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Recent gentrification tendencies in China: A case study of potentials and threats in Changzhou
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Spatial Planning.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years))Student thesisAlternative title
Recent gentrification tendencies in China : A case study of potentials and threats in Changzhou (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

In nearly 30 years of urban development in the emerging economies, as China, gentrification has evidently been the dynamic urbanization changes of urban social space which is driven by government and marketing. With the impacts of current neo-liberalization, the case study of Changzhou indicates how the government and marketization functions in planning. Simultaneously, the process of urban renewal in historical blocks is redistributed by a kind of residential differentiation and gentrification. As a reference case, the neo-liberalization of planning in Hyllie, Sweden, presents a fix planning of path-dependencies to highlight the ambivalent situation. This process elaborates the indifference towards social segregation, polarization and deprivation of social considerations. This research aims to trace and discuss the current tendencies and challenges of gentrification in China, considering their approach to the socio-spatial dimension. To guide this search, several major questions are addressed: 1) What are the negative processes and effects of gentrification in Changzhou? 2) Considering the this case study, what are the opportunities and tendencies of gentrification, and the differences of this between China and Western countries? 3) How and why has neo-liberalism diffused across the gentrified areas, as if there were no alternatives? 4) In order to maintain the culture, in what way can conservation plans preserve historical blocks, instead of leading to an indifference of real social-economic problems? 5) How can the balance between growing social uncertainty, in the process of gentrification and the risks of being possessed by financial resources, be sustained? This thesis firstly introduces the background, differences and similarities of the institutional environment of gentrification in western countries. Secondly, it discusses the formulation, characteristics and mechanisms of urban space difference phenomenon in Changzhou. This is achieved by means of stakeholder interviews, different material spaces of the community, public service facilities and other social attributes. Furthermore, the thesis searches for the reason of the decline of the communities in core areas. Seeing that gentrification is a socio-spatial interaction, and it is done by the analysis of the attributes of historical residential communities. Thirdly, the different stakeholder interviews shows that the process of gentrification is divided into several stages for the landmark events, the characteristics lead to spatial fragmentation and privatization, accelerating the social indifference of communities. To conclude, this dissertation emphasizes on the demands from social dimension and the participation of inhabitants. Lastly, the conceptual design proposal indicates that a harmonious design on the edges of urban renewal areas, have the potentials and possibilities to develop an attractive and livable combination of planning between history and the modernization of the future.

Abstract [sv]

In nearly 30 years of urban development in the emerging economies, as China, gentrification has evidently been the dynamic urbanization changes of urban social space which is driven by government and marketing. With the impacts of current neo-liberalization, the case study of Changzhou indicates how the government and marketization functions in planning. Simultaneously, the process of urban renewal in historical blocks is redistributed by a kind of residential differentiation and gentrification. As a reference case, the neo-liberalization of planning in Hyllie, Sweden, presents a fix planning of path-dependencies to highlight the ambivalent situation. This process elaborates the indifference towards social segregation, polarization and deprivation of social considerations. This research aims to trace and discuss the current tendencies and challenges of gentrification in China, considering their approach to the socio-spatial dimension. To guide this search, several major questions are addressed: 1) What are the negative processes and effects of gentrification in Changzhou? 2) Considering the this case study, what are the opportunities and tendencies of gentrification, and the differences of this between China and Western countries? 3) How and why has neo-liberalism diffused across the gentrified areas, as if there were no alternatives? 4) In order to maintain the culture, in what way can conservation plans preserve historical blocks, instead of leading to an indifference of real social-economic problems? 5) How can the balance between growing social uncertainty, in the process of gentrification and the risks of being possessed by financial resources, be sustained? This thesis firstly introduces the background, differences and similarities of the institutional environment of gentrification in western countries. Secondly, it discusses the formulation, characteristics and mechanisms of urban space difference phenomenon in Changzhou. This is achieved by means of stakeholder interviews, different material spaces of the community, public service facilities and other social attributes. Furthermore, the thesis searches for the reason of the decline of the communities in core areas. Seeing that gentrification is a socio-spatial interaction, and it is done by the analysis of the attributes of historical residential communities. Thirdly, the different stakeholder interviews shows that the process of gentrification is divided into several stages for the landmark events, the characteristics lead to spatial fragmentation and privatization, accelerating the social indifference of communities. To conclude, this dissertation emphasizes on the demands from social dimension and the participation of inhabitants. Lastly, the conceptual design proposal indicates that a harmonious design on the edges of urban renewal areas, have the potentials and possibilities to develop an attractive and livable combination of planning between history and the modernization of the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 68 p.
Keyword [en]
Gentrification, urban renewal, neo-liberalization, residential differentiation, historical blocks, Changzhou
National Category
Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-3923Local ID: oai:bth.se:arkivexC2D4582B4FE48C52C1257D0700439E16OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-3923DiVA: diva2:831238
Uppsok
Technology
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-04-22 Created: 2014-06-30 Last updated: 2015-06-30Bibliographically approved

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