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Neighborhood Restructuring, the Built Environment, and Quality of Life in Urban China

A Comparative Analysis

Qiang Fu, Jiaxin Gu, and Piao Han

June 2021, English

Has China’s urban transformation improved its urban environment in terms of quality of life? If so, how can we reconcile the influx of Chinese migrants who are seeking a better ‘environment’ in Western cities? Using the interdisciplinary conceptual frameworks of social networks, collective efficacy, and place attachment, this research aims to provide a relational analysis of the urban environment and subjective/objective quality of life from a comparative perspective. Based on survey data and field interviews with Chinese residents/migrants in Guangzhou, China and Vancouver, Canada, both quantitative (i.e., Structural Equation Modeling) and qualitative analysis were used to investigate the concrete mechanisms linking neighborhood contexts, the built environment, and quality of life. This project not only describes the backdrop against which the effectiveness of urban policies can be assessed, but it also helps us understand key features in urban environments that shape the residential experience, grassroots democracy, and social well-being, on a global scale.


Urban Development