Redeeming the Meaning of Public in China: A Study on Chinese Public Space and Public Sphere

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The central problem addressed in this paper is the lack of social interaction in public spaces in China. Although architects are tempted to address this problem through better design and by providing public facilities, their success in influencing social behavior seems limited. Attempts such as the Linked Hybrid project in Beijing to create genuine public urban space seem to be repeatedly confronted with difficulties of fostering public interaction in China.

The hypothesis of this assessment report is that the lack of public interaction in Chinese public spaces is not primarily the result of inadequate architectural design, but rather caused by a deeper, underlying difference in the use and function of public space between China and the West. This hypothesis is addressed through the research question of this study: what is the cause of the lack of social interaction in Chinese public spaces, and what are its implications for the practice of architecture?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChinese Urban Transformation
Subtitle of host publicationA Tale of Six Cities
EditorsChen Yuanzhi, Alan Hudson, He Lisheng
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRIBA Publications
Number of pages67
ISBN (Print)185946629X, 9781859466292
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2018


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