The Bartlett School of Planning


Shengxi Xin

Research subject

Advancing the Socio-Economic Well-being of Rural Areas and Communities: A Study on China’s “Modern Agricultural Zones”

Primary supervisor: Prof. Nick Gallent
Secondary supervisor: Dr. Iqbal Hamiduddin
Starting date: September 2020
Projected completion date: September 2024
Email: ucbqsx2@ucl.ac.uk

This research aims to analyse how effective the Modern Agricultural Zone (MAZ) that is argued to be a neo-exogenous development (NED) approach is at ensuring that rural households can retain benefits of development interventions in different rural situations in China. It first situates the NED model within the spectrum of extant models through the review of principal rural development models in the world and of Chinese unique bureaucracy system and urban-rural relations. Then, the research conceptualises the NED model by identifying its goals, foci, and implementation mechanism, distinguishing this “reaching-in” Chinese rural development paradigm from its western counterparts. After that, based on the review of Chinese rural governance history and existing studies, it classifies different rural areas, mainly through the lens of power structure. Finally, the research analyses the practices of MAZ in different rural settings to see how the NED model would be impacted on its implementation and achievements of its goals by the local dynamics.



Shengxi is a PhD student at The Bartlett School of Planning, UCL. Before his PhD study, Shengxi studied at the University of Cambridge where he received his master degree in 2019. His research interest includes: rural development and planning, urban-rural regeneration, and community planning and governance.

  • Xin, S. & Li, J.* (Accepted) ‘From Physical Refurbishment to Human Revitalisation: The Development of British Community Regeneration and Implications to China, Urban Planning International, pp. (In Chinese)
  • Xin, S., Guo, Q. & Zhong, S. (2021) ‘Rural Revitalisation Strategy for Suzhou: towards social innovation-driven neo-endogenous development’, In Xu, Y. & Kim, J.S. (eds.) Future Suzhou: Urban Planning and Operation of Suzhou from Global Perspectives. Beijing: China Architecture & Building Press, pp.136-156. (In Chinese)
  • Zhong, S. & Xin, S. (2020) ‘Urban-rural Relations in the Context of New Urbanisation: Case of Suzhou’, In Tang, B. & Cheung, P. (eds.) Suzhou in Transition. London & New York: Routledge.
Conference papers/presentations

Zhong, S. & Xin, S. (2018) ‘Rural regeneration: Changing urban-rural relations in China’s Lower Yangtze Delta Region?’, Regional Studies Association Annual Conference, 3-6 June 2018, Lugano, Switzerland.

Xin, S. & Sturup, S. (2018) ‘Justice and Space: Impacts of Urban Displacement on Relocatees' Sense of Space’, New Zealand Geographical Society / Institute of Australian Geographers Conference, 11-14 July 2018, Auckland, New Zealand.