After millions of migrants moved from China’s countryside into its sprawling cities a unique kind of ‘informal’ urban enclave was born – ‘villages in the city’. Like the shanties and favelas before them elsewhere, there has been huge pressure to redevelop these blemishes to the urban face of China’s economic vision. Unlike most developing countries, however, these are not squatter settlements but owner-occupied settlements developed semi-formally by ex-farmers turned small-developers and landlords who rent shockingly high-density rooms to rural migrants, who can outnumber their landlord villagers. A strong state, matched with well-organised landlords collectively represented through joint-stock companies, has meant that it has been relatively easy to grow the city through demolition of these soft migrant enclaves. The lives of the displaced migrants then enter a transient phase from an informal to a formal urbanity. This book looks at migrants and their enclave ‘villages in the city’ and reveals the characteristics and changes in migrants’ livelihoods and living places.
Using an interdisciplinary approach, the book analyses how living in the city transforms and changes rural migrant households, and explores the social lives and micro economies of migrant neighbourhoods. It goes on to discuss changing housing and social conditions and spatial changes in the urban villages of major Chinese cities, as well as looking into transient urbanism and examining the consequences of redevelopment and upgrading of the ‘villages in the city’; in particular, the planning, regeneration, politics of development, and socio-economic implications of these immense social, economic and physical upheavals.
Table of Contents
1. Migrants' Transient Urbanism in Urban China: An introduction Part 1: Migrants' Livelihoods in the City 2. The New Generation Migrant Workers in China 3. Chinese Cities and Mobile Livelihoods: Migration, risk and social networks 4. Outsiders in the City: Migrant housing and settlement patterns Part 2: Migrants’ Social Lives in the City 5. Migrants' Job-search in Urban China: Social networks and the laour market 6. Situated Translocality in Flux Landscapes: Migrants and urban villages in the city of Guangzhou 7. Migrant Integration in China: Evidence from Guangzhou 8. Migrants' Integration in Urban Villages: A case study of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzou Part 3: Migrants' Habitat – Urbanized Villages 9. A tale of Foxconn City: Urban villages, migrant workers and alienated urbanism 10. Shanghai’s Urban Villages: Migrants, temporary residence and urban redevelopment 11. Urban Villages as Local Economic Clusters: The case of Zhongda cloth market in Guangzhou 12. Spatial Evolution of Urban Villages in Shenzhen Part 4: Migrants' Transient Urbanism – Village Redevelopment 13. 'Three Olds Redevelopment' in Guangzhou 14. Symbolic Relations Between Urban Villages and the City: Implication for redevelopment strategies 15. Planning for chengzhongcun in Guangzhou and Shenzhen: Redevelopment in the Chinese context 16. Conclusion
Fulong Wu is Bartlett Professor of Planning at University College London, UK.
Fangzhu Zhang is Lecturer in China Planning at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, UK.
Chris Webster is Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, University of Hong Kong and Senior Departmental Fellow, Cambridge University Department of Land Economy, UK.