From Excluded Ghettos to Exclusionary Enclaves: A Private Sector Initiative in Guangzhou, China

Chen, Huiwei;Chan, Roger C.K.;He, Qicong

  • 투고 : 2013.01.14
  • 심사 : 2013.07.29
  • 발행 : 2013.07.30


Massive migration is underway in rapidly urbanizing Guangzhou, the south gate of P. R. China. Over half the migrants choose to rent in "villages-in-the-city" in the downtown area because of the low-cost and prime location. The overpopulation and resulting poor environment and high crime-rate turn villages-in-the-city into de facto ghettos. As a result, these ghettos are undergoing a manner of demolition-development, leaving migrants' housing needs unmet. A private-sector initiative-the Tulou Commune-intends to address this considerable market potential. Targeting low-income groups, the Tulou Commune creates a socio-spatially exclusionary enclave. This paper analyzes the Tulou Commune and the implications if more low-income migrants shifting from village-in-the-city (excluded ghetto) to Tulou Commune (exclusionary enclave). This study argues that the intervention of the private sector causes the demographic, social, and spatial similarities and differences of the two living arrangements. Socioeconomic and institutional factors also affect the initiative. This study also provides more empirical evidence in the field of low-cost housing and socio-spatial development in transitional Chinese cities. As the first project of its kind, the analysis of the case can suggest how to improve strategies for accommodating migrants in the future.


Migration;Villages-in-the-city;Guangzhou;Private Sector Initiative;Commune


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