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한국과학사학회지, 제43권 제2호 (2021), 405-431

[Special Issue] Moving Mountains: Industrial and Environmental Transformations in the Rise and Recession of “China’s Detroit”

by Victor SEOW, Hongyun LYU
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초록 In this article, we examine the history of Shiyan, a city located in the midst of mountains that had once been a major center of China’s automobile industry and, in that capacity, a contender for the title of “China’s Detroit.” In particular, we focus on the interplay of environmental conditions and industrial aspirations that undergirded Shiyan’s rise and recession. We begin with the question of how a city built primarily for the manufacturing of automobiles, which of all the technologies of the twentieth century best represented mobility and access, came to be situated in such an inaccessible place. The short answer to that question is that this was a confluence of Cold War concerns and strategic considerations. But we show how the emergence of this city involved the mobilization of considerable labor and materials under conditions of resource scarcity, which then had bearing on the shape that this urban space would take. But while the building of the city, like the building of cities in general, reshaped the surrounding environment, it would be less in its rise than in its recession that we witness the greatest environmental devastation, as mountains began to be leveled in hopes to creating industrial opportunities amid ongoing economic decline.
주요어 China, Cold War, Third Front, city building, mountaintop removal, automobile industry

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