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In 2018 “Main Road Network Density Monitoring Report for Major Cities in China”, used information technology to build a road network density monitoring platform system for major cities across the country, and achieved scientific monitoring and dynamic tracking of urban road network density indicators.

The report shows that by the end of 2017, the overall average density of the 36 urban road networks was 5.89 km/km2, which was set by the “Opinions on Further Strengthening the Management of Urban Planning and Construction”. By 2020, the average road network density in urban built-up areas will increase to 8 km/km2, which is still a big gap.

Compared with the intensive road network in Europe, the huge difference in urban grid model is attributed to the difference in the mode of residential areas.

In the research papers of the Independent Research, based on the study of the closed community and urban network derived from the same document – The “Opinions” of the State Council, a large number of gated communities accounting for 70.3% of the total number of China’s urban communities cut off the ‘capillaries’ of the urban road network, making the traffic flow concentrated in a small number of main roads, which has seriously reduced the urban road density (Kevin & Mark, 2013). In addition, gated communities’ characteristics of low utilisation efficiency of urban public resources and high isolation intensify the uneven distribution of urban resources and affect the communication and integration of urban residents (Ngai, 2012).

Strong openness and mobility, and common living needs become important features of the development of modern Chinese urban form (Zhao. et al, 2014). However, in the context of the open and flowing urban society, large scale urban gated communities are not coordinated with urban spatial development and have been stacked up to cut and close the vast urban space which greatly undermines the mobile functions of urban space. This kind of urban space closure has caused heavy impacts on urban traffic, security, resources, residents’ integration and other aspects.

From the above, it can be found that gated communities which are under dual closed state of space and management induce or aggravate many urban issues, such as traffic congestion, low efficiency of resource allocation and utilization, resident isolation and social alienation. Gated communities can no longer meet the needs and trends of social development. To solve this tricky problem, the Chinese government has put forward the strategy of opening gated communities. This reform policy means not only transformation of urban grassroots space, but also transformation of social governance of urban grassroots in deep way. In terms of urban spatial changes, the main characteristics of open communities are reflected in three aspects of the reorganization of the community size, the transformation of community planning and design and the digestion of the gated area. To match the changed features of communities, three management cases of open communities are assumed to demonstrate new pathways of social governance. These pathways include alternation of governance idea from separation to integration, modification of governance pattern from unitization to networking and variation of governance mechanism from singleness to recombination.


Kevin, L. & Mark, W. (2013) ‘The development and localisation of a foreign gated community in Beijing’, Cities, 30, pp.186-192.

Ngai, M. Y. (2012) ‘Walled Without Gates: Gated Communities in Shanghai’, Urban Geography, 33(2), pp.221-236.

Zhao, X. et al. (2014) ‘Effects of spatial form on urban commute for major cities in China’, International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 21(4), pp.361-368.


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