Florence Graezer Bideau, Thierry Marcel Theurillat
Beijing Winter Olympic Games 2022: a new step for urbanization and consumption Florence Graezer Bideau, Thierry Theurillat The 2022 Beijing Winter Games is a multiscale state project involving Central, Provincial, Municipal and Districts Governments. It aims at accelerating urbanization in the whole metropolitan area (Beijing-Tianjin-Baoding) also by incorporating remote mountainous and rural areas into the urban consumption spaces. Urban consumption spaces are viewed as economic development and extension of the urban built environment as part of a new step for land-driven accumulation, which goes along with state policies to promote cultural heritage and new leisure and sports activities to legitimate the massive economic and societal transformation induced by the Games. This paper emphasizes three distinct areas that are iconic of these urbanization and civilization processes. In the city historical core, Imperial heritage is preserved for city branding and global and national tourism. The built environment of many central districts have been kept on being renovated since the early 2000s which at the same time is also an operation of removal of existing popular inhabitants. The steel plant of Shougang and industrial heritage is being turned into a new urban pole in Eastern Beijing that aims to attract new generations of creative urbanites and consumers of fashionable urban sports. The main location for the Games, the mountains districts, implies a radical transformation of the landscape and traditional built environment, the pastoral economy and social behaviors and practices. Simultaneously, the Games legacy means to turn the whole area into a new urban consumption, leisure activity and residential spaces for middle and upper-middle urban citizens of the whole metropolitan area.