Wuhan’s Red Steel Town: The waning centrality of an industrial satellite town?

Julie Miao, A/Prof. Sainan Lin and Prof. Zhigang Li

ABSTRACT: In this paper we explore the distinctiveness of community surrounding Wuhan Iron and Steel Company (WISCO) that from the 1950s formed the Qinshan district of Wuhan. As one of Mao’s original projects, the new industrial town formed around WISCO became so distinctive to be known as the Red Steel City. After several rounds of company restructuring and urban extension of Wuhan after the opening reforms it might be tempting to assume that this distinctiveness has waned decisively. However, as we show with reference to historical archive, secondary and original interview data, the legacy of the Red Steel City lives on in the physical reach of WISCO associated housing sense development, in the enduring sense of place memory and community and how this plays into regeneration of the existing fabric of this industrial town itself but also strategic and neighbourhood planning in Qinshan and Wuhan.

Speaker Biographies:

Julie T. Miao

Julie T. Miao is a Senior Lecturer in Property and Economic Development at the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning, University of Melbourne

A/Prof. Sainan Lin

Sainan Lin is an Associate Professor at the School of Urban Design, Wuhan University

Prof. Zhigang Li

Zhigang Li is a dean and professor of urban studies and planning at the School of Urban Design, Wuhan University, China. As an urban scholar, geographer and planner, Professor Li works on the urban transformation of China, with a focus on such topics as neighbourhoods, migration, health and related planning issues. Li is serving as the editor of some journals such as International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Urban Studies, etc.. Prof Li has been awarded China’s ‘National Award for Young Geographers’ and ‘National Award for Young Planners’.


Date: Thursday, 23 September
Seminar time: 10:15 - 11:00 AEST