The expansion of cities and the ensuing limitations on the production of space

Che Yuling

Professor, School of Politics and Public Administration, Soochow University, Soochow, China

ID of the Article: 6788

For citation:

Che Yuling The expansion of cities and the ensuing limitations on the production of space. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 7. P. 107-115


In recent years, the production of space has emerged as a new method used by capital to raise the value of housing. Chinese cities are growing at a startling speed. Space, which previously was just a place for living and existence, has now become a commodity employed to increase the value of housing, as is manifested by the construction and real estate boom. Commercialization is the main feature of modern cities. Urban construction in China is guided by the need to get the most profit out of every square meter. Negative consequences of this type of urbanization are seen in the aggravation of contradictions between urban development and the environment. Simultaneously with the production of space, capital has also brought about a financial crisis. The “production model of capitalism” has been replaced by the “consumer model of capitalism”, and an individual is only regarded as an «economic man, aspiring to “material well-being”». In the context of incentivizing consumption boom over and over again, the economic bubble appears, swells, and bursts eventually, causing powerful financial tsunamis and economic crises.The production of space, which functions according to the logic of capital, in addition to changing cities and generating wealth also creates numerous forces that limit its endless expansion; these mostly manifest themselves in the lack of resources as a restricting factor for the growth of capital, economic crises, as well as in the general opposition of people to such unidirectional existence. What this means is that the production of capitalized space cannot continue forever, and a multilateral alternative plan to overcome the production of space has already emerged and is in its infancy. A detailed examination of the production of space from dynamic and historical points of view has instructive significance for a correct understanding of modern urbanization. One cannot deny the important role of the production of space, but if mankind in its use of space and its production is mainly guided by the market as the coordinate, it will inevitably lead to the appearance of cities resembling bowls of steel and concrete, which will gradually move further away from nature.

production of space; limitations; multilateral alternative plan


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Content No 7, 2017