Spatial evolution of urban villages in Shenzhen

Pu Hao*, Stan Geertman, Pieter Hooimeijer, Richard Sliuzas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In the past three decades, urbanization has changed China’s spatial and social landscape dramatically. Led by a large urban-rural income gap, the rural population have been flooding into cities for jobs and better lives. However, urban policies discriminate against rural migrants and exclude them from various amenities including subsidized housing. Outside the welfare scheme, the booming commodity housing market is largely beyond the reach of rural migrants due to their low purchasing power. In many cities, however, the great majority of migrants are accommodated by so-called ‘urban villages’ – villages that are encircled by urban expansion, forming enclaves within an area of formal urban development. The lucrative room renting business in urban villages motivates the indigenous villagers to build as many housing units as they can on their land. Consequently, these villages grow physically and vary functionally, enabling an increasing housing stock and a variety of social and economic activities. The spatial evolution of these urban villages, although having mostly occurred in the last decade, represents a very large share of urban growth and significantly shapes the cities’ residential profiles. Urban planning and management should therefore recognize the important roles that urban villages play within contemporary Chinese urban development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRural Migrants in Urban China
Subtitle of host publicationEnclaves and Transient Urbanism
EditorsFulong Wu, Fangzhu Zhang, Chris Webster
Place of PublicationOxon; New York
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780203796597
ISBN (Print)9780415534550, 9781138643543
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatial evolution of urban villages in Shenzhen'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this