The Politics of Aesthetics in Tianjin Between Past and Present

  • Maurizio Marinelli


During the last two decades, Tianjin has undergone a massive urban revitalization programme, conducted under the aegis of ‘beautification’, and has radically transformed the cityscape. The hyper-colonial phase of Tianjin, when Tianjin constituted an unparalleled microcosm of the world with up to nine foreign concessions (1860–1945), has been re-interpreted as marking the beginning of the city’s global age. Planning strategy for the concessions has combined the re-ordering and re-designing of the uncanny foreign space in concert with Tianjin’s vaunting ambition to promote its global modernity. This chapter sheds light on the politics of the government-led ‘beautification’ strategy vis-à-vis the past experience of the city, thus connecting the hyper-colonial past with the global ambitions of the present.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maurizio Marinelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of History and the Asia CentreUniversity of SussexBrightonUK

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