Lingering Soviet influence in contemporary Chinese cities
Twenty-five years after its collapse, the Soviet Union is still influencing China, especially the architecture and urban planning of its cities. The models of urban development, which Soviet advisors brought to Beijing in 1949, continued to be applied for a long time. Even today, the layout and architecture of Chinese cities still obey, to a large extent, these practices.
The present hierarchy between Chinese cities – Beijing and Shanghai being first tier, Tianjin and Hangzhou second tier – emanates from the Soviet State planning logic, aimed at enhancing economic productivity via a city’s layout and network organization. The contemporary China urban model has deep roots in Soviet urban ideology – a strange revival of a way of thinking from another century.