Governing urban integration in China's land expropriation-induced resettlement neighborhoods

A Shanghai case study

Authored by: Shuping Zhang

The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Cities and Landscapes in the Pacific Rim

Print publication date:  March  2022
Online publication date:  March  2022

Print ISBN: 9780367471149
eBook ISBN: 9781003033530
Adobe ISBN:


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China’s land expropriation-induced resettlement (LEIR) refers to the state-led rural-to-urban resettlement arrangements for land-expropriated villagers. Through collecting opinions from neighborhood association representatives and resettled villagers, this chapter investigates the features and capacity of the current community governance mechanism in supervising and facilitating villagers’ urban integration in LEIR neighborhoods. For community regulators, their efforts in guiding villagers’ urban integration have been challenged by: (1) the lack of legitimacy and executive power for enforcing regulations, (2) a shortage of staff for undertaking regular services and extra duties, and (3) the tension in their relationship with villagers due to different cultural inclinations. For resettled villagers, although activities and platforms for accommodating their urban integration have started to grow, they rarely comprehend these resources as fairly distributed or culturally desirable. They also crave for a more inclusive, engaging, and relaxed style of governance that may help them build up their sense of community. By comparing these two narratives, this chapter argues that a desirable social order alone cannot sustain the community resilience in LEIR neighborhoods. Innovative approaches uniting regulators and villagers to share responsibilities and pursue collaborations can ultimately foster meaningful civic engagement, overcome present institutional constraints, and meet villagers’ socio-cultural needs in supporting sustainable communities.

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