Revitalization of Urban Village --An analysis of case-study in Tengzi village, Nanjing

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för fysisk planering


Since 1980s, rapid urbanization progress took place in China. It promoted the development of urban economy and reflected the prosperity of the country. But at the same time, it brought side-effects among which urban village is one of the most significant problems. From narrow sense, urban villages refer to the rural villages which turned into residential areas in the process of urbanization, while the cultivated land being requisitioned and peasants becoming residents and still staying in the original villages. From a broad sense, urban villages refer to living residential areas which are lagging behind the pace of development, free from the modern urban management, have low living quality in the process of urban high-speed development. The appearance of urban village influenced the social environment and urban developing plan, it brought chaos to the city and caused social injustice. Compared with other parts of the city, the living condition of urban villages are far worse, as the living area is small, the housing are old and shabby and lack of adequate housing facilities. And nowadays more and more people realized the problem so that revitalization of urban village took place. According to Urban catalyst theory, urban catalyst is a new redevelopment strategy that drives and guides urban development. It is considered as a means of revitalization (Bohannon, 2004: p. 10). Sternberg (2002) relates catalysts to “activity generator” and “anchor”. In this sense, the revitalization of urban village could be seen as a urban catalyst, which can promote the changing of city structure and change the speed and mode of city development. In addition, Aldo Rossi (1966) claims that a city is a collection of collective memory and urban artifact, it has special genius loci. The locus is conceived of a singular place and event, which works as the relationship of architecture to the constitution of the city and the relationship between the context and monument (Nilufar, 2004). As Jana Revedin (2011) points out that the three columns of sustainable development, economy, ecology and social inclusion cannot work sustainably if the fourth column, the cultural acceptance and adequacy is neglected. Therefore, we need to keep the spirit of the urban village during the revitalization. In the thesis, I’ll use Tengzi Village in Nanjing as a case-study to illustrate the problems of urban village. And then make a new design proposal to the Tengzi village as a solution to the solve those problems under the direction of Urban catalyst theory, Locus theory as well as some other useful theories. In order to achieve the goal, design principles will be addressed. What’s more, excellent domestic and overseas examples will be analyzed, and proper methods will be adopted to collect and analyze necessary data. The outcome of the paper is expected to find the suitable solutions to deal with the current problems of urban village, and further process of the revitalization will be discussed in the future.

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