Approaching Neighborhood Democracy from a Longitudinal Perspective: An Eighteen-Year Case Study of a Homeowner Association in Beijing

Kevin Lo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Neighborhood democracy was introduced into urban China in the early 1990s as a way to manage the social conflicts associated with the housing reform. Based on a case study of Dragon Villas, Beijing, this paper explores the causes, processes, and consequences of neighborhood democracy at the microlevel from a longitudinal perspective. Three insights are particularly noteworthy. First, the decrease in rental revenue and occupancy rate and the arrival of Chinese owner-occupiers contributed to the emergence of neighborhood democracy in Dragon Villas. Second, the establishment of a homeowner association, far from ending in the conclusion of neighborhood democratization, was only a first step. Furthermore, conflicts between the developer and the homeowners, and among homeowners, played a crucial role in lengthening the process of neighborhood democratization. Third, democratic self-governance resulted in improved governance, a more diverse built form that articulates individuation through consumption, and changes that reflect the importance of privacy and exclusivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number639312
JournalUrban Studies Research
Volume2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

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