Entrepreneurial city and the restructuring of urban space in Shanghai Expo

Roger C.K. Chan, Lingyue Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the restructuring of urban space brought about by Shanghai Expo. The focus is on how the municipal government strategically makes use of this mega-event program to proactively implement two entrepreneurial spatial policies, namely economic restructuring and population decentralization. Specifically, it critically investigates the omnipotent government’s policies in terms of industrial relocation and residential resettlement leading up to the Shanghai Expo. Shanghai’s entrepreneurial city building, at the metropolitan level, has long been associated with the optimization of spatial structure. The empirical findings reveal that the negotiations involved in relocating enterprises were tougher when they took place within the state system, as compared to those between the government and foreign or private sectors. At the same time, social groups remained excluded from decision-making processes for resettlement, and there was a downscaling of governance, which contributed to improved efficiency of the resettlement work. The Shanghai municipal government was key to the restructuring and entrepreneurial city building, engaging, on the one hand, in negotiations on spatial relocation with central state-owned enterprises (SOEs) at the level of the central government and mobilizing, on the other hand, lower-tier government authorities to deliver the resettlement plan. This paper argues that the development of the entrepreneurial city in Shanghai depends essentially on the way local government implemented the policy and that an integrated approach is significant to attaining the goals and objectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666-686
Number of pages21
JournalUrban Geography
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2017


  • Entrepreneurial city
  • Expo
  • Shanghai
  • urban space restructuring


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