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Living Globally: Exploring the Need for Foreign Enclaves in Shanghai

Chung, Peter

More often than not, the principles of ethnic integration trump segregation in today’s post-modern, cosmopolitan cities. However, in different urban contexts segregation may actually induce economic benefits. Foreign urban enclaves in emerging economies can function as residences for highly skilled foreign workers who collectively contribute toward a municipality’s economic output. This study examines the need for foreign transnational enclave communities in Shanghai. The hypothesis is that the planning of foreign enclaves is necessary because such environments provide a socially and culturally familiar space for expatriates allowing them to establish a lifestyle in an otherwise unfamiliar urban setting. The findings suggest that although this was a strategy that Shanghai implemented in the past to retain the skills of foreign workers, the circumstances have now changed. Western expatriates are more integrated than they are segregated, and their locational decisions are based on factors other than maintaining a sense of cultural and social familiarity. The study argues that in the context of Shanghai, planned foreign enclaves are not necessary due to the city’s historical trajectory, current economic state, and a gradual economic independence through improving domestic capabilities.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Lin, Xin
Degree
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
July 3, 2014
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