The Bartlett School of Planning


The Changing Landscape of Low-income Housing in post-2008 Urban China

05 July 2024, 2:00 pm–3:00 pm

changing landscape china

Prof Shenjing He from The University of Hong Kong will share her research on low-income housing in urban China.

Event Information

Open to





Zhenfa Li


Central House
14 Upper Woburn Place
United Kingdom

Not only offering shelters but also the access to various life chances, affordable housing is considered an essential social infrastructure enabling physical and social mobility for low-income population. This talk provides an overview of the changing landscape of low-income housing in urban China and its implications for the mobility and wellbeing of low-income urban population in the post-global financial crisis era. Accounting for both formal and informal housing development, this study seeks to offer a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted low-income housing development through unpacking its multifarious processes and implications in the recent two decades. In parallel to a political economy analysis of two major stages of affordable housing development in post-2008 urban China, the development of informal housing in major Chinese cities is also scrutinised. Examining diverse types of low-income housing development, including shanty-town redevelopment, public and private rental housing, long-term rental apartments, “urban villages”, “small property right housing”, this research aims to explore more comprehensive and inclusive approaches to low-income housing development and diverse pathways to enhancing low-income populations’ social mobility and wellbeing.

About the Speaker

Prof Shenjing He

Professor at The University of Hong Kong

Shenjing He is Professor of Urban Studies and Head of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, The University of Hong Kong (HKU). Shenjing’s research interests include urban governance, urban redevelopment/gentrification, low-income housing, housing price mechanism, health and the city, and rural-urban interface. Shenjing was conferred the award of Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (UK) in 2021. She serves as co-Editor in Chief for Area Development Policy since 2023 and editor for Urban Studies since 2012, and sits on the editorial board of several urban and geographical journals. She is the founding director of the Social Infrastructure for Equity and Wellbeing (SIEW) Lab and the executive deputy director of the Urban Systems Institute at HKU. Her current research projects include housing inequalities and wellbeing, neighbourhood governance, climate gentrification, and cross border healthcare utilization.