From Globalization to China’s Urbanization

Part of the Advances in 21st Century Human Settlements book series (ACHS)


The theories on “space of flows” and “grassrooting space of flows” from Manual Castells explain accurately the empowerment furnished by the Internet in the process of globalization, stimulated by elites in this information era, and also the production of anti-globalization regional grass-root activities. The notion of space of flows can be described as the physical and virtual space in which all higher-level transactions (monetary, communicative, informational, etc.) take place, while “grassrooting” refers to the integration of these transactions into local communities. These are the two sides of the same coin. However, there are limitations in the current literature. The current theory on space of flows and grassrooting space of flows focuses primarily on urban areas and does not adequately account for urban-rural relationships that have developed in the last ten years in some areas. As a compelling case study, China’s urban-rural conflict presents interesting elements. In China, the integration of space of flows are clearly reflected in the urban-rural unity and social practices, epitomized in the emergence of county-level rural e-commerce .


  1. 1.
    Castells M (2011) The rise of the network society: the information age: economy, society, and culture, vol 1. Wiley, USA, pp 18 & 19Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Harvey D (1989) The condition of postmodernity: an enquiry into the origins of social change. Blackwell, Malden, MAGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sassen S (2001) The global city. Princeton University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Marx K (2011) Capital, Volume I: a critique of political economy (Vol. 1). Courier Corporation.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Weber M (1958) The protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Durkheim, E (2014) The division of labor in society. Simon and Schuster, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Parsons T, Shils EA, Smelser NJ (eds) (1965) Toward a general theory of action: theoretical foundations for the social sciences. Transaction Publishers, USAGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Polyani K (2007) The great transformation: the political and economic origins of our time. Beacon Press, BostonGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Granovetter M (1985) Economic action and social structure: the problem of embeddedness. Am J Sociol 91(3):481–510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lefebvre H (1991) The production of space, vol 142. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bijker WE, Hughes TP, Pinch T, Douglas DG (2012) The social construction of technological systems: new directions in the sociology and history of technology. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hickman J (2016) Space is power: the seven rules of territory. Lexington Books, LondonGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lefebvre H (2003) The urban revolution. University of Minnesota Press, USAGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Albrechts L, Mandelbaum S (eds) (2007) The network society: a new context for planning. Routledge, London, p 105Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Castells M (1999) Grassrooting the space of flows. Urban Geogr 20(4):294–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Nie NH, Erbring L (2000) Internet and society. Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society, p 3Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Feiner S, MacIntyre B, Höllerer T, Webster A (1997) A touring machine: prototyping 3D mobile augmented reality systems for exploring the urban environment. Pers Technol 1(4):208–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Nikou S, Tarvoll J, Öörni A (2018) Impact of playing Pokémon go on wellness. In: Proceedings of the 51st Hawaii international conference on system sciencesGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Stone P, Brooks R, Brynjolfsson E, Calo R, Etzioni O, Hager G, Hirschberg J et al (2016) Artificial intelligence and life in 2030. One hundred year study on artificial intelligence: report of the 2015–2016 study panelGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    When artificial intelligence rules the city, Richard Florida, May 16, 2017.
  21. 21.
    Cellan-Jones R (2014) Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind. BBC News, p 2Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Castells M (2010) End of millennium, vol 3. Wiley, USACrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Melucci A (1996) Challenging codes: collective action in the information age. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Dean J (2001) Cybersalons and civil society: rethinking the public sphere in transnational technoculture. Public Cult 13(2):265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Wellman B, Leighton B (1979) Networks, neighborhoods, and communities: approaches to the study of the community question. Urban Aff Q 14(3):363–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Wellman B (2001) Physical place and cyberplace: the rise of personalized networking. Int J Urban Reg Res 25(2):227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
  28. 28.
    Webster F (ed) Culture and politics in the information age: a new politics? Routledge, London, p 13Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Ho KC, Kluver R, Yang CC (eds) (2003) Asia encounters the internet. Routledge, London, p 68Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Mengin F (2004) Cyber China: reshaping national identities in the age of information. Springer, Berlin, p 8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Foray D, Freeman C (1992) Technologie et Richesse des Nations EconomicaGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Campbell D (1994) Foreign investment, labour immobility and the quality of employment. Int Lab Rev 133:185Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Yu H 于海荣, Wang X 王辛夷 (2016) Yangdi caizheng guanxi zaitiaozheng 央地财政关系再调整 [Central government financial relations and then adjust]. Weekly Caixin 财新周刊 35:30–32Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Niu W 牛文元 (2005) Zhongguo Chengshi Fazhan baogao 中国城市发展报告 [The report of cities’ development in China]. Beijing 电子工业出版社Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Guo WY 国务院 (2014) Guojia xinxing chengzhenhua guihua 国家新型城镇化规划 (2014–2020 年). The state council national new urbanization plan (2014–2020). Beijing 北京. Accessed 16 Mar 2014
  36. 36.
    Zhang X 张晓鸽 (2013) Zhengdi chaiqian boji 16% jiating 征地拆迁波及16%家庭 [Requisition of land affected 16% Family]. Accessed 28 Oct 2013
  37. 37.
    Wu T 武廷海, Yang B 杨保军, Zhang C 张城国 (2011) Zhongguo xincheng: 1979–2009 《中国新城: 1979–2009》 [Chinese new town: 1979–2009]. J Urban Reg Planning 城市与区域规划研究 19 (2011 年 02)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Landscape China (2014.11.13) Li Zi: Global E-commerce development and the new pattern of urbanization in rural China (Sorted based on Mr. Li’s speech delivered at the sub-forum themed “Urbanization” for the “2014 Beijing Forum” in Peking University on 8th, Nov 2014). Landscape China.
  39. 39.
  40. 40.
    九州通试点电子处方 与阿里健康、 武汉市中心医院构建完整远程医疗体系 [Jointown pharmaceutical group trials electronic prescribing to build a complete telemedicine system with AliHealth and the Central Hospital of Wuhan] (2016) Vcbeat.Net.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architecture, School of Design and EnvironmentNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations