Journal article Open Access

Influences of Planning Policies on Community Shaping in China: From Past to Present

Liu, Jian


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    <subfield code="a">community shaping; planning policy; social management; spatial organization; Chinese cities</subfield>
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    <subfield code="u">Tenured Associate Professor, Department of Urban Planning &amp;  Design, School of Architecture, Tsinghua University, Beijing, P. R. China</subfield>
    <subfield code="a">Liu, Jian</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;In China, as in other countries of the world, communities, which are often considered as self-governing social organizations, are shaped&amp;nbsp;and influenced by many factors. Different from other studies, this paper approaches the issue of community shaping from a planning perspective&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
and tries to answer the questions of how Chinese communities have been physically shaped throughout history and what influences the planning&amp;nbsp;policies have on communities&amp;rsquo; scales, forms, and functions. Hereby, the planning policies concern not only the spatial organization, but also the&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
social management of communities. The research is elaborated chronologically, dividing the history of community development in China roughly&amp;nbsp;into four periods according to socio-economic development trends, planning objectives, and community characters. The narration is mainly based&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
on literature work and case studies, with a focus on the social and spatial characters of urban communities. The paper concludes that before the&amp;nbsp;modernization of China, Chinese communities were mainly shaped into a gated Li-Fang pattern by traditional city building principles, in accordance with the regulations on social management, in spite of the terminological changes in different dynasties and the opening of gated communities&amp;nbsp;during certain dynasties. In the thirty years of the planned economy, Chinese communities were mainly shaped into inward Danwei (or work unit)&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
communities of perimeter blocks by the urban planning institution, which was regarded as a technical tool of the planned socio-economic development to support national industrialization. In the next thirty years of economic transition, Chinese communities were further shaped into gated&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
commodity housing communities of super blocks under the influence of reforms and the guidance of urban planning regulations. In the period of&amp;nbsp;new urbanization, Chinese communities face the challenge of transforming towards a dense grid, with narrow streets and small blocks, and promoting public engagement in community building, in view of the requirements for quality-oriented development.&lt;/p&gt;</subfield>
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