Contemporary cities never start nor end; rather, they continuously adapt, mitigate, and mutate to remain relevant, expanding and contracting to survive. Several hundred million more people are expected to move to cities in East Asia over the next twenty years as economies shift from agriculture and manufacturing to services. When China’s Pearl River Delta has overtaken Tokyo to become the world’s largest urban area in both size and population, Hong Kong (HK) and Shenzhen (SZ) are in a strategic position, both geographically and politically, to examine the role of what our cities are, rather than what they might become.
Shennan Road, Shenzhen.
Inspired by observations of real urban settings, By-City /By-Product examines the contemporary city as a series of conditions, no longer under the control of architects, urbanists, or planners, but governed by multiple coexisting agents. Hong Kong and Shenzhen are analyzed not through abstract postulations based on preconceived models, but by focusing on the present reality of the city, the actual urban everyday that stares at us in the face, the urban presence of the here and now.
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