Chris Webster

Chris Webster
Cardiff University | CU · School of Geography and Planning

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57
Publications
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Publications

Publications (57)
Article
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(1) Background: Rare disease patients in China usually have to travel a long distance, typically across provinces, for an accurate diagnosis due to the uneven distribution of healthcare resources. This study investigated the impact factors of their trans-provincial diagnosis. (2) Methods: An analysis was made of 1531 cases (1032 adults and 499 chil...
Article
Background Although residing in lower surrounding greenness and transient exposure to air pollution are independently associated with higher risk of adverse health outcomes, little is known about their interactions. Objectives To estimate whether residential neighborhood greenness modifies the short-term association between air pollution and respi...
Article
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Background The role of environmental exposures in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remains inconclusive. We examined the association between environmental exposures (PM2·5, greenness, and urbanicity) and COPD prevalence using the UK Biobank cohort data to identify key built environment correlates of COPD. Methods In this cross-sectiona...
Article
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Healthcare disparity is, to a large extent, ascribable to the uneven distribution of high-quality healthcare resources, which remains insufficiently examined, largely due to data unavailability. To overcome this barrier, we synthesized multiple sources of data, employed integrated methods and made a comprehensive analysis of government administrati...
Article
With the deepening of housing reform, housing mobility and residential differentiation in urban China are on the rise. Extant studies on residential satisfaction and relocation intention tend to focus on rural to urban relocation, while little is known about their interactions in the context of urban China. This study attempts to fill this void by...
Article
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The booming informal housing market has played an important role in providing inexpensive housing for lower income population in the developing world. In China, an informal housing strategy known as " Small Property Right Housing (SPRH) " is thriving on collective land owned by village collectives, and providing housing for more than a quarter of a...
Article
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Background: Rapid urbanisation and associated socioeconomic transformations have modified current lifestyles, shifting dietary preferences towards ready-to-eat, calorie-dense food of poor nutritional quality. The effect of ready-to-eat food environments that sell food for instant consumption on the risk of type 2 diabetes has received scant attent...
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Background: Increased urbanisation and the associated reduced contact of individuals with natural environments have led to a rise in mental disorders, including depression. Residential greenness, a fundamental component of urban design, has been shown to reduce the public health burden of mental disorders. The present study investigates the associ...
Article
Background: With an estimated one billion hypertension cases worldwide, the role of the built environment in its prevention and control is still uncertain. The present study aims to examine the associations between neighbourhood walkability and hypertension in a large and diverse population-based cohort. Materials and methods: We examined the as...
Article
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Built environment factors, especially street-scale design and traffic casualties, are intrinsically interlinked. Starting from Alker Tripp's seminal ideas about city design, street morphology, and accident risk, this article summarizes results from an increasingly sophisticated line of enquiry at the boundaries between transport geography, network...
Article
Background Although obesity has emerged as a global pandemic, the evidence for identifying optimal residential density in relation to obesity has been far from compelling. High residential density may be hypothesized to constitute leptogenic multifunctional environments promoting active living. We aimed to examine the association between adiposity...
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Background Obesity is a major health issue and an important public health target for urban design. However, the evidence for identifying the optimum residential density in relation to obesity has been far from compelling. We examined the association of obesity with residential density in a large and diverse population sample drawn from the UK Bioba...
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Neighborhood-level interventions provide an opportunity to better understand the impact of neighborhoods on health. In 2001, the Welsh Government, United Kingdom, funded Communities First, a program of neighborhood regeneration delivered to the 100 most deprived of the 881 electoral wards in Wales. In this study, the authors examined the associatio...
Article
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Background Policy makers often target deprived neighbourhoods for regeneration with the expectation that population health will improve, since housing and neighbourhoods of low quality, as well as the social and economic determinants of poor health, are concentrated in the most deprived areas. Our aim was to examine the effects of Communities First...
Article
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Excess alcohol consumption has serious adverse effects on health and results in violence-related harm. Objective This study investigated the impact of change in community alcohol availability on alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms to health, assessing the effect of population migration and small-area deprivation. Design A natural experi...
Article
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In this study of households living in informal settlements in three principal Chinese cities, we analyze the associations between informality, property rights, and poverty. We propose that informality can be understood in terms of property rights (pres-ence/absence, strength, completeness, and ambiguity). Drawing on the property rights (entitlement...
Article
In recent years, a series of studies have highlighted the positive effects of urban green on individual activity behaviour and health. In this paper, we examine salutogenic environment effects of urban green upon walking behaviour and how such effects are mediated by built environment configuration and street-level physical accessibility. The dwell...
Article
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The built environment (BE) has emerged as one of the ‘first causes’ of chronic disease, capable of explaining its socio-spatial variation. There is an increasing need for objective, detailed and precise measurements of attributes of BE that may influence our lifestyle, behaviour and hence physical and mental health. In this paper, we report the UK...
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Introduction Recent systematic reviews have highlighted the dearth of evidence on the effectiveness of regeneration on health and health inequalities. ‘Communities First’ is an area-wide regeneration scheme to improve the lives of people living in the most deprived areas in Wales (UK). This study will evaluate the impact of Communities First on res...
Book
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Mounting scientific evidence generated over the past decade highlights the significant role of our cities’ built environments in shaping our health and well-being. In this book, the authors conceptualize the ‘urban health niche’ as a novel approach to public health and healthy-city planning that integrates the diverse and multi-level health determi...
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Few studies have examined the impact of the built environment configuration upon mental health. The study examines the impact of objectively assessed land use and street network configuration upon psychological distress and whether this association is moderated by the natural environment and area-level deprivation. In a community sample of 687 olde...
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Excess alcohol consumption has serious adverse effects on health and violence-related harm. In the UK around 37% of men and 29% of women drink to excess and 20% and 13% report binge drinking. The potential impact on population health from a reduction in consumption is considerable. One proposed method to reduce consumption is to reduce availability...
Article
CSEFALVAY Z. and WEBSTER C. Gates or no gates? A cross-European enquiry into the driving forces behind gated communities, Regional Studies. This paper addresses one of the biggest gaps in research on gated communities: why is the phenomenon so strong in some countries, but absent in others? After reviewing the mainstream explanations, it outlines a...
Article
This paper takes a fresh look at the land dispossession that is central to Chinese urbanisation. It documents in detail the property rights changes that occur when village land is taken by a municipal government and analyses the value of those rights by looking at compensation accounts for a case study village in the city of Xiamen in Fujian Provin...
Article
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Possessing different land rights and distinct landscapes, and separated from the rest of the city by invisible institutional boundaries, China's urban villages are unusual enclaves for landless farmers, rural migrants and other urban hukou (citizenship rights) holders in a period of rapid urbanization. Although urban villages are well known for the...
Article
Based on a large-scale household survey conducted in 2007, this article reports on poverty concentration and determinants in China's low-income neighbourhoods and social groups. Three types of neighbourhood are recognized: dilapidated inner-city neighbourhoods, declining workers' villages and urban villages. Respondents are grouped into four catego...
Article
China's rapid urbanization, characterized by large-scale rural–urban migration and radial expansion of urban built-up areas, produces a new type of urban neighbourhood, namely the “urban village” (chengzhongcun). This paper considers the urban village as a community of interest for urbanized villagers, a migrant settlement with low-rent housing, an...
Chapter
This chapter compares rural migrants and peasants from suburban villages with respect to rights to the benefits of urbanization. It argues that the entitlements facing the former are static because of the lack of scarcity of low-cost urban labour, while the entitlements facing the latter have increased because of the scarcity of peri-urban collecti...
Article
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In this paper we examine poverty concentration in Chinese impoverished neighbourhoods and estimate the effects of household characteristics and neighbourhood types on social deprivation. We find that unemployed households in old neighbourhoods are among the most deprived. The Chinese case suggests that urban poverty is concentrated by particular so...
Article
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Within the process of urban expansion through land requisition in China, farmers' de facto rights to collective land, including farmland and housing plots (zhaijidi), are forcibly acquired by the state and thereafter redistributed to private developers, to facilitate urban-based economic growth. Deprived of a secure livelihood, some landless farmer...
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We report on a large-scale household survey conducted in the city of Nanjing, in 2005, which forms a preliminary study for a major ESRC/DFID funded investigation into urban poverty and property rights changes in China. To capture an initial portrait of the urban poor, the Nanjing study focuses on the most essential elements of their daily lives, i....
Article
This article examines the notion of gated communities and, more generally, privately governed urban neighbourhoods. We do this by reviewing the idea that they are an innovative built-environment genre that has spread globally from a diverse set of roots and influences. These include the mass growth of private urban government in the USA over the pa...
Article
Different planning systems allocate property rights differently between the state and private property owners. This article argues that the appropriate allocation of property rights between the state and private owners can only be discovered by a process of experimentation. The experience of the UK suggests that such a process can take time and may...
Article
This is an essay about the territorial enclosure of urban neighbourhoods. It develops the argument that the shared public realms that became regarded as normal in the cities of the 20th century are inherently unstable. More particularly, they are an unstable form of co-ownership domain (condominium). In many different cultures and economies new for...
Article
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the idea of transplanting the institution of homeowner associations or similar to existing urban neighbourhoods in order to correct imbalances in patterns of incentives and responsibilities that threaten the liveability and sustainability of cities. Design/methodology/approach – The paper compares a...
Article
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In 1998 Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw won a Pulitzer Prize for a book titled The Commanding Heights, which looked at the great twentieth century intellectual debate between English economist John Maynard Keynes and London based Austrian economist Friedrich von Hayek. After the Second World War, Keynes won the peace and influenced three generat...
Article
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first draft : 01/2006. HAL-SHS published version : 11/05/2006 Final publication : 07/2006 - LE GOIX, Renaud, and Chris J. WEBSTER. "Gated communities, sustainable cities and a tragedy of the urban commons." Critical Planning, no. 13 / Summer 2006 (2006)
Article
So-called ‘gated’ communities have become common throughout the continents of Asia and America. Such communities are characterised by the ability to provide public goods and perform governance functions, independent of central and local government. It would be surprising if such communities did not develop to a greater extent in Britain, especially...
Article
A decade or more of intense academic discussion about urban enclosure and private governance has revealed the complexity of these issues and highlighted the main dimensions in which risk should be assessed. In this paper I review some of these dimensions, first by setting out the key analytical ideas that have been important in framing the question...
Article
The introduction of commonhold in the UK in 2004 has opened up a new way of organising collective action in urban neighborhouds. This paper examines the debate surrounding gated communities and private neighborhouds, drawn from experience of such communities around the world. It seeks to provide insights on haw it helps organizing the community, to...
Article
Full-text available
"Different planning systems allocate property rights differently between the state and private property owners. This article argues that the appropriate allocation of property rights between the state and private owners can only be discovered by a process of experimentation. The experience of the UK suggests that such a process can take time and ma...
Article
Discussions about gated communities, shopping malls, and industrial parks -- proprietary developments produced by entrepreneurs -- frequently espouse overly simplistic notions of private and public realms, viewing the encroachment of the latter by the former as a threat. In this essay I develop the thesis that, in reality, cities naturally fragment...
Article
The application of applied artificial intelligence techniques to geographical data processing has attracted considerable interest in recent years as reflected in the research agendas of major GIS research institutions. This paper illustrates how a simple spatial problem, formalised using predicate calculus, may be readily implemented as a rule base...

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Project (1)
Project
In China, one peculiar informal housing strategy known as “Small Property Right Housing (SPRH)” is thriving on collective land that is owned by villagers under Chinese land law. SPRH can be seen as an informal countermeasure responding on the one hand, to the deficit of formal sector affordable housing supply and on the other, to towering housing demand from low-income groups and rural migrants. The emergence of this informal settlement response as certain peculiarities that set it apart from similar phenomenon around the world and deserve study to assess its efficiency as both a Chinese model and potentially scalable model for other countries. This project aims to investigate the following questions: 1) What are the spatial patterns of SPRH development at city level and national level, in terms of location and pricing? 2) What determines the spatial distribution and discount of SPRH? 3) What institutional variations are there across China and what evidence of these evolving to make the SPRH more efficient? 4) How has the SPRH market responded to property rights enforcement attempts at national and local levels? 5) What implications to public policies under discussion concerning affordable housing provision and rural land reform have for SPRH?