end of an era? periodizing shenzhen urban villages

A few months ago, I published an essay that periodizes the development of urban villages in Shenzhen. It provides a more nuanced context of how we arrived at the public shaming of Shatou during the recent Covid outbreak. It also contextualizes Baishizhou as an important landmark in Shenzhen’s cultural geography, speculating on what the demolition […]

the urban village in these covid times

It’s hard to know what’s happening in Shangsha, but stories are flying, people are being admonished not to spread rumors, and weibo accounts are being closed. This morning, Shangsha residents who had been locked in their buildings to prevent illegal exits and entries during quarantine were posting to Weibo, Douyin (Chinese Tik Tok), and We […]

and yes, urban villages are now heritage sites in shenzhen

So, I wrote Heart of Shenzhen: The Movement to Preserve ‘Ancient’ Hubei Village. It was published in The New Companion to Urban Design, an (embarrassingly expensive) anthology, edited by Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris & Tridib Banerjee. The paper tracks the rise of public intellectuals in Shenzhen as well as growing identification with the city’s cultural geographies.

shenzhen has suspended the demolition of designated urban villages

Shenzhen has just released its 2018-2025 Comprehensive Plan for Urban Villages (Old Villages) 深圳市城中村总体规划(2018-2025). Here’s the long and short of it: Shenzhen has decided to suspend the demolition of designated urban villages and instead bring the housing stock and surrounding neighborhood shops into its affordable housing program.

more on urban villages from the V&A

Just recently, I stumbled upon me, Fu Na and Huang Weiwen talking about urban villages. The video was part of Unidentified Acts of Design, an exhibition and series of eight films. The films are worth checking out again, if only because the city has already changed. To find out more about the V&A’s work in […]

shenzhen comes out in favor of new attitude toward urban villages

It’s been a long time coming. Or not. Roughly a decade after Shenzhen targeted urban villages as “dirty, chaotic, and substandard” and less than five years after Gangxia changed how we thought about compensation, the official Shenzhen press has indicated its time for the city to change how it thinks about urban villages.