The Shenzhen Experiment: The Story of China's Instant City

Book Award Author
Juan Du
Book Award Year

In an era that values technological innovation and the value of the new, Juan Du unearths another less shiny and polished history of a simple narrative of Shenzhen as an instant city with exponential economic benefits.

Her stories of urban villages and diverse communities show that the homogenizing narrative told by the state is not sufficient. It is these vibrant communities that provide life and success for the city.

Through interviews and story telling Juan Du shows the value of a lively heterotopia at work under the surface of the State’s myth of a homogeneous community. The book gives insight into the future of China but also provides ways of thinking about the histories and communities in our own city.