C5: China Research Cluster

Team Lead: Fulong Wu

Team Members: Zhigang Li

Research Context, Methods and Goals:

The Chinese suburbanism project will cover the following topics: 1) the emergence of suburban governance in China (including the transformation from entrepreneurial suburban growth to a new metropolitan form – governance challenges, advancement to suburban new towns, and administrative annexation); this is mainly achieved through literature review and earlier work on suburban development in China and 15 semi-structured interviews in Shanghai and Guangzhou; 2) FlexSpace of Shanghai and Guangzhou: examining new spatial elements e.g. high-tech parks, development zones, gated communities, and migrant villages to understand new conditions that lead to a new metropolitan structure, including polycentric urban forms and new towns; this is conducted through fieldwork in these two cities; 3) suburban life styles and suburbanism as a way of life: focusing on the presentation and image making of suburban lives, marketing and landscapes of suburban amenities and gated residential forms, low-rise vs high-rise suburbanism; the topic is explored through site-visits and production of photo archives and assistance to National Film Board to make a documentary of Shanghai’s suburbs; 4) rural migrants and new urban immigrants: investigation of migrant villages and immigrants enclaves, large affordable housing estates and their governance, residential preference and constraints for the local and new migrants; social inequalities and social interactions and implication for neighbourhoods. This research is conducted through fieldwork and questionnaires.


The MCRI International Forum on Global Suburbanisms  was held May 9 to 11, 2015 in Shanghai, China. The conference program can be downloaded  here.



Conference Presentations

Publications and Other Dissemination