Entering the “New Era”, along with the promotion of China’s new-type urbaniza-tion, the meaning of “people-centered urbanization” has become more and more important. How to integrate and citizenize (shiminhua) migrants in Chinese cities is increasingly becoming a significant policy issue. Extensive empirical studies have been carried out on migrants’ settlement intention in Chinese cities. However, many studies focused on the institutional barrier created by rural-urban dichotomy, while little attention has been given to the impacts of the current trend of “family migration” on migrants’ settlement intention. Particularly, little research on this topic has been done in the small and medium-sized cities. Existing studies found that migrants in different cities have distinct levels of settlement intention, local contexts matter. As such, this paper uses Wenzhou as a case study, to explore the influence of family migration on migrants’ settlement intention. The research shows that migrants in Wenzhou did not have a very strong settlement intention. Results from logistic regression models reveal that hukou status has no significant effect on migrants’ settlement intention, while individual’s occupation, stability of work and family migration have significant impacts on migrants’ settlement intention. We argue that individual’s socioeconomic characteristics, instead of intuitional barriers, have become increasingly important for migrants’ settlement. Furthermore, the paper points out that it is necessary to emphasize the differences between large cities and medium-sized cities in the mechanism underlying migrants’ settlement intention. The existing studies in large cities have found that migrants’ intention to stay in the city is largely for maximizing their income. However, our study indicates that migrants’ settlement intention in medium-sized cities is not only determined by income, but more importantly by family factors. Migrants with a whole family in the city tend to have higher settlement intention than couple and single migrants do. We suggest that to have a whole family in the city would effectively lift migrants’ willingness to settle down. Therefore, in the background of new-type urbanization and civilization of agricultural population, small and medium-sized cities should seize the opportunity to attract talents by considering family-oriented policy design, which would help stimulate migrants’ willingness to settle down and also enhance their settlement capacity, and finally achieve "people-oriented urbanization".
Impact of built environment on older adults’ health has become a hot topic in aging geography research field. As a kind of subjective perception, well-being is influenced much by environment factors. However, bias exists when built environment’s impact on well-being is analysed only under the context of residential neighbourhood. According to the theory of uncertain geographic context problem, the built environment in daily activity space also affects individual’s well-being, not only environment around neighbourhood. For further understanding of the relationship of built environment and well-being, the article discusses the spatial temporal pattern of older people’s daily activity and the characteristic of built environment in different geographic contexts using 2016 survey of Guangzhou older adults. It is indicated that daily trajectories differ among older adults in different health statuses. What’s more, the environment they exposed are totally different as well. Therefore, Logistic regression model is used to analyse different health effects of built environment under separating geographic contexts. It is indicated that built environment affects well-being under all kinds of the geographic contexts, while the built environment of residential neighbourhood and daily activity space influences well-being to the largest extent. Besides, built environment factors in the place of maintenance activity and the place of recreation activity daily activity space have relation with well-being as well. To be more specific, the health effect of built environment like the density of bus stops, the density of green space and the density of intersections varies with geography contexts due to different activity durations, frequencies and purposes under different geographic contexts. The research verifies that built environment influences well-being not only in residential neighbourhood and reveals that geographic context difference exists while we analyse the health effect of built environment. What’s more, the relationship of built environment factors and older adults’ well-being under different geography contexts is also summarized. The conclusion supplements the research of spatial temporal behaviour from the perspective of daily activity and helps to enhance the understanding of built environment’s health effect. It offers a scientific support to the construction of aging liveable city and the provision of active aging health service.
Public space is a key arena for the unfolding of social interactions and cultural practices in cities. In the context of the modern city, the relationships between public space and its civic culture occupy an important place in theoretical debates. The primary context for such debates is the fact that modern cities are inhabited largely by strangers who are not acquainted with each other, and traditional communal and kinship ties have largely dissolved in the modern metropolis. In this context, public space is believed to be key to negotiations with strangers and the anonymous nature of social relations in cities. One theoretical perspective argues that ad hoc interactions and encounters in public space motivate urban people to recognise what roles they can play vis-à-vis strangers, and eventually realise that there is a separate realm of social relations and interactions beyond the cosiness of the private. A second perspective maintains that everyday life in public space can be seen as the transgression of the discipline of capitalist economy and market transactions. This article asks whether theoretical perspectives emerging from Western urban contexts are relevant to Chinese urban contexts in the reform era, and what kind of publicness has been constituted by social lives and cultural practices in Chinese cities. It focuses on square dance, a specific form of collective public leisure which has enjoyed remarkable media exposure in China over the recent years. Using data-mining techniques based on the Python programming language, this research systematically collected online public discourses on public space over the period of 2011-2015. This dataset is then analysed with the method of natural language processing. Overall, this article argues that publicness in reform-era urban China is comparable to Western cities in the sense that public space is heavily used for the purposes of social interactions and cultural expressions, while the right to public space is widely recognised by urban people, public discourses and the state. However, publicness performed in square dance is also distinctive in two ways. First, while public vibrancy is emphasised in the West for its contribution to the recognition of diversity and difference, the same is not so much underscored in the Chinese context as the aspiration for collectivism and collective social life. Practices of re-collectivization at a micro-level do not alter the general trend towards a “society of strangers”, but rather negotiate broader social changes. Second, while the existence of an urban public realm is widely recognised in the West and underscored by widely shared norms and codes of conduct, the notion of urban public is still vague for Chinese urbanites, and is instead an ongoing process of learning and negotiation about how to be public in an emerging Chinese urbanism.
The vitality of public space is an important indicator of urban quality, as urban public space is important for people to attain positive experiences from public life and social interactions. Measuring the vitality of public space faces challenges, because the vitality is a multi-dimensional and nebulous concept. Meanwhile existing approaches often focus on the scale of activity to indicate vitality but lack of a comprehensive assessment of vitality. To overcome this problem this paper aims to address this research gap by proposing a multi-dimensional framework for a holistic evaluation of the vitality of public space. Three aspects are identified, based on theories about the vitality of public space, as critical to assessing the vitality of public space, which include individual behavior, spatial activities, and spatial interaction networks. Accordingly, three measurements, including the ratio of tourists’ revisit, the degree of mixed activities, and the centrality of network interactions are proposed. Using the proposed measurements, a case study in the city of Nanjing was carried out. The vitality of 42 parks in the center city, as examples of public space, was evaluated. To measure tourists’ activities, a dataset of two weeks’ anonymous mobile phone signal records during the March 2018 was used. The results showed that the vitalities of parks are high overall, while there are significant differences among different types of parks. In particular, parks with more comprehensive functionalities tend to show higher scores of vitalities, and parks providing one or a few specific functionalities have lower vitality and the neighborhood parks are the lowest in vitality. Moreover, the three measurements indicate variety vitality of parks. For instance, the ratios of tourists’ revisit vary greatly among parks. The degree of mixed activities, in contrary, presents a cluster pattern in which most parks gained high scores. The centrality of network interactions also varies considerably among parks. A core network of parks was observed, which is composed of 22 parks such as Xuanwu Lake, Meihuashan, and Luboyuan. From a methodological perspective, an evaluation framework proposed in this study allows us to comprehensively understand and to quantitatively measure different constructs of the vitality. The measurements also provide useful insights into the design and planning of public space, as planners could optimize public space and improve the vitality based on the evaluation results. Through the higher resolution activity data, this analysis framework can be applied to analyze the vitality of small-scale space accurately, and combined with other information, such as tourists’ property and space facility, to further explore the influencing factors of space vitality.
As a key concept that describes human-place relationships, "sense of place" has long been an area of focus of international geographers. Studies on sense of place are currently either based on phenomenology and existentialism, with emphasis on describing the human experience of space and place, or on quantitative psychology and various dimensions of sense of place. With the former approach, researchers focus on the relationship between people and relatively familiar places, whereas with the latter, researchers focus on the relationship between people and unfamiliar places. Based on phenomenology, we explored sense of place in urban public leisure spaces, taking Guangzhou Tianhe Sports Center as an example. We used the concept of "place-ballet" and six features developed by David Seamon, namely, attraction, diversity, comfortableness, invitation, distinctiveness, and attachment, as key factors that generate sense of place. Research suggests that the first five features correspond to the five ways people and places interact, whereas attachment is a more emotional feeling, that is, a sense of place generated from the five types of association. We classified the human-place relationship of the above public leisure space into three categories by extent of human-place closeness: (1) "Daily association", whereby people used the sports center at relatively frequent intervals (e.g., every day or week) to engage in leisure activities, in particular physical exercise, thus forming a direct and close-use relationship with the space and facilities; (2) "Periodic association", whereby people visited the sports center for specific events (e.g., Guangzhou Evergrande football match or annual Spring Flower Market), thus forming a direct but loose-use relationship with the space and facilities; and (3) "Contextual association", whereby people had no direct-use relationship with the place but had witnessed or participated in a certain stage of the developmental history of the sports center over a sufficiently long period. Of these three human-place relationships, contextual association exceeds the explanation boundary of the "place-ballet" concept. Hence, we introduced two theoretical propositions for further exploration. The "human-place whole" and "human-place association" concepts can substitute the concept of "place whole" employed in previous human geographical research. In terms of actual research needs, the "human-place association" concept, which can direct specific observation practices and describe experiences, is more important than the "human-place whole" concept. Current mainstream research on sense of place (including place attachment) is only a partial research based on psychology. In addition, sense of place can be studied as a whole for various human-place associations, and as basic research that is close to philosophical level and fully incorporates human-place relationships by ensuring descriptive and interpretive applications. Overall, our classification and discussion of the categories of human-place relationships in special areas, such as urban public leisure spaces, include explicitly empirical observations, general facts, and unified dimensional standards. They are not only applicable for studying human-place relationship phenomena in leisure spaces but can also provide a valuable reference for studying such phenomena in other special urban spaces.
With the development of social economy, leisure behavior of urban residents is changing. It is necessary to discuss the issue on urban residents’ leisure and well-being in modern China. Previous studies have explored the relationship between leisure and subject well-being from the perspectives of leisure participation and leisure satisfaction, but discussions on the mechanism between leisure and well-being have not reached a consensus conclusion, and should be further investigated. Leisure activities will inevitably involve leisure time and leisure space, however, most of the existing literature overlooked the influence of the objective factors. This paper expands the study of leisure and subjective well-being with the dimensions of time and space by establishing a structural equation model of “leisure and well-being”. Based on the structural equation model, this study analyzes the impacts of leisure time, leisure space, leisure participation and leisure satisfaction on the subjective well-being, by using the data of questionnaire survey in Guangzhou. The results show that both leisure participation and leisure satisfaction have significantly positive impacts on subjective well-being, which verifies both the activity theory and the need theory. Compared with leisure participation, leisure satisfaction has a greater impact on subjective well-being with a coefficient of 0.394. The results also show that both leisure time and leisure space are exogenous and have positive effects on leisure participation. More concentrated time and less time pressure will significantly improve leisure satisfaction and promote subjective well-being. Leisure space, including leisure places, facilities, environment and atmosphere are also important in leisure activities; however, leisure space does not show any direct impacts, but only indirect impacts on subjective well-being through leisure participation and leisure satisfaction. Thus, leisure participation and leisure satisfaction play intermediary roles in the relationship between leisure and well-being. The findings have important implications for promoting urban residents’ leisure behaviors and subjective well-being. First, considering the importance of leisure time, the government should implement the paid vacation system to improve leisure quality and subjective well-being of urban residents. Second, leisure space is greatly affected by the local culture and the unique characteristics of a city, and local government should emphasize its own leisure culture to enhance residents’ leisure participation. Last but not least, leisure is not equal to well-being, but can meet the individual’s needs in psychological, physical, social, aesthetic and other aspects. Thus, leisure industry should be further developed to improve residents’ leisure satisfaction and subjective well-being.
With the rise and the turn of “everyday life” study in Western Academia, “going back to the world of everyday practice” and the ontology of life become the new academic perspective. The major conflict in Chinese society triggers the shift of the relations between people and place - from a static and homogenous to a more dynamic and heterogeneous interaction. “People” and “place” is endowed with the connotation and extension of everyday life. In the new era of pursuing a better life, geographers need to find out the geographical characteristics of everyday life practice, and how different subjects exhibit the dynamic relations between people and place, people and people, people and self through everyday practice and leisure; at the same time, they have to concentrate on the life practice and place meaning in different geographical scales. This special issue focuses on the subjective initiative of everyday life and leisure, spatial heterogeneity and the complexities between people and place. Specifically, the article discusses the relations between the leisure the well-being of the residents, between the evaluation of dynamics of urban public space and the ways of leisure, and between the sense of place and the settlement intentions. Future work should firstly focus on the everyday life and the leisure of marginal population. Secondly, there is a lack of study of everyday life practice on the “rural” scale, the study of rural population can be a complement for the research of rules and mechanisms of the everyday life and the leisure. Last but not least, we hope this special issue can be a good start to the promotion of constructing the theoretical debates of everyday life geography in China, meanwhile, a contribution to the geographical wisdom on how to pursue a beautiful life in practice in this new era.