Suburban Resettlement: Housing Farmers in Chongqing and Kunming

  • Zhang Hui Renmin University of China
Keywords: Urbanization, Resettlement, Farmers, Housing


The acute need for urban expansion has escalated the speed and scale of land expropriation. As a result, many farmers were, voluntarily or involuntarily, resettled to storied buildings. This paper deals with what happens after the physical and status change of such forced resettlement and argues that the housing arrangements facing relocated farmers are one of the keys influencing their relocated experiences. Three types of housing in suburban Chongqing and Kunming were compared, i.e. a) farmers being pushed further to the margin but keeping the traditional types of housing and community; b) farmers negotiating a deal with property developer to build a collective housing compound, neighbouring other commercial apartment-clusters; and c) farmers being relocated by an Economical Comfortable Housing Project. Supported by materials obtained through 6 months of participant observation and in-depth interviews with local residents, as part of the EU funded UrbanChina project, this paper will discuss in details the various kinds of benefits and challenges each housing type has presented in offering comfortable/convenient living conditions, in forming a community, in addressing disputes and conflicts between ex-farmers and local residents as well as in developing a sustainable model for rural-to-urban transition.


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