Grand Theater Urbanism : Chinese Cities in the 21st century

Research output: Scholarly Books, Monographs, Reports and Case StudiesRGC 14 - Edited book (Editor)peer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
Number of pages312
ISBN (Electronic)9789811378683
ISBN (Print)9789811378676
Publication statusPublished - 2019


The grand theater—or opera house or concert hall in Western cities—is an iconic building or local architectural landmark. Due to the fast pace of urbanization, Chinese cities have newly engaged in the development of large-scale infrastructure, including the construction of cultural buildings. From 1998 to 2018, more than 200 grand theaters were built, together with libraries, museums, and “children’s palaces” (activity centers). The number of newly built theaters was more than the total number built in Europe over the past 70 years. The drive to construct grand theaters in China has been accompanied and fueled by rapid economic growth, fast-paced urbanization, new town development, and old town renewal.

Grand Theater Urbanism reveals the phenomenon of the cultural building movement through investigating 10 typical cities from the first, second, and third tiers and the Chinese diaspora. The international and national significance of these iconic projects lies in the fact that they not only reflect the dynamics of global design ideas, but also represent a particular historical moment in China’s modernization process. The development, histories, and purposes of constructing cultural buildings are carefully outlined and colorfully presented. Given China’s sizeable population, its development trajectory in urban construction will provide insights for other regions that hope to embark on the high-speed track in the 21st century.

Research Area(s)

  • Urbanism, Landmark building, Urbanization in China, Grand theatre, Public space, Architectural design, International architects, New town, Cultural facilities

Bibliographic Note

Research Unit(s) information for this publication is provided by the author(s) concerned.

Citation Format(s)

Grand Theater Urbanism: Chinese Cities in the 21st century. / Xue, Charlie Qiuli (Editor).
1 ed. Singapore: Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd., 2019. 312 p.

Research output: Scholarly Books, Monographs, Reports and Case StudiesRGC 14 - Edited book (Editor)peer-review