|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 6|
The occurrence of Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 has led to severe damage to the rural areas of Chengdu city, such as the rupture of the social network, the stagnation of economic production and the rupture of living space. The post-disaster reconstruction has become a sustainable issue. As an important link to maintain the order of rural social development, social network should be an important content of post-disaster reconstruction. Therefore, this paper takes rural reconstruction communities in earthquake-stricken areas of Chengdu as the research object and adopts sociological research methods such as field survey, observation and interview to try to understand the transformation of rural social relations network under the influence of earthquake and its impact on rural space. It has found that rural societies under the earthquake generally experienced three phases: the break of stable social relations, the transition of temporary non-normal state, and the reorganization of social networks. The connotation of phased rural social relations also changed accordingly: turn to a new division of labor on the social orientation, turn to a capital flow and redistribution in new production mode on the capital orientation, and turn to relative decentralization after concentration on the spatial dimension. Along with such changes, rural areas have emerged some social issues such as the alienation of competition in the new industry division, the low social connection, the significant redistribution of capital, and the lack of public space. Based on a comprehensive review of these issues, this paper proposes the corresponding response mechanism. First of all, a reasonable division of labor should be established within the villages to realize diversified commodity supply. Secondly, the villages should adjust the industrial type to promote the equitable participation of capital allocation groups. Finally, external public spaces should be added to strengthen the field of social interaction within the communities.
One of the most recent fields of investigation in urban issues focuses on the walkability in urban spaces. Considering the importance of walkability apart from pedestrian transportation, increasing walkability will help to reduce the congestion and environmental impact. This subject also matters as it has a social life, experiential quality and economical sustainability value. This study focused on the effects of walkability and place identity on each other in urban public spaces, streets in particular, as a major indicator of their success. The theoretical aspects which examine for this purpose consist of two parts: The first will evaluate the essential components of place identity in the streets and the second one will discuss the concept of walkability and its development theories which have been derived from walkable spaces. Finally, research investigates place identity and walkability and their determinants in two major streets in different cities. The streets are Chaharbagh Street in Isfahan/Iran and Dereboyu Street in Lefkosa/North Cyprus. This study has a qualitative approach with the research method of walkability studies. The qualitative method is combined with the collection of data relating to walking behavior and place identity through an observational field study. The result will show a relationship between pedestrian-friendly spaces and identity by related variables which has obtained.
Urban public spaces are sutured with a range of surveillance and sensor technologies that claim to enable new forms of ‘data based citizen participation’, but also increase the tendency for ‘function-creep’, whereby vast amounts of data are gathered, stored and analysed in a broad application of urban surveillance. This kind of monitoring and capacity for surveillance connects with attempts by civic authorities to regulate, restrict, rebrand and reframe urban public spaces. A direct consequence of the increasingly security driven, policed, privatised and surveilled nature of public space is the exclusion or ‘unfavourable inclusion’ of those considered flawed and unwelcome in the ‘spectacular’ consumption spaces of many major urban centres. In the name of urban regeneration, programs of securitisation, ‘gentrification’ and ‘creative’ and ‘smart’ city initiatives refashion public space as sites of selective inclusion and exclusion. In this context of monitoring and control procedures, in particular, children and young people’s use of space in parks, neighbourhoods, shopping malls and streets is often viewed as a threat to the social order, requiring various forms of remedial action. This paper suggests that cities, places and spaces and those who seek to use them, can be resilient in working to maintain and extend democratic freedoms and processes enshrined in Marshall’s concept of citizenship, calling sensor and surveillance systems to account. Such accountability could better inform the implementation of public policy around the design, build and governance of public space and also understandings of urban citizenship in the sensor saturated urban environment.