Neighborhood change in semiurbanized villages: Case study of Shanghai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In common with some underprivileged racial groups in U.S. cities, migrant workers tend to be regarded as an undesirable group in Chinese urban societies. The ongoing influx of migrant workers into urban neighborhoods will accordingly result in neighborhood change in China. As a peculiar neighborhood pattern, semiurbanized villages have started to emergein fringe areas of China's rapidly expanding cities as the country is going through a transitional phase. Taking such urban neighborhood pattern in Shanghai as an example, this study examines neighborhood change within urban fringe areas asthey experience inflow of migrant workers. It is argued that the invasion-succession model is not applicable to neighborhood change research in the Chinese semiurbanized village context. The transitional process taking place among these neighborhoods is different from that predicted by the classical model. The differences are largely attributable to the peculiar urban-rural dualistic structure in China that is a legacy of the planned economy. This study also finds that although local residents make every endeavor to exclude migrants from their social lives, the inflow of large numbers of migrant workers has nevertheless transformed many aspects of the way of life in semiurbanized villages. Moreover, this transformation process may have a destructive effect on local communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-243
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Urban Planning and Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


  • China
  • Migrant workers
  • Neighborhood change
  • Semiurbanized villages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies


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