shenzhen urban village-data

Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. An organization is a group of elements which distribute tasks for a common goal.

Due to the rapid urbanization in Shenzhen, lots of farmland was encroached and left the villages existing inside the city like archipelagos.  When more and more labor force swarmed into the city, houses were built by the villagers themselves for supporting low-cost accommodation. The original villagers gave up traditional living styles such as farming and fishing, and turned to live on renting. The land ownership is collective by the whole village, but the dense houses which have no pre-planning and registration were illegal at the beginning, and then acquiescent by the government. There are more than 200 villages currently existing  in the Shenzhen,  most of which are isolated from the planned city block by urban infrastructure like roads. It is a extremely dense area and without any public space inside.

Recently, these villages need to be reformed and removed gradually by the second round of urbanization process, therefore, conflict appears between villagers and the government. In this sense, a kind of autonomous associations, which acted in an economic way, were established by the villagers themselves to protect their properties. These economic associations are called ‘companies’ in Shenzhen, Not only the individual properties, but the collective part is also managed by this company. They manage the whole financial issues within the company, and can also put some capital into the outside market. The company take the responsibility not only in negotiating with government and developers, but also benefiting the villagers by the profit investing in the market. The board of the company are selected by directly democratic voting, and it’s might be a temporary duration. In this situation, Every villager has the doubly identities: partner and inhabitant. Somehow, it’s an anarchistic characteristic based on semi-autonomous economy by the “Autonomous Association of Villagers”.

archipelago-shenzhen urban village

shenzhen urban village-diagram Ironically, all of these efforts come around the main objective of making money. When the villagers getting richer, some of them began to move to the modern community in the city, and leave their house renting to the incoming labors. Right now, the population of immigrant labor is approximately ten times than the original villagers. All of the immigrant labor come from different place of China, they temporary live in the city with low income and unstable job situation. So there’s no such concept of community during the immigrant  labor group, even more,  there’s no health insurance and lowest-income protection.

In summary, under the high pressure of contemporary chinese administration policy, it is impossible to be autonomous in a political way, but it could be done somehow in an economic way like this. It is a win-win, both for the local government and the villagers. However, besides the driven for protecting properties and making money, these ‘autonomous association’ were not set up positively for the desire of collective issue such as communality, and have nothing to do with the enormous labor living inside.

shenzhen urban village-dia