Hukou Reform as Urban Reform

The thesis puts forward a project for the twenty-first century Chinese city at both architectural and territorial level. The opportunity for such a large-scale project is provided by the forthcoming reform of the hukou system (household registration). The hukou system is an administrative instrument of the central government used to control labour mobility and welfare distribution by dividing Chinese citizens into rural and urban households. The forthcoming reform aims to abolish this fundamental rural-urban dichotomy. Although the reform of the hukou is foremost social and political, its impact on the form of the city and the latter’s relationship with the countryside will be inevitable.

Jingru Cyan Cheng is a Chinese researcher and architect. She graduated with M.Phil in Architecture from Architectural Association (Projective Cities Programme) in London. Prior to attending the AA, as a senior undergraduate, Cheng was appointed to work on an extension project (completed in 2013) for Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China, where she earned her B.Arch with an award-winning thesis. Cheng is currently the co-founder of ACROSS Architecture, an academic association aiming at bridging the gap between the East and the West; ACROSS has organised symposiums in London and has published regularly in architectural magazines in China.

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Jingru Cyan Cheng