The “New” Gated Housing Communities in China: Implications for Urban Identity
Most of China is moving towards housing in ‘sealed residential quarters’ (gated communities), yet these communities have a role and significance very different from those in the West. Historical analysis of housing types in China brings out the ingrained role of enclosing walls in housing, a cultural value that is centuries old yet being given new meaning through the introduction of Western-style, developer-driven housing estates. This is contrasted by a Western understanding of urban systems as consisting of interlocking spaces and flows, where social interchanges may be initiated or sustained. To explore this interplay, the researchers examine two communities in the industrial city of Shenyang, analyzing the role that their outdoor spaces play for the residents and their urban context.
keywords: China, housing, gated communities, urban design, open space