Exploring the relationships between social interaction and the use of neighbourhood public space: A case study of Li-Fen in Wuhan

Project: PhD

Project Details


The impact of urban renewal on the historic districts changes the living quality of residents, and how it affects the well-being of residents is the main focus of the project. The aim is to inform the government and urban planners about residential needs and regional specificities when building functional urban spaces in the rapidly growing cities of China. This rapid urban development has brought material prosperity, but also profound changes to inhabitants’ ways of life, not least through large numbers of historical districts disappearing. Effectively in exchange for short-term economic growth, the historical continuity and living memory of the city is in the process of being destroyed, which is also weakening the unique cultural characteristics of these cities. This project relies on the concept of "community well-being" (CWB) which has been reported in many pieces of literature (Campbell et al., 1976; Christakopoulou et al., 2001; Gary Linn et al., 1989; Lansing et al., 1970; Sirgy et al., 2000; Vrbka & Combs, 1993). “Community well-being" (CWB) mainly focuses on the concept of the relationship between personal well-being, the living environment and the public space (Lee et al., 2015), including "satisfaction of community" and "quality of life" (Andrews & Withey, 1976; Morris & Winter, 1975; Speare, 1974; Zumbo & Michalos, 2000). At the same time, CWB builds a framework that influences the daily activities of residents in the living space and leads to better development for the community (Hothi et al., 2008). The empirical focus is on the ongoing urban renewal of the Li-Fen, historical neighbourhoods in Wuhan, China. The project employs an interdisciplinary and mixed methods approach to examine the relationship between residents' well-being, social interaction and the use of neighbourhood public space in the historic districts. As rapid urban renewal will lead to inevitable changes in the nature of public space, the project will develop an approach to preserve historical memory while improving urban well-being and the quality of life of residents. This approach is premised on two aspects: one is a focus on morphological evolution, exploring the spatial organization and design of public spaces suitable for communication and life. Another aspect is focused on understanding how different public spaces of Li-Fen are used and what material and social elements are valued by users.
Effective start/end date1/01/21 → …


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