Between Big City and Authentic Village: Branding the Small Chinese City

Kendall, P. 2015. Between Big City and Authentic Village: Branding the Small Chinese City. CITY. 19 (5), pp. 665-680.

TitleBetween Big City and Authentic Village: Branding the Small Chinese City
AuthorsKendall, P.
Abstract

While recent academic research has already produced an impressive corpus on big cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, the small Chinese city has been mostly ignored. In this article, I suggest that consideration of the small city can bring a new perspective on the wider urban fabric of which it is an element. Although small city governments have embraced urban entrepreneurialism with the same enthusiasm as China’s big cities, different configurations of space, branding and the everyday have nevertheless resulted. My case study of Kaili in Guizhou province indicates that the small city exists in a complex relationship with the big city and the village; it is pulled towards large-scale urbanization while simultaneously attempting to construct a unique city image based upon the evocation of rural cultural practices. The perspective from the small city thus suggests the need to consider the rural-urban divide – long a dominant geographical imagination of China – alongside other geographies, including a triad of the small city, the village and the big city.

KeywordsChina
small city
rural-urban divide
city branding
everyday
Lefebvre
urban fabric
JournalCITY
Journal citation19 (5), pp. 665-680
ISSN1360-4813
Year2015
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscriptKendall_AAM_City_2015.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/13604813.2015.1071116
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13604813.2015.1071116
Publication dates
Published07 Oct 2015

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