The purpose of this volume is to treat the progress of history, civilization and urban development of China together in order to demonstrate the unique qualities of Chinese civilization. The author uses historical dynasties as the vertical dimension, starting from the pre-urban origin of round-moat village settlements of the Yangshao Period, until the most recent transitional city under the present “socialist market system”. There are a total of 13 chapters, covering a time-span of roughly 6,000 years. The book also discusses the theoretical context of the uniqueness of Chinese urban evolution and compares it with experiences in the West. It comprehensively treats major events, economic developments, territorial changes, and developments in technology, art and culture, military as well as administrative systems in the dynasties as urban change dynamics. The material therefore succinctly covers 6,000 years of Chinese cultural history. Besides using a large amount of Chinese literature — including materials on recent archeological finds — the volume explores substantial Western literature on relevant issues with the purpose of putting the Chinese experience in a global context. The author has included in the volume over 100 maps and line drawings selected from his collection accumulated over 30 years as a university lecturer and researcher of urban geography and the Chinese city. They provide vivid and readily apprehensible illustrations for illuminating key points on the structure of the Chinese city and the geopolitical situation of China in major historical periods. They also add exquisite detail through graphic techniques to the textual treatment of the subject matters, and are in themselves visually appealing, adding unique dimension to the volume. The volume targets a wide spectrum of readers, and will appeal to anyone interested in the culture and civilization, cities, urban planning and economic, philosophical, political and historical developments of China.
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