Workshop: Comparative dialogues on the infrastructure-led urbanization of Global China.

On September 21-23 the IUR will host an international workshop titled “Comparative dialogues on the infrastructure-led urbanization of Global China”.

This international workshop explores the “urbanization” of Chinese investments worldwide by gathering both established and early-career scholars who have been analyzing the topic in different regions of the world. By looking at several locations and projects, the workshop will open a comparative perspective on the multiple ways in which China’s economic and financial expansion is globally enacted, and it will discuss how researchers can think of the methodological strategies that may best help the navigation of these complex physical and intellectual geographies.

As a part of this three-day international workshop, an open keynote will be offered (September 21st, 15:30-17:00 in NIA0607).

This international dialogue discusses the multiple ways China is deploying a model of “infrastructure-led urbanization” across several regions of the world, as well as the wide array of methodological challenges faced by scholars who embark on the investigation of these experiences.

In the social sciences, the notion of “Global China” has captured the multiple ways in which both Chinese capital and soft power operate on a global scale after the opening of China’s economic and financial frontiers. While several studies have addressed how differently Chinese state capital and global private capital operate on the ground, there is a growing interest in charting how infrastructure-led development – often in the form of global corridors – becomes “urbanized” in cities across the world. However, the urbanization of Global China is not a singular force, but the result of variegated, at times contradictory, cultural, economic, and political vectors, which in turn raise methodological and ethical research questions.

As a part of a three-day international workshop taking place at the Institute for Urban Research, this dialogue features three leading scholars who have engaged with the urban presence of Global China in different regions of the world (including China itself), discussing the possibility of applying comparative perspectives to the study of such a geographically diverse and constantly shifting phenomenon of our time.


– Elia Apostolopoulou (Autonomous Univ. of Barcelona)

– Francesca Governa (Polytechnic of Turin)

– Jonathan Silver (Sheffield University)


Simone Vegliò (Malmö University)

– Andrea Pollio (Cape Town Univ. / Polytechnic of Turin)

Image: “Global Economy” by …-Wink-… is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.