- The Urban Segmentation Problem of Shenzhen   click here to open paper content316 kb
by    Zeng, Guoying | guoying.zeng@mail.mcgill.ca   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
This paper explores the origin of the urban segmentation problem in Shenzhen brought by the nature of the special economic zone and a unique process of development. Municipal approaches to tackle the problem are selectively studied and commented.
This paper first explores the origins of the urban segmentation problem in Shenzhen, the first special economic zone in China. Literally speaking, Shenzhen is a city built overnight. However, owing to the nature of the special economic zone (SEZ) and a unique process of development, the city has long been suffering from segmentation problems. The external segmentation, which means the limitation on social interactions between the SEZ and the rest of the city and other neighboring areas, is an ineradicable by-product of the controlled accesses to and from surrounding areas required for a SEZ and a border city. The internal segmentation, which means that some areas inside the SEZ are breaking the urban fabric and hedging the city-wide flows of labor force, capital, and other resources, is resulted from individual development plans or historical reasons.
The approaches of the municipality to tackle the urban segmentation problem are also studied in the paper. By modernizing the controlling tools and simplifying the checking process, the municipality expects to minimize the constraint effect of the borders and enjoy the opportunity of economic activities. To bring the segmented Shekou area back to the planning system of the whole city, the municipality terminated the once successful Shekou Model and took back the power of planning and management of the area. It is also examined that how the government used encouraging tools to deal with the urban fragmentation problem caused by the near-sighted, expressed construction process in early time, and how compulsive regulations were implemented to clear the illegal buildings problem in private-owned lots.
Shenzhen, segmentation, urban form
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