International Development Planning Review

Political campaigns and urban transformation in Maoist China, 1949–1976

International Development Planning Review (2016), 38, (2), 113–133.

Abstract

China’s pre-reform urban transformation was directed, and accompanied, by a series of radical political campaigns that aimed to achieve Mao’s utopian and revolutionary ideals, as well as pragmatic and economised strategies. The erratic changes in urban planning and policies were also a response to changing domestic and international geo-political conditions. This paper examines the dynamic relations between major radical political campaigns and urban planning and development in Maoist urbanism. By investigating the transformative power of radical political campaigns and how these reconfigured urban planning policy, the paper sheds light on the critical role that Maoist political movements played in transforming the socio-spatial aspects of Chinese cities during the period between 1949 and 1976.

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Qian, Zhu