- Built heritage as source of world city identity: The case of Shanghai   click here to open paper content594 kb
by    Vaggione, Pablo | p.vaggione@designconvergence.org   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
World cities have achieved economic strength, but they do also project unique environmental and cultural qualities that differentiate them. Built heritage is increasingly considered a source for differentiation.
The international attention to world city matters in the recent years is reflected in the intensity of research focusing in the field, undertaken by both academia and by private sector practice. In most of these studies, New York, London and Tokyo stand out as the metropolises that have achieved “global status. Next to the elite, there are a number of urban territories which compete to attract foreign direct investment as a principal mean of climbing the world city ladder. These cities are preparing themselves with no scarcity of dedication, creating a wide spectrum of enabling, market-oriented pre-conditions and projecting unique traits that contribute to build a recognisable urban brand.

Shanghai has experienced urban growth of unprecedented speed and scale over the last decade. The Chinese central government is determined to set the instruments to make possible an evolution from the city’s current role of gateway and manufacturing centre towards one of regional and global stature in which the tertiary sector has a greater weight.

Focusing on Shanghai’s efforts towards becoming a world city, this paper recounts definitions of and components in the world city formation process; introduces an urban assets framework to look at how cities can offer both development-enabling conditions and quality of life to attract foreign direct investment and human capital; and narrates Shanghai’s actions relevant to social / cultural assets, exemplified by the city’s urban heritage conservation programme.
identity, differentiation, built heritage, urban fabric, urban competitiveness
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