'Dispersing, Regulating and Upgrading’: urban villages in suburban Beijing

  • Authors: Cecilia Wong, Miao Qiao, Helen Wei Zheng
  • Abstract
  • Urban villages in China are very much a phenomenon of socio-spatial segregation rooted in deeply institutionalised urban-rural administrative dualism. This paper makes an original contribution to the debate by examining the role played by planning policies and measures in the redevelopment of urban villages in suburban Beijing under the state’s ‘National New Urbanisation Plan’. By taking a spatial perspective, the analysis unpacks the dynamics between the top-down planning approach and three case study urban villages, especially how the villages have responded differently to the implementation of the new urbanisation strategies. Our findings shed light on the Chinese state’s ambitious strategy of restructuring informal urban spaces and activities under the rhetoric of ‘ecological civilisation’ and reconfiguring both people and activities into hierarchical city clusters.

  • Citation
  • Wong, C., Qiao, M. & Zheng, W. (2018) Dispersing, regulating and upgrading’ urban villages in suburban Beijing, Town Planning Review, 89(6), 597-621.


Sustainable urbanisation and community well-being in suburban neighbourhoods in Beijing, China

  • Authors: Miao Qiao, Cecilia Wong, Wei Zheng
  • Abstract
  • Rapid outward expansion of urban land in many of China’s cities has resulted in the production of spatially diverse suburban areas, including newly developed residential complexes and the incorporation of existing neighbourhoods into the urban fabric. The concept of ‘community well-being’ provides a useful framework to examine the relationship between the well-being of individuals and the physical environment and spatial conditions in which they live. While the study of subjective well-being and its determinants has been rapidly established in China, most research tends to be at the city and provincial level. By adopting a spatial planning perspective, this paper aims to make an original contribution by examining community well-being in Beijing’s suburban neighbourhoods, which formed via the rapid suburbanisation process underway since the 1990s. The underlying dynamics and spatial variations of community well-being are assessed by subjective and objective measures and taking both personal attributes and neighbourhood environmental factors into account to draw out policy implications for sustainable urban development.