Space and social life : morphological self-evolution of urban villages in Hangzhou

Zhao, Jing and Chen, Yufan; (2022) Space and social life : morphological self-evolution of urban villages in Hangzhou. In: Annual Conference Proceedings of the XXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form. University of Strathclyde Publishing, Glasgow, pp. 1036-1043. ISBN 9781914241161

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"Village in city" is a unique phenomenon in the process of China's rapid urbanization. As the concentrated embodiment of urban-rural conflicts in the period of urban transformation, urban villages have received extensive attention in the physical space and social security issues. They seem chaotic, but contain rich and colourful social life. They are vibrant communities, which provide a large number of cheap houses for the migrants. Different from modern cities or traditional villages, individuals of different classes and backgrounds constantly compete and cooperate here, forming a unique "community of social life" in urban villages. Based on the perspective of urban morphology, this paper takes Gaotang community, a typical urban village in Hangzhou as the research object, and analyses the relationship between its spatial pattern and social life through field investigation, interview and mapping. Firstly, this paper analyses the texture and public space characteristics of the self-evolution of urban villages in the context of urbanization. Then it insights the life integration of different population based on the environment-behaviour studies, which shows the daily life scenes and neighbourhood relations in a richer spatial level. The research will help to better understand the role of urban village as a social life community carrying a variety of lives. At the same time, the richness and complexity of urban village space and social life provide design strategies and reference for urban organic renewal and future community construction.

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