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RE-IMAGINED COLLECTIVISM REVERSING BEIJING’S SOCIO-SPATIAL FRAGMENTATION THROUGH INTENSIFICATION & ADAPTATION BAI XU PILOT PROJECT


CHINESE URBANISATION: RURAL-URBAN MIGRATION

DEMOGRAPHIC & URBAN TRENDS FOR CHINA 1978-2005

NATIONWIDE MIGRATION ROUTES INTO BEIJING

Hebei

Henan

Sichuan

Shandong

Anhui

SOURCE: BEIJING URBANIZATION IN THE PAST 18 YEARS (2005)

GROWTH IN TEMPORARY MIGRANTS IN BEIJING 1990-2008

SOURCE: CHINA STASTICAL BUREAU (2006)

URBAN & RURAL POPULATION IN CHINA

SOURCE: CHINA STASTICAL BUREAU (2001)

RURAL-URBAN MIGRATION The surge in China’s urban population can be attributed to rural-urban migration and reclassification of cities. Prior to the market reform, China was a socially stratified society, in which individuals were divided into urban citizens or rural peasants in the form of a registration system, also known as hukou. The economic reforms in 1978, in conjunction with the initiation of temporary registration system in 1985, and a relaxation of the hukou system, allowed for freer population mobility (Mars and

Hornsby, 2008). Consequently urbanisation accelerated as peasants rushed to Chinese cities in pursuit of a better life, leading to a population increase in cities such as Beijing. Its population has risen from 9 million in 1980 to 19.6million in 2010, of which 6 million are migrants. Despite a relaxation in the system the basic principle of hukou stayed the same- rural-status migrants are a lower-class citizens because they are not allocated the same benefits as their urban-hukou counterparts.

SOURCE: TOO COMPLEX TO BE MANAGED: NEW TRENDS IN PERI-URBANISATION AND ITS PLANNING (2012)

URBAN POPULATION SHARES IN THE NATIONAL POPULATION 1982-2012

SOURCE: CHINA STASTICAL YEARBOOKS (1982-2010)


INVESTMENT IN URBANISATION

CITY-CENTRED URBANISATION

THE INCREASE OF BUILT-UP AREA, GDP AND BEIJING POPULATION 1990-2002

CAPITAL INVESTMENT IN URBAN CONSTRUCTION CHINA, 1953-2000

SOURCE: CHINA STATE STATISTICAL BUREAU (2001)

CAPITAL FORMATION OF URBAN CONSTRUCTION, CHINA, 1953-2004

SOURCE: BEIJING MUNICIPAL INSTITUTE OF CITY PLANNING & DESIGN, SPATIAL STRATEGIC PLANNING OF BEIJING (2003)

SOURCE: CHINA STATE STATISTICAL BUREAU (2005)


TIMELINE OF CHINA’S DEVELOPMENT


BEIJING

MAPPING THE PHYSICAL EXPANSION OF BEIJING 1959-2000

SOURCE: THE CHINESE DREAM: A SOCIETY UNDER CONSTRUCTION(2013)

DISTRIBUTIONS & AGGLOMERATION OF HEADQUARTERS IN BEIJING

THE POPULATION OF BEIJING 1953-2010

SOURCE: BEIJING STATISTIC BUREAU (2011)

SOURCE: BUILDING A HEADQUARTERS ECONOMY (2014)


DISTRICTS OF BEIJING


ADMINISTRATION HIERARCHY

TERRITIORIAL HIERARCHY OF CHINA

SOURCE: THE GREAT URBAN TRANSFORMATION, POLITICS OF LAND AND PROPERTY IN CHINA (2013)

ADMINISTRATION HIERARCHY China has a distinctive political culture and a highly complex bureaucratic system. The danwei, hukou, and the party had been described as “the three pillars of socialist urban governance”. In conjunction with the tiao-kuai matrix , these institutions are the foundation to urban governance structures. Control over land, housing and infrastructure development over the years shifted from central ministries to territorial establishments and city governments. Unfortunately the

THE SYSTEM OF URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING IN CHINA

SOURCE: THE EVOLUTION OF SPATIAL PLANNING FOR BEIJING

decisions engendered by this transfer of power have not always benefitted the local population. Local governments have a vested interest in inflating land and property values as urban developments have become a tactic for facilitating financial growth. As a result, urban landscapes are increasingly developed for revenue and growth, rather than to address urban issues and needs of Beijing’s citizens.

THE PROCESS OF MASTER PLANNING IN BEIJING

SOURCE: THE EVOLUTION OF SPATIAL PLANNING FOR BEIJING


HOUSEHOLD REGISTRATION SYSTEM (HUKOU)

The Chinese Household Registration System was established in 1958 as way for the state to control internal migration by identifying the location of all individuals in China. Under this system the population was separated into two categories of citizenship: rural and urban . The rural sector of society was exploited to provide for the urban population under the banner of industrialisation and modernisation.

DYNASTIES

TIMELINE

THREE MAIN FUNCTIONS:


DANWEI

WOMEN GOING TO WORK TOGETHER

ANALYSIS OF USES IN A DANWEI

A MODERN-STYLE WORKERS’ CONVALESCENT HOME, 1959

WORK UNITS

INDUSTRIAL WOK UNIT HOUSING AND FACTORY IN BEIJING, 1992

CAOYANG NEW VILLAGE, SHANGHAI 1951-1953

Danweis (work units) were a basis for urban form. They were self-contained units incorporating employment, housing and social service facilities. The key aspects were the domination of a single enterprise, the intimate connection between work and living, and paternalistic policies which extended beyond the requirements of production. Within its boundary was an abundance of exclusive facilities and green spaces for its workers. The concentration of life centred on the danwei created a dense network of human relations and its urban fabric was the outcome of flexible incremental development and social provisions.

ACADEMIC WORK UNIT HOUSING AND HIGH SCHOOL CAMPUS, BEIJING 1990S

MOTORIZED TRACTOR REPAIR STATION, BEIJING

BAIWANZHUANG RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT, BEIJING 1956

FUXINGMENWAI NEIGHBOURHOOD UNIT, BEIJING 1951

PROVISION OF AMENITIES Being part of a danwei equals permanent employment, provision of housing and medical care; access to services included shops, communal canteens, clinics, nurseries, libraries, and rights to participate in social events organised by the unit such as informal ballroom dancing and group leisure activities. These all contributed towards the establishment of a community. The range of services available depended on the size of the work units; in a small danwei, the amenities include

canteens, social halls, clinics and bathhouses. A bigger danwei also included nurseries, kindergartens, parks, libraries, sports fields, guesthouses and shops. The spatial arrangements allowed a spatial and temporal crossover of work, family and social events to occur. The web of human relationships is comparable in same ways to life in urban villages. Shared pathways, public spaces and activities at regular meeting places allowed frequent chance encounters to happen thus develop-

ing neighbourly friendships. The diversity and sophistication of the largest danweis resembled a “miniature city”; they provided food markets, hospitals, post offices, banks, cinemas, workers’ clubs, barbershops and schools. The provision of amenities such as stores, entertainment and outdoor spaces is an important principle in establishing a thriving and useful compound.

Danwei members could live their life within the units’ walls without leaving; journeys outside the compound to visit the city were taken on the weekend. The children of danwei employees were educated in schools established within the walls; family members living with their partners or worked elsewhere commuted outside. The familiarity of individuals in a danwei produced unity among the residents, a support network for each other in times of need, and an aversion to bad behaviour due to their sense of responsibility owed to their neighbours.

LABOUR TURNOVER IN STATE-OWNED UNITS

DIAGRAMS SHOWING THE DIVERSITY AND SOPHISTICATION OF A LARGE DANWEI (TSINGHUA UNIVERSITY, BEIJING), RESEMBLING A “MINIATURE CITY”.

SOURCE: DANWEI THE CHANGING WORKPLACE IN HISTORICAL AND COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE

By the late 1990s alongside the reforms of state-owned enterprises, the labour and housing market, danwei’s relevance was significantly reduced. The majority ceased to provide free housing to their employees, except government, or large public institutions work units.


STREET WIDTHS IN A DANWEI UNIT

DANWEI: TYPOLOGY

Primary routes of circulation in the danwei were 7 to 9 metres wide, well-paved and bordered with pavements, gutters, drains, curbs, street lamps and greenery. Secondary roads were 4 to 6 metres, and roads running up to residential blocks were 1.5 To 2 metres wide.

OUTDOOR SPACE

The differing scales of streets, lanes and alleyways humanized the landscape which encouraged utilisation of public space and social interactions.

FACADE

Outdoor recreational facilities such as playgrounds, bicycle parking and parks were present in the spaces between buildings. The spatial arrangements allowed a spatial and temporal crossover of work, family and social events to occur.

DANWEI HOUSING

This rationalist approach to planning and design meant disparity in building aesthetics and standards were minimal, highlighting the egalitarianism in danweis

PLAN FOR A RESIDENTIAL COMPOUND

APARTMENT STYLE HOUSING UNITS

Plans of apartment-style housing units. Plan on top shows two sets of communal facilities shared between six households. The image on the bottom shows three separate apartments, supplied with their own facilities.

FLOOR PLAN OF A DORMITORY BUILDING

Accommodation was available for both single employees and families; the former lived in dormitories, the latter resided in apartments.


LAND-USE REFORM

MAIN PHASES OF URBAN DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA 1949-2006 LAND DEVELOPMENT

LAND DEVELOPMENT COSTS ANALYSIS SOURCE: CHINA’S URBAN SPACE

Beijing’s radical transformation would not have been achievable without the changes in the land governance system in the 1980s. The establishment of a land market and property market allowed land use-rights to be traded as a commodity thus local governments converted collectively owned farmland into urban land, developed it through the injection of infrastructure and sold it to

private developers at a profit. Meanwhile Beijing transformed from a low-end manufacturing city to a service orientated economy which instigated new business and industrial parks, financial districts, ICT and culture industries in the city, all of which competed for space in inner Beijing.

These factors contributed to a growing scarcity in central urban space and increased land values and property prices so that previously affordable neighbourhoods became unattainable and only high-end developments were built in the city centre.

HOUSING REFORM HOUSING TYPES AND AVAILABILITY FOR MIGRANTS IN CITIES

TYPES OF LOW-INCOME HOUSING IN CHINESE CITIES

SOURCE: LOW-INCOME HOUSING IN CHINESE CITIES SOURCE: URBAN CHINA (2013)

HOUSING PROPERTY PRICES IN BEIJING, 2001-2010

TIMELINE OF MAJOR REFORMS The Chinese housing reform began in the early 1980s with the primary aim of alleviating the financial burden imposed upon State-Owned-Enterprises. The failure in government to control the property inflation could be attributed to the difference in China’s administration hierarchy. Local officials are not incentivised to restrain inflation in the housing sector since a significant proportion of their revenue is generated through real-estate. The constant drive towards economic reward for the government has made living in inner Beijing unaffordable for migrants, low-income workers, and even some middle-income families.

SOURCE: CHINA STASTICAL YEARBOOKS(2002-2011)

The central government’s unsuccessful suppression of the property market is demonstrated by its constant escalation in value.


URBAN VILLAGES DISTRIBUTION OF URBAN VILLAGES IN BEIJING

SOURCE: THE SECOND LAND SURVEY OF BEIJING CONDUCTED BY THE BEIJING MUNICIPAL LAND AUTHOITY IN 2007

Urban villages can be found around the outskirts of Beijing. They are informal residential districts created out of agricultural villages swallowed up in the process of urban expansion. They cater to a large migrant population who can ill-afford the rent on properties anywhere else in Beijing.

In the 1990s the demographic composition consisted mostly of migrant workers, though it has now diversified; due to its low rent and living conveniences, urban villages has become a living solution amongst other low-income earners such as small business owners, fresh university graduates and lowly-paid white-collar workers.

FORMATION OF URBAN VILLAGES IN CHINA

CITY

VILLAGES & FARMLAND

VILLAGERS WERE TOO COSTLY TO COMPENSATE AND RELOCATE

ILLEGAL DEVELOPMENT AND GRADUAL EXPANSION OF HOUSING (4-5 STOREYS)

EXPANDING CITY

FARMLAND ACQUISITION BY MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT FOR URBAN DEVELOPMENT

FURTHER EXPANSION (7-15 STOREYS)


URBAN VILLAGES: CASE STUDIES

XISHA VILLAGE

DAFEN VILLAGE

POPULATION 40000 AREA 35HA SQM PER PERSON 8.75

POPULATION 10200 AREA 9.4HA SQM PER PERSON 9.21

POPULATION 68000 AREA 16HA SQM PER PERSON 2.21

BUILDING HEIGHT STORIES

7-9

BUILDING HEIGHT STORIES

3-10

BUILDING HEIGHT STORIES

6-10

HIGH STREET WIDTH LANE WIDTH ALLEY WIDTH

7-8M 4-5M 1-2M

HIGH STREET WIDTH LANE WIDTH ALLEY WIDTH

7-8M 4-5M 1-2M

HIGH STREET WIDTH LANE WIDTH ALLEY WIDTH

5-7M 3-5M 1-2M

SOURCE: VILLAGES IN THE CITY: A GUIDE TO SOUTH CHINA’S INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS (2014)

GANGXIA VILLAGE


URBAN VILLAGES: MIXED-USE FACILITIES

COLLAGE ILLUSTRATING THE DIVERSE RANGE OF FACILITIES AVAILABLE IN AN URBAN VILLAGE IN CHINA

hotel

pool

bar

shop

ATM

nursery

market

spa

hotel

hardware store

food

butcher

laundrette

fruit stall

fastfood

fashion store

night food market

bar

club

pool

night food market

PHOTOGRAPHS ILLUSTRATING THE DIVERSE RANGE OF FACILITIES AVAILABLE IN AN URBAN VILLAGE IN CHINA

corner shop

restaurant

fruit stall

fashion shops

hotel

shoe shop dress shop

opticians electronics SIM card car park store shop

food street

leather goodsflower shop

classes

fashion store

hotel

salon flower stall

spa

POSITIVE ATTRIBUTES Urban villages’ positive aspects include the provision of affordable housing to an underprivileged social group; its sense of community and establishment of neighbourhoods from the fine grain of its urban fabric. Their lack of boundaries, human-scaled urban spaces, diverse range of facilities and visually stimulating languages of buildings makes them convenient places to live and contributes towards an active street life and communal spaces. Therefore the lives of urban villagers are more socially-rich than those who live in gated communities.


OUTDOOR SPACE

KITCHEN

CIRCULATION SPACE

URBAN VILLAGES: PHYSICAL CONDITIONS

Urban villages are overcrowded, they do not meet fire-control standards and have seen a lack of investment in infrastructure and maintenance. A survey found that over ninety percent of units do not have toilets, kitchens, heating or air conditioning to cope with the extreme temperatures of Beijing. Thus despite their ability to provide cheap housing, urban villages are not a long-term solution for Beijing’s residents.


PERI-URBAN DISPERSION OF LARGE RESIDENTIAL CLUSTERS

SOURCE: BEIJING CITIES PROFILE

ADMINISTRATIVE RANGE OF BEIJING

DYNAMICS OF PERI-URBAN REGION OF BEIJING 1980-2008

SOURCE: TOO COMPLEX TO BE MANAGED: NEW TRENDS IN PERI-URBANISATION AND ITS PLANNING

GROWTH IN FAMILY INCOME BETWEEN GROUPS ON BEIJING’S URBAN FRINGE

To address the housing requirements for the evicted communities, and the need to alleviate population pressure in inner districts, new “fringe clusters” have materialized in the peri-urban area. Such developments are the government’s solution to a shortage of affordable homes. Such fringe clusters cause problems in terms of city planning. Construction of several districts on the outer-urban area have attempted to deal with the population growth, however the clusters remain primarily residential in function. The absences of employment, SOURCE: BEIJING STATISTIC BUREAU (2009)

public transport and services have generated huge traffic and congestion problems. Furthermore, they are not equipped with the same quality of social services, such as schools and hospitals, as in central Beijing. The construction of suburban residential clusters, with inadequate infrastructure to link it with the city centre, has contributed to Beijing’s segregated and polarised social-spatial structure. Such designed isolation is arguably a form of marginalisation.


MIGRANT POPULATION

MIGRANT POPULATION SURVEY 2008

SOURCE: BEIJING URBAN VILLAGE SURVEY; BEIJING BUREAU (2008)


THE “ANT TRIBE”

INFLATED PROPERTY VALUES

NO GOVERNMENT SUPPORT UNPRIVILEGED FAMILY BACKGROUND NO FINANCIAL SUPPORT

FORCED TO LIVE IN CRAMPED DWELLINGS

NO JOB

The “ant tribe” is a term used to describe an emerging and informal class of highly educated graduates and young professionals who are forced to settle for a poverty-level existence in Chinese cities. Most of the “ant tribe” come from a rural disadvantaged background. Without the financial support of a wealthy family, social skills and connections from growing up in a metropolitan system, they are deprived of basic resources that are offered to their urban counterparts. The “ants” are emblematic of housing issues facing Beijing today. Priced out of the formal housing market, they reside instead in the squalors of urban villages in Beijing’s peri-urban region.


NEIGHBOURHOODS OF WEALTH: VILLA COMPOUNDS

DISTRIBUTION OF VILLA COMPOUNDS IN BEIJING

VILLA COMPOUNDS

VILLA COMPOUNDS ARE THE MOST EXCLUSIVE TYPE OF GATED URBANISM, CATERING TO THE WEALTHIEST OF URBAN RESIDENTS. THEY ARE HIGHLY SEGREGATED FROM ADJACENT SUBURBAN COMMUNITIES BECAUSE OF THEIR CELLULAR AND INTROVERT NATURE.


NEIGHBOURHOODS OF WEALTH: GATED COMMUNITIES

URBAN SCALE

The gated community is the dominant typology for housing in contemporary Chinese cities. It forms an important part in the urban, social and cultural composition of Beijing. A gated community comprises of a privately enclosed cluster of residential units, in tower or villa form, surrounded by landscaped communal space.

KEY FEATURES

GATE

WALL

SECURITY

Much of the outdoor spaces are underutilised as the mono-functional nature of the compound provides few chances for social occurrences within, giving rise to poor social networks. The fortification of the compounds’ perimeter arises from a desire for seclusion, security, and social status. Its gating system and the spatial layout of the gated community creates a cellular urban form which symbolises its monopolisation of space. It has been widely criticised in terms of potential negative aspects in the long term economic integration of the city. It is also on a social level derided for creating unsatisfied groups of wealthy residents by promoting security and personal segregation at the cost of communality, shared access and use of the city.

SURVEILLANCE

LANDSCAPE


DESIGN EXPERIMENT: MATRIX

DESIGN CONCEPT ONE:

DESIGN CONCEPT TWO:

insertion of informal blocks designed at a human scale in stragetic locations to dismantle the hegemony of large-scale commercial urbanism

placement of informal blocks on 8-lane highways to dismantle the reliance on cars so to encourage pedestrian activity on the street level


DESIGN INTERVENTION: SITE

The site is an old residential neighbourhood, located between the Eastern Second and Third ring road. This particular compound is under 7 storeys high, its height restricted by the technology of its time. It is a former danwei housing unit.


DESIGN INTERVENTION: SITE

SITE CONDITIONS

SITE VIEWS

SITE AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH

EXISITING SITE FUNCTIONS

PROPOSED ADAPTATIONS


DESIGN INTERVENTION: ADAPTATION

The construction of new builds above would force changes upon the buildings below. This transformation can safeguard central neighbourhoods against future urban renewal programmes and prevent the displacement of communities to urban margins. By intensifying and adapting this neighbourhood, it would be protected from any future renewal programmes, hence its residence would not face eviction to outer districts.


DESIGN INTERVENTION: PROGRAMME

Gradual adaptation engenders a more nuanced and organic trajectory of development, which allows for a diverse range of functions to form in response to the inhabitants’ needs. Allowing units on the site to adapt will enable communal facilities to form which can promote socially integration. The district’s location will enable better access to Beijing’s facilities, inaccessible to the inhabitants residing on the urban peripheries. By transforming inner district neighbourhoods into dynamic, mixed-use residential compounds, built on principles derived from danwei and urban villages, the services and public spaces on offer can be utilised by residents living in adjacent gated communities. This would encourage a spatiotemporal crossover between privileged urbanites and poor, through chance encounters and social interactions.


DESIGN INTERVENTION: SITE INTENSIFICATION

DRAWING OF AN EXISTING RESIDENTIAL BLOCK

Through the analysis of the ant tribe’s shared micro-residences in urban villages, we can accept the willingness of people to live collectively in compact accommodation and take such principles forward in a more sustainable manner. Step one of the proposed design entails intensifying residential modules above existing residential compounds. The target group for this new build is the “ant tribe”, given that they are a fluid and dynamic population, hence their presence in central Beijing can improve the vibrancy of the area.

TENURE Due to the mixed tenure of the residential units, a series of proposals could be offered to its inhabitants to ensure they are not negatively impacted by the adaptation process: If they own the rights to a property on site, they could be offered the same ownership rights to a larger property elsewhere.

INTENSIFICATION EXISTING

If they have partial ownership of an existing property, they could be given full ownership of a unit of equivalent size. Renters in this case could be promised a property of equivalent size, with rental costs below market prices. Over time the neighbourhood would transform into a dynamic and permeable urban space with better living conditions, at no extra financial cost. Most importantly, social networks and memories established over the years would be preserved, as the residents continue to live in the centre.

1:500 MASS MODEL


PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT

PLACE OF COMMERCE

VISUAL CONNECTION

INTERCHANGEABLE MODULE SYSTEM

MIXED-USE AMENITIES FUNCTIONS AS A PERMEABLE THRESHOLD

SHARED OUTDOOR SPACES

SHARED LIVING SPACES

CIRCULATION & CONNECTIVITY

U-SHAPE FORM SO LIGHT CAN FILTER THROUGH


DESIGN INTERVENTION: COMPACT MODULES

SINGLE PERSON MODULE 8M2 SINGLE BED FOLDABLE TABLE & CHAIR SHOWER & TOILET

BALCONY

STORAGE

KITCHENETTE 2m

GLAZING

4m

COUPLE MODULE 2X8M2 DOUBLE BED

STORAGE

GLAZING

SHOWER & TOILET

BALCONY

4m

KITCHENETTE FOLDABLE TABLE & CHAIR 4m

FAMILY MODULE 3X8M2

DOUBLE BED

STORAGE

FOLDABLE TABLE & CHAIR

SHOWER & TOILET

KITCHENETTE

SINGLE BED

The proposed design entails intensifying residential modules above existing residential compounds. The target group for this new build is the “ant tribe”.

6m

GLAZING BALCONY 4m

The new additions would be incredibly compact, thus affordable to address the shortage of affordable housing. It would also offer privacy, along with all the modern comforts one would expect to find in commodity housing.

The compact nature of the room would be compensated for the provision of shared living spaces; the room would be designated for ‘sleeping’, with the remaining compound designed for ‘living’. The insertion of such modules can act as an intermediate platform for the “ant tribe” on which to achieve their rise to the middle-class.


DESIGN INTERVENTION: COMPACT MODULES

INDIVIDUAL MODULES

A CLUSTER OF MODULES could be arranged in a number of ways to form a community of residents, with shared access to social spaces

ACTIVITIES ON THE BALCONY

the density of the residences encourages social encounters


DESIGN PRINCIPLES 1


DESIGN PRINCIPLES 2


DESIGN PROCESS: CONFIGURATION OF SPACES

THE AREA & RATIO OF RESIDENTIAL TO SHARED INDOOR & OUTDOOR SPACE IS ESTABLISHED FOR EACH BLOCK

SPACES ARE BROKEN DOWN TO ALLOW FOR A DEGREE OF PRIVACY

LAYERING OF INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL SPACES


DESIGN PROCESS: CONCEPTUAL SECTION

DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO THE ORGANISATION OF FLOOR LEVELS


DESIGN INTERVENTION: CONCEPTUAL SECTION

THE PREFERRED APPROACH TO THE ORGANISATION OF FLOOR LEVELS

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RE-IMAGINED COLLECTIVISM: REVERSING BEIJING’S SOCIO-SPATIAL FRAGMENTATION  

Pilot Project, MPhil Architecture & Urban Design (RIBA/ARB Part 2), University of Cambridge

RE-IMAGINED COLLECTIVISM: REVERSING BEIJING’S SOCIO-SPATIAL FRAGMENTATION  

Pilot Project, MPhil Architecture & Urban Design (RIBA/ARB Part 2), University of Cambridge

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