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Analysis of Economic Activities in Urban Villages: Case Studies in Guangzhou, China

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Part of the Managing the Asian Century book series (MAAC)

Abstract

Urban villages (UV), a unique Chinese urban phenomenon, were formed under the influence of China’s ‘open reform policy’ and the subsequent urbanisation. The residential aspect of UVs has been well studied, but there is a lack of research addressing the economic activities and business nature of UVs and how businesses became self-sustainable with many constraints. The purpose of this chapter is to identify and study the current business operations in UVs, while discussing the potential adaptions, using UVs in Guangzhou as examples. This study uses four illustrative case studies, including Tangxia, Shipai, University Town and Xiaozhou UVs. By studying the four case studies, this chapter aims to formulate an idea of how businesses operate in UVs and provide recommendations on the further adaption of UVs and economic activities inside. Despite having a variety of constraints, UVs have numerous business typologies that are mostly inclusive, self-sustainable and self-developed. The case studies seem to benefit from being in such constrained environments. However, customers and business owners in UVs face many uncertainties, due to the potential demolition and the lack of regulations. Future studies are recommended to include the projected viability of UV businesses which are under threat of demolition policies, using more case studies from other Chinese cities. Potential adaptation strategies that can help UV businesses to operate better are suggested based on the results of the case studies. It is hoped that findings presented in this research are of significance to the enhancement of the UVs and its business operation.

Keywords

  • Urban village
  • Guangzhou
  • Businesses operation
  • Urban phenomenon
  • Urban planning
  • Informal settlement

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-981-33-4631-4_8
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(Reproduced from Yi 2011)

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Correspondence to Hing-Wah Chau .

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Glossary

Glossary

chengzhongcun 城中村 urban village (referred as UV in this chapter)
hukou 户口 household registration
liudong renko 流动人口 floating population
Nanting UV 南亭城中村  
qiandian houju 前店后居 front business with living at the back
Shipai UV 石牌城中村  
Tangxia UV 棠下城中村  
tudi guanlifa 土地管理法 Chinese Land Regulatory Law
Xiaozhou UV 小洲城中村  

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Chau, HW., Geng, S. (2021). Analysis of Economic Activities in Urban Villages: Case Studies in Guangzhou, China. In: Azzali, S., Thirumaran, K. (eds) Tropical Constrained Environments and Sustainable Adaptations. Managing the Asian Century. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-33-4631-4_8

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