What is it about?

A B S T R A C T War-city relationships had long been studied by scholars regarding wars’ sudden impact on cities. Studies typically focused on one specific event’s impact on urban military, politics, economy, or society. This approach, however, treated war’s impact on cities as only temporary, hindered opportunities to reveal multiple political regimes’ spatial competition through war-oriented city planning and construction, which is crucial for city development, and their resultant urban form changes through time. In response, this study has examined city planning and construction activities during the short time gaps between multiple military conflicts, with various military objectives, and conducted by different political regimes in Shenyang, China. In accordance with archival research, a space syntax axis analysis has been used to quantify spatial dynamics throughout war-peace-war cycles to explore the impact of military-oriented planning on city-scaled development. We have found these planning strategies, initiated by specific military goals, acted as extensions of war planning, segregating the city and causing urban fragmentation. They also acted as a driving factor which promoted modernization of the city in the early 20th century. We conclude that wars oriented planning can alter a city’s development track and impact its structure and form through the creation of internally connected but isolated urban districts.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Urban Planning as an Extension of War Planning: The Case of Shenyang, China, 1898-1966 * Dr. Huaqing Wang1, Dr. Galen Newman2, Dr. Zhifang Wang3 1 & 2 Department of Landscape and Urban Planning, Texas A&M University, USA 3 College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Peking University, China 1Email: huaqingwang452@gmail.com 2Email: gnewman@arch.tamu.edu 3Email: zhifangw@pku.edu.cn A R T I C L E I N F O: Article history: Received 20 March 2018 Accepted 23 April 2018 Available online 15 June 2018 Keywords: Urban Morphology; Chinese History; Space Syntax; Military Event. A B S T R A C T War-city relationships had long been studied by scholars regarding wars’ sudden impact on cities. Studies typically focused on one specific event’s impact on urban military, politics, economy, or society. This approach, however, treated war’s impact on cities as only temporary, hindered opportunities to reveal multiple political regimes’ spatial competition through war-oriented city planning and construction, which is crucial for city development, and their resultant urban form changes through time. In response, this study has examined city planning and construction activities during the short time gaps between multiple military conflicts, with various military objectives, and conducted by different political regimes in Shenyang, China. In accordance with archival research, a space syntax axis analysis has been used to quantify spatial dynamics throughout war-peace-war cycles to explore the impact of military-oriented planning on city-scaled development. We have found these planning strategies, initiated by specific military goals, acted as extensions of war planning, segregating the city and causing urban fragmentation. They also acted as a driving factor which promoted modernization of the city in the early 20th century. We conclude that wars oriented planning can alter a city’s development track and impact its structure and form through the creation of internally connected but isolated urban districts. CONTEMPORARY URBAN AFFAIRS (2019), 3(1), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.25034/ijcua.2018.4677 www.ijcua.com Copyright © 2018 Contemporary Urban Affairs. All rights reserved. 1. Introduction The link between mass violence and cities is strong and complex (Schachtschabel, 2005). A variety of studies explored war’s impact on cities by analysing the life of specific groups of residents, such as women, refugees, war prisoners, and relocations, and/or focused on the impact of wars on cities through analysing destruction or reconstruction of urban areas from economic, sociological or political perspectives (Christian Henriot, 2003; Diefendorf, 1993; Henriot, 2012, 2006, 1842; Nelson, 2012). Most of these studies examine wars as disasters to urban form and layout (Bishop and Clancey, 2004). Studies on relationship between war and city development typically focus on one particular military event or city status after a series of wars, in a relatively short time period; these studies are conducted primarily qualitatively and with little analysis of spatial change (Alexander, 2000; Brakman et al., 2004; Hardy, 1989; Henriot, 1842). Glaser and Shapiro conducted an overview of war-city relationships and concluded that wars may not significantly alter city form, and that the impact of terrorism on cities may be smaller than previously thought (Glaeser and Shapiro, 2002). Roger Lotchin conducted a comprehensive qualitative analysis on the impact of World War II on San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Diego, concluding that WWII was a Heroic Interlude in each city’s developmental history (Lotchin, 2003). Sanso-Narro etc., used demographic measures of city growth as explanatory variables to measure war-city relationships, and concluded that the impacts from war shock on city growth were transitory (Sanso-Navarro et al., 2015). However, focusing on only one war event hinders opportunities to reveal multiple wars’ spatial competition through city planning and construction. In response, this study seeks to answer, how does the resultant urban form due to war planning affect the internal and external connectivity of cities experiencing wartime? Through this, we unveil the role these war-planning activities play in city development. The city of Shenyang, China was selected as a study area for numerous salient reasons. First, Shenyang experienced five major wars and invasions from 1898-1966. Similar to colonialism, these wars arose as the result of territories being settled by foreign powers. A variety of different city planning and construction projects were implemented during the short periods of peacetime between wars, primarily because war parties sought to exert total and permanent control over territories and population and tried to ensure lasting stability (de Moor and Wesseling, 1989). Meanwhile, planning approaches had clear military goals both spatially and operationally, aiming at efficiently producing war necessities. This circumstance provides a chance to examine how military oriented planning can impact city development. Secondly, historically, Shenyang was a partial port city containing attached and small areas of land inside the city for foreigners to rent and implement construction projects (Hou and Zhang, 2001). This provides a vista into how city planning by invaders can influence domestic planning practices. The study crosses the boundaries of historicism, the cultural/political implications involved with wars, planning and their following urban form change on a longitudinal time scale to increase information about relationships of military, planning and city development. Additionally, the utilization of the space syntax method in historical research, extends the military planning focus beyond the previously cultural, economic and archaeology fields (Griffiths, 2012, 2011). To the best of our knowledge, few studies have analysed how military oriented planning and construction have altered city development between various wars longitudinally, spatially and quantitatively. 2. Space Syntax and the Indices Adopted To untangle Shenyang’s rich spatial tapestry, we adopted a quantitative space syntax axis analysis and integrated these findings into a historical interpretive analysis based on archival research. The focus of the socio-spatial dimensions of space syntax theory made it an optimum method for analyzing the relationship between planning, its resultant city form and how city operates. The logic behind space syntax is that human societies use space as a necessary resource in organizing themselves (Bafna, 2003), and spatial configuration explains a substantial proportion of the variance between human movement rates in different locations in urban space (Bafna, 2003; Hillier, 2007). At the city scale, street axis analysis of space syntax is an objective method to describing, comparing, and interpreting urban form characteristics (Ahmed et al., 2014). We adopted two indices of space syntax axis analysis in this study. These integration indices are being used and shown to be valid by a growing number of city form studies in exploring city types, city core areas, and relationship between social events and physical form of city. Omer and Zafrir-Reuven found that cities belonging to the same region tended to exhibit similar local levels of spatial integration and significant syntactic differences appeared at a global level (Omer and Zafrir-Reuven, 2010). Giannopoulou et al. successfully confirmed the location and extent of the commercial and administrative center of Xanthi city, also finding differences in local and global levels (Giannopoulou et al., 2012). Froy found that commercial activities typically took advantage of distributed spatial configurations of the some cities and spread out across the street network, by analysing spatial organization of economic activities in early 19th century (Froy, 2016). Nattasit and Nobuo used integration analysis and found urban axes highly coexisted with city historical contents by examining how historical geo-political issues influenced urban axes and street networks in ‘Lan Na’ historic city in northern Thailand (Srinurak and Mishima, 2017).

Perspectives

Urban Planning as an Extension of War Planning: The Case of Shenyang, China, 1898-1966 * Dr. Huaqing Wang1, Dr. Galen Newman2, Dr. Zhifang Wang3 1 & 2 Department of Landscape and Urban Planning, Texas A&M University, USA 3 College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Peking University, China 1Email: huaqingwang452@gmail.com 2Email: gnewman@arch.tamu.edu 3Email: zhifangw@pku.edu.cn A R T I C L E I N F O: Article history: Received 20 March 2018 Accepted 23 April 2018 Available online 15 June 2018 Keywords: Urban Morphology; Chinese History; Space Syntax; Military Event. A B S T R A C T War-city relationships had long been studied by scholars regarding wars’ sudden impact on cities. Studies typically focused on one specific event’s impact on urban military, politics, economy, or society. This approach, however, treated war’s impact on cities as only temporary, hindered opportunities to reveal multiple political regimes’ spatial competition through war-oriented city planning and construction, which is crucial for city development, and their resultant urban form changes through time. In response, this study has examined city planning and construction activities during the short time gaps between multiple military conflicts, with various military objectives, and conducted by different political regimes in Shenyang, China. In accordance with archival research, a space syntax axis analysis has been used to quantify spatial dynamics throughout war-peace-war cycles to explore the impact of military-oriented planning on city-scaled development. We have found these planning strategies, initiated by specific military goals, acted as extensions of war planning, segregating the city and causing urban fragmentation. They also acted as a driving factor which promoted modernization of the city in the early 20th century. We conclude that wars oriented planning can alter a city’s development track and impact its structure and form through the creation of internally connected but isolated urban districts. CONTEMPORARY URBAN AFFAIRS (2019), 3(1), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.25034/ijcua.2018.4677 www.ijcua.com Copyright © 2018 Contemporary Urban Affairs. All rights reserved. 1. Introduction The link between mass violence and cities is strong and complex (Schachtschabel, 2005). A variety of studies explored war’s impact on cities by analysing the life of specific groups of residents, such as women, refugees, war prisoners, and relocations, and/or focused on the impact of wars on cities through analysing destruction or reconstruction of urban areas from economic, sociological or political perspectives (Christian Henriot, 2003; Diefendorf, 1993; Henriot, 2012, 2006, 1842; Nelson, 2012). Most of these studies examine wars as disasters to urban form and layout (Bishop and Clancey, 2004). Studies on relationship between war and city development typically focus on one particular military event or city status after a series of wars, in a relatively short time period; these studies are conducted primarily qualitatively and with little analysis of spatial change (Alexander, 2000; Brakman et al., 2004; Hardy, 1989; Henriot, 1842). Glaser and Shapiro conducted an overview of war-city relationships and concluded that wars may not significantly alter city form, and that the impact of terrorism on cities may be smaller than previously thought (Glaeser and Shapiro, 2002). Roger Lotchin conducted a comprehensive qualitative analysis on the impact of World War II on San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Diego, concluding that WWII was a Heroic Interlude in each city’s developmental history (Lotchin, 2003). Sanso-Narro etc., used demographic measures of city growth as explanatory variables to measure war-city relationships, and concluded that the impacts from war shock on city growth were transitory (Sanso-Navarro et al., 2015). However, focusing on only one war event hinders opportunities to reveal multiple wars’ spatial competition through city planning and construction. In response, this study seeks to answer, how does the resultant urban form due to war planning affect the internal and external connectivity of cities experiencing wartime? Through this, we unveil the role these war-planning activities play in city development. The city of Shenyang, China was selected as a study area for numerous salient reasons. First, Shenyang experienced five major wars and invasions from 1898-1966. Similar to colonialism, these wars arose as the result of territories being settled by foreign powers. A variety of different city planning and construction projects were implemented during the short periods of peacetime between wars, primarily because war parties sought to exert total and permanent control over territories and population and tried to ensure lasting stability (de Moor and Wesseling, 1989). Meanwhile, planning approaches had clear military goals both spatially and operationally, aiming at efficiently producing war necessities. This circumstance provides a chance to examine how military oriented planning can impact city development. Secondly, historically, Shenyang was a partial port city containing attached and small areas of land inside the city for foreigners to rent and implement construction projects (Hou and Zhang, 2001). This provides a vista into how city planning by invaders can influence domestic planning practices. The study crosses the boundaries of historicism, the cultural/political implications involved with wars, planning and their following urban form change on a longitudinal time scale to increase information about relationships of military, planning and city development. Additionally, the utilization of the space syntax method in historical research, extends the military planning focus beyond the previously cultural, economic and archaeology fields (Griffiths, 2012, 2011). To the best of our knowledge, few studies have analysed how military oriented planning and construction have altered city development between various wars longitudinally, spatially and quantitatively. 2. Space Syntax and the Indices Adopted To untangle Shenyang’s rich spatial tapestry, we adopted a quantitative space syntax axis analysis and integrated these findings into a historical interpretive analysis based on archival research. The focus of the socio-spatial dimensions of space syntax theory made it an optimum method for analyzing the relationship between planning, its resultant city form and how city operates. The logic behind space syntax is that human societies use space as a necessary resource in organizing themselves (Bafna, 2003), and spatial configuration explains a substantial proportion of the variance between human movement rates in different locations in urban space (Bafna, 2003; Hillier, 2007). At the city scale, street axis analysis of space syntax is an objective method to describing, comparing, and interpreting urban form characteristics (Ahmed et al., 2014). We adopted two indices of space syntax axis analysis in this study. These integration indices are being used and shown to be valid by a growing number of city form studies in exploring city types, city core areas, and relationship between social events and physical form of city. Omer and Zafrir-Reuven found that cities belonging to the same region tended to exhibit similar local levels of spatial integration and significant syntactic differences appeared at a global level (Omer and Zafrir-Reuven, 2010). Giannopoulou et al. successfully confirmed the location and extent of the commercial and administrative center of Xanthi city, also finding differences in local and global levels (Giannopoulou et al., 2012). Froy found that commercial activities typically took advantage of distributed spatial configurations of the some cities and spread out across the street network, by analysing spatial organization of economic activities in early 19th century (Froy, 2016). Nattasit and Nobuo used integration analysis and found urban axes highly coexisted with city historical contents by examining how historical geo-political issues influenced urban axes and street networks in ‘Lan Na’ historic city in northern Thailand (Srinurak and Mishima, 2017).

Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs
Girne American University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Urban Planning as an Extension of War Planning The Case of Shenyang, China, 1898-1966, Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, June 2018, Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs (JCUA), DOI: 10.25034/ijcua.2018.4677.
You can read the full text:

Read

Contributors

The following have contributed to this page