- Issues and solutions on the development of new towns in Shanghai from the view of migration and social structure transition   click here to open paper content911 kb
by    Zhu, Jin & Zhang, Jie & Xu, Su | zhujinup@126.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The boom of suburban centers and the recession of new towns are closely
related to the migration. This paper discusses the issues and solutions on
development of new towns in Shanghai by analyzing the migration and social
structure transition process. By this way, what causes the problems are
illustrated clearly.
The urban system of Shanghai consists of the core city, 9 suburban centers
including JIADING and 60 new towns according to the latest comprehensive
plan, while most of the suburban centers and new towns founded on the base
of former counties or towns have long histories, absolutely not 'new'. This
paper discusses the development of new towns and the relationship between
suburban centers and new towns through demographic data analysis, fieldwork
and interview. It consists of 3 parts: Part 1 sketches out the development
situation of suburban centers and new towns in the past few years. Great
efforts have been made to develop public service facilities and real
estates in suburban centers, leading to a rapid population growth there.
And the suburban centers have been absorbing the population from the new
towns, rural area and even the core city of Shanghai. Meanwhile, many
migrants from other provinces came to Shanghai to earn better life, and new
town and villages became the first choice for them to sojourn in because of
their low income. The social structure of the new towns has then changed
dramatically. In Part 2, the new towns in JIADING District are taken as a
case to discuss the development issues of new towns. Under certain
circumstance, high-quality public services are not available in new towns
additionally, so new towns seem less attractive to people and investments
competing with the center of JIADING. And due to the strict farmland
protection policy in China, new lands for construction are limited, so the
lands for urban construction can increase only by reducing the rural
construction lands. So more emphasis is placed on the center of JIADING and
new town can scarcely get lands for construction. In addition, the space
quality leaves much to be desired. People, especially the young, living in
new towns including the peasants around the town centers gradually moved to
the center of JIADING and even the core city. Meanwhile, with the
manufacturing industry shifting from the core city to JIADING, some
industrial zones which are just in the administrative area of new towns
attracted a lot of migrants. The vacancies of housing and the flow of
migrants contribute to the boom of renting-market in both rural area and
town center. When one migrant starts to live in a certain village, his/her
friends, relatives and fellow villagers will gradually move there. Social
structure transition changed the former territory relationship in new town,
and conflicts between natives and migrants emerged ever since.
Additionally, many peasants driven by interests transformed their house or
build more houses for rent, leading to the destruction of
villages[simplequote] identities. Part 3 puts forward some suggestion for
the future development of new towns, including the way to increase
population and agglomeration, rural land replacement policy, industries
development, spatial quality and public service enhancement, etc. The
population density is so high in metropolises in China that it is a common
way to redistribute urban residents through the development of suburban
centers and new towns, but it leaves a lot of problems. The case study of
Shanghai illustrates the importance of analyzing the migration and social
structure transition process to figure out the mechanism of these problems.
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