Author: Zhang, Ludan
Title: Housing production and restructuring of spatial relations in contemporary China
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2011
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Housing development -- China
Housing forecasting -- China
Dwellings -- China
Housing -- Finance
Department: Department of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: 111 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
Abstract: In the early 1980s, with the implementation of economic reform, a new wave of neoliberalism began to emerge in the country. The past three decades witnessed crucial reforms in housing production and distribution. Commodification of housing has produced variant living conditions, generating spatial segregations and changes in social relations. In recent years, the problem of housing inequality, which is reflected directly by the combination of high housing price and insufficient welfare housing supply, has become one of the most important social problems in China. This thesis tackles the question 'how to interpret the housing inequality problem in China' through critically analysis of neoliberalism, and puts the concentration on the changing state-capital relation and its influences on housing production and distribution in a market economy. As the booming of real estate industry is sustained by an institutional structure that benefits capital accumulation, the nature of housing inequality could be better understood in the broader context of economic transformation. This thesis studies the housing production chain link by link and discusses the complex interactions among different players, including the central state, municipalities, governmental officers, developers, contractors and consumers. This thesis is based on my fieldwork in Beijing. Between September and December 2009, I interviewed with 11 people who work as real estate professionals, and I also interviewed with 23 residents, including both local and migrant residents. Their stories helped me grasp full the operation of housing production chain. A picture of a new type of exploitation and capital accumulation gradually unfolded in front of me. It is concluded that in the process of housing production, a new regime of development composed with both political and economic powers has occurred. The new housing production model tightly bounds different players together, sustaining the high housing price. Boom in real estate production has not alleviated social stratification caused by inequality in distributing spatial resources to individuals. In opposite, it has led to increasing spatial segregation in Chinese cities.
Access: open access

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