‘Dispersing, Regulating and Upgrading’: urban villages in suburban Beijing

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Urban villages in China are very much a phenomenon of socio-spatial segregation rooted in deeply institutionalised urban-rural administrative dualism. This paper makes an original contribution to the debate by examining the role played by planning policies and measures in the redevelopment of urban villages in suburban Beijing under the state’s ‘National New Urbanisation Plan’. By taking a spatial perspective, the analysis unpacks the dynamics between the top-down planning approach and three case study urban villages, especially how the villages have responded differently to the implementation of the new urbanisation strategies. Our findings shed light on the Chinese state’s ambitious strategy of restructuring informal urban spaces and activities under the rhetoric of ‘ecological civilisation’ and reconfiguring both people and activities into hierarchical city clusters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-621
Number of pages25
JournalTown Planning Review
Issue number6
Early online date1 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • China
  • Spatial restructuring
  • Suburban Beijing
  • Urban village
  • Urbanisation

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester China Institute
  • Manchester Urban Institute


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