The housing reform in urban China since the 1990s and the ensuing spatial and social dynamics gave rise to new kinds of neighbourhoods with new logics of neighbouring and neighbourhood attachment. Meanwhile, neighbourhoods are actively promoted as platforms for policy implementation. Both are reasons to revisit the meaning of neighbourhood attachment in the Chinese context. This article focuses on the roles of neighbourly interaction and physical environment, juxtaposing post-reform commodity housing estates against traditional neighbourhoods. The analysis draws on both qualitative and quantitative datasets from three case studies in Guangzhou and a city-wide survey. Results indicate that, compared with traditional neighbourhoods, residents of commodity housing estates have weak neighbourly interactions but strong neighbourhood attachment, which is based mainly on their satisfaction with the physical environment and less on their neighbourly contacts. Neighbourhoods in China have apparently shifted their function from social arenas to privatised living environments.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Urban Studies