By dr. Chin Ee Ong - This project considers one aspect of the Chinese urbanisation process – the intended creation of the ‘free zones’ in China where Chinese Communist policies can be reshaped in the name of economic and urban development. Creating such new spaces does not bring about only shifts in physicality and materiality of these places but also changes in policies in urban governance and changes in citizen and work governmentalities. This study is situated within the context of an existing corpus of work in urban governance and govermentalities and focuses its empirical work on Hengqin Island (Hengqin Free Zone). Hengqin Island is an important fieldsite as it is the third free zone (after Pudong in Shanghai and Binhai in Tianjin) created by the Chinese central government for the development of a mega leisure and tourism space. This project is also explored within the broader context of culture and power on display within the spatial and discursive practice of theming spaces.
In co-operation with: Dr. Jan Mosdale (the University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur, Switzerland) Dr Max Zhao (Institute for Tourism Studies, Macao)