Tam­my Wong

Hong Kong, Shen­zhen and Dong­gu­an are selec­ted in the pre­sent rese­arch to under­stand the urba­ni­za­ti­on pro­ces­ses in Pearl River Del­ta (PRD) regi­on. The­se three cities have expe­ri­en­ced their own urba­ni­za­ti­on tra­jec­to­ry and dra­ma­tic chan­ges in the past deca­des. The rapid urban trans­for­ma­ti­on of the PRD ori­gi­na­tes in the late 1970s when the Chi­ne­se government imple­men­ted the eco­no­mic reforms in 1979. After this, Shen­zhen Spe­cial Eco­no­mic Zone and Dong­gu­an have expe­ri­en­ced an unpre­ce­den­ted rate of indus­tria­li­za­ti­on and urba­ni­za­ti­on in the past 30 years. Mean­while, Hong Kong has shifted into the enhan­ce­ment and expan­si­on of its Cen­tral Busi­ness District, as set out in its Ter­ri­to­ri­al Deve­lop­ment Stra­te­gy. In order words, while indus­tri­al capi­tal has flown out into the new PRD are­as with Shen­zhen and Dong­gu­an as its bases, Hong Kong now high­ly depends on the accu­mu­la­ti­on of finan­ci­al and real esta­te capi­tal. To this end, lar­ge-sca­le urban rene­wal and recla­ma­ti­on pro­jec­ts have been deploy­ed to faci­li­ta­te the rest­ruc­tu­ring its urban space.

My rese­arch is divi­ded into two parts. The first part is to explo­re the pat­terns and pathways of the PRD urba­ni­za­ti­on pro­cess. A hori­zon­tal ana­ly­sis is employ­ed to under­stand the spa­ti­al pat­tern of the­se three cities. On the other hand, a ver­ti­cal his­to­ri­cal ana­ly­sis will defi­ne and exami­ne their par­ti­cu­lar pathways of urba­ni­za­ti­on, and make a selec­tion of dif­fe­rent pro­bes to ela­bo­ra­te on the ana­ly­sis.

The second part is to inter­ro­ga­te the­se spe­ci­fic urban pro­ces­ses and their impact on the local (com­mu­ni­ty) level. By stu­dy­ing on Hen­ri Lef­eb­v­re theo­ry, it will focus on how the­se pro­ces­ses have mani­fes­ted in all three cities and how it affec­ts the ever­y­day lives of migrant workers in par­ti­cu­lar. One can find that many immi­grants con­cen­tra­tes in par­ti­cu­lar inner-city are­as in Hong Kong; and lar­ge amount of migrant workers can be found in many indus­tri­al towns in Shen­zhen and Dong­gu­an. The pur­po­se is to exami­ne the socio-spa­ti­al con­di­ti­ons of their ever­y­day lives and how it is shaped through the dif­fe­rent urba­ni­za­ti­on pro­ces­ses at the local level.