• Zhuyang Liu Tongji University, College of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Wenxiao Yang
  • Beiyin Ni


rural gentrification, metropolitan suburbs, significant projects




China has been pursuing a rural revitalization strategy in recent years. Rural areas located on the outskirts of metropolitan areas have outstanding advantages in rural tourism development due to their superior geographical location. In particular, the implementation of significant projects such as Disney has caused similar characteristics of rural gentrification in the rural revitalization of Western countries. However, rural gentrification in Western countries and China shows many differences in terms of the interests of rural indigenous people and the role of local governments. Firstly, recent research has found that China's rural indigenous people are not always victims of gentrification and forced displacement. On the contrary, they have become active actors and beneficiaries. Secondly, under the Western liberal economic system, rural gentrification is usually considered to be the result of corporate dominance, and the role of the state and government in it is often ignored. But in China, local governments play multiple roles such as investors, organizers and coordinators. Therefore, based on the differences in driving forces, rural gentrification can be classified into enterprise- sponsored and local government- sponsored. Previous studies in China often focused only on one type of rural gentrification. But in fact, there may be various gentrification characteristics in the rural areas of China's megacities. And the complex dynamic mechanisms behind them need to be further studied using more effective methods. In addition, there may be complex interactions between various types of gentrification, which may change at different stages of development. This article takes Lianmin Village, located in the suburbs of Shanghai and close to Disneyland, as an example, and organized three surveys on it. Specifically, this study adopts a research method that integrates qualitative methods such as on-site panoramic surveys, household semi-structured interviews, and actor networks, and quantitative methods such as questionnaire surveys. As a result, this study collected 102 valid questionnaires that can be used to describe the characteristics of the migrant population, the evolution of the industrial structure and the features of the rural landscape in Lianmin Village. This study then uses the actor-network analysis method to pursue the mechanism behind the phenomenon. Lianmin Village is located on the outskirts of the Shanghai metropolitan area and is close to Disneyland. Its unique geographical location has brought many potential passenger flows and development opportunities. Finally, this study initially obtained three findings. Firstly, Lianmin Village has the characteristics of enterprise-sponsored rural gentrification and government-sponsored gentrification in terms of agrarian population structure, rustic industrial structure, and rural landscape style. The former has higher flexibility and reflects more urban aesthetic interest. Rural gentrification, with local government investment and construction as the main mode of participation, focuses on public actions such as road widening, blackening of basic service facilities, showing apparent preferences for public attributes and local characteristics. Secondly, the mechanism behind the above factors may not be that local enterprises and governments drive independently in their respective fields. Instead, the above two main actors are interconnected through other actors such as village elites, comfort immigrants, tourists and so on, forming a complex joint action network. Market resources and government resources are efficiently allocated and reorganized through actor networks. Thirdly, the dominance and correlation strength of enterprise-sponsored and government-sponsored rural gentrification fluctuate at different stages of development. The project development of Lianmin Village has gone through three major development stages: dependence period, transformation period and alliance period. The actor-network formed among multiple subjects gradually strengthened after a brief period of loosening. Finally, this article believes the research results can provide empirical reference for rural revitalization in similar areas.

Author Biographies

  • Zhuyang Liu, Tongji University, College of Architecture and Urban Planning

    Master's Degree Candidate,Tongji University, College of Architecture and Urban Planning

  • Wenxiao Yang

    Master's Degree Candidate,College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University, China

  • Beiyin Ni

    Master's Degree Candidate,College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University