The effects of residential patterns and Chengzhongcun housing on segregation in Shenzhen


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24 Citations (Scopus)


As cities in China undergo growth and transformation, they continue to absorb migrants from both ends of the economic spectrum, giving rise to socially mixed cities. As this occurs, the cities experience an elevated level of residential segregation due to the emergence of new forms of enclave urbanism, such as gated communities and chengzhongcun (villages-in-the-city). Factors including historical legacy, land institutions, and property-led development have contributed to this divided residential pattern at the neighborhood level. However, at larger geographical scales, the degree of segregation depends on whether the provision of different housing types is systematically segregated among urban districts. This paper, using Shenzhen as a case study, examines the spatial logic of the divided pattern of the population by analyzing the distribution of both urban residents and housing provisions. The analysis explores segregation between the privileged hukou holders and underprivileged non-hukou migrants as well as the spatial separation of formal urban housing and chengzhongcun. As expected, non-hukou migrants are largely segregated from hukou holders due to their much-constrained choice of housing and the widespread availability of chengzhongcun. A rather low degree of segregation is manifest at the sub-district level. The pattern is somewhat more desirable, as it maintains a more spatially equitable setting that enables disadvantaged groups to reside within short distances of jobs and amenities. Nevertheless, urban renewal programs targeted at chengzhongcun are most likely to jeopardize such a pattern of housing, which may aggravate segregation at the larger geographical levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-330
Number of pages23
JournalEurasian Geography and Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics and Econometrics

User-Defined Keywords

  • chengzhongcun
  • housing provision
  • hukou
  • migrants
  • segregation


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