What do Shenzheners think of Shenzhen?

‘If I had to live anywhere in the world, it would be Shenzhen’ say 68 percent of residents


In order to examine the sense of neighbourhood belonging and social cohesion in the context of rapid urbanization in contemporary China, the Centre for Social Policy and Social Change at Lingnan University (CSPSC LingnanU) has recently surveyed more 1000 Shenzhen residents. Almost 70% of the respondents said that if they had to live anywhere in the world, it would be Shenzhen.


Led by Professor Ray Forrest, a group of researchers at CSPSC LingnanU conducted questionnaire survey to 1007 Shenzhen residents in the first half of 2018 in Shenzhen’s four, inner core districts of Nanshan, Futian, Luohu and Yantian, which asked people a series of questions about their contemporary urban experience and neighborhood relation.


The survey found that, in the “future city” where a city is of migrants, high technology and the highly educated like Shenzhen, 62 percent of respondents felt a strong sense of belonging to their neighbourhood, which concluded that the neighbourhood seems to retain a significant role in everyday life in the rapid  and profound urban change. 36 percent of respondents described themselves as “Shenzhener”. In the meantime, 68 percent of respondents said, ‘If I had to live anywhere in the world, it would be Shenzhen’. Owning a property in the city would have the biggest impact on regarding Shenzhen as home (46%) followed by household registration (26%). Regarding to the quality of urban life, the three most important determinants are a clean environment with low pollution (79%), income (71%) and to be near family and friends (35%).  In addition, the research team suggested that the understanding of neighbourhood and the sense of belonging needs careful interpretation with regard to contemporary patterns of residential differentiation and segmentation.


Note for editors:

The survey was carried in Shenzhen`s four, inner core districts in May 2018. A total of 1007 completed interviews were achieved across the four districts of Nanshan, Futian, Luohu) and Yantian.

The research was supported by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (Grant No. 11608115).