Concentrated Resettlement Communities as a Policy Tool to Urbanization and Industrialization in Western Chinese Cities

Authors: Xin Li*, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Topics: China, Urban Geography, Rural Geography
Keywords: resettlement, urbanization and industrialization, western Chinese cities, land expropriation, local state
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Congressional A, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

During the 2000s, a wave of industrialization and urbanization emerged in western Chinese cities. The local state expropriated large tracks of farmlands for industrial park building and moved displaced farmers from multiple villages into all-in-one walled resettlement communities. By using a detailed case study, this paper investigates the rationale behind the local states’ pursuit of this type of industrialization and urbanization. It also examines the social and spatial impacts of the concentrated resettlement community as a policy tool. It suggests that the land grabbing behavior as the local states’ respond to the central state’s call for national industrial spatial rearrangement as well as the "New-type Urbanization" campaign. Building concentrated resettlement community also helped the local states to achieve other key development goals, such as "New Countryside" building and affordable housing providing. Following the resettlement, the landless farmers have been facing a series of difficult situations, including inadequate compensation, inferior housing quality, and increasing living expenditure. Moreover, the unsuccessful industrial development has failed in providing jobs, business opportunities or property value increase as it promised. The isolated location and detachment from the other parts of the city further marginalize the resettlement community and put it in danger of becoming a semi-urban enclave of underclass inhabitants.

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