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Performative Actions As a Method of Participation Boundary Spaces in Five Beijing Residential Neighbourhoods

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Due to China’s unique administrative structure and planning processes, alternative forms of participation exist. For decades, Beijing residents have infl uenced their living environments through spontaneous performative actions in everyday life, such as rule-maintaining behaviours, placing objects and informal constructions. Focusing on boundary spaces of residential neighbourhoods, this paper examines the eff ects of such actions on place-making and citizen engagement. Supported by empirical evidence collected in fi ve Beijing residential neighbourhoods, the paper argues that performative actions are a form of participation in the everyday production of spaces, enabling every space user to express opinions on, negotiate on and modify their living environment. Such a participatory approach requires a broader conceptualization of citizens’ participation that has an independent subjectivity and functional breadth.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2019

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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