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Exhibiting the PastHistorical Memory and the Politics of Museums in Postsocialist China$
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Kirk A. Denton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836870

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836870.001.0001

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Museums of the Future

Museums of the Future

Municipal Urban Planning Exhibition Halls

(p.243) Chapter 11 Museums of the Future
Exhibiting the Past

Kirk A. Denton

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter analyzes urban planning exhibitions halls in three very different cities—the modern metropolis of Shanghai, the ancient “literati” city of Suzhou, and the inland megalopolis of Chongqing. Urban planning centers offer a public space in which to imagine the future and to incorporate individuals into this dream of modernity. While writers and filmmakers have questioned this fantasy and drawn attention to the many people left behind by modernization, the dream of succeeding in the market economy remains a key element in the ideological structure of postsocialist/neoliberal China. These exhibition halls are also about municipal consciousness and competition among cities in the market economy, where place branding is critical to tourism and to a general image of the city competing in the global economy.

Keywords:   urban planning, exhibitions halls, Chinese museums, urban development, market reform, Shanghai, Suzhou, Chonqing

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