Spatialised Governmentality: China and the Global Context

6 December 2018 to 7 December 2018 | 10am – 5.30pm


Free, but booking required

The two-day public event brings together urban researchers from different disciplines to discuss socio-spatial design in relationship to diversifying models of governance and spatialised governmentality. This will conclude a series of discussions around how social projects, spaces, and realities shape three contexts critical to understanding urban design and planning in China: the history of collective forms and spaces in relationship to current community development agendas, socio-spatial changes in urban and rural development, and modes of governmentality.

The event focuses on the instrumentalisation of spatial design by government to shape collective forms, collective spaces, and collective subjectivities, or, in the contemporary context, the building of communities. This relates to an increasing political and economic need for the support of urban constituencies that are brought together by concrete, shared social activities, interests, and benefits that can provide social networks of support and care. Driven by fundamental demographic changes, such as an ageing population and household transformations, as well as a devolution of social and public services by governments to institutions led by civil society and local communities, these new social groups and their needs and values defy traditional beliefs in the nuclear family, the neighbourhood unit, and liberal models of governance that underpin much of global urban planning. Western-centric urban theories and practices based on notions of the public, public space, or place-making are increasingly unproductive, whether conceptually or practically, in the design of contemporary cities.

To explore the impact of transformations from the collective to the communal, from standardisation to planning, and from government to governance, the public events will also raise the questions of which aspects of planning are intercultural or culturally specific, and how urban experiences and planning in the Global South challenges existing dogmas of urban design theory and practice.

This event has been organised by the School of Architecture. Please contact for more information.

Thursday 6 December, 10am – 6pm
Symposium: The Chinese Context – Lecture Theatre 1

Friday 7 December, 10.30am – 5.30pm
Roundtables: The Global Context – DAR 612