Please enjoy the following article from the Journal of Urban Affairs, available online prior to print.
Participatory urban redevelopment in Chinese cities amid accelerated urbanization: Symbolic urban governance in globalizing Shanghai; by Zhumin Xu & George C. S. Lin
This research engages with ongoing theoretical enquiry into the nature and dynamics of public participation in urban redevelopment in a command economy undergoing marketization. The research investigates the actual practicing of community participation in housing requisition in Shanghai, its social and political underpinnings, and its impacts upon residents directly affected by housing requisition. This study argues that the notion of public interests is ambiguously defined and manipulated, whereas the actual rights and responsibilities among major stakeholders remain unchanged. Migrants are excluded from the decision-making process. Participatory urban redevelopment is found to be rhetorical and symbolic by nature. It is a tool for the municipal government to quicken the housing requisition process for economic development and avoid social unrests for career advancement. The findings of this research help identify a new path of theorization concerning state–society relations going beyond the state–market dynamism that has dominated the theory of neoliberal urbanism.