A Utopian Garden City: Zhang Jingsheng's "Beautiful Beijing"

Rocha, Leon (2017) A Utopian Garden City: Zhang Jingsheng's "Beautiful Beijing". In: The Habitable City in China: Urban History in the Twentieth Century. Politics and Development of Contemporary China . Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 143-168. ISBN 9781137554703, 9781137554710

A Utopian Garden City: Zhang Jingsheng's "Beautiful Beijing"

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This chapter analyzes a city that was never built, and that only enjoyed an existence in two somewhat obscure but fascinating texts, written by the notorious Chinese intellectual Zhang Jingsheng (1888-1970). The two texts were entitled "An Aesthetic Outlook of Life" (Mei de renshengguan, 1924) and "The Method of Organisation of an Aesthetic Society " (Mei de shehui zuzhifa, 1925); they described in detail Zhang’s vision of a “Beautiful China” (mei de Zhongguo) and a “Beautiful Beijing” (mei de Beijing). Zhang Jingsheng’s grand designs for his ideal city were very much inspired by his personal experiences as a university student in France. And even though Zhang never explicitly cited Ebenezer Howard’s (1850-1928) "To-morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform" (1898), the seminal text of the British Garden Cities Movement, Howard’s influence could also be discerned in Zhang’s utopian scheme.

Keywords:Modern Chinese History, Intellectual History, Urban History, Utopianism
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V140 Modern History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V340 Intellectual History
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K440 Urban studies
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V241 Chinese History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
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ID Code:34960
Deposited On:19 Feb 2019 12:41

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