Peripheral housing on the
urban wasteland of Chinese cities

by Weijie Hu


The photographs show how peripheral housing affects the lives of residents under the socio-political contexts on the edge of urban wasteland. Since 2010, 40 million square metres of social housing have been constructed on the periphery of Chongqing city in Southwest China. This housing programme has drawn a great deal of attention from across the world due to its emphasis on the role of the government and its universal applicability. However, as a result of the land-based financing approaches adopted in Chongqing municipality, the peripheral housing projects are consigned to the cheap wasteland on the urban fringe, which, in addition to its remoteness, is environmentally unfriendly; for example, the photographs show enormous overhead power lines that are crossing the entire housing site. Thus, the peripheral housing is generally considered as a controversial set of spatial practices that seek to forge the lives of its residents in a fragmented and unfinished urban wasteland. Residents are spatially trapped in the urban wasteland, and their experience is constantly controlled and framed by the power of the authorities. These photographs hope to reach an international audience to show how the mistakes of the mega-urban projects from the 1960s are still occurring today in the East, and in the West.

1. Day and Fog | Weijie Hu

2. Mega-structures and Tiny Human | Weijie Hu

3. Night and Home | Weijie Hu