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An investigation of non-local-governed urban villages in China from the perspective of the administrative system

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Rose Gilroy


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Along with the large-scale urbanisation process in China, the issue of ‘non-local-governed urban villages’(NLGUV) arises within government. NLGUVs are suffering from overlapping administration, mismatched responsibilitiesand rights and unclear lines of authority. This fact not only violates the basic legal principle ofadministrative division, but also creates serious management problems and goes against the principal of coordinateddevelopment of urban and rural areas. Based on a questionnaire survey and interviews of urbanvillages in Beijing, this paper aims to answer two questions: first, what are the institutional barriers of theNLGUVs, and second, how they have hampered the rural-to-urban transition of those urban villages and urbanruralintegration in the urban fringe areas. It is found that, while having administrative problems in common, theNLGUVs vary significantly in terms of demo-geographic, socio-economic, and management characteristics, so itis argued that solutions to the administrative management problems of the NLGUVs should be different. Uponanalyses of the 155 NLGUVs distributed over 32 sub-districts and seven districts in Beijing, they are divided intofour groups: lagging-behind urban villages, transformed urban villages, problematic urban villages and enclaveurban villages. On this ground, urban policies including abuse of the setting criteria of sub-districts, and problemswith the resettlement policy of urban villages and current land acquisition policies are identified as themain causes for the ‘production’ of the NLGUVs. The findings shed lights on the restructure of administrativesystem for existing urban villages and reform of urban policies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Xu Z, Gao X, Wang Z, Gilroy R, Wu H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Habitat International

Year: 2018

Volume: 74

Pages: 27-35

Print publication date: 01/04/2018

Online publication date: 22/03/2018

Acceptance date: 22/02/2018

ISSN (print): 0197-3975

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2018.02.007


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