Chinese cities are growing and go beyond their old boundaries. Farmers have to move away and exchange their land for massive housing development. As a result, an interesting phenomena has started in China. When these former farmers after losing their land started to buy small plots of land in cities, they were building three or four stories multi-use building. Literally built with their own hands and sometimes without the help of an architects, all of them have quite different design. Apart from apartments, they also create different city services such as hotels, restaurants, and retail shops. As such, they create cities with a much more vibrant street life than massive housing blocks built systematically by the government and developers.
Nevertheless, the government usually sees those areas as “cancer tumors” of cities and does everything to erase them from the city map. Although often of a temporary nature, this type of cities continues to pop up in different places.
Hulshof, Michiel; Roggeveen, Daan. How the city moved to Mr. Sun