This paper analyses urban village redevelopment projects (UVRPs) in contemporary China using a case-based analysis method. Based on the data collected from 394 UVRPs in Zhejiang province, we reveal that the top-down institutional arrangement is the dominant method for redevelopment of urban villages. Wenzhou city is picked as an example to explore the drivers, policies, and barriers for UVRP implementation under the top-down institutional arrangement. According to the secondary data of government policies and documents, striking the balance of social, economic, and ecological benefits to achieve more sustainable and new-type urbanization is found to be the main stimulus. Grounded in the original fieldwork conducted in 26 urban villages in Wenzhou, this study unravels how the policies for UVRPs are formed and implemented. As for the barriers, from the perspective of villagers, social disputes are caused by the unclear definition of legal property rights, the demand for the construction of temporary relocation housing for the elderly, and the high construction costs of relocated high-rise buildings. The government blames the unruly villagers or nail householders for their excessive requests which increase the transaction costs for settling these issues. Besides, poorly designed policies impede policy implementation. In view of the high costs of policy alteration, the lock-in effects or policy continuity preferred by the government echo the institutional equilibrium put forward by North.
|Journal||Journal of Urban Planning and Development|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Sep 2020|