As an exceptional city in China, Shanghai has been experiencing continuous changes throughout its 180 years of developing history. Every step it moved forwards has left a great impact in its urban environment, especially since the new millennium. This lecture will give a description of the spatial evolving process of the city, and a retrospection on the interaction between the urban space and social-politic forces since the last 30 years.
The lecture will also try to explain that the contemporary Shanghai city is actually a layered structure of heterotopic nodes from history and networks under consistent change. Urban actors use collage and various bonding systems to form patches of order in the city, and produce new spaces with multicellular internal structures to facilitate change as well. Understanding this allowed urbanists or designers to develop a kind of different strategies for integrating the most diverse actors and activities, accommodate both growth and shrinkage across a city-territory in the view of urban systems.