We are organising a series of events including workshops, seminars and conferences to gather thoughts, inspire research and disseminate outputs.
Online workshop 8/12/2021 Governing Chinese Neighbourhoods: Models and Beyond

On 8th December 2021, the ChinaUrban project hosted an online workshop to discuss Chinese neighbourhood governance. It included three speakers from Sun Yat-sen University, University of Warwick and Shanghai Jiaotong University and a discussant from University of Hong Kong. The event attracted more than 50 participants.

Dr Rong Cai’s talk
Dr Ying Wang’s talk
Dr Tingting Lu’s talk
Prof. He gave a commentary

The event began with an introduction given by Dr Fangzhu Zhang. She introduced the background of the event and three speakers.  

Dr Rong Cai was the first speaker. She presented their recent work about the management of Homeowner associations (HOAs) in China based on fieldwork in Guangzhou. She gave a detailed examination of how the local state exerts institutionalized control over HOAs through mechanisms of infrastructural power. 

Dr Ying Wang focused on the typology of neighbourhood governance and highlighted the diversity of neighbourhood governance in China. Her presentation was based on intensive fieldwork in Nanjing. She found four modes of neighbourhood governance, including collective consumption, service privatization, civic provision and state-sponsored.

Dr Tingting Lu examined residents’ preferences and satisfaction in gated communities. In contrast with ‘private governance’ meaning self-governance, Chinese neighbourhood governance features services delivered by private organisations. Gated neighbourhoods in urban China are a response to the state’s intention to retreat from serviced land provision while retaining neighbourhood control.

Prof. He gave a commentary based on three talks. She first pointed out that neighbourhood governance in China could be positioned in a broad strand of literature on urban governance.  Besides, she highlighted the diversity of neighbourhood governance in China, which varies from state-imposed infrastructural power to self-governance. She also mentioned that there are other possibilities of neighbourhood governance, which needs further academic investigation. 

In the final discussion session, the speakers answered questions raised by the audience. They mainly discussed the role of the state in governing HOAs and the logic of diverse modes of neighbourhood governance.