This months theme of the well known magazine Urban China is ‘Urban Rural Integration’. We contributed with an article and photo essay about the phenomena of the ‘urban village’. In the article we describe the reluctant attitude of city governments to tolerate the areas, which they consider ‘urban cancer’. We argue that they offer a lot of potential for bottom up urban development:
China’s urbanization is facing serious challenges: land use, food production, rising real estate prices and a lack of housing typologies. The top-down model is not able to solve all these challenges at once. At the same time, the model of the urbanized village seems to provide hybrid alternatives. The model is flexible, adjustable and makes interesting connections between the urban and rural conditions.
Run to your bookstore…and take your mandarin phrasebook…!