Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

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Transforming Public Spaces in Post-Socialist China’s Danwei Neighbourhoods: The Third Dormitory of the Party Committee of Shandong Province

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Abstract:  The urban residential pattern in China experienced two significant transitions during the second half of the 20th century. The first happened in the 1960s, based on the Soviet model, when a large-scale community model was built led by government enterprises and institutions under a planned economy; the second was in 1998 when the real estate market-led socialised community model emerged after the reform of commercial housing. The former is characterised by the integration of supervisory units, service units, and property owners: Residents enjoy the right to use the residences and supporting services provided by their affiliated institutions, while for the latter case, supervisory units, service units, and property owners are separate. New conflicts have been found in Danwei neighbourhoods with the housing commercialisation reform. This research focuses on the Third Dormitory of the Party Committee of Shandong Province as a case study to analyse the transformation of public space in the Danwei neighbourhood during the post-socialist era. Through archival research, interviews, and observation, this research has found that two forces that celebrate marketisation by the new residents and resist marketisation by the original residents coexist in the Third Dormitory. Unregulated spatial practices have resulted from the incomplete control of the owners of public space by the provincial government office. This research offers an example of public space transformations in Danwei neighbourhoods, which have undergone incomplete marketisation. The reflections on the Third Dormitory provide references for future neighbourhood management and policy-making.

Keywords:  China; economic transition; neighbourhood public space; post-socialism; property marketisation; spatial transformation



© Tao Shi, Fangjie Guo, Yali Zhang. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.