Urban Socio-Spatial Restructuring in Contemporary China

Principal Investigator: Shenjing HE
Funding body: NSFC

Abstract

After more than three decades’ rapid expansion, Chinese cities are entering a new epoch of urbanisaion. It is a high time to rethink the urban development mode and to cope with the wide spread uneven development and socio-spatial inequality.
The production and consumption of new urban spaces in China are the research foci of this project. Here, China’s new urban spaces refer to the emerging physical/virtual, social, and cultural spaces that are situated at the confluence of China’s recent economic and political liberalisation, globalisation and market transition. Based on in-depth fieldworks in major Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, this research closely examines how various new urban spaces are shaped by the forces from state, market and society. This project aims to delve into the underlying reasons behind the prevalent and intensified problems of social polarisation and residential differentiation threatening social equity and stability.

Objectives

This research applies the socio-spatial dialectics to interrogate the coupling spatial transformation and social processes. Specifically, this project will analyse the power structure and operation mechanism of the pro-growth coalition pushing for the production and consumption of new urban spaces and its socio-spatial consequences.

 

A Political Economy Analysis of Urban Redevelopment and its Socio-spatial Consequences in China

Principal Investigator: Shenjing HE
Funding body: NSFC

Abstract

Against the backdrop of globalization and market transtion, urban redevelopment in China possesses a number of new features, and imposes profound influence upon urban social spaces. This project is based on the research framework of political economy analysis, which mainly applies the urban regime theory to examine urban redevelopment in Chinese cities. This research looks at multiple forms of urban redevelopment emerging in the Pearl River Delta and the Yangtze River Delta regions, aiming to carry out a multi-level (at the levels of metropolitan area, urban district,and urban community) and systematic analysis on the decision-making processes, different roles of the interest groups and their power structure, the operationalization of redevelopment projects, and its socio-spatial consequences.

Objectives

This research is to investigate the role of various interest groups in the decision-making process of urban redevelopment, how they form different development “regime” , and how the regime shapes the redevelopment mode and what are the socio-sptial consequences.