A Mega-event Approach to Glurbanization: Insights from Expo 2010, Shanghai

Lingyue LI

Abstract


This paper contributes to an in-depth understanding of how the mega-event contributes glurbanization of entrepreneurial city through a case study of Expo 2010 in Shanghai. It argues that spatial-related transformation is central to mega-event approach to glurbanization yet the soft power building is uncertain. It implies that the domestic impacts of mega-events are likely to be more profound than their global influences. This corresponds to the capitalist transformation from Fordist-Keynesianism to neoliberalism, in which mega-events such as Olympic Games and World Exposition have increasingly been incorporated into urban development plan to boost urban agenda. Although the profile of world fairs is reduced and does not have the international impacts that they used to have, Shanghai Expo 2010, the first Expo ever held in a developing country, is pinned hope on as the “Turn to Save the World Expo” and is unusually ambitious to bring opportunities in urban transformation. With a well-developed framework of glurbanization entailed by entrepreneurial city, this research enriches glurbanization theory by a thorough examination of Shanghai Expo. It finds that Expo-led landscape reconfiguration, spatial restructuring, and new sources provision effectively transformed Shanghai, propelling glurbanization in diminutive spatial scale. Yet, it remains powerless to impress the world as the voice of domestic propaganda is limited in the Western mainstream media. In all, the Expo case well exemplifies the power of mega-event approach to advancing local agenda, especially in spatial transformation per se, as well as its constraints in (re)shaping a global discourse. 


Keywords


Mega-events; Glurbanization; Expo 2010; Shanghai

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30564/jgr.v2i1.188

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