Heritage in Asia

Converging Forces, Conflicting Values

Authored by: Tim Winter , Patrick Daly

Routledge Handbook of Heritage in Asia

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415600453
eBook ISBN: 9780203156001
Adobe ISBN: 9781136582042

10.4324/9780203156001.ch1

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Abstract

Some say it looks like an old Chinese official’s cap. Some say it’s a kind of ancient Chinese cooking vessel. Some even say it’s a grain barn. No matter what they think the image is, they all think it is very Chinese. That’s what I wanted.

(He Jingtang, Chief Architect, China National Pavilion, Shanghai Expo, quoted in Yuan 2010) In 2010 the city of Shanghai hosted the largest, most spectacular and most expensive World’s Fair ever. The Shanghai Expo attracted a staggering 70 million visitors, ensuring China and the host city remained in the global spotlight for the six-month duration of the event. Costing around US $45 billion, and with its theme of Better City, Better Life, the Expo was held in a country experiencing a level of urban growth unparalleled in history. With more than half of the world’s population now living in cities, many of which face uncertain futures, this mega event confronted the multitude of challenges now converging on the all-pervasive notion of ‘sustainability’. To this end, 190 countries, more than fifty non-governmental organisations, and a variety of multi-national institutions involved in urban governance addressed such issues.

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