Urban village renewal in China: From state-led to self-organized land readjustment

Dinghuan YUAN*, Yung YAU, Ruoshi LI

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


China has been experiencing rapid urban development in recent decades. Together with the economic growth, the urbanization process has brought many urban challenges to many cities. One of these challenges is the proliferation of urban villages. While land readjustment (LR) has been a widely adopted technique for renewing or redeveloping urban villages in China, it is often top-down and state-led. Without actual engagement of the affected villagers in the planning and decision making processes, the LR projects cannot achieve socially sustainable outcomes. In this regard, this chapter advocates a self-organized LR model in which villagers’ committees (VCs) are empowered to initiate, plan and execute urban village renewal projects on their own. The VC-led LR model in Yiwu is employed as a case study for illustrating this self-organized LR approach. The case study demonstrates that the self-organized model has a high potential for achieving a win-win outcome to both the affected villagers and local governments. Land-use efficiency can be enhanced without the need of government investment. The government-community relation can also be preserved with the model. Before the conclusion of the chapter, some suggestions are given for pursuing a more workable and fairer way to design and implement the self-organized LR model in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Planning and Renewal
EditorsMaddison WOLFE
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781536124255
ISBN (Print)9781536124194
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameUrban Development and Infrastructure
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.


  • Empowerment
  • Land readjustment
  • Self-organization
  • Urban village
  • Urbanization
  • Villager participation


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