The Fragmented Politics of Urban Preservation: Beijing, Chicago, and Paris
Urban preservation is a process of many contradictions. Although this issue has drawn increasing attention, different cities have different answers to what should be protected and how to protect them, and have produced very different results. This book reveals the politics of urban preservation through a comparative study on urban preservation practices in Beijing, Chicago, and Paris from the 1980s up to now. After eight years of participant observations, more than 200 in-depth interviews, and the collection of a large number of historical materials, the author finds that urban preservation has gradually become a strategic tool used by different political and social agents to realize their goals. Although the content of the preservation motion is determined by various agents according to their interests and preferences, the implementation of urban preservation is constrained by the fragmented power structure in a city. In these three cities, different types of political fragmentation correspond to different policy processes, which leads to the different modes of urban preservation.