This article focuses on the influence of state-led urban redevelopment on the place attachment of deprived and old homeowners living in danwei communities that are facing demolition in Shenyang, China. It investigates lived experiences through in-depth interviews with homeowners in the context of the pre-demolition phase, i.e. an inevitable prospect of having to move out. The article reveals how these homeowners cleverly mobilize local resources, such as strong social bonds, low living costs, flexibility on space use and good neighbourhood location to cope with their life constraints, which is translated into their strong neighbourhood attachment. However, various forms of neighbourhood decline have decreased their quality of life. Meanwhile, they soon have to move due to the impending demolition of their neighbourhood. State-led urban redevelopment, therefore, confronts those deprived residents with a dilemma concerning their strong neighbourhood dependence and their desire for better living conditions. The impending neighbourhood demolition uncovers accumulated social issues in danwei communities in the context of market reforms and institutional changes in current China, such as the emergence of deprived social groups and their struggles for better housing.
- Place attachment
- lived experiences
- declining neighbourhoods
- state-led urban redevelopment