I like meeting and talking with visiting urbanists because the conversation is refreshingly straight forward about constructing society (via environmental interventions). Who are the stake holders, they ask. Where can we find them? What should we ask them? These clear and solid questions help me think more precisely about Shenzhen because identifying stake holders entails (1) acknowledging competing rights to the city and also (2) mapping the fraught and unformed territory of Shenzhen identity; who does have rights to this city of immigrants? And how
did might they claim them?
Today, I’m thinking about approaching these questions through the construction and allocation of rental property. Why do urban village handshakes — despite constituting the demographically significant residence in the city — why don’t they transform migrants into stakeholders? Continue reading