Bibliography 3: Foreign Concessions, Social Transformation and Urban Spatial Evolution in Modern Tianjin

Liu Hai-yan, Foreign Concessions, Social Transformation and Urban Spatial Evolution in Modern Tianjin, 2006, Journal of Tianjin Normal University (Social Science) Sum No. 186, p36-p41


This article mainly introduces the close relationship between evolving urban space and social transformation, specifically described the Chinese upper class fled into foreign concessions as a result of political turbulence at early 20th century. And it looks at what does this kind of population relocation influence the reorganization of urban space. In this case, the increasing number of Chinese upper class inside the concessions actually brought prosperity to the district because many of them would acquire estates and that stimulates the economy. At the same time, because only the lower class living in such district, combined with the fact that it suffered destruction from continuous war and munity, the old town was facing severe decline.

Also the article argued that this formed a mode of social space as center-edge in treaty port city, which was also seen in other treaty port city in 20th century, for example in Shanghai. In the last chapter, the author compared Tianjin with Shanghai. The result shows that this kind of center-edge mode actually has different composition in different city. So if we look at the population distribution spatially, the population ratio of concession and non-concession district was around 1:1 in Shanghai, while in Tianjin it was only 1:5 at the time. So even though, the Chinese population movements towards the concessions were both related to social transformation and political turbulences, the result was different under different history background and urban conditions. In this case, Tianjin’s population movement was mainly composed of the upper class people, lots of them coming from Beijing, while the population movements in Shanghai are composed of different class due to the Taiping Rebellion, which caused a large number of refugee fled into the concessions and ended the separation between Chinese and Foreign settlement.

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