Tsung-yi Michelle Huang currently teaches in the Department of Geography at National Taiwan University. Her research specialization lies in contemporary urban culture in East Asia. She has authored Walking Between Slums and Skyscrapers: Illusions of Open Space in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Shanghai (2004) and Articulating New Cultural Identities: Self-Writing of East Asian Global City-Regions (Chinese) (2008). Her latest work, New Sensibilities in Mainland China and Hong Kong: Politics of Emotion in the Dreams of Development (Chinese) (2020), explores the generation of new narratives of development in urban spaces from a framework of cultural politics and structure of feeling, with a particular focus on how this process shapes emerging social subjects.
Penn Tsz Ting Ip is lead researcher with the Shanghai City Research Team with GenUrb. She is a senior lecturer at the School of Arts and Social Sciences (A&SS) at Hong Kong Metropolitan University. She was Assistant Professor at the Department of Cultural Industry and Management in the School of Media and Communication at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (2019-2023). Her research interests include gender and women’s studies, urban studies, migration studies, globalization, and affect theory. Ip is currently working on Feminist Explorations of Transitional Urban Experiences in China’s New Era, an edited book under review in Routledge.
City Research Team Members
Workers' New Villages
Drawing on the Soviet communal housing for workers, a great number of workers’ neighbourhoods were built from 1949 to 1978 to serve the working class in China. These neighbourhoods are commonly known as Gongren Xincun (工人新村 – literally, “Workers’ New Village”). In Community X*, a district located on the west side of Shanghai Workers’ New Villages were built and had become the communal housing for the workers working in the nearby factories. Under the influence of socialism, apartments were assigned to the workers by their danwei (单位 – literally, “work unit”) in Socialist China, according to their family size and their hierarchy in the workplace. These new villages are one of the most vibrant socialist legacies of urban constructions in Shanghai. During the socialist era, Workers’ New Villages were the principal part of urban renewal and was meant for the implementation of socialist political aspirations, social ideals, and economic policies of a state-planned economy. However, the Open Door Policy and Economic Reform in 1978 have started to change the social fabric of China, including these workers’ neighbourhoods. In the past two decades, Community X ushered into rapid urban development. Commercial areas are developed next to the workers’ neighbourhoods, with hundreds of luxury plazas, hotels, business office buildings, as well as embassies and consulates. Former socialist women workers and other local residents in Community X have to face drastic changes and challenges because of the rapid urbanization.
*To protect the privacy and security of our research participants, we have renamed the community we studies as Community X.