PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (4): 554-564.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2021.04.002

• Special Column: Community Life Circle Plannning • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Danwei-based life circle practice in the emerging city of Shenzhen: Construction and characteristics

GONG Yongxi1,2(), DUAN Jinghe1,3, WANG Jiaqi1,2, XIAO Zuopeng1,2,*()   

  1. 1. Architecture College, Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen 518000, Guangdong, China
    2. Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Urban Planning and Decision Making, Shenzhen 518000, Guangdong, China
    3. Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute (Group) Co, Ltd, Shanghai 200092, China
  • Received:2020-09-02 Revised:2020-12-08 Online:2021-04-28 Published:2021-06-28
  • Contact: XIAO Zuopeng;
  • Supported by:
    Key Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China(41830645);National Natural Sciences Foundation of China(41801151);National Natural Sciences Foundation of China(41771169);National Natural Sciences Foundation of Guangdong(2018A030310691)


As the basic institutional arrangement for resource allocation and social integration in China during the era of planned economy, the danwei system played an important role in shaping the daily activity space and life circle structure of urban residents. However, currently studies on the relationship between the danwei system and life circle mostly focus on cities with a long history of planned economy and strong state-owned economy. Few studies have attempted to focus on the danwei system in emerging cities, although the danwei system practice existed in these cities. In addition, few studies have explained the formation and development of life circle from the perspective of public service facility supply mechanism. This study first analyzed the evolving role of the danwei system in the process of urban construction and development in Shenzhen City. Seven communities with features of danwei compounds, named as pan-danwei communities, together with one commercial housing community and one urban village community, were selected to depict the life circles of residents in these communities from the dimensions of spatial behavior and social relations. We believe that the path differences of the danwei system on the spatial and social practice that occurred in these communities have resulted in different community life circle structures and patterns. The life circle of these pan-danwei communities has similar features with the traditional danwei communities. These features include work-housing balance, self-contained amenity provision, and strong sense of community. On the other hand, because residents have no personal attachment to the danwei or the neighborhoods, they can make full use of various urban facilities to meet diverse demands. It provides a new model of reconstructing life circle in China, learning from the danwei communities. It is essential to encourage the development of various types of pan-danwei communities. Especially, various enterprise units or community developers should be supported to participate in the public good provision mechanism, and the construction mechanism of community life circles should be improved. Analyzing the localized practice of community life circles of this type of danwei compound can enrich the concept and construction models of community life circle in a market economy environment.

Key words: danwei system, pan-danwei community, community life circle, public good provision, spatial behavior, Shenzhen City