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Ambivalence in Place Attachment: The Lived Experiences of Residents in Declining Neighbourhoods Facing Demolition in Shenyang, China

Listed author(s):
  • Li, Xin


    (Delft University of Technology)

  • Kleinhans, Reinout


    (Delft University of Technology)

  • van Ham, Maarten


    (Delft University of Technology)

This paper investigates the place attachment of residents in declining neighbourhoods that are facing demolition in Shenyang, China. Through in-depth interviews with homeowners living in danwei communities, or urban villages, at the pre-demolition phase, this paper reveals the strong connection between place attachment and both positive and negative lived experiences. The homeowners cleverly mobilise stable neighbourhood features and the challenges brought by neighbourhood changes to relieve their life constrains, such as the form of dwellings, low living costs and the place identity, which contributes to the development of place attachment. However, various forms of neighbourhood decline have negative effects on their place attachment. Urban redevelopment, therefore, confronts residents with a dilemma concerning the relative importance of their sense of rootedness in the neighbourhood and the desire to relocate to achieve better living conditions. By exploring this ambivalence, this paper displays how neighbourhood decline, and the impending demolition, affect residents' lived experiences and how residents in turn reconstruct their place attachment.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10515.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2017
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10515
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  1. Rose Gilroy, 2012. "Physical Threats to Older People's Social Worlds: Findings from a Pilot Study in Wuhan, China," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 44(2), pages 458-476, February.
  2. Li, Xin & Kleinhans, Reinout & van Ham, Maarten, 2016. "Neoliberalization and the Changing Roles of Stakeholders in State-Led Shantytown Redevelopment in Shenyang City, China," IZA Discussion Papers 10141, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Rose Gilroy, 2012. "Physical threats to older people’s social worlds: findings from a pilot study in Wuhan, China," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 44(2), pages 458-476, February.
  4. Lynne C. Manzo & Rachel G. Kleit & Dawn Couch, 2008. "“Moving Three Times Is Like Having Your House on Fire Once†: The Experience of Place and Impending Displacement among Public Housing Residents," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 45(9), pages 1855-1878, August.
  5. Ya Ping Wang & Yanglin Wang & Jiansheng Wu, 2009. "Urbanization and Informal Development in China: Urban Villages in Shenzhen," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(4), pages 957-973, December.
  6. Reinout Kleinhans & Ade Kearns, 2013. "Neighbourhood Restructuring and Residential Relocation: Towards a Balanced Perspective on Relocation Processes and Outcomes," Housing Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(2), pages 163-176, March.
  7. Yushu Zhu & Werner Breitung & Si-ming Li, 2012. "The Changing Meaning of Neighbourhood Attachment in Chinese Commodity Housing Estates: Evidence from Guangzhou," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 49(11), pages 2439-2457, November.
  8. Zhongyu He & Yasushi Asami, 2014. "How Do Landowners Price their Lands during Land Expropriation and the Motives Behind It: An Explanation from a WTA/WTP Experiment in Central Beijing," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 51(2), pages 412-427, February.
  9. Ade Kearns & Phil Mason, 2013. "Defining and Measuring Displacement: Is Relocation from Restructured Neighbourhoods Always Unwelcome and Disruptive?," Housing Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(2), pages 177-204, March.
  10. Lynne C. Manzo, 2014. "On uncertain ground: being at home in the context of public housing redevelopment," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 389-410, December.
  11. Peteke Feijten & Maarten van Ham, 2009. "Neighbourhood Change... Reason to Leave?," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 46(10), pages 2103-2122, September.
  12. Susan J. Popkin, 2010. "A glass half empty? New evidence from the HOPE VI Panel Study," Housing Policy Debate, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 43-63, January.
  13. Edward G. Goetz, 2013. "Too Good to be True? The Variable and Contingent Benefits of Displacement and Relocation among Low-Income Public Housing Residents," Housing Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(2), pages 235-252, March.
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