student profile: Mr Weijie Hu


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Thesis work

Thesis title: Urbanisation and Public Rental Housing in Chongqing, China: A Rural Migrants� Perspective

Supervisors: Duanfang LU , Peter ARMSTRONG

Thesis abstract:

Hu's PhD thesis examines the politics of urbanisation policies in China through the case study of public rental housing in Chongqing, with the focus on rural migrants' subjective well-being in urban living.

China has been experiencing rapid urbanisation over the past three decades. Recently, the city of Chongqing in southwestern China has adopted a series of innovative urban and social development policies, representing an alternative approach to urbanisation. Public rental housing, as one of the key urbanisation programs in Chongqing, has attracted extensive attention due to its emphasis on government's role and wide coverage. However, public rental housing does not form a complete social security system, and rural migrants' quality of life after resettlement is ignored. The Chongqing case thus deserves to be paid close attention among other pilot cities across the country.

There is a consolidated body of international literature regarding urbanisation and public rental housing in China. Yet, up until now, most studies have been narrowly focused on macro socioeconomic perspectives of urbanisation and housing policies and provision, while few studies have examined the reception of the public rental housing program among rural migrants. Thus, this thesis investigates the effects of these policies from the perspectives of rural migrants, systematically assessing their quality of life through a holistic approach for the first time. Six themes of urbanisation and public rental housing in Chongqing are focused on: they are (1) Becoming urban residents: motivations and barriers; (2) Job choice, location and mobility; (3) Schooling for children: new opportunities and discontents; (4) Public rental housing: adapting to the urban flat; (5) Public rental housing: living the neighbourhood; (6) Public rental housing and other housing options: a comparative perspective.

The potential contribution is that this project will create a new foundation for insightful critiques and shed new light on an emerging broad planning issue in order to move towards understanding the integrative impacts of urbanisation on local and global sustainability. It is my hope to offer a predefined framework of policy implications that go beyond the rigidity of the current implementation of the public rental housing mega-urban project, for subsequent application in other newly developing regions of China that are facing similar problems, such as Chengdu, Xi’an and even Xiong'an.

Note: This profile is for a student at the University of Sydney. Views presented here are not necessarily those of the University.