Fragmentation and


Four Urban Contexts Compared

Hong Kong Baptist University
David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies (LEWI)
29 Nov-1 Dec 2017


Tuesday, 28 November 2017                                                                                      

Venue: DLB702, 7/F, David C. Lam Building, Shaw Campus, HKBU

18:30 - 20:30      Conference Registration and Reception

Wednesday, 29 November 2017                                                                                

Venue: WLB109, 1/F, David C. Lam Building, Shaw Campus, HKBU

  Time                 Programme                                                                                                                    

09:00 - 09:20      Opening Remarks
                           Si-ming Li

09:20 - 10:20      Keynote Speech
                           Ray Forrest                      Real estate cities - polarised tenures,
                                                                    fragmented markets, resilient families?

10:20 - 10:50      Tea/Coffee Break

10:50 - 12:55      Session 1                         Residential Segregation 1                                                    
                           Chair/Discussant:           Shenjing He

                           Owen Crankshaw           Social polarisation and the post-Fordist spatial
                                                                    order in Greater Johannesburg, 1970-2011

                           Joowon Jeong               Residential segregation, migration, and food
                           Cathy Liu*                       access disparity in Atlanta

                           Si-ming Li*                      Immigration and residential differentiation:
                           Huimin Du                       Hong Kong post-1997
                           Pu Hao

                           Yiqing Gan*                   Rural-urban migration and elderly
                           Eric Fong                        representation in small and medium-sized

                                                                   Chinese cities

                           Pu Hao*                          Residential satisfaction of juveniles in Hong
                           Si-ming Li                        Kong: findings from a 2017 survey of

                                                                    secondary school students

12:55 - 14:00     Lunch                              Buffet

14:00 - 16:05     Session 2                        Socio-Spatial Polarisation                                                      
                          Chair/Discussant:           Donggen Wang

                          Aparna Ashok Phadke   Life and survival strategies of working class in
                                                                  the gentrified mill areas of Mumbai: an
                                                                  ethnographic analysis

                          Sin Yee Koh*                  Exacerbating inequalities and socio-spatial

                          Bart Wissink                   segregation in Hong Kong: spotlight on the
                                                                  invisible and invisibilised labour of

                          Yimin Zhao                     “The beaten thieves are eating meat!” Hukou
                                                                  delineation, land businesses and class
                                                                  reconstitution in China’s urban age


                          Dong Dong                    Rare, and unfair: Social disparities and health
                                                                  inequity experienced by people with rare
                                                                  diseases in urban and rural China


                          Felicia Tian*                   Urbanization and individual-level social capital
                          Yu Fu                               in China

16:05 - 16:30    Tea/Coffee Break

16:30 - 18:10    Session 3                        Migrant Experience                                                                 
                         Chair/Discussant:           Zhilin Liu


                         Limei Li                           Exit, voice, or loyalty? Migrants’ responses to the                                                                                 education barriers in Chinese cities

                         Jing Song                       Migration experience and cohabitation union: a
                         Weiwen Lai*                   multifaceted story
                         Shafei Gu                       Migrants' family reunion in China: from a
                                                                 perspective of migration pattern

                         Karen Harris                   Interstitial spaces: the urban history of the
                                                                 Chinese in South Africa


Thursday, 30 November 2017                                                                                    

Venue: WLB109, 1/F, David C. Lam Building, Shaw Campus, HKBU


  Time                 Programme                                                                                                                    

09:00 - 10:00      Keynote Speech
                           Risa Palm                      Cities and climate change


10:00 - 10:20      Tea/Coffee Break

10:20 - 12:00      Session 4A                   Urban Youth                                                                              
                           Chair/Discussant:        Pu Hao


                           Eric Wright*                 Struggling to count and respond to the needs of
                           Ana Laboy                    homeless youth in metro-Atlanta

                           Can Cui*                      Housing inequality among young generation in
                           Youqin Huang             urban China: an intergenerational perspective
                           Fenglong Wang

                           Fenglong Wang*        Subjective well-being of young adults in Chinese
                           Donggen Wang          large cities: why are they dissatisfied?
                           Can Cui

                           Nikhil Vilas                   Status of scheduled caste community in the era of
                           Gawai                           globalization: a case study of Mumbai metropolitan



10:20 - 12:00    Session 4B                    Neighbourhood Experience                                                    
(WLB105)          Chair/Discussant:         Guo Chen

                          Huimin Du*                  Intergroup contact and prejudice in newly-built
                          Jing Song                     urban neighbourhoods in Northwestern China
                          Si-ming Li

                          Yiming Tan                   Neighbourhood characteristics, social capital, and
                          Yanwei Chai                 neighbourhood activity participation of rural
                          Zhilin Liu*                     migrants in urban china: a case study of Beijing

                         Chao Yuan                   The everyday ‘spatial struggle’ of three categories
                                                              of urban residents in two typical poor
                                                              neighbourhoods in the Chinese city of Xi’an during
                                                              urbanisation and the transition to a market
                                                              economy—a Bourdieusian explanation


                         Si-ming Li                    Residential mobility and neighbourhood attachment
                         Sanqin Mao*               in Guangzhou, China

12:00 - 13:30    Lunch                          Renfrew Restaurant

13:30 - 15:10    Session 5A                  Urban (Re)development                                                             
                         Chair/Discussant:       Si-ming Li


                         Bin Li                           Authoritarian resilience and adaptive governance:
                                                             the case of urban redevelopment in Guangzhou,China


                         Boyi Wang                 Institutional uncertainty, fragmented urbanization
                         Li Tian*                      and spatial lock-in of peri-urban area of China: a
                         Zhihao Yao                case of industrial land redevelopment in Panyu

                         Mary Ann                  The movement to preserve Hubei Ancient Village:
                         O'Donnell                 from deterritorialised praxis to spatialized identities
                                                            in Shenzhen

                         Romain Dittgen        Materiality, everyday experience and the limits to
                                                            ‘time-space compression’: thinking through and 
                                                            across a large-scale urban development project in
                                                            Johannesburg, South Africa

13:30 - 15:10    Session 5B                 Urban Infrastructure                                                                     
(WLB105)         Chair/Discussant:      Cathy Liu

                         Alex Wafer                 Infrastructure and the materiality of citizenship in

                         Zeli Lin                       Polarizing formalization in reducing polarization:
                                                            rural fading while urban rising in the e-waste
                                                            processing industry

                         Tomer Chelouche    The Tiebout model and local government
                                                            expenditures in Israel

                         Brennan Collins        ATLMaps: deep mapping partnerships

15:10 - 15:30    Tea/Coffee Break

15:30 - 17:35    Session 6                  Residential Segregation 2                                                             
                         Chair/Discussant:    Owen Crankshaw


                         Gizem Arat               Understanding the ways of promoting urban
                                                           resilience in ethnically diverse Hong Kong


                         Sui Tao*                    Ethnic minority, enclaves and job accessibility in
                         Sylvia He                   Hong Kong
                         Shuli Luo
                         Venus Dulani

                         Yue Ray Gong*        Residential segregation in China: from institution based
                         Yanning Wei             to planning-driven

                         Ying Chang              The co-existence and social segregation of home
                                                           place in a new town-a close examination of one
                                                           involving medium-sized town in Yangtze delta


                         Michael White         Migration, urban settlement, and spatial
                                                           polarization: insights from China and South Africa


20:00 - 22:00   Dinner                       “A Symphony of Light” Dinner Cruise



Friday, 1 December 2017                                                                                           

Field Visit


Option one: Tsuen Wan


Option two: Kennedy Town


The Conference

29 November - 1 December 2017  

Different economic, social and political trajectories have resulted in varying patterns of spatial fragmentation, which is related to factors such as access to employment, income and wealth inequality, housing affordability, and racial and ethnic segregation, and is informed in major part by their urban morphologies.

The conference represents an international collaboration to conduct comparative analysis on the nature and manifestations of urban socio-spatial polarisation, fragmentation and segregation in USA, South Africa, Hong Kong and mainland China, with a view to identifying policy initiatives to enhance urban resilience. In addition to paper sessions, a one-day field excursion to public housing estates and other neighbourhoods in Hong Kong will be held.


  1. To investigate the impacts of economic restructuring on access to and quality of employment, with special reference to the global trajectories of the above four urban contexts and the different experiences of polarisation and fragmentation that have resulted;

  2. To identify the distinct racial and ethnic dimensions that affect access to housing and employment, such as: in-migration from mainland China and elsewhere in Hong Kong; rapid urbanization in mainland China under hukou delineation; migration of Black South Africans into Cape Town and Pretoria since the end of Apartheid; and the changing patterns of racial segregation and international in-migration in Atlanta, in the context of state policies on migration, housing and employment that either exacerbate or moderate polarisation and fragmentation; and

  3. To decipher the nature and extent of urban resilience in coping with problems of polarisation and fragmentation.  



Conference Organizer
David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies (LEWI)

David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies (LEWI) is a consortium of 28 universities from North America, Europe and Asia. The Institute, with Hong Kong Baptist University as the host institution and base, was established in 1993 with the aim to foster inter-disciplinary social science and humanities research and cultivate collaborative scholarship between the East and the West.

LEWI has two missions: 1) to promote mutual understanding between East and West through research, academic exchange, and other scholarly activities; and 2) to promote inter-disciplinary research in social sciences and humanities from both the perspectives of the East and West.

Over the years LEWI has made strenuous efforts in performing and reconciling its dual roles as an international consortium of universities and a university-wide research unit


Organising Committee:

Prof. Owen Crankshaw

University of Cape Town

Prof. Chrisna Duplessis

University of Pretoria

Prof. Ann-Margaret Esnard

Georgia State University

Dr. Pu Hao

Hong Kong Baptist University

Dr. Adrienne La Grange

City University of Hong Kong

Prof. Si-ming Li

Hong Kong Baptist University

Dr. Cathy Liu

Georgia State University

Dr. Jun Wang

City University of Hong Kong


Urban Studies Foundation

Hong Kong Baptist University