May 26 , 2021

Investigating the Core Cultural Values and the Future of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao (GBA) in GYLD Guangdong Tour


The GYLD Guangdong tour was held May 21-25, 2021. It featured an exciting event for 23 young professionals and achievers from 17 countries, representing various branches of the technology business, mass media, and science. The GYLD was initiated by the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and the Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies (ACCWS). It is a modern expert platform for enhanced dialogue, exchange of experience, and education.

A journey through the three cities of the Great Bay Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) included Guangzhou-Dongguan-Shenzhen. The GBA is one of the most open and economically vibrant regions of China, built on the “One Country, Two Systems” principle. It occupies an important strategic role in the development of the country.

Guangzhou is the administrative, historical and cultural center of the GBA and Lingnan culture. One of its districts – Nansha, is the geographic center of the GBA with a focus on strengthening international and local innovation and technology cooperation as well as integration of Hong Kong and Macau youth into China Mainland development.

Dongguan is a large industrial center, which has undergone a process of transforming and upgrading traditional industries into advanced manufacturing clusters.

Shenzhen is an ultra-modern dynamic city, born on the wave of the policy of “Reform and Opening-up”. It is a center for attracting young talent, R&D development, high-tech production, developing a system of modern service industries.

All three cities are a part of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Macao innovation and technology corridor. This corridor facilitates the cross-border and regional flow of innovative elements such as talent, capital, information and technology, and jointly develops a platform to stimulate international innovation.

During the tour, we learned about the features of the local Lingnan culture. In Guangzhou, we visited the Canton Opera, the Canton Tower and cruised along the Pearl River. In Dongguan, we visited the 800-year-old Lingnan Village – Shipai Tangwei Village. In every city, we enjoyed world-famous local Cantonese cuisine. The lunch at Guangzhou Shangri-la Hotel in RIBS Restaurant – Michelin Plate award-winning specialty restaurant was especially lovely.

At the same time, we became more closely acquainted with the development of the region by visiting the Wechat Headquarter in TIT Park, Pearl Bay Development Exhibition Center, GD, HK & Macao Youth Entrepreneur Hub, Huawei’s OX HORN Campus, Guangdong Topstar Technology Company, Nanshan District Government Service Center, Shenzhen Talent Park, and Guangdong Reform and Opening-up Exhibition.



My research in helping create people-friendly cities involves urban planning and urban design. This trip showed me how the complex and multi-tiered GBA system functions: each city individually and as part of one whole mechanism. Over the past 42 years, large spaces have been built up with new public and residential buildings, beautiful green parks, R&D, S&T, and industrial infrastructure facilities, including a world-class transport hub with high-speed rail, freight and air transportation systems. They are connected by an advanced transport infrastructure of highways, bridges, and tunnels. The comprehensive multi-tiered Great Bay system is based on a program that is a circulation of economic, innovation, technological, industrial, and business activity. I am happy to see the steadily growing and developing activities in the field of research and development, high-tech production, and the qualitative transition to the sustainable development of the region. From my point of view, this is a new rise in the flourishing of the Lingnan culture and the continuation of its centuries-old traditions.


About the Author:

Daria Lisaia

Postdoctoral Researcher, School of Architecture, South China University of Technology (SCUT)

GYLD China Tour Second Stop – Guangdong Member

Daria Lisaia is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Urban Planning and Design, School of Architecture, South China University of Technology (SCUT). Since 2010, she has lived and studied in China. In 2019, she received a Doctor degree in Engineering Architecture from the School of Architecture, SCUT. Her current research covers these themes: historic city preservation and conservation; urban renovation/regeneration; socio-economic aspects of sustainable urban development in China and Russia. Daria’s research is dedicated to the advancement of people-centered urban planning and design of public spaces in historic areas of Guangzhou. The priorities are the application of historic urban conservation and enhancement, adaptation of physical structures and urban fabric to new socio-economic transformations while respecting inherited historic landscape, authenticity and integrity.

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