Wu, F. and He, S.J.
Changes in traditional urban areas and impacts of urban redevelopment: a case study of three neighbourhoods in Nanjing, China.
Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 96, (1), . (doi:10.1111/j.1467-9663.2005.00440.x).
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Since market-oriented economy reform, China has experienced significant changes in urban landscapes and the internal structure of cities. Recent studies have provided some insightful understanding into urban changes at a macro-scale, e.g. social and spatial segregation, the division between rural migrants and urban households, changes in land uses. To a lesser extent, urban changes are understood at the microscopic level of the neighbourhood. Urban (re)development has created many new urban landscapes. Meanwhile, traditional old urban areas still constitute a significant proportion of Chinese cities, and normally contain large concentrations of marginal population. Possessing the particular characteristics of long developing history, high population density, and low housing quality, traditional urban areas have also experienced different changes in the post-reform period. This study, based on a field survey of three traditional urban areas in Nanjing, attempts to reveal the built environmental and socio-economic changes which can be partly attributed to different levels of urban redevelopment. More importantly, the study highlights the significance of neighbourhood-based social interaction to marginal population. Against the backdrop of massive urban displacement and rapid redevelopment, it is argued that the effect of dismantling neighbourhoods could be detrimental to a sustainable urban society and the positive social objectives should be seriously considered in the process of urban redevelopment.
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