Chinese Geographical Science ›› 2021, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (2): 376-386.doi: 10.1007/s11769-021-1194-8

• Articles • Previous Articles    

Spatial Mismatch or Not? Evidence from Public Janitors in Xi'an, China

CHEN Chen1, CHENG Lin2, XIU Chunliang3, LI Jiuquan1   

  1. 1. School of Tourism & Research Institute of Human Geography, Xi’an International Studies University, Xi’an 710128, China;
    2. School of Geography and Tourism, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710119, China;
    3. Jangho School of Architecture, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110819, China
  • Received:2020-01-20 Online:2021-03-20 Published:2021-02-06
  • Contact: CHENG Lin E-mail:chengl08@snnu.edu.cn
  • Supported by:
    Under the auspices of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41601158, 41871162)

Abstract: Research on the spatial mismatch experienced by low-income minority residents is US-centric. However, spatial mismatch is not necessarily an appropriate term when considering the situation of low-wage workers in cities of northwestern China where there is higher proximity between jobs and housing and lower levels of residential segregation. This paper empirically examines the jobs-housing spatial relationship for one of the most typical low-wage groups, namely, public janitors, in Xi’an, China. Also, the causes of the jobs-housing spatial relationship are discussed in detail. Individual-level data based on in-depth interviews and questionnaires, as well as the GIS network analysis method, are used to provide baseline analyses of the jobs-housing spatial relationship. Results indicate that there is no jobs-housing spatial mismatch for public janitors in Xi’an. This can be implied from the short commuting distance and time. A basic cause is that most public janitors rent low-cost accommodation in villages-in-the-city, and in old residential quarters, near to their places of work. Other causes lie in off-peak commuting and high sensitivity to commuting distance due to the greater extent of non-motorized commuting modes. The conclusions, based on a large number of social surveys, are an illuminating analysis of the spatial mismatch issue among low-wage workers in Chinese cities.

Key words: spatial mismatch, jobs-housing spatial relationship, commuting distance, commuting time, low-wage workers, Xi’an, China