The Changing Meaning of Neighbourhood Attachment in Chinese Commodity Housing Estates: Evidence from Guangzhou

Yushu Zhu*, Werner Breitung, Si Ming LI

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2439-2457
Number of pages19
JournalUrban Studies
Volume49
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies

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