Urban villages, their redevelopment and implications for inequality and integration

Wang, Y. P. (2021) Urban villages, their redevelopment and implications for inequality and integration. In: Pryce, G., Wang, Y. P., Chen, Y., Shan, J. and Wei, H. (eds.) Urban Inequality and Segregation in Europe and China: Towards a New Dialogue. Series: The Urban Book Series. Springer: Cham, pp. 99-120. ISBN 9783030745448 (doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-74544-8_7)

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Urban villages are a unique product of China’s rapid urban expansion. They provide a new way of life sustained by property rental income for local villagers. More importantly, urban villages provide cheap accommodation for millions of rural migrant workers in most large cities. Recently, with the increasing demand for land by commercial developers and public projects, urban villages have become the targets for redevelopment. This chapter uses a case study village in Beijing as an example to assess the social and economic impacts of urban village redevelopment on both the original local inhabitants and migrants in rented accommodation. The case study village went through a very long and complicated redevelopment process from 2004 to 2017 involving different stages of demolition and relocation. It provided a rare opportunity to evaluate the effects on the local population, both pre- and post-redevelopment. The study involved several field visits, observation and interviews with village residents. It shows that urban village redevelopment offered no positive benefits for migrant workers who often lost their homes to demolition. For local villagers, redevelopment and relocation into new flats may improve their living conditions. However, most suffer from the loss of long-term economic and income generation opportunities. Moreover, the new property rights for the replacement flats confer no additional rights of citizenship for the relocated villagers who remain ‘second-class citizens’ within Chinese cities.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wang, Professor Ya Ping
Authors: Wang, Y. P.
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Research Group:China/SHLC
Published Online:17 November 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2021
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
171992Urban Development, Migration, Segregation and InequalityYa Ping WangEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/N007603/1S&PS - Urban Studies
302259Analysing Multi-Dimensional and Multi-Scale Inequalities in Scottish SocietyNema DeanEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/P009301/1M&S - Statistics