Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Michael Marme, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dotan Leshem, Ph.D.


Urban villages (chengzhongcun) are unique to China and are a result of the country’s rapid urbanization. There has been much research and analysis done in trying to understand the nuances of the redevelopment process and how to appropriately revamp this process in order for it to mutually benefit all involved stakeholders. Also, there has been much research done on the public space in the urban village, but this research is often confined to the bubble of the urban village. It seems there is little interest in analyzing the overlap between urban village and the surrounding metropolis. Heavily overlooked is the interaction between the outside urban residents and the urban village residents. The urban village is the space within the city, but it is not detached from that city, it is seemingly integrated. By understanding the ways that people move in between these spaces, and how they interact within these spaces, it will provide evidence for community building and the value of the urban village not just to the urban village residents but also to the outside urban residents.Studies focus on the quality of public space and how that affects the people in these spaces, but little attention is paid to the people themselves who occupy these spaces and interact in these spaces despite the questionable quality of such spaces. The purpose of this thesis is to explore how the public space of the urban village influences the community and interaction between the residents of the urban village, and the interaction between the residents of the urban villages and the outside urban residents. I argue that the public space of the urban village facilitates community building between the different people who occupy that space, as well as functioning to integrate new residents and the urban village itself more cohesively with the fabric of the greater urban sprawl. I have found that the urban village’s public space actively works to integrate the residents of the urban village into the larger framework of the city through the interactions it facilitates between people of different backgrounds and people who exist within the boundaries of the surrounding urban city.