23.06.2015 - 00:00:00
Analyzing Urban Transformation in the Megacities of China – Field Research Katharina Borgmann
Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Wuhan, Shanghai, Tianjin, Beijing, and Qingdao – for her case study-based doctoral thesis, Katharina Borgmann visited eight Chinese cities in eight weeks from March 18 to May 15, 2015. | Overall, Katharina travelled 5,900 kilometers within China, mostly using high-speed trains.
In her research, Katharina focuses on the seven largest Chinese cities (above eight million inhabitants), which build the fundament of her research of today’s Chinese urban transformation. The main goal of the field trip was to document the status quo of specific pre-selected city components, like city halls, CBDs and railway stations, in order to capture the transformation of the Chinese urban physical environment.
When she left, Katharina was hoping for ideal weather conditions to be able to get a good shot of the buildings. The challenging level of air quality turned out to be a bigger problem since a screen of smog compromised some of the image quality. However, she was able to collect an impressive database of 473 GB image material that enables her to analyze urban transformation of the megacities in China in a much more detailed way. Furthermore, Katharina had set up interviews with experts and researchers to collect information.
Katharina Borgmann is a doctoral student in the Urban Systems research group at the interdisciplinary IN-EAST School of Advanced Studies. The working title of her PhD thesis is "Cities of China – Analyzing and Understanding the Transformation of Urban Structures with the Tools of Architectural and Urban Semiotics". Supervisor: Prof. Dr. J. Alexander Schmidt, City Planning and Urban Design.