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Cities all over the world turn into local laboratories in which the ways of resolving problems are improvised or purposefully designed and then put to test and either rejected or incorporated in daily practice.
– Zygmunt BAUMAN, Globalization & Hybridity
Understanding Chinese cities through the lens of hybridity offers a different perspective from that of the surface ‘radical juxtaposition’—poverty and wealth, ancient and modern, urban, rural, young, old, and so on. It shows us the city as a location in which a dynamic and ceaseless process of meeting, compromise, change and the birth of the new is taking place. As a number of pieces in this issue of Concrete Flux demonstrate, this can prove disconcerting, disorientating and throw up what we may see as paradoxes (but which later generations may take as common place and common sense).
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Concrete Flux is a multi-disciplinary journal which takes as its subject matter China’s hyper-fast emerging urban spaces, their meaning and one’s everyday experiences of them. We believe that a new configuration of space through urbanisation will lead to a new configuration of society. Our aim, then, is to contribute to some understanding of or gain insight into what these spaces, which seem to emerge faster than our minds can log and assess, may mean.