Category Archives: Thesis

Peri-urban development and the Shanghai master plan 1999-2020

He, Jinghuan. (2015) Evaluation of plan implementation: Peri-urban development and the Shanghai master plan 1999-2020. Architecture and the Built Environment, 2. 262 p.

cover_article_851_en_USSince the 1980s China has experienced unprecedented urbanisation as a result of a series of reforms promoting rapid economic development. Shanghai, like the other big cities along China’s coastline, has witnessed extraordinary growth in its economy and population with industrial development and rural-to-urban migration generating extensive urban expansion. Shanghai’s GDP growth rate has been over 10 per cent for more than 15 years. Its population in 2013 was estimated at 23.47 million, which is double its size in 1979. The urban area enlarged by four times from 644 to 2,860 km2 between 1977 and 2010.

Such demanding growth and dramatic changes present big challenges for urban planning practice in Shanghai. Plans have not kept up with development and the mismatch between the proposals in plans and the actual spatial development has gradually increased, reaching a critical level since 2000. The mismatch in the periurban areas is more notable than that in the existing urban area, but there has not been a systematic review of the relationship between plan and implementation. Indeed, there are few studies on the evaluation of plan implementation in China generally. Although many plans at numerous spatial levels are successively prepared and revised, only few of them have been evaluated in terms of their effectiveness and implementation.

This particularly demanding context for planning where spatial development becomes increasingly unpredictable and more difficult to influence presents an opportunity to investigate the role of plans under conditions of rapid urbanisation. The research project asks to what extent have spatial plans influenced the actual spatial development in the peri-urban areas of Shanghai? The research pays particular attention to the role of the Shanghai Master Plan 1999-2020 (Plan 1999). By answering the main research question this study seeks to contribute to a better understanding of present planning practice in Shanghai from a plan implementation perspective, and to establish an analytical framework for the study of the role of plans that fits the Chinese context. The findings may also help planners, policy makers and private developers to adjust urban planning within the implementation process in order to meet planning objectives at different levels.

The evaluation of plan implementation can be divided into peformance-based and performance-based approaches Conformance approaches focus on the direct linkage (i.e. level of conformity) between the plans and spatial outputs (Laurian et al., 2004; Tian & Shen, 2011). Performance approaches are concerned more with outcomes and the role of the plan in the urban development process (Barrett & Fudge, 1981; Faludi, 2000). Both of these approaches are employed in this research to evaluate the implementation of the Plan 1999. I firstly examine the level of conformity between the Plan 1999 and the overall peri-urban structure at the metropolitan level. I then use examples of specific areas (North Jinqiao Export Processing Zone and Xinmin Development Area) to evaluate performance of the Plan 1999.

The study also takes a diachronic approach, which looks at how relationships between variables change over time in the implementation of the Plan 1999. That is because the performance of plans is influenced by deeper-seated reasons such as the changing institutional context, particularly the levels of interaction between involved actors in the land development processes. As such, the changing planning system in Shanghai and the history of Shanghai’s peri-urban development in the second half of the 20th century are reviewed before the conformance-based and performance-based evaluation.

This research leads to three major findings. First, peri-urban areas have played an increasingly important role in Shanghai’s urbanisation process through accommodating the rapidly increasing population and demands for growth. Such extensive peri-urban development was not guided by the Plan 1999. It is not surprising that plans are left behind in the context of such unprecedented growth, but the pilot programmes and the key projects proposed in the Plan 1999 were implemented with a high level of conformance. However, the Plan 1999 performed differently in local urban projects, with varying degrees of project conformity, development process and development timing.

Second, there was variation in the delivery of the main objectives to the subsequent urban plans, the consistency between the Plan 1999 and the related sector plans, the ways of interaction between involved actors and their reactions to the plan, and the methods of land development. Overall, the Plan 1999 performed better in the case of North Jinqiao Export Processing Zone because the governments (at both national and municipal levels) intervened more in the development process, compared with the case of Xinmin Development Area. The performance of the plan is closely related to the level of conformity between the plan and the actual development. Therefore, although the conformance-based and performance-based approaches to implementation can be separated conceptually, they are very interconnected in practice.

Third, the urban planning system in Shanghai has experienced a structural reorganization in terms of the system of plans, the involved actors and the planning instruments since the late 1980s. But the emphasis on the rational technocratic process used in the 1960s in the western society is still predominant in the planning system in Shanghai. Aside from the demanding urban growth, the other reason of non-conformance between the actual peri-urban development and the Plan 1999 and bad performance of the Plan 1999 in local projects is a big gap between the seemingly rational operation of the urban planning system and the reality of external challenges.

The current planning system lacks proper coordination with the external challenges, such as insufficient investigation of the existing circumstance or history, and ineffective planning instruments. Cooperation between involved actors is also largely absent in planning practice. Overall, urban planning and management in Shanghai could benefit from more recognition and monitoring of plan implementation which would lead to some reconsideration of the planning tools and processes to more effectively guide future urban development.

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Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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The making of an exotic homeland

Chen, Huai-Hsuan, (2014), The making of an exotic homeland: Performing place, identity and belonging on china’s southwest borderland. (Order No. 3607146, The University of Wisconsin – Madison). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, , 264. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1493012095?accountid=16266. (1493012095). (Restricted access) Preview format Pdf

This dissertation is an ethnographic account of the profound cultural and spatial effects of the creation of a modern borderland. It draws primarily on a total of fourteen months of fieldwork between 2007 and 2011. It is a tapestry of how the imagery of home is realized through different tourist performances that reconfigure spaces of encounter, ethnicity and lifestyle in post-socialist China. The dissertation uses Chinese cultural concepts to shed light on the identification and dis/location of travellers and residents on China’s southwest borderland, and their issues of belonging in a place intended for the consumption of leisure. By illustrating how different social groups perform and embody their sense of belonging in a frontier tourist town, I intend to illuminate how the multiple meanings of place and the heterogeneous senses of belonging result from the entangled relationship between state power, mobility, and consumption. I divide the main body of the dissertation into four chapters of argument with ethnographic analysis, each of which addresses one aspect of the home-making process in the context of China’s ongoing, rapid socio-economic changes. With particular interest in the heterogeneity and cultural flow of performance spaces and their relationship to tourism consumption in post-reform China, I will focus on different ideas of home embodied in performances by Han Chinese tourists, ethnic performers, nomadic musicians, and native Naxi residents in the Old Town of Lijiang. Rather than studying a specific ethnic or cultural group, the dissertation explores the fraught experiences of people as cultural performers on the borderland. Shaped by a hybrid form of a tourism economy, which combines the state’s cultural authority, market forces, and mobility, lives on the borderland are shown to be an ongoing process of identification, full of friction, appropriation, and reproduction, when one’s own sense of home is constructed.

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Organizing conservation and development in China

Zinda, J. A. (2013). Organizing conservation and development in china: Politics, institutions, biodiversity, and livelihoods. (Order No. 3591054, The University of Wisconsin – Madison). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, , 335. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1433306129?accountid=16266. (1433306129). Preview (format PDF)

Tourism is an increasingly central element of biodiversity conservation, transforming protected areas worldwide. Building on participant observation and interviews with a broad array of participants, extensive document analysis, and a household survey, this dissertation investigates the creation of national parks in China’s southwestern province of Yunnan and what it reveals about how actors contend to get their visions for tourism and conservation incorporated in protected area institutions as well as how those institutions influence conservation practices and rural livelihoods.

In the first half, I show how contention among state agencies with varied connections to extra-state actors has shaped Yunnan’s national parks. The Nature Conservancy’s limited ability to appeal to state bodies with leverage over protected areas constrained its effort to promote a new conservation model. Local governments have shifted from supporting community-centered tourism to consolidating high-volume attractions under state-affiliated companies. A case comparison of nine protected areas shows that local authorities channel the substantial revenues tourism yields toward funding government activities and maintaining scenic façades for tourists rather than intensive biodiversity conservation. Where strong conservation practices are adopted, it is due to intervention under central government priorities.

In the second half, I examine how national park institutions affect community residents. In Meili Snow Mountain National Park, community-centered tourism operations persist, while in Pudacuo National Park, residents have become park employees. Residents of each park express concerns about different issues, but they voice these concerns in similar terms, invoking moral economies of appropriate state action. I use household survey data and qualitative observations to examine the impacts of different forms of tourism participation on livelihoods and community dynamics. Different tourism activities’ demands for labor and inputs have stronger impacts than income on resource use. Not all community-based tourism is equal: income inequality is higher and cooperation less common where household entrepreneurship predominates, compared to communities where institutions equalize participation, whether under community management or as park employees. The consolidation of protected area tourism attractions brings challenges as park authorities attempt to manage residents, while its economic and environmental impacts have complex relationships with local economies and ecologies.

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Water situation in China – Crisis or business as usual?

Heihu (黑湖 - Black Lake), Elosua Miguel

Leong, Elaine (2013), Water situation in China – Crisis or business as usual? Linköpings universitet, Industriell miljöteknik, Master Thesis. 93 p. Full text available on line: http://liu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:621867/FULLTEXT01.pdf

Several studies indicates China is experiencing a water crisis, were several regions are suffering of severe water scarcity and rivers are heavily polluted. On the other hand, water is used inefficiently and wastefully: water use efficiency in the agriculture sector is only 40% and within industry, only 40% of the industrial wastewater is recycled. However, based on statistical data, China’s total water resources is ranked sixth in the world, based on its water resources and yet, Yellow River and Hai River dries up in its estuary every year. In some regions, the water situation is exacerbated by the fact that rivers’ water is heavily polluted with a large amount of untreated wastewater, discharged into the rivers and deteriorating the water quality. Several regions’ groundwater is overexploited due to human activities demand, which is not met by local. Some provinces have over withdrawn groundwater, which has caused ground subsidence and increased soil salinity. So what is the situation in China? Is there a water crisis, and if so, what are the causes? This report is a review of several global water scarcity assessment methods and summarizes the findings of the results of China’s water resources to get a better understanding about the water situation. All of the methods indicated that water scarcity is mainly concentrated to north China due to rapid growth, overexploitation from rivers and reduced precipitation. Whereas, South China is indicated as abundant in water resources, however, parts of the region are experiencing water scarcity due to massive dam constructions for water storage and power production. Too many dam constructions in a river disrupts flow of the river water and pollutants are then accumulated within floodgates. Many Chinese officials and scholars believe that with economic growth comes improved environmental quality when the economy has reached to a certain of per-capita level. However, with the present water situation it is not sustainable or possible for China to keep consuming and polluting its water resources. Improvement of environmental quality does not come automatically with increased income, and policies, laws and regulations are needed in order to stop further deterioration of the environment. China’s water situation is not any news and the key factor is human activities, but the question is how to solve it. China’s water crisis is much more complex than over exploitation of groundwater and surface water. There are three water issues in China: “too much water – floods, too little water – droughts, and too dirty water – water pollution” (Jun & Chen, 2001). Thus, solving China’s water crisis is a huge challenge to solve without negatively affecting the economic growth.

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Psycho-boom: the rise of psychotherapy in contemporary urban China

Huang, Hsuan-Ying (2013), Psycho-boom: the rise of psychotherapy in contemporary urban China, Harvard university.

Based on twenty months of fieldwork in Beijing and Shanghai, my dissertation intends to examine the psycho-boom, or the distinct cultural and social formation that the rise of Western psychotherapy has taken in the new hosting environment of urban China. I argue that the psycho-boom, while involving a new psychological modality or a new mental health profession, should not be narrowly conceived of as such. Instead, it is more akin to a popular movement that blends the elements of professional training, popular healing, consumer fad, and entrepreneurial pursuit. The networks and activities associated with psychotherapy training have constituted a massive social world in which various interests and aspirations can be pursued and realized. I further argue that experiences, either individual or interpersonal, have been a critical element of being in this social world. Many people learn to appreciate the psychological dimensions of experience through participating in it, turning one’s involvement with psychotherapy a therapeutic journey in its broadest sense. ; Anthropology

Read the thesis on DASH: http://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/11169799

 

Read also the book review  Mette Halskov Hansen (2013). Review of ‘Chinese Modernity and the Individual Psyche’ The China Quarterly, 216, p 1075-1076. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0305741013001239

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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“No Smoking” for the nation: Anti-cigarette campaigns in Modern China, 1910-1935

Anti-Cigarette Campaigns in Modern China

A review of “No Smoking” for the nation: Anti-cigarette campaigns in Modern China, 1910-1935, by Wennan Liu.

This brilliant, meticulously researched dissertation by Wennan Liu, graduate from Fudan University in Shanghai and recent PhD from Department of History at University of California, Berkeley, considers three major anti-cigarette campaigns in modern China: the first initiated by American missionary Edward Waite Thwing (1868-?) in Tianjin in 1910, the second led by retired Qing official Wu Tingfang 伍廷芳 (1842-1922) in Shanghai on the eve of the Revolution in 1911, and the third major anti-cigarette campaign a part of the New Life Movement launched by Chiang Kai-shek between 1934 and 1935.

All three campaigns were unsuccessful. There is no historical evidence that these campaigns brought about significant, long-lasting changes in the consumption patterns of cigarettes across China. Wennan Liu argues that they were “weak in organisation and implementation, because there was no reliable social infrastructure and resources to sustain the campaigns, and also because the civil society and the government lacked co-operation” (p.2). These failures, however, do not diminish their historical importance — unsuccessful campaigns require at least as much sociological explanation as those which did obtain the desired outcomes. As Wennan Liu points out (p.13), the rhetoric, practices and contexts of these exercises in mass persuasion — why they were launched, how they were organised, which groups of actors were involved, what knowledge and evidence were marshalled, and so forth — can illuminate a host of important historical issues.

These issues, which Liu patiently dissects in her dissertation, include: the transnational circulation of medico-scientific discourses concerning smoking and tobacco use; late-Qing social elites, foreign missionaries and their reform agenda; styles of reasoning in mass persuasion and public relations in China; the activities of big companies such as British-American Tobacco around the world; taxation, economic protectionism, the establishment and struggles of the Chinese cigarette industry; the various dynamics and tensions between different levels of the Republican government. The style of writing of this dissertation is exemplary in its clarity and straightforwardness. There is a careful balance of historical detail and argumentation, making this rich and absolutely compelling study accessible to Chinese historians and non-specialists.

Being one of the most important commodities around the world in the twentieth century, the history of tobacco and cigarette-smoking has been covered by a wide range of scholarship. More recent studies in the English language include: Allan Brandt’s The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of the Product that Defined America (New York: Basic Books, 2009); Eric Burns’ The Smoke of the Gods: A Social History of Tobacco (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2007); Matthew Hilton’s Smoking in British Popular Culture, 1800-2000 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000); Cassandra Tate’s Cigarette Wars: The Triumph of “The Little White Slaver (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999); Ashes to Ashes: The History of Smoking and Health edited by Stephen Lock, Lois Reynolds and E.M. Tansey (Amsterdam: Rodolpi, 1998); Jordan Goodman’s Tobacco in History: The Cultures of Dependence (London: Routledge, 1994); and my personal favourite, Richard Klein’s Cigarettes are Sublime (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1995).

For China specifically, there is Sherman Cochran’s classic Big Business in China: Sino-Foreign Rivalry in the Cigarette Industry, 1890-1930 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1980); Carol Benedict’s brand new Golden-Silk Tobacco: A History of Tobacco in China, 1550-2010 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011); Timothy Brook and Zhou Xun’s contributions in Smoke: A Global History of Smoking edited by Sander Gilman and Zhou Xun (London: Reaktion Books, 2004);  and shorter treatments in Elizabeth Perry’s Shanghai on Strike: The Politics of Chinese Labour (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995, Chapter 7), Karl Gerth’s China Made: Consumer Culture and the Creation of the Nation (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Centre, 2004); and Narcotic Culture: A History of Drugs in China by Frank Dikötter, Lars Laamann and Zhou Xun (London: C. Hurst, 2004, see pp.201-206).

Read the full text , review by Leon Antonio Rocha (accessed 30 December 2013)

Related link

Chinese officials are asked to “take the lead” in adhering to the smoking ban in public spaces

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Chinese officials are asked to “take the lead” in adhering to the smoking ban in public spaces

According to a circular from the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, officials are not allowed to smoke in schools, hospitals, sports venues, public transport vehicles, or any other venues where smoking is banned.

Government functionaries are prohibited from using public funds to buy cigarettes, nor are they permitted to smoke or offer cigarettes when performing official duties, the circular notes.

“Smoking remains a relatively universal phenomenon in public venues. Some officials smoke in public places, which does not only jeopardized the environment and public health, but tarnished the image of Party and government offices and leaders and has a negative influence,” reads the circular.

The sale of tobacco products and advertisements will no longer be allowed in Party and government offices. Prominent notices of smoking bans must be displayed in meeting rooms, reception offices, passageways, cafeterias and rest rooms.

Read the full text on Xinhuanet, (accessed 30 December 2013)

 

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Green food development in China: focus on the east

Wang, Shuang, Xiang, Linjing,  Xing, Fei (2013),  Green food development in China: focus on the east, Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society. 35 p.

The purpose of the dissertation is to research how to promote green food consumption in eastern China. The research draws attention to certain main factors affecting green food consumption which are income and education levels and ages. According to the questionnaire and data analysis, we find income levels and price of green food do not have great influence on green food consumption, while ages and education levels have.
Based on the results, there are perspectives to promote green food consumption. For consumers, the direct way is to increase their awareness of environmental protection and food health. For producers, they should ensure quality of food with diversity. For governments, it is important to strengthen supervision of producers and support consumers’ buying behavior.

It is recommended:

That consumers could get information from TV programs, radios and so on. Advertising aims at attracting target consumers.

That public organizations should cooperate with producers in holding some public benefit activities.

That governments monitor producers to explain the production process.

Read the thesis on HKR

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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The prospect for health care rights in China

Cao, Lijing, (2012), The prospect for health care rights in China, 72 p. Ph.D. thesis, University of Toronto. (accessed 18 december 2013)

The 2009 reform of China’s health care system attempts to lower the burden of medical costs and provide universal access to health care. This thesis focuses on a particular access and equity gap within the health care system that faced by internal migrants, and explores the potential value of a legally enforceable and justiciable right to health care in the Chinese context to address such gaps. Despite recent advances in the health care reform, lack of a framework of health care rights could be a limiting factor to current health care initiatives which are falling short of their promises of universality in some way. In the long run, establishment of such framework could be a direction that deserves further research.

Full text available on line https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/33715/1/Cao_Lijing_201211_LLM_thesis.pdf

Léa Daures

Léa Daures, historian and student at the Ecole des Bibliothécaires Documentalistes (School for Librarians and Information Professions, http://www.ebd.fr), works part-time at the UMR China Korea Japan. She is currently monitoring information online on the subject of migrants in China for UrbaChina.

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Urban systems in China and India

Elfie Swerts (e-mail) defended her thesis entitled “Urban systems in China and India” on 25 October 2013, prepared at Pantheon-Sorbonne University (Paris I) and at the Ecole Doctorale de Géographie of Paris, under the supervision of Denise Pumain (Professor at Pantheon-Sorbonne University, UMR* 8504 Géographie-cités) and Eric Denis (Research assistant at the CNRS, UMR 8504 Géographie-cités), with the support of Veolia Environnement Recherche et Innovation and ERC GeoDiverCity (led by Denise Pumain).

She received the highest honour from the jury : “mention très honorable avec félicitation du jury à l’unanimité” (very honourable with the congratulation of the jury). The jury members were:

  • Anne Bretagnolle, Professor at Paris I University, president
  • Eric Denis, Research assistant at the CNRS, thesis supervisor
  • François Gipouloux, Director of Research at the CNRS, Director UMR 8173 China, Korea, Japan, examiner
  • Frédéric LANDY, Professor at Paris Ouest-Nanterre University, honorary membre of the Institut Universitaire de France, rapporteur
  • Denise Pumain, Professor at Paris I University, membre of the Institut Universitaire de France, thesis supervisor
  • Céline Rozenblat, Associate professor at the Université de Lausanne, rapporteur

Elfie Swerts will continue her research on retrospective and prospective modelling of the demographic evolution of urban systems in India and China within ERC GeoDiverCity, and on the economic ties between the cities of these two systems and the rest of the world within the framework of the ORBIS project, led by Céline Rozenblat. She will also refine her research by delving deeper into the question of small town dynamics in India, collaborating with ANR SUBURBIN, led by Eric Denis and Marie-Hélène Zerah (Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi), and the question of financial dynamics and real estate trends in urban systems in India and China, collaborating with ANR FINURBASIE, led by Natacha Aveline (Director of Research CNRS, UMR 8504 Géographie-cités) and Ludovic Halbert (CNRS researcher, attached to the Laboratoire Techniques, Territoires, Sociétés of Val de Marne University).

Abstract

This thesis compares the urban systems in China and India using dedicated data bases that have been constructed using comparable and harmonized principles, describing the evolution of the population of all urban agglomerations above 10 000 inhabitants, every ten years from the beginning of 20th century for India and 1964 for China. Both very large countries of ancient urbanization are characterized by many small towns and have developed gigantic metropolises during the last decades.

Despite their geo-historical specific features, these two systems share with others in the world the same properties of hierarchical differentiation and urban growth processes (Zipf’s law and Gibrat’s model), at country scale as well as for regional subsystems. A regional diversity is linked to former processes of unequal concentration of urban development.

The most interesting result is identifying for the first time a reverse trend in the evolution of the Chinese urban hierarchy compared to other countries in the world among which India: despite the very rapid recent urban growth, the inequalities in city sizes are decreasing. This may in part depend of the under-registration of migrant urban populations. It also reveals the power of the political control on China’s urban processes that also appears in the magnitude of spatial concentration of manufacturing cities due to the implantation of Special economic Zones.

Comparing the trajectories of Indian and Chinese cities may well improve the prospect of global urbanization that is crucial for the world and the planet.

*UMR: Joint Research Unit

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l’UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Constraints on health and health services access of rural-to-urban migrants in China: a case of Dengcun village of Beijing

Li, Yan (2010), Constraints on health and health services access of rural-to-urban migrants in China: a case of Dengcun village of Beijing. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.  (accessed 28 October 2013)

China is experiencing a dramatically increasing process of rural-urban migration, which is almost parallel with the phenomenal economic growth and development in China in the last decades. Given the massive scale of rural-urban migration in China, the health services access and health constraints not only matter to rural-urban migrants but also have important implications for broad public health concerns. However, this issue has not been paid enough attention in academic research.
This study focuses on the multifaceted reality of health constraints and health services access among migrants by originally exploring the social strata, social networks, and the understanding of health and health services among migrants. The research questions are stated as follows: What constraints and difficulties do migrants face with respect to their health and health services access? Is there a hierarchical structure in health services access and medical treatment access among migrants? When there is a shortage of financial resources, do they resort to informal social support (such as informal social networks/ guanxi) to obtain help and why? What are their understanding and experience of health and why?
Furthermore, this study investigates the health constraints and health services access of rural-urban migrants in the absence of equal social protection by the government. By conducting 36 qualitative interviews in Dengcun Village, a migrant community in Beijing, China, this paper:

  1. Investigates issues concerning environmental health risks of migrants, their health seeking behaviours, and the constraints they encountered in accessing health services with respect to the social strata among migrants. It argues that the main obstacles to access health services are not only the shortage of financial resources among rural-urban migrants, but also lie in the institutional blindness regarding health security provision, rural-urban dualism and the household registration system in China.
  2. Highlights the key function that social networks play in health and health services access among migrants in China, which has rarely been discussed in previous studies. Examines the range of social networks among migrants, from which they can acquire support, including financial and spiritual, when they are dealing with health problems. The study argues that social networks resemble a double-edged sword to rural-urban migrants in terms of health care access. The fact that migrants lack savings may not be the sole and essential reason for their extreme vulnerability in times of illness. Some migrants, who are in financial difficulties though, may have some assistance, including financial support and emotional support from their social networks. However, on the other hand, the assistance from social networks on their health and heath care access is limited, not only because their social networks is limited, but because the social networks should not bear the responsibility to support health services access of migrants, similar to or more than the state and migrants’ employers.
  3. Discusses the understanding of health among migrants, and further analyses that although many migrants have not formed proper understanding of the connotation of health and have limited knowledge of health, prime responsibility should not be put on the migrants because their poor understanding of health mainly results from their rural perspective while health and health services access depend on the social-economic environment in which they live and work.

Full text available on line : http://etheses.nottingham.ac.uk/3135/1/537813.pdf

Other publication by Li, Yan

“Understanding Health Constraints Among Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China.” Qualitative health research 23.11 (2013): 1459-1469.

 

Léa Daures

Léa Daures, historian and student at the Ecole des Bibliothécaires Documentalistes (School for Librarians and Information Professions, http://www.ebd.fr), works part-time at the UMR China Korea Japan. She is currently monitoring information online on the subject of migrants in China for UrbaChina.

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Housing, urban renewal and socio-spatial integration in Beijing

Hui, Xiaoxi (2013) Housing, urban renewal and socio-spatial integration: a study on rehabilitating the former socialistic public housing areas in Beijing. A+BE : Architecture and the Built Environment. 3(2) pp.1-796. doi:10.7480/abe.2013.2. (accessed 20 September 2013)

Based on the background of privatization, the former socialistic public housing areas in Beijing confront the ambiguity of their housing stock and the confusion of housing management. While they still accommodate the majority of urban residents and are identified by their good places, (social and programmatic) mixed communities, vibrant local life, and diversified housing types, they are facing the serious challenges of physical deterioration and social decline. Therefore, urban renewal was thought as an effective solution seeking to improve the living conditions in those neighborhoods. Nevertheless, urban renewal in itself is also a controversial issue. In order to solve the housing problem, the large-scale urban renewal in Beijing started at the beginning of the 1990s. The radical housing reform further boosted urban renewal, often in the form of wholesale reconstruction and linked to real estate development. The market-driven urban reconstruction resulted in the resident displacement, community destruction, disappearance of historical images and, more threatening, socio-spatial segregation. It encountered the rising criticism from scholars and activists and resistance from the residents. As a result, many housing renewal projects, including the reconstruction projects of former public housing areas, had to be stopped or suspended in Beijing after 2004. Nowadays there is a dilemma for the urban renewal of Beijing’s former public housing areas.

Read full text on A+BE

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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Urban vitality in Dutch and Chinese new towns

Zhou, J. (2013) Urban vitality in Dutch and Chinese new towns : a comparative study between Almere and Tongzhou. Ph. D. dissertation, Delft University of Technology, Delft.

Building new towns seems to be a rational approach that releases pressure from overly burdened large cities. This strategy was developed in Western Europe in the middle of twentieth century. Since the 1990s, the European new town model has been widely implemented in China. However, the author questions the feasibility of the large-scale, hasty new town developments. The study of worldwide new town experiences, especially European and Chinese cases, demonstrates that many new towns in fact have difficulty in achieving a real sense of urban quality and vitality. So far, few research projects have been conducted to evaluate and develop solutions for this problem.

‘Urban vitality in Dutch and Chinese new towns’ identifies the spatial and non-spatial factors and conditions that facilitate the development of urban vitality in new towns. It is aimed to reveal the impacts of spatial design, urban planning and governance approaches on the degree and patterns of local urban life of new towns in China and in the Netherlands, based on a comparative study of two cases: Almere in the north wing of the Randstad region in the Netherlands and Tongzhou in the metropolitan region of Beijing in China. The study does not intend to tackle the economic and sociological concepts in themselves, but to focus on the interrelationships between space and society.

Download full-text thesis on the TU Delft institutional repository

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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Bilateral collaborations in Sino-foreign eco-cities

Chen, Xinting. (2012) Bilateral collaborations in Sino-foreign eco-cities : lessons for Sino-Dutch collaboration in Shenzhen international low-carbon town. Master thesis, Delft University of Technology, Delft.

The increasing concerns about global climate change and rising environmental pressures have prompted countries and cities to explore new sustainable development pattern. The concept of eco-city has been proposed as a potential sustainable urban solution. China as the most populous country in the world, is especially challenged by its rapid urbanization and environmental degradation, and has launched a number of eco-city initiatives in recent years. Among them many are eye-catching bilateral collaboration projects with the engagement of international partners. The growing trend of Sino-foreign eco-city initiatives give rise to the main research question of this study: “What is the role of bilateral collaborations in Chinese eco-city development?” This question is further divided into three sub-questions, among which the first sub-question intends to categorize previous Sino-foreign eco-city collaborations based on distinct features observed through an investigation on eight previous Sino-foreign eco-cities. The second sub-question focuses on the critical success factors influencing bilateral collaborations in Sino-foreign eco-cities at political/institutional, organizational, and individual levels. Finally based on the lesson drawings from previous experience, the study intends to answer the question of what a viable Sino-Dutch collaboration alternative could look like in Shenzhen International Low-carbon Town. Qualitative research methods including case study and comparison are used in the study. Case studies on eight selected Sino-foreign eco-cities present detailed empirical information and analysis systematically. Following the case studies, three types of bilateral collaborations in previous Sino-foreign eco-city projects were concluded: client-provider/designer type collaboration, intergovernmental agreement based collaboration, and JV-based collaboration under joint supervisory board. Based on the case studies, a framework of success factors influencing bilateral collaborations in Sino-foreign eco-cities is also established. With the lesson drawings from previous experience and specific analysis for Shenzhen International Low-carbon Town, two potentially viable Sino-Dutch collaboration alternatives including the cultivating and sufficing collaborations are proposed. Finally, some general findings across the cases are discussed and summarized in the paper. This study intends to fill in the literature gap in international bilateral collaborations in eco-city development by focusing on China’s experience. Besides, it also can contribute to the academic and professional community by making an inventory of existing Sino-foreign eco-city projects. The empirics and findings in this study can also shed light on the design of future bilateral collaborations in Chinese eco-city development with proper adaptations.

Download the thesis on the TU Delft institutional repository

 

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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The Swedish production of sustainable urban imaginaries in China

Anna Hult, Phd, (2013)  The Swedish production of sustainable urban imaginaries in China, Candidate Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. (accessed 25 July 2013)

Abstract

Sweden and the broader region of Scandinavia have been widely praised for their efforts to develop and promote models of sustainability for the rest of the world to follow. Swedish international architecture and urban planning firms are driven by the advantage of being able to brand their projects as “Sustainable and Scandinavian”. In this sense, ‘the sustainable city’ has become a Swedish service to export. In 2007, the Swedish Trade Council initiated a marketing platform for eco-profiled companies under the name of “SymbioCity” in order to strengthen a coherent image of Swedish sustainable urban development. This paper seeks to explore the production of imaginaries at play in the performance of “SymbioCity”. It especially addresses the way in which notions of progress and a better city-life was presented to Chinese audiences in the Swedish pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai in 2010, which had the overall theme of “Better City, Better Life”. The Swedish pavilion is here regarded as a node in a wider network of Swedish export of
sustainable urban planning services. I argue that the imaginaries which Sweden produces through activities associated with the SymbioCity underlines a view which equivocates “progress” with the notion of “decoupling”.
In presenting an image of decoupling as a Swedish experience possible to transfer to China it also establishes views of progress as linear and space as static, which in turn enables
questions of equality and spatial segregation to belong to another dimension. Consequently, “the social” becomes the constitutive other. Instead, I argue that we need imaginaries of better city-life based on an understanding of space as relational, which does not only challenge the concept of decoupling, but also of ”the social”. This paper aims to highlight the interests of “fact-builders” and open up some “black boxes” to make space for generative controversies of how to reconsider ways in which imaginaries are to be constructed, established, circulated and reformed.

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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