Place Identity and Creative District Regeneration: The Case of 798 in Beijing and M50 in Shanghai Art Zones

Sepe, Marichela
The history of a place constitutes - together with the development of suitable policies - an important element in determining the future of that part of the city and its renewal. At the same time, recognizing the value of place identity 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 centers of collective cultural consciousness”. In this respect, innovation in urban space design represents an opportunity to construct an identity of places and give a no globalized scope to the urban form of contemporary cities. The industry of culture covers 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. Starting from these premises, the aim of the paper is to illustrate the process of regeneration, which focuses on two creative sites in China: 798 district in Beijing and M50 in Shanghai. These districts have in common the transformation of old industrial sites into a creative park. Due to the increasing economic growth, which is of interest to many Chinese cities, therisk is the globalization of the process of regeneration and the loss of place identity. The theoretical framework - related to the place identity concept, the creative regeneration and the role of artists - completes the paper.


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Citation Formats
M. Sepe, “Place Identity and Creative District Regeneration: The Case of 798 in Beijing and M50 in Shanghai Art Zones,” ODTÜ Mimarlık Fakültesi Dergisi, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 151–171, 2018, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: