Karolina Petz (2016)

Activities of informal economy and its spatial dimensions inside ‘urbanized villages’ of Shenzhen
Gangxia village
As 304 ‘urbanized villages’ of Shenzhen accommodate the majority of its population by only 5 percent of its land occupation (cf. Guo, 2015, p. 35), they play a decisive role in allocating millions of migrants coming from all over China.

This thesis deals on a macro level – the urban scale – with the ‘urbanized villages’ of Shenzhen and on a micro level – the neighborhood scale – with the living environment inside Gangxia village. It tries to reveal the evolution and the complexity of ‘urbanized villages’, and to find explanations for their persistence in a formal urban environ that transforms constantly. Based on the application and combination of different strategies, the thesis aims to bring up a certain consciousness about these ‘villages’ and their uniqueness, considering the contrasting juxtaposition to their urban surrounding. Through a case study research

in Gangxia Village, I analyzed the informal activities inside this ‘village’, which may contribute to its enduring existence and its stable economic pattern. A direct and participant observation on site, helped to analyze and consequently investigate different pro les of informal activities, in order to find out how the people interact with space and the urban structure of Gangxia Village. Besides, main focus is set on the perception and the requirements of Gangxia’s residents, implemented through interviews, in the form of face to face conversations. Consequently, the influence of Shenzhen’s constant transformation process on Gangxia and its inhabitants, relating to their daily-life habits, their living environment, their social interaction, and their interaction with space and the urban structure, could be revealed.

at the Faculty of Architecture and Planning
Supervision   Assoc. Prof. Dr. phil. DI (FH) Sabine Knierbein
Stipendium für kurzfristige wissenschaftliche Arbeiten und fachspezifische Kurse im Ausland:
Research at the Harbin Institute of Technology Shenzhen Graduate School; Supervisor: Prof. HANG MA, Associate Professor, PhD Ing