Liveability of high-rise housing estates: case studies in the inner city of Tianjin, China

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Li, Chenguang
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In the past ten years, China’s urban population has increased rapidly. High-rise housing estates have been widely accepted as a ‘sustainable’ and ‘effective’ solution to urban housing shortage. However, high-rise housing has long been under debate with critics claiming liveability problems to be one of the reasons behind the decline of such development form in the mid-1970s. China presents a different context in the research on high-rise housing from other developed countries. This study focuses on an inquiry into the liveability of high-rise housing estates through investigating residents’ experience and evaluation on current high-rise living in the context of a Chinese city. \ud \ud The main contribution of this research to the existing literature is considered to be two-fold: Firstly, in the theoretical dimension, this research fills the research gap on the liveability study of high-rise housing in China, by establishing a resident-centred theoretical framework on the liveability of high-rise housing estates with a specific focus on housing planning and design in the Chinese context; Secondly, in the practical dimension, this research presents an empirical study on the liveability issues of current high-rise housing development in China, and provides implications for future planning and design of high-rise housing in high density urban areas.\ud \ud This study adopts a research strategy based on an embedded multiple-case study integrated with historical analysis, qualitative and quantitative survey to dissect the liveability of four high-rise housing estates in the inner city of Tianjin, China, with each representing one typical design type. This study provides an understanding on the impact of the macro-context on the development of high-rise housing estates and residents’ perception of the liveable residential environment; it explores the residential environment features and residents’ actual experience of high-rise living; it acquires residents’ liveability evaluation of high-rise housing estates, which not only reveals the liveability strengths and weaknesses of current high-rise housing development, but also discovers the measurement, indicators and dimensions of the liveability of high-rise housing estates, and provide implications for both theoretical research and practical development.
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