PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (3): 367-377.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2017.03.013

• Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Neighborhood relations and the regeneration of social space in large suburban communities: A case study of Huilongguan in Beijing

Jian FENG1(), Fangfang WU2, Peiling ZHOU1   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2. Shanghai Urban Planning and Design Research Institute, Shanghai 200040, China
  • Received:2016-11-01 Online:2017-03-20 Published:2017-03-20
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41671157, No.40971085


This article observes the social space established by relationships inside a certain zone via the exploration of neighborhood relationship, analyzes the territoriality and relationality of a community, and discusses the dialectical unification between social space and all other relationships. By random sampling and qualitative interview, the survey investigated the situation of neighborhood acquaintance dropping in, mutual assistance, conflict, and community identity perception. Huilongguan community represents a typical urban neighborhood, characterized by de-familiarization between neighbors and superficial human association. The TIES model constructed on these features and restricted the neighborhood relationship, consists of the factors of Time, Intention, Event, and Space. It is found that as a new community gradually expanding and developing, Huilongguan boasts relatively harmonious relationships and interactions between the residents and a strong community identity perception, which are very special and reflect the return of traditional community features. Through an analysis of the formation process of Huilongguan community, this study examines the establishment and maintaining mechanism of "a new community", which contains five steps based on time sequence. The creation of a real community needs a certain region and various mechanisms and events. The organic unity relationship between residents plays the dominant role. Space provides an indispensable foundation and the relationships meanwhile shape social space. When residents of a community actively participate in various community activities and fight for their rights, and regard the community as their joint homes, good relationships among neighbors and strong sense of community will be formed and the special mosaic social space structure will be produced. New communications technologies produce new community forms—people can cross community boundaries, even reach the global range to build social relations and social groups, which make global area become a large village

Key words: neighborhood relations, large suburban residential area, community, regeneration of social space, socio-spatial dialectic, Huilongguan in Beijing