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Urban community in China: service, participation and development


With the rapid urbanisation and population growth in the cities, the People's Republic of China has recognised the importance of community development based on an ever-increasing demand for social services. In 1994, the Chinese government adopted community service as an alternative way of providing the supplemental safety net in urban areas. Along with this top-down approach, resident-initiated activities, participation and grassroots organisations at the community level are growing at an incredible pace. Using a case study, this study explores the context and aspects of community services, participation and community development in a Chinese urban community. Results indicate that China's reformed market economy and welfare system presses ordinary urban people to reconnect to the local community to ensure welfare security and quality of life. Community participation in China has rediscovered the path of community development and re-interpreted the top-down and bottom-up approaches in the context of community services. © 2006 The Author(s) Journal compilation © 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and the International Journal of Social Welfare.

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