“Terres Chinoises” by Marlène Leroux: The Challenges of Massive Urban Development in Rural China
The book “Terres Chinoises : Mutations et défis urbains en milieu rural” by Marlène Leroux, EPFL PhD, architect, urban planner and one of the two complementary halves of Atelier Archiplein, provides unpublished and valuable information on the current process of massive urbanization of China’s rural territories, 10 years after the launch of the ‘Building a New Socialist Countryside’ campaign. In China, an expansive urban model is successfully spreading throughout the country, applying brutally and almost systematically the same urban precepts all over the countryside, despite wide climatic and cultural differences.
More generally, the book deals with the urbanization of the countryside as a major territorial, environmental and cultural issue. It places the rural world as an object of study in its own right, rather than simply as a counterpart to the city. The author analyses the history of the Chinese rural world, which oscillates between permanencies and ruptures.
The book is enriched by a rich images corpus, and completed with an original digital tool : a cartographic atlas revealing over time and on multi-scales the effective transformations of rural territories, and testimonies from local protagonists.
This book is the result of Marlène Leroux’s thesis work at EPFL and will be released on October 4th, 2019. Forword by geographer Jacques Levy. Published by Metis Presses.