Redevelopment of industrial sites in the Chinese ‘villages in the city’ : an empirical study of Shenzhen

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-77
Journal / PublicationJournal of Cleaner Production
Online published2 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2016


China is facing the challenge of sustainable urban redevelopment due to its massive economic transformation process. As a unique product of the rapid urbanization of past decades, urban village has become a major obstacle for sustainable redevelopment because of its sub-standard infrastructure and disordered built environment. Redevelopment of ‘villages in the city’ (ViCs) is distinct from normal urban redevelopment because it involves the change of collective land ownership without de jure property rights to state land ownership with de jure property rights. What site characteristics, what ownership type, what geographical characteristics, make village sites more likely to be redeveloped? This study addresses this question with particular reference to industrial sites in Shenzhen. An analytical framework is developed based on the concept of rent gap to analyze the possible effects of these factors. An empirical investigation is conducted based on a set of data that covers all 44 village-owned industrial sites in the Nanshan District in Shenzhen. The findings suggest that village sites with better accessibility to good transportation facilities and the city centre are significantly more likely to be redeveloped and thus will be integrated into formal urban areas earlier than those located in less accessible areas. It is also demonstrated that fragmented land ownership and lack of legal land rights are not significant barriers for the sustainable redevelopment of such sites.

Research Area(s)

  • China, Industrial sites, Land redevelopment, Rent gap, Villages in the city