High-rise Housing in Shenzhen

Authors: Ian MacLachlan*, Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School, Yue Gong, Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School, Yu Zhang, Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School
Topics: China, Urban Geography, Planning Geography
Keywords: high-rise apartments, skyscrapers, urban housing, Shenzhen
Session Type: Guided Poster
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 2:35 PM / 4:15 PM
Room: Roosevelt 3.5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Nowhere in the world is high-rise housing more ascendant than in the cities and megacities of coastal China. Skyscraper apartment and office towers are the most conspicuous features of the city skyline and many urban residents have no experience of any alternative lifestyle. In an era when some of the most famous high-rise housing projects of the United States and the United Kingdom have been razed by implosive demolition, state and local government agencies have invested in high-rise housing and committed many of China’s urbanites to a life far above the ground in gated communities. Yet high-rise living is not the antithesis of social capital formation in China. Informal activities grounded in the common social spaces of gated high-rise communities include basketball courts, exercise machines, plaza dancing, and elders sharing childcare duties. These spaces provide a richly interactive community experience that is strikingly different from the western experience. Three generations (residents, their parents, and their children) use common spaces within gated high rise communities in socially constructive ways to create safe, familiar, and interactive community environments. The guided poster presentation uses translated quotations from informal interviews in common areas to interrogate the residents about their comfort in apartment units on different floors, sense of security in a gated housing complex, and attitudes towards their neighbors.

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