Expats in Beijing may be partial to our rugged smogtropolis, but even the most diehard northerner will admit that Shanghai is the more romantic of the two cities, with its very name conjuring up images of 19th century opium dens, jazz bars in the 1930s, and a sort of transcendent cosmopolitanism that connects the mystique of the city’s international past with its almost tangible hunger for the future. Yet it was only really in the early-to-mid-1990s that Shanghai pulled away from its status as a second-tier city and began re-establishing itself as the world’s future city.
Today on Sinica, we take our eyes off Beijing for a change, and direct our gaze to Pudong and Puxi, and talk about what Shanghai means to us, itself, and others. Joining us for this discussion is Anna Greenspan, author of Shanghai Future: Modernity Remade. Among her other accomplishments, Anna is a teacher of urbanism and cybernetic culture at NYU Shanghai, and is the founder of the Shanghai Studies Society and Hacked Matter.
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