During my doctoral studies at EHESS, I had been involved in two research programmes related to urbanisation in Asia and China: ITHESA and UrbaChina.
I had the opportunity to work on the UrbaChina programme from its proposal drafting (2010) to its evaluation (2015).
ITHESA (International Trading and Financials Hubs in East and Southeast Asia) was a research project financed by the French Agency for Research (ANR) and coordinated by prof. Gipouloux (CNRS) from 2005 to 2008. Its main purpose was to study the degree of interdependence of metropolises (Tokyo-Yokohama, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Singapore) of the East Asia’s maritime corridor, from a trade and finance perspective.
I took part of this project only at its final stage, and prepared the final conference “International Trading and Financial Hubs in East and Southeast Asia: Rivalry and Complementarity” that was held in Paris on May 27-28, 2009.
I was also involved in the editing process of the following collective book written by research project members: Gipouloux, François (ed.) (2011), Gateways To Globalisation, Asia’s International Trading and Finance Centres , Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
UrbaChina (2011-2015) was a EU funded project carried out by a consortium of 11 leading Chinese and European research institutions (CNRS, LSE, University of Lisbon, University of Birmingham, ISIS, RenDa, HuaDa, CAS, CASS, DRC and AAESR). Coordinated by the CNRS, the UrbaChina project activities consisted in analysing and defining China’s urbanisation trends for the next 40 years with reference to concepts of sustainability.
The UrbaChina research teams used a multifaceted approach, applying concepts and best practice methods from a range of disciplines, including economic geography, urban economics, environmental studies, sociology, anthropology, history.
This project specifically addressed four aspects of sustainability:
– institutional foundations and policies;
– land, property and the urban-rural divide;
– infrastructure and services for sustainable urbanisation;
– traditions and modern lifestyles in cities.
My role at UrbaChina
I was involved in both research and dissemination activities.
My colleagues from CNRS and I had for main objective to study the patterns and processes of China‘s urbanisation since market reforms and analyze central-local governments relations especially in regard to fiscal reforms.
We also studied the impacts of the persistence of Hukou (household registration system) on migrants’ housing.
For this project I made several field trips to China and conducted surveys in both Shanghai and Kunming where our team interviewed local officials, businessmen, academics, and land developers.
Our main results can be found in our working paper series and in the following collective book:
Gipouloux, Francois (ed.) (2015), China’s Urban Century: Governance, Environment, and Socio-Economic imperatives, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
In addition to field research, my team was also in charge of the project’s dissemination activities.
We operated a daily updated blog on which we posted news about progress realized by the Consortium, but also conference announcements, calls for papers and book and article reviews on urban issues in China.
All my posts can be found on the UrbaChina blog.
We also organized international conferences in Beijing, Rome, Kunming, Chongqing and Paris.