Taking cases from the until-now little-analyzed un-demolished remains of city center neighborhoods in Shanghai, the book _Urban Loopholes: Creative Alliances of Spatial Production in Shanghai's City Center_ by Dr. Ying Zhou unpacks the seemingly anarchic and opportunistic urban spatial production system of the contemporary Chinese city to address what has perplexed Western public as well as scholars alike. Going behind the scenes in neighborhoods that increasingly appear like trend quarters in the West, the book divulges how the effortless vibe that is experienced today were imagined, constructed, and then scripted. The constellation of actors, from the expanding global network of multilingual cosmopolites to the dialect-speaking local party officials, form the malleable public-private alliances that are producing the newest forms for urban reuse, creative production, consumption, and heritage protection. Under an institutional framework that remains uniquely Chinese, how the ambiguous property rights and the institutional vestiges from planned economy could harbor an entrepreneurial prowess and creative potential that is a remarkable manifestation of globalization in the context of its changing local institutions reveals the logic behind a ‘China Dream.’
The 'urban loophole; is a concept that the author has developed for the mechanism that has mediated the evolving institutions of the transitional economy through spatial production, and serves as a red thread through the cases to corroborate the adaptive governance that expedited the appropriation of global knowhow. Pliable and redundant, the urban loophole offers a means of rethinking the presumed stasis and the necessity of urban resilience in face of globalization’s impact for change. They not only mediate between the persistent coexistence of planned and market economies, but also balance economic efficiency for political stability, sustaining the success of what David Harvey called neoliberalism with Chinese characteristics.