The history of a place, and in particular its historic urban fabric and heritage, constitutes - together with the development of suitable policies - an important element in determining the future of that part of the city and its renewal (Pendlebury, 2014). Places are termed "places" and not just "spaces" when - as many scholars of the city demonstrate - they are endowed with identity (Hague, Jenkins, 2005). The identity of a place expresses a harmonious balance between variant and invariant components, people and urban events, which are intrinsically linked by a reciprocal relationship that makes a specific place unique and recognizable (Lynch, 1960). Globalization and technological development have contributed to accelerating the rates of change and transforming spaces in the contemporary city. The end result is that cities, places, itineraries, customs and behavioural patterns have all come to resemble one another, contributing to an increasing urban identity crisis (Bentley, 1999; Christensen, 1999; Harvey, 2006, Massey, Jess, 1995 ; Jiaming, Scott, 2013). "Many trends towards homogenisation of, and loss of meaning in, places relate to processes of globalisation and the creation of global space, through improved communications (whether physical or electronic). Globalisation is a multi-faceted process in which the world is becoming increasingly interconnected, with centralised decision-making exploiting economies of scale and standardisation. The changing, and problematising, of relationships between local and global has significant implications for what constitutes the meaning of place. Castells (1989, p.6) described the effects of information technology in the creation of a space of flow which dominates the historically constructed space of places. (...) With globalisation has come "mass" culture, emerging from the processes of mass production and consumption, which homogenises and standardises culture and places, transcending, crowding out, even destroying, local cultures. According to Crang (1998, p.115), much of the worry over "placeness" can be interpreted as fear that local, supposedly "authentic" forms of culture - made from, and making, local distinctiveness - are being displaced by mass-produced commercial forms imposed on the locality". (Carmona et al., 2010, p.124-125) At the same time, recognising the value of place identity (Lynch, 1960) as a fundamental component of heritage and in implementing urban change serves as a reference point both in terms of society's wishes and in safeguarding and constructing the sustainable urban image. Built heritage narratives facilitate the creation and enhancement of national identities by 'denoting particular places as centres of collective cultural consciousness' (Gospodini, 2004). Cities have to find out how to reduce the risks inherent in the tendency of contemporary urban societies to fall back on their heritage and historical roots as they face up to an identity crisis. (Erdo?anaras, et al, 2013). In this respect, innovation and creativity in urban space represents an opportunity to construct an identity of places and give a no globalized scope to the urban form of contemporary cities (Chen, Thwaites, 2013) Creativity (Florida, 2005) and industry of culture cover a huge set of activities fundamental to launch a country's economy, nonetheless it is important to consider that the most successful urban regeneration projects are those where there is a strong involvement of local pre-existing identity and where history recovery of the sense of place and belonging to the local community is expected (Sepe, 2010a-b). Starting from this premises, aim of the paper is both to illustrate the concepts of place identity and creative regeneration, assuming that place identity is a fundamental factor in creative operations of transformation. As regards, the role of artist in these operations of urban transformation will be illustrated as an important element to understand the cultural change of a place. The topics will be explained with an international point of view and then centred on the Chinese cities which in the last years are changing their image through many operations of cultural and creative regeneration. As a way of examples, the process of regeneration, concerning two creative sites in China, is illustrated: 798 district in Beijing and M50 in Shanghai. These districts have in common the transformation of old industry in creative park and two phases of development. Due to the increasing economic growth, which is interesting many Chinese cities, the risk is the globalization of the process of regeneration and the lost of place identity.

Place identity and creative district regeneration: the case of 798 in Beijing and M50 in Shanghai Art zones

Sepe M
2018

Abstract

The history of a place, and in particular its historic urban fabric and heritage, constitutes - together with the development of suitable policies - an important element in determining the future of that part of the city and its renewal (Pendlebury, 2014). Places are termed "places" and not just "spaces" when - as many scholars of the city demonstrate - they are endowed with identity (Hague, Jenkins, 2005). The identity of a place expresses a harmonious balance between variant and invariant components, people and urban events, which are intrinsically linked by a reciprocal relationship that makes a specific place unique and recognizable (Lynch, 1960). Globalization and technological development have contributed to accelerating the rates of change and transforming spaces in the contemporary city. The end result is that cities, places, itineraries, customs and behavioural patterns have all come to resemble one another, contributing to an increasing urban identity crisis (Bentley, 1999; Christensen, 1999; Harvey, 2006, Massey, Jess, 1995 ; Jiaming, Scott, 2013). "Many trends towards homogenisation of, and loss of meaning in, places relate to processes of globalisation and the creation of global space, through improved communications (whether physical or electronic). Globalisation is a multi-faceted process in which the world is becoming increasingly interconnected, with centralised decision-making exploiting economies of scale and standardisation. The changing, and problematising, of relationships between local and global has significant implications for what constitutes the meaning of place. Castells (1989, p.6) described the effects of information technology in the creation of a space of flow which dominates the historically constructed space of places. (...) With globalisation has come "mass" culture, emerging from the processes of mass production and consumption, which homogenises and standardises culture and places, transcending, crowding out, even destroying, local cultures. According to Crang (1998, p.115), much of the worry over "placeness" can be interpreted as fear that local, supposedly "authentic" forms of culture - made from, and making, local distinctiveness - are being displaced by mass-produced commercial forms imposed on the locality". (Carmona et al., 2010, p.124-125) At the same time, recognising the value of place identity (Lynch, 1960) as a fundamental component of heritage and in implementing urban change serves as a reference point both in terms of society's wishes and in safeguarding and constructing the sustainable urban image. Built heritage narratives facilitate the creation and enhancement of national identities by 'denoting particular places as centres of collective cultural consciousness' (Gospodini, 2004). Cities have to find out how to reduce the risks inherent in the tendency of contemporary urban societies to fall back on their heritage and historical roots as they face up to an identity crisis. (Erdo?anaras, et al, 2013). In this respect, innovation and creativity in urban space represents an opportunity to construct an identity of places and give a no globalized scope to the urban form of contemporary cities (Chen, Thwaites, 2013) Creativity (Florida, 2005) and industry of culture cover a huge set of activities fundamental to launch a country's economy, nonetheless it is important to consider that the most successful urban regeneration projects are those where there is a strong involvement of local pre-existing identity and where history recovery of the sense of place and belonging to the local community is expected (Sepe, 2010a-b). Starting from this premises, aim of the paper is both to illustrate the concepts of place identity and creative regeneration, assuming that place identity is a fundamental factor in creative operations of transformation. As regards, the role of artist in these operations of urban transformation will be illustrated as an important element to understand the cultural change of a place. The topics will be explained with an international point of view and then centred on the Chinese cities which in the last years are changing their image through many operations of cultural and creative regeneration. As a way of examples, the process of regeneration, concerning two creative sites in China, is illustrated: 798 district in Beijing and M50 in Shanghai. These districts have in common the transformation of old industry in creative park and two phases of development. Due to the increasing economic growth, which is interesting many Chinese cities, the risk is the globalization of the process of regeneration and the lost of place identity.
File allegati a questo prodotto
File Dimensione Formato  
Sepe_Place-identity-and-creative_2018.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Versione editoriale (versione pubblicata con il layout dell'editore)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 2.68 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
2.68 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri PDF

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1658644
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 2
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 4
social impact