International Development Planning Review

Marginalised countryside in a globalised city: production of rural space of Wujing Township in Shanghai, China

International Development Planning Review (2019), 41, (3), 311–328.


This paper takes Wujing Township of Shanghai as a typical case to examine the process and dynamics of the production of rural space in China. Although Shanghai has generally become more urbanised and globalised than ever, the rural area in Shanghai is relatively marginalised. Production of space, as a social theory focusing on interactions between capital, power and class and their impacts on urbanisation, is applied into one such micro-scale case of community development. There are three categories of social space separations in Wujing. The main driving force of producing these separations is power: top-down policymaking represses bottom-up community self-organising. Rising housing prices driven by capital not only makes the locals only care for benefit from housing demolition, but also enlarges the gap between the locals and the migrants. It is the increasing strength of capital and power and weakened local voices that undermine community-based social space in Wujing.

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