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Gated and packaged suburbia: packaging and branding Chinese suburban residential development

Wu, Fulong 2010. Gated and packaged suburbia: packaging and branding Chinese suburban residential development. Cities 27 (5) , pp. 385-396. 10.1016/j.cities.2010.06.003

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Abstract

Chinese suburban residential developments have recently seen the emergence of ostentatious, decorative and ‘western’-style built forms. Many are built into gated communities. The existing perspectives on these developments from the Western context, such as the ‘club of consumption’ and the ‘discourse of fear’, are not adequate to explain the development of these residential forms in China. This paper emphasizes that the essential feature of these residential forms is their attempt to create an aesthetically appealing environment. Various packaging and branding practices are discussed, including creating magnificent gates, using foreign place names, borrowing western architectural motifs, and inventing a discourse of community. These practices are essentially a branding exercise to signify otherwise nameless suburban green fields. There are two reasons: branding is a status symbol for these residential areas in a competitive real estate market, while localized, imagined and hybrid ‘western’ forms are invented and adopted to exploit the common social mentality that treats the western style as equivalent to a modern and high-quality environment.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Uncontrolled Keywords: Place marketing; Place branding; Residential development; Chinese cities
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0264-2751
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2019 09:06
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/10801

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