URBAN RENEWAL STRATEGIES FOR THE TRANSFORMATION OF "VILLAGES IN CITY" IN THE FAST URBANIZATION OF CHINA
Professor Edwin H. W. Chan
Professor and Associate Head (Research)
Building and Real Estate Department, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.
Villages in city (Chinese: 城中村; also called “Urban villages”) normally with undesirable environmental and social conditions surrounded by high-rise buildings and other modern urban constructions in big cities are a unique phenomenon of China’s urbanization. Villages in city emerge due to urbanization issues of uncoordinated development, economic migrants, household registration (hukou), urban-rural conflicts, land ownership system, relocation for urban renewal, local people’s livelihood, identity of local history/culture and internationalized city etc. The talk will cover some of these urbanization issues in the context of urban villages in China to explore key research questions. How are these urban villages in China different from typical urban slums that exist in big cities around the world? Do they deserve special consideration in the urban renewal strategies of China? What role will they play in the city development? What are the controversies in transforming these villages into the urban community? To what extent can the transformation models trail the contemporary urban renewal trend based less on destruction and more on renovation and investment? The speaker will share a case study of community planning for revitalizing villages in city.
Professor Chan studied Architecture in England and then learnt Law in London and Hong Kong. He is qualified as an Architect and Barrister-at-law both in Hong Kong and the UK. He has carried out research relating to sustainable urban development including: Urban land use, Urban renewal/ heritage conservation; Low carbon cities; Community issues; Transaction costs and institutional analysis for green building promotion; and Dispute resolution model. He has published over 100 international journal papers, and many book chapters and conference pieces. Recently, he has focused his research efforts on sustainability issues in urban renewal and governance, as well as policies for low carbon cities and green buildings.