelerating place transformations, particularly in the thriving ground of China. This paper explores ways of conceptualizing place identity in relation to rapid urbanization in contemporary China. After a revisit of the main theories and studies on place identity from both the social sciences and design professions (in China and the West), the paper asserts a philosophical concept of place identity as a pluralistic and temporal construct. Drawing on this philosophy, the paper provides further observation and critique upon place identity construction praxis in China through three case studies. These cases together approach a holistic reading of the complexity of place identity construction in China today. Taken as a whole, the paper argues that construction of place identity in China’s urbanization should account for its pluralism and temporality in identity claims, multiple scales, and transformation of identity through time. The study of place identity issues in China’s urbanization leads to a critical reflection on not only the rapid urbanization of the recent past, but also that taking place now and likely to occur in more than a thousand small towns and villages in the future.

Keywords Place Identity      Pluralism      Temporality      Theoretical Construct      China      Urbanization     
Corresponding Author(s): Zhengneng CHEN   
Issue Date: 28 March 2018
 Cite this article:   
Zhengneng CHEN. Pluralism and Temporality in Place Identity Revisited: A Critique of Plac e Identity Construction in Contemporary China[J]. Landsc. Archit. Front., 2018, 6(1): 8-27.
 URL:  
http://journal.hep.com.cn/laf/EN/10.15302/J-LAF-20180102
http://journal.hep.com.cn/laf/EN/Y2018/V6/I1/8
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