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Regenerating historic neighbourhoods: Everyday life, participation and resistance in shaping urban governance networks. A case study of Nanjing, China

Cao, Liu 2019. Regenerating historic neighbourhoods: Everyday life, participation and resistance in shaping urban governance networks. A case study of Nanjing, China. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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There has been a growing political, policy and popular interest towards urban regeneration of historic places in China over the past decade. The recent urban regeneration practices generally mean historic places are either destroyed altogether, to be replaced by high-rise living buildings, or turned into tourist attractions or high-class shopping centres thus did not respond to the needs of local residents, maintain or sustain their everyday social and cultural practices. In light of these circumstances, protests emerged from local residents in resisting gentrification and claiming their benefits are normal to observe within these years’ urban regeneration in China. The overall aim of this thesis is to address this phenomenon in seeking to diversify the contemporary body of research from the Global South. In doing so, this thesis works at the intersection of theoretical engagement with urban governance, public participation, gentrification and critical thinking of everyday life in cities. The main arguments of this thesis are as follows. First, the way how the local government regenerated the historic neighbourhood in Nanjing shows evident local government entrepreneurialism features. More than inter-urban competition, intra-urban competition is simultaneously happening at smaller scales. Secondly, grassroots’ mobilisation illustrates non-government actors can affect the governing processes. Thirdly, existing limitations of the current public participation system explained why it failed to empower local residents and reduce tensions. Fourthly, the strong sense of place attachment was used by local residents as the powerful weapon to resist gentrification. This thesis firmly situates the role of non-government actors in shaping and influencing governing networks. It adds new ideas in engaging with research of social relations, public participation and resistance to gentrification to the contemporary body of urban studies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Urban China; resistance; gentrification; public participation; urban governance; urban regeneration
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 31 March 2020
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2020 01:55

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