Social housing and spatial justice : a GIS based social area analysis of multi-level social housing and small scale communities in Guangzhou

Chao, Ruixia. Social housing and spatial justice : a GIS based social area analysis of multi-level social housing and small scale communities in Guangzhou. 2020, Doctoral Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Available under License CC BY-SA (Attribution-ShareAlike).


Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/diss/DissB_13740

Downloads: Statistics Overview


Guangzhou is undergoing a rapid social development and a major spatial transformation. During this process, social housing policy gradually becomes one of the main drivers for spatial resource distribution and population flows across the city area. As a pilot city, Guangzhou’s intensive construction of social housing blocks was designed to address the living conditions of substantial numbers of local families in urban areas. The development of social housing can be traced back to 1994, have experienced three waves of constructions. Despite the substantial benefits, there also appear to be certain unintended consequences which may affect living conditions and may imply a further lack of sociospatial resources. As such, the investigation of social housing may be indicative of the status of urban poverty. Earlier studies of urban poverty have focused separately on community development, political implications and geographical connections and lacked a systematic conceptual and theoretical framework integrating all three of these issues. Conceptually, this study aims to examine whether residents of social housing communities have experienced any injustices regarding the obtaining of physical resources within the city, or any unjust psychological perceptions. Guided by the “spatial justice theory”, this analysis empirically surveyed 660 residents of 13 social housing communities in Guangzhou in greater detail. Based on three major criteria extracted from the theory: territorial distributive justice, economic inequality and locational discrimination, this research has examined correspondingly three major issues of accessibility of facilities, job-housing relationship and neighbourhood integration. The major questions are: 1) can residents in social housing easily access public facilities? 2) Do they experience difficulties in job-housing connection after resettlement? 3) Do they experience social exclusion or marginalization? Data relating to the ease of accessing public facilities, the commuting time to work and the degree of social integration were collected by questionnaires, while the physical locations of social housing buildings and communities were obtained from map databases. These data are processed with the spatial analysis in ArcGIS and statistical tests in SPSS, and each of the three justice degrees of the social housing target groups is estimated.
The results reveal that residents’ assessments of services provided by facilities depends largely on the distance to the facilities needed daily, as well as to the quality of basic education, the quality of basic healthcare and the price level of basic commercial goods. The spatial accessibility injustice appear to become more profound with unintegrated and large-size public services like shopping malls, parks and greens, and metro stations, in particular those in specific communities which are remotely located or have very short length of residence. Meanwhile, the injustice they are suffering was more likely related to the quality rather than the quantity of the service. To reduce the specific injustices that social housing residents are confronted with, more attentions should be given to the quality of services, particularly the basic healthcare and education, especially around Tianhe, Baiyun district and new projects. With regard to the connections between job and housing, a majority of residents has changed their workplaces around the relocated living area after resettlement and those residents remaining in their former workplaces would rather face the problem of distant employments. No significant evidence was found to indicate that current residents of social housing are suffering from injustice in relation to their current employment behaviour. As residents are mainly engaged in jobs in basic services with low-skill requirements, it would be very helpful to provide more industries involved in basic services, such as the catering industry, in these areas. Finally, social housing residents appear to be effectively integrated into the local environment. They have also developed a better network within the community, and those aged over age 40, less educated or have a low-income may have a strong dependence on it. The combining of theory results with feasible measurements has substantial implications for understanding the pattern of justice in space and for improving the accuracy of housing policy approaches. Detailed informative and measurement criteria are also beneficial for future research avenues.
Advisors:Schneider-Sliwa, Rita and Winkler, Justin
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Humangeographie / Stadt- und Regionalforschung (Schneider-Sliwa)
UniBasel Contributors:Chao, Ruixia and Schneider-Sliwa, Rita and Winkler, Justin
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Doctoral Thesis
Thesis no:13740
Thesis status:Complete
Number of Pages:1 Online-Ressource (II, XVII, 400 Seiten)
Identification Number:
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:30 Sep 2023 04:30
Deposited On:22 Oct 2020 08:15

Repository Staff Only: item control page