Hello everyone. Welcome back to MaoMi Chinese. I guess that everyone has heard of "city" and "rural" in Chinese. Do you know what "urban village" is? An "urban village" is a "countryside" in a big city. Sounds weird right? So, let's walk into China's "urban villages" together today and talk about why there are some "urban villages" in China's big cities.
Talking about this topic, we need to know one word, "urbanization". "Urbanization" means that the countryside becomes the city. In many countries, many large cities were formerly rural areas. For example, London in the United Kingdom is a very large city, but many places in London used to be rural. It is the same in China. Some of the megacities in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, were not that big before, but later the cities expanded and became bigger and bigger and needed more and more land. Some rural land was slowly turned into urban land. However, in China, many villages are collectively managed by villagers, and the land also belonged to the villagers. Some villagers did not want to move, but the surrounding land has become the land of the city, and there were many high-rise buildings. So, if you walk in a big city in China, sometimes you will see a lot of tall buildings next to an old and rundown village. There are also many buildings in the village, but they are very crowded, and some places are also very dirty, which is very different from the high-rise buildings in the city.
So, what do people think of urban villages? Some people say that urban villages are dirty, messy, and poor, and they should disappear soon. But there are also some people who say that renting a house in urban villages is very cheap, and buying and eating things is cheaper than in cities. Many immigrants who work in cities can live in urban villages, so urban villages cannot disappear. They are also the homes of many people. How cheap is it to live in an urban village? For example, in Shenzhen, a super city in southern China, if you want to rent a place in the city center, a one-bedroom apartment will cost about 3,400 yuan per month, and a well-located place will cost more than 5,000 yuan. However, if you rent a place in an urban village, it is about 800 yuan per month, and in some places, it only costs 500 yuan.
Why are places in urban villages so cheap? First of all, there are many buildings in urban villages, and they are very crowded. Some buildings are called "handshake buildings", which means that the two buildings are so close together that people can shake hands with their neighbors when they open their windows. Then, although most of the rooms in urban villages are equipped with toilets and kitchens, they are very small, generally less than 20 square meters. There are many rooms in the building, and many people live in one building. Finally, the environment of many urban villages is not particularly good. Maybe there will be a lot of rubbish, and maybe there will be thieves, which is not particularly safe. However, there are many immigrants who work in big cities who do not have very high wages, so they choose to live in urban villages. We can also say that because of the friendly living cost of the urban village, they can also have a warm home in the cold city.
Is there "village within a city" in your country? Feel free to leave us comments!