China's dynamic urbanisation since 1978 has led to the proliferation of so-called ‘urban villages’ in many cities. Their development, via a self-help approach by indigenous villagers, delivers low-cost housing and various other social and economic activities. Consequently, urban villages are characterised by growing numbers of buildings and a mix of functions, including residential, industrial, commercial, and public services. These uses enable different activities in urban villages, assimilating migrants into the city by providing an alternative niche for working and living. Variations in land-use diversity in Shenzhen's 318 urban villages were analysed using 2009 data, for more than 333 000 buildings. Four statistical models, including three based on a spatial regimes analysis, are used to explain their land-use diversity. The results reveal that an urban village's land-use pattern is linked to its location in the urban fabric, its phase of development, and the development level of its environs. Different patterns are apparent inside and outside the Special Economic Zone of Shenzhen, suggesting that the current uniform redevelopment policy for urban villages may not be appropriate.
- urban village
- land-use diversity