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City Plan as Ideology: Reading the Configuration of Beijing in Ming-Qing China

  • Jianfei ZhuEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examines the political ideology of the grid plan through a historical case study of imperial Beijing. In its centric and symmetrical layout, Beijing is the symbolic embodiment of Confucian ideas of a sacred emperor residing at the center of the universe, coordinating the ways of “heaven” with that of humans on earth. Beijing clearly inherited a classical grid model formulated in the Han dynasty, which prescribed a grand, centric, Confucian order. The author argues in this chapter that the grid layout of Beijing was based upon the adoption of neo-Confucian ideas of imperial rule developed in the Song and the early Ming dynasties. This is reflected in a reinforced emphasis on the need to combine wangdao (sage rulership) and badao (powerful rulership) in the consolidation of a symbolic layout of urban imperial space.

Keywords

Chinese urbanism Urban planning Political authority Grid Cosmology Ceremonious design Ideology 

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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