The Shenzhen Experiment: A Thousand Years of China's "Instant City"

When and Where

Thursday, March 31, 2022 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm


Joseph Wong (Commentator)
Karen Chapple (Commentator)
Bharat Punjabi (Commentator & Moderator)
Rachel Silvey (Opening Remarks)
Juan Du (Author)


The Shenzhen Experiment: A Thousand Years of China’s “Instant City” (Harvard University Press), unravels the myth of Shenzhen, showing how the success of this modern “miracle” depended asThe cover of The Shenzhen Experiment: the Story of China's Instant City by Juan Du much on its indigenous villagers and migrant workers as on central planning and policymakers.

Drawing on a range of cultural, social, architectural, geographical, political, and economic perspectives, the book uncovers a surprising history—filled with ancient forts, oyster fields, urban villages—and personal narratives of individual contributors to the city.

The Shenzhen Experiment is an important story for all rapidly urbanizing and industrializing nations around the world seeking to replicate China’s economic success in the twenty-first century.

Register to attend virtually

Register to attend in-person

(Limited to members of the U of T community)



Rachel Silvey, Professor in the Department of Geography & Planning and Richard Charles Lee Director of the Asian Institute, Munk School, University of Toronto

Juan Du (author), Dean and Professor at the University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design

Joseph Wong, Vice-President, International and Professor of Political Science and the Roz and Ralph Halbert Professor of Innovation at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto

Karen Chapple, Professor in the Department of Geography & Planning and Director of the School of Cities, University of Toronto

Bharat Punjabi, Lecturer at the Asian Institute and Research Fellow at the Global Cities Institute, University of Toronto