ISSUES2010 No.3
Editor’s Note: In the history of city development, traditional Chinese cities as a whole had been for a long time a unique school in the world, because of their distinctive features in city form, cityscape, architecture, as well as urban culture and urban life. Individually, they were also quite distinctive from each other, because all the factors mentioned above were deeply rooted in the specific conditions of the locality, endowing each of them with a unique urban identity of its own. This phenomenon can still be observed today in some of traditional Chinese cities that are preserved, like the old cities of Beijing, Xi’an, Suzhou, Fuzhou, etc. However, in the modern time, contemporary Chinese cities are seriously challenged by the issue of identity fading during the process of urbanization and globalization. Under the pressure of worldwide cultural assimilation, they become more and more identical with each other, as well as with cities in other parts of the world, both physically in terms of city form, cityscape and architecture and morally in terms of urban culture and urban life. In order to reshape the urban identity of Chinese cities both individually and as a whole in the process of rapid urbanization, due attention has been paid recently to the organic combination of international modernity and local conditions in urban studies, planning and development. This combination might also be a part of the Third System which is proposed by WU Liangyong in his paper entitled Development Trends of Sciences of Human Settlements.

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