Yanbo Li: Surfing in Globalization: The Misplaced Urban Reaction and Community-Based Resilience in Shanghai

Lecture | March 14 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 170 Wurster Hall

 Global Urban Humanities

Globalization is a universal context nowadays though which is not a new concept. China used to be an essential participant and even positive advocator among the earlier rounds of it. But in modern times, China became a passive follower in the globalization tides. For each time the country was trying to adapt itself to the outside world, a specific reaction could be seen. However, it is not an easy mission to appropriately greet the world with such a huge socio-spatial volume. By reviewing the process of urban development, one can read those crucial but misleading choices in historical, community and social perspectives in local cases even in global mega-cities, like Shanghai.

This lecture will present three original tracks that begin with different historical eras and indicate various misplaced reactions towards globalization. Meanwhile under the background of drastic urbanization and economic growth in China, some practical responses that are seen on a smaller scale and lower level are emerging dramatically. The topic is relevant to public policy, urban development and individual spatial interventions in local communities.

Yanbo Li’s doctoral research is in Architectural History and Theory, mainly in the historical and contemporary urban development of Shanghai. Before his teaching career, Li was also working as a postdoctorate in School of Economy and Management, during which he was concentrating on stakeholder-based urban policy and sustainable development. By publishing monographs and articles and developing experimental programs, his academic interest focuses on interdisciplinary research and holistic solutions for the development of diverse urban communities.

As a design studio instructor and an architect, Li believes it is important to connect the campus with the local community. He encourages students to learn from the living society and people’s daily life, launching participatory design activities and community empowerment. Shanghai, the multi-layered global metropolis, became irreplaceable resources for his architectural and urban teaching as well as incredible sites for his research-oriented professional practices. He is currently Associate Professor in the College of Architecture ad Urban Planning at Tongji University and Director of Prime Smart Community Promotion Center of Shanghai.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Chinese Studies and the Department of Architecture.

 sarahhwang@berkeley.edu, 3604488322