Yijie Zhang. Inclusive and Incremental Renovation.

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Inclusive and Incremental Renovation the Case of Old Public Housing in Shanghai by Yijie Zhang

Projective Cities Programme 2019-21 Architectural Association School of Architecture Graduate School


Inclusive and Incremental Renovation the Case of Old Public Housing in Shanghai

Taught Master of Philosophy in Architecture and Urban Design by Yijie Zhang

Mphil in Architecture and Urban Design Projective Cities, 2019/21 Architectural Association School of Architecture Graduate School


ARCHITECTURAL ASSOCIATION SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE GRADUATE SCHOOL PROGRAMMES COVERSHEET FOR SUBMISSION 2019-2021

PROGRAMME: Projective Cities, Taught MPhil in Architecture and Urban design STUDENT NAME: Yijie Zhang

SUBMISSION TITLE: Inclusive and incremental Renovation - the case of Old Publi Housing in Shanghai COURSE TITLE: Dissertation COURSE TUTOR: Platon Issaias Hamed Khosravi Doreen Bernath Raul Pere Avilla Cristina Gamboa Mark Campbell SUBMISSION DATE: 05/28/2021 DECLARATION: "I certify that this piece of work is entirely my own and that any quotation or paraphrase from the published or unpublished work of others is duly acknowledged." Signature of Student(s):

Date:

28th of May 2021


Inclusive and Incremental Renovation the Case of Old Public Housing in Shanghai

Taught Master of Philosophy in Architecture and Urban Design by Yijie Zhang

Mphil in Architecture and Urban Design Projective Cities, 2019/21 Architectural Association School of Architecture Graduate School


Better City, Better Life


Acknowledgement

First and foremost, I would like to thank all those who helped me during my time at the Architectural Association (AA) for their continued support, advice and thought-provoking conversations. In particular, I wish to thank my tutors Dr Platon Issaias, who was a huge support to me during a dark time, and Dr Hamed Khosravi, who gave consistent and helpful advice with abundant patience. Moreover, I wish to thank Raül Avilla-Royo and Cristina Gamboa for their input during my studies. Special thanks also goes to Dr Doreen Bernath who was a constant source of support and enthusiastic assistance. I would also like to thank the AA itself for providing me with a bursary. In addition, I want to thank all my friends and colleagues in Projective Cities and China during my two years of study at the AA. They have undoubtedly enriched this dissertation through our endless discussions and have supported me, providing me with great encouragement and confidence. Finally, I also owe my sincere gratitude to my parents Huang Yanhua and Zhang Xuefeng for their loving consideration and unconditional support over the years. My deepest gratitude thus goes to my family. This dissertation is dedicated to them.



Abstract

This dissertation is concerned with the redevelopment of a specific building type, 'old public housing', in the urban area of Shanghai. The research reveals the causes and implications of the redevelopment strategies applied for old housing stock in the wider urban context, such as problems of social cleansing caused by demolition and the relocation of residents, from the historical, typological, architectural and ethnographic perspectives. The shifts in the economy, politics and the property market that occurred in the late 20th century have compelled residents of old public housing to become managers and owners of their properties. Currently, community-led, informal and cooperative renovation projects, as well as experiments in micro-regenerations, have become instrumental in allowing residents to establish modes of self-regulation and autonomy. The research and design propositions thus investigate and explore the potential of 'renovation' as a key process with significant socio-economic and political effects for building stock, communities and the city at large.


The dissertation attempts to spatially and socially challenge the assumed autonomy of the Xiaoqu, a developmental and administrative unit of urban housing commonly found in Chinese cities, and to propose a gradual and inclusive renovation strategy that offers a flexible structure and participatory protocols for residents, enabling them to transition from illegal and informal renovation activities and consolidate resources and mutual support through modes of cooperation. Therefore, the design propositions that conclude the research project are envisaged as mediators between large-scale, top-down provision by state and bottom-up, communal processes by residents.


Contents

PART 1 Old public housing

PART 2 Renovation

PART 3 Design & Conclusion


Abstract

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Introduction

01

Contemporary renovation from the global perspective The context in Shanghai Aim&Question

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Chapter 1 Shanghai’s old public housing: a historical trace

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1.1 The history of old public housing

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1.2 The physical condition in old public housing

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1.3 Old public housing residents

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Chapter 2 Shanghai’s old public housing: emergence and decline

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2.1 Urbanisation: The battle between economics and well-being

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2.2 Demolition and relocation

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2.3 Case study: Century Avenue and Weifang Street

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Chapter 3 Renovation and participatory discussion

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3.1 The dilemma of renovation

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3.2 Oppositional relationships

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3.3 Funding limitations

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3.4 Spatial limitations

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Proposition: Collaborative renovation agency

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Chapter 4 Renovation and well-being

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4.1 Well-being

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4.2 Living conditions in old public housing

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4.3 Spatial and social separation

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Proposition: Extension, Addition, Transformation

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Chapter 5 Renovation and social provisions

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5.1 The definition of social provisions

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5.2 Social provisions in old public housing

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5.3 Broken the boundary

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Proposition: Alternative space at multiple scales

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Design Experiment

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Conclusion and future discuss

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Bibliography

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Introduction

Today’s Renovation in Global Perspective The significant amounts of housing stock built during the housing boom are now ageing and no longer provide

Renovation as a tool for large-scale housing stock

adequate living conditions for residents. In every city, we are forced to question their future. Many view these ageing buildings as a failure of modernist architecture, technically outmoded and economically unviable, so demolition and rebuilding are the preferred option for dealing with them. However, as Paul Karakusevic notes, ‘to qualify all housing projects of the period as a failure seemed unjustified, and the demolition is a brutal, unilateral and unfounded decision.’ 1 Especially following the economic crisis, the wisdom of demolition and rebuilding, as a financially and environmentally costly and potentially very disruptive exercise, has been seriously questioned. Redevelopment has been criticised for encouraging rampant gentrification and creating moral problems concerning the lack of

1 Paul Karakusevic and Abigail Batchelor, Social Housing: Definitions & Design Exemplars (RIBA Publishing ,2017), p.49. 2 Huber-Jan Henket,”Reuse, Transformation and Restoration”,Docomomo Joural, no 52- Reuse, Renovation and Restoration(2015)

housing affordability for disadvantaged and deprived urban communities. In recent years, most of the country has seen increasing demand for and pressure to promote renovation as a more economical and sustainable approach to creating suitable large-scale housing stock to the point that renovation now seems to be the new option for dealing with old public housing.2 Following WW2, urban spaces worldwide were transformed. The demand for housing renovation first arose in developed

Renovation as a collaborative agent for systematic urban transformation

countries and is now being seen in developing countries. The effects of decay extend from damaged furniture to decaying infrastructure (plumbing unable to accommodate higher capacity water heaters, ageing electrical circuits,

INTRODUCTION

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etc.), structural obsolescence (cracked walls, mouldy walls, leaning walls, etc.), changing community demographics (ageing population, rising low-income population, etc.) and increasing safety risks (increased risk of fires and even collapse due to the difficulty of maintaining the building, increased social problems such as crime and violence due to rising maintenance difficulties, etc.). Owner-led renovations of flats (e.g. replacing furniture, painting walls) have achieved little in the way of fundamentally improving living conditions. Due to financial, ownership, professional and mobility constraints, it is difficult for individuals to respond to the increasing number of renovation goals involving whole buildings and communities. In this context, the involvement of more powerful forces such as state institutions and major commercial and social organisations is inevitable. Renovation is no longer an amateurish and simple project for the individual to engage in to achieve better living conditions but an urban-scale programme of transformation involving multiple participants. The renovation of housing on the urban scale is not limited to the optimisation of residential functions but also involves the re-planning of functional spaces. One significant European example from the 1980s in which renovation was adopted as a key strategy of urban renewal was the IBAAltbau series of projects, which worked within the existing urban structure of a Berlin housing block in Kreuzberg.3 Through its pilot projects, the IBA-Altbau initiated subsidy programmes for cautious urban renewal and brought about fundamental changes in standards for urban refurbishment and social preservation. This included basic maintenance and repair works and the internal reorganisation of existing apartments, all of which was driven by the aim to re-establish the historical courtyard-block urban fabric of Berlin and 3 The aim of IBA-Altbau was to “rescue the broken city” via cautious refurbishment and by repurposing existing buildings.

realise its contemporary re-interpretations. One important

4 Through what is now known as adaptive re-use, IBA-Altbau emphasized the importance of public infrastructure, such as kindergartens, elderly care, etc. This was directly related with the fact that after the separatino of West Berlin by the wall, Kreuzberg became the edge of the new city and lost most of its public facilities.

would address the infrastructural deficit of the city created

2

agenda in this extensive series of renovation projects was to again accommodate different uses in the block, which by the division of Berlin.4 Moving from the room, the building, the block and finally to the city reviving and incorporating new spatial and programmatic conditions, renovation can no longer be narrowly defined as ‘the process of

INCREMENTAL AND INCLUSIVE RENOVATION


improving a broken, damaged, or outdated structure’5 but must be considered an urban-scale programme for urban transformation. Another example of an urban-scale renovation project to bring about urban transformation is the Danchi Renaissance6 series of projects in Japan. The urban-scale renovation project in this example often relied on the intervention of the government to resolve housing conflicts involving the indigenous population. The assessment and renovation of

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renovation

6 Danchi renaissance: Danchi is the fast-build lowcost housing withourt diversity and infrastructures built by the Japanese housing agency to housing the polulation with rapid growth in the urban area in the 1950s. With the development of society, Danchi’s vacancy rate reached 20% and people over the age of 65 living in Danchi accounted for 46% of the total population. For the above reasons, at the beginning of 21st century, a renewal project called Danchi renaissance was proposed and implemented by the UR Agency.

buildings in this case encouraged the residents’ participation in the design process and temporarily relocated residents in stages. In lieu of forced evictions, the government guaranteed the rights of indigenous people through the issuance of relevant subsidies and relocation policies, ultimately ensuring the smooth running of renovation projects. Regarding renovation as exclusively within the purview of architecture is an outdated idea. Rather, the organisation of renovation projects, whether organised by an individual, official agency or private company, involves specialists from various disciplines. Recent examples of renovation not only at the scale of urban transformation but also as a collaborative agent of social change, are the projects conducted by Architects for Social Housing in London. 7 Architects for Social Housing is a community interest

7 Lecture: Architects for Social Housing: For a Sustainable Architecture,Geraldine Dening

company focused on the renovation of social housing in the inner city organised and built collectively with architects, urban designers, engineers, planners, filmmakers, photographers, artists, writers and so on. This example proves that renovation has the potential to be a collaborative tool composed of multiple participants to promote urban transformation. Moreover, with the increase in the number of renovation projects and the expansion of the scope and the homogenisation of the objectives of renovation, a market based on renovation projects is taking shape. Worldwide, a series of industries and research have emerged as the by-products of renovation. Services such as demolition, renovation and material recycling have matured significantly.

INTRODUCTION

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The development of these industries has made it possible to standardise and increase the efficiency of the renovation of large-scale housing. Learning from these case studies, the dissertation expands on renovation as a collaborative agent for urban transformation based on the following principles. Firstly, the renovation of housing is not limited to the optimisation of residential functions but also involves the re-planning of functional spaces. Secondly, the renovation project has risen as a result of personal behaviour through to government behaviour. Thirdly, regarding renovation as an issue exclusively within the purview of architecture is an outdated idea. The organisation of renovation projects, whether organised by an individual, official agency or private company, involve specialists from various disciplines. Finally, a market based on large-scale renovation projects has emerged. Worldwide, a series of industries and research have appeared as the by-products of renovation, with, among others, the demolition, renovation and material recycling industries maturing significantly. Renovation as a tool for rebuilding social community networks

As a result of the privatisation and commercialisation of housing, the resident's identity regarding housing has gradually shifted from that of a user to a co-manager. Some people regard privatised housing as an important component of economic development. Today, however, the fragmented ownership of such housing is one of the main obstacles to the renovation of large-scale housing complexes. In Greece, housing property is inherited by the relatives of the owner in varying percentages after their death. After a few generations, a house often has multiple owners. This makes any alteration to the house subject to a complex negotiation process with the owners. Even if this is not the case, it is not uncommon for owners to sublet their homes as time passes. In cities such as Shenzhen, HongKong and others, there are cases where houses are subdivided and rented out for long periods. This has resulted in the government or the renovation company being unable to contact the owners to confirm renovation work. Shared ownership has thus become the biggest barrier to the redevelopment of ageing housing stock. While multiple owners are collectively

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responsible for the maintenance of their building, the ‘tragedy of the anti-commons’8 can arise, namely, a break-down of cooperation can occur when one or more owners frustrate collective efforts to agree on actions such as maintenance, repair and development. Ultimately, fragmented ownership structures can lead to a complete deadlock. One of the steps that have been taken to avoid such pitfalls in the Tower and Neighbourhood Revitalization (TNR) programme is to exclude buildings under shared ownership.9 To address this situation, it is necessary to establish a cooperative effort composed of experts and residents based on the participatory design model with the ultimate goal of rebuilding social connections within the community. By 'reframing participation as something done within',10 we can

8 Granham Cairns, Georgiios Artopoulos and Kirsten Day, From Conflict to Inclusion in Housing (UCL Press, 2017), p. 71-86. 9 The TNR is trying to improve the quality and energy efficiency of high-rise buildings in Toronto. It will also, indirectly, generate social, economic and cultural benefits by creating local green jobs, nurturing small businesses and upgrading green space. 10 Noortje Marres, Material Participation: Technology, the Environment and Everyday Publics (Palgrave Macmillan Publishing, 2012), p. 205. 11 Lecture: Infrastructural Communities, Charlotte Jahnson 12 Si Wei, “La Villeneuve, the Community Power from Bottom-up”, Urban China Journal, no. 82 (2018.1)

envisage a community-led renovation project. In her work on infrastructural communities, Charlotte Johnson argues that infrastructure should be viewed as the material connections between residents even if they don't know each other.11 In her practical project ‘Engineering Comes Home’, Johnson guided residents to participate in the design process as co-managers through three workshops on research, options appraisal and detailed design. This process was a cooperative effort involving residents and experts. A similar model was applied in Grenoble in 2015 when David Baudigne and his expert team realised the renovation of La Villeneuve12 by cooperating with local residents and spatially connecting people by introducing social facilities such as Fig.1

a swimming pool and playground, facilitated by a subsidy

Fig.2

from the Grenoble municipality. During the project, Baudigne engaged participants in the design process as co-managers

Fig 1. The Grenoble government posted the participatory budget. The image means, if you have 50,000 €, what woult you do for your city?

again through three workshops on research, options appraisal and detailed design. In the examples above, it was not only the process but also the outcome of the renovation that connected different groups in the community. For residents, jointly deciding the future of their homes through negotiation, communication and overcoming differences of opinions formed bonds that could reshape the social relationships between residents. At the same time, the cooperation of the community alleviated the problem of the 'tragedy of the anti-commons' caused by

INTRODUCTION

Fig 2. The event holded in the La Villeneuve by Planning Community Source: Si Wei, “La Villeneuve, the Community Power from Bottom-up”, Urban China Journal, no. 82 (2018.1)

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shared ownership.

The context of Shanghai Housing demand in urban areas soared in post-war China, putting public housing high on the agenda. Under the 13 Danwei: The Danwei system was introduced after the foundation of modern China (1949) as the basis of urban community formation. The Danwei was not only where work took place and in which all workers were identified but was also responsible for providing safety, welfare, healthcare, culture, education and financial support to workers. Each Danwei thus consisted of housing, childcare, schools, clinics, shops and services and governed the everyday life of the individual. By 1978, almost 95% of the urban workforce belonged to the Danwei. After its economic reform in 1978, China transformed from a planned economy to a market economy, resulting in the breakdown of the Danwei system. The services originally undertaken by the Danwei gradually shifted to the community system. 14 Shequ system: The definition of a Shequ is a political unit emphasising territorial and organisational elements and engaging with a wide range of activities including welfare, education, sanitation, public health, family planning, public order and so on. 15 Before the reforms, the Chinese economy was dominated by state ownership and central planning. China's reform and opening up policies introduced private business and market incentives to what was a state-led communist system. Prior to 1978, the private sector was virtually non-existent; today, private firms contribute to approximately 70% of China's GDP.

influence of the Soviet Union, Chinese public housing was built in the form of housing units that were developed and constructed by the state according to the Danwei system.13 Following the economic reforms of 1978 and the breakdown of the Danwei system, post-war public housing was incorporated into the Shequ system. 14 Nowadays, people refer to post-war public housing and groups of ageing housing complexes enclosed by fences or walls as ‘deteriorating communities’. As seen in most cities that experienced the post-WW2 housing boom, the strategy adopted towards old housing stock in Chinese cities has started to change, shifting from demolition to renovationl. However, China’s economic reforms 15 have established a special model of statesupported or state-owned enterprises that form the backbone of the country's economy while allowing free trade to develop upon this basis, differentiating the nation from others. Housing in China, as demanded by an economic system tied to the political ideology of communism, used to operate according to the logic of a planned economy with limited freedom. A Shequ system was established by the state to govern residential areas while allowing residents free rein over spaces within certain limits. This makes renovation in the context of Shanghai a challenging, contentious and compelling topic. In this context, the problems and obstacles affecting renovation can be categorised as the market value of demolition and rebuilding, owner conflict and maintenance, spatial degradation and community bonds.

The market value of demolition and rebuilding

In the last few decades, the government has considered old public housing to be an urban issue because of their preoccupation with developing prime areas in city centres. Thus far, the government has preferred to demolish this housing to create more profitable contemporary housing. However, the redevelopment of the city centre has led to a

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huge imbalance between the suburbs and the city in terms of transportation demand, employment opportunities, provision of public services. From the residents’ perspective, although demolition could mean financial compensation or property exchange for a larger house, the huge price difference and the location of housing replacements far away in the suburbs made this option disadvantageous and undesirable. Residents objected strongly to the social cleansing brought about by demolition. As a result, the increased costs of

16 The housing reform policy published in 1992 privatised public housing and was directly related to economic reform.

centralisation eventually called a halt to demolition and rebuilding. Compared with demolition and rebuilding, renovation became a more economical and moderate option. In contrast to the successful transformation of China’s

Owner conflicts and maintenance

economic system in recent decades, fuelled by an expanding free market, the inhabitants and management mechanisms of residential areas have been left behind. By 1992, the government had delegated the responsibility of housing maintenance by changing the governance and property structure. On the one hand, the Danwei system, which replaced the Shequ system, provided only the most basic welfare guarantees. Thus, the government administration completely withdrew from intervening in the daily lives of the inhabitants. On the other hand, the privatisation of Danwei housing through housing reform made the inhabitants primarily responsible for the maintenance of their homes and even their communities. Those houses built before the reform and opening up policies, especially those built during the planned economy (old public housing), still retain traces of the collective era in terms of property rights, residents' consciousness and government behaviour towards them. Since China's economic reform, large-scale social mobility

Spatial degradation

has decreased the uniformity of residents’ requirements in terms of housing stock. With the continuous expansion of the city, post-war public housing is ageing and it is insufficient in terms of the functions it is intended to serve. Economic development means that individuals no longer pursue the satisfaction of their basic needs but also develop more immaterial needs such as comfortable socialisation, appropriate psychological care, art and entertainment activities, etc. However, low-cost community planning only

INTRODUCTION

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provides for the basics such as living space, roads and green space, and does not provide for residents’ burgeoning 17 Kuang Xiaoming, 'Community Planner', Journal of Urban Wisdom Advancing with China, no, 77, (12)2016.

Community bonds

immaterial needs. It is thus unable to effectively meet the needs of residents and urgently requires redevelopment. Additionally, privatisation has led to the destruction of the traditional community based on work (Danwei) or blood (village) in old public housing. The Outsiders attracted to the city centre by jobs and high salaries are not integrated into the local community but are rejected by the locals because of the instability they bring. The conflict between different groups of people is reinforced by squabbles over public space. Ultimately, local elderly people, as the biggest victims in the battle for public space, are excluded from potential opportunities for interaction with the rest of the population. The lack of public space within communities creates a spatial boundary while increasing the social boundaries between different groups.

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INTRODUCTION

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Aim & Question

Arguement: This dissertation challenges the tendency to demolish old public housing to pave the way for redevelopment, which may be economically profitable in the short term but is socially detrimental in the long term. Urban development cannot exclusively pursue economic benefits for developers and ignore the needs of residents. Instead of moving to the outskirts of a city, residents should be able to stay in their district and enhance the urban area as a social living space. Therefore, instead of demolition, renovation has the potential to be a more moderate development model that could benefit all those residing in urban spaces.

Aim:

The research aims to propose an alternative renovation strategy as a people-centred development model for old public housing to improve living conditions for residents.

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Research Question: Disciplinary Question: How is renovation a more economical intervention and means of reprogramming residential areas and preventing the continuous decay of communities in the context of Shanghai? Urban Question: How can renovation bring together various stakeholders and different scales of development? Typological Question: How can renovation offer a spatial framework that will allow for a different transformation of old public housing?

INTRODUCTION

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PART 1 Old public housing The aim of this part is to understand old public housing through historical, typological and ethnographic analysis. What is post-war housing in China? What are its unique characteristics? This chapter will examine how and why old public housing war created, who lives there and what residents think of life in this form of housing. This will allow us to define old public housing and, most importantly, to understand the value of renovating it.

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Chapter 1 Shanghai’s old public housing: a historical trace 1.1 The history of old public housing 1.2 The physical condition in old public housing 1.3 Old public housing residents Chapter 2 Shanghai’s old public housing: emergence and decline 2.1 Urbanisation: The battle between economics and well-being 2.2 Demolition and relocation 2.3 Case study: Century Avenue and Weifang Street

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1. Shanghai Old public housing: a historical trace

1.1 The history of Old Public Housing AAt the end of WW2, cities around the world lay in ruins. Under the influence of the Soviet Union and communism, China became a communist country through nationwide asset nationalisation.18 The reconstruction and development of China were entirely based on the public sector. Regarding housing demand in urban areas, the Chinese state drew on the example of the Khrushchyovka

19

to develop and

construct its public housing. The Khrushchyovka is the form housing units took in the Danwei system where public housing was intended to provide for people’s most basic housing needs. To gather people for collective productive learning and recreation, public places were separated from the living space. This made it possible to build low-tech Fig.3 Fig.4

and homogenous housing, allowing cities to mass-produce homes to inexpensively meet the huge demand for housing. After China’s reform and opening up in 1978, the Danwei system gradually disintegrated. This phenomenon, which has been studied extensively, concerns the transformation of urban management by the Xiaoqu unit. 20 Through the Shequ system, ‘community service’ (Shequfuwu)21 replaced the original ‘Danwei welfare provision’, whereby public services were provided for residents by the Community Residents’ Committee (CRC).22 The change of status of the CRC from a state agency under the Danwei system to a voluntary association under the Shequ system decreased their authority and funding. This meant that public services, such as housing maintenance, elderly care and financial support no longer reached all residents. During this same

CHAPTER 1

Shanghai Old public housing: a historical trace

18

Early after modern China was founded, to

implement communism, the Chinese government cracked down on private assets nationwide and nationalised various types of assets such as land and housing. 19 Khrushchyovk is a type of low-cost, concretepanelled or brick three- to five-storey apartment building developed in the Soviet Union during the early 1960s when its namesake Nikita Khrushchev ran the Soviet government. 20 In this context, ‘Xiaoqu’ can be literally translated as ‘small districts’ where housing is intermixed with communal facilities such as kindergartens, clinics, restaurants, convenience stores, sports facilities and communications infrastructure all under the control of a professional property management company. 21 Shequfuwu system: ‘Shequfuwu’ can be literally translated as ‘community service’ and is a service supply system based on the government's welfare policy and publicly funded. The concept of Shequfuwu was proposed after the breakdown of the Danwei system (1978) with the aim of using the Shequ as the smallest unit to provide welfare services for residents. However, in the past few decades, the Shequfuwu has become solely administrative and charitable. As a result, the system’s target population had been reduced to the very poor, such as the elderly and disabled. 22 The Community Residents’ Committee (CRC) is a semi-governmental organisation responsible for the welfare of the community, community services and the coordination of residents in the area under its jurisdiction.

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Fig.3 The oldest public housing in Shanghai: Caoyang New Village

Fig.4 Everyday life in Danwei Source: Peter.G.Rowe, China's urban communities (GNL Press, 2017)

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period, another parallel story was playing out related to the shift in housing. The central government's housing reform

23 Jinghong Li, Xianquan Zhu, Shanghai Housing 1949-1990 (SPS Press, 1993), p. 19-33.

(1992) allowed for the sale of public housing to the workers (residents) living in it at a price lower-than-market price. Since then, public housing has become private and residents can freely buy and sell these units. Nowadays, people refer to post-war public housing as ‘after-sale housing’ or ‘old public housing’ and groups of ageing units enclosed by fences or walls as ‘deteriorating communities’. From Danwei to Shequ, old public housing was built and distributed by the state and eventually sold to the employees of state-owned enterprises, civil servants and local villagers. Fig.5

This continued into the 21st century until private housing replaced public housing. The construction of old public housing can be divided into four phases. In the first phase in the 1950s, it was constructed to test its suitability to solve housing shortages and provided two-storey, brick and timber buildings with low per capita surface area. In the second phase (1960s), large-scale public housing was built in the suburbs, which are now urban areas. The Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976 caused a gap in construction that can be regard as the third phase. After this, in the 1980s and 1990s, Shanghai built 80% of all the public housing built in China. In general, excluding during the Cultural Revolution, the average unit area and the number of houses built each year have been rising.23

Fig.6

Nowadays, after the massive urban regeneration of the city centre in the 20th century, most of the pre-1980s wooden public housing without private bathrooms and kitchens has been demolished or included in the national renovation programme. Without any form of intervention, it is foreseeable that a large amount of old public housing built after the 1980s will remain in its present state, existing between the city and the five new suburbs planned for Shanghai.

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Shanghai Old public housing: a historical trace

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Fig.5 The 4 construction phases of old public housing

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Source: Drawing by the author

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Shanghai Old public housing: a historical trace

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Fig.6 Old public housing in Shanghai 2020

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Source: Li jinghong, Housing in Shnaghai 1949-1990(SSP Press)1993,p17321 Shanghai Old public housing: a historical trace


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Fig.7 The Governence System in China

1.2 The physical condition in Old Public Housing The most prominent feature of old public housing is its hierarchical organisation across three scales. This composition is expressed by the block, building and unit. This organisation provides security and privacy for residents while at the same time separating them from the city through layers of non-functional greenery and access gates. The following paragraphs will analyse these features in the specific context in which they were produced to clarify Fig.7

that the housing’s programme was founded on the urban management system (Shequ system) and administrative boundaries (Xiaoqu).24

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Shanghai Old public housing: a historical trace

24 With the transformation of the Danwei system into the Shequ system in the 1990s, old public housing has gradually become separate from state-owned enterprises to create independent residential areas. Boundary fences were designed and built by the government to clearly define the territory of the Xiaoqu. Xiaoqu, as a community political unit governed by the CRC, isolates old public housing via a fence, wall and security room. The definition of a Shequ as a political unit emphasised the territorial and organisational elements of the system and meant that the Shequ engaged with a wide range of activities including welfare, education, sanitation, public health, family planning, public order and so on. In this sense, a Shequ can encompass more than one Xiaoqu, as well as urban areas that are not part of or are in between various Xiaoqu.

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Fig.8 The Functional partition map of Caoyang Village

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Source: Drawing by the author

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Block

Each block has an area of between 0.15km2 and 0.2km2 and is separated by a 20m-wide driveway. This residential area is the smallest unit in the administrative area, called a Xiaoqu (neighbourhood). A Xiaoqu or several Xiaoqus form a Shequ (community) and are administered by a neighbourhood committee, while several Shequs form a street and are administered by a street office. To clearly define and govern the territory of the Xiaoqu, fences and walls have been built to surround the Xiaoqu. The enclosure usually has one or two gates with security rooms for car entry and one or two small gates for pedestrians only. There Fig.8

are medium-sized public facilities (public schools, public hospitals, clinics, public markets) and administrative bodies (street offices) between the Xiaoqus depending on the size

Fig.9

of the population living there. These public facilities are also enclosed by fences. Their functional objective is to satisfy the most basic needs of the residents without providing any social facilities or additional services.

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Shanghai Old public housing: a historical trace

Fig.9 The wall and fence isolate the Xiaoqu Source: Juxin Zhang, 'Public Space in Walled Community' (Unpublished Thesis, Tongji University, 2018)

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Shanghai Old public housing: a historical trace

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Fig.11 The public facilities Fig.12-13 The in-between space of old public housing

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Building

The six-storey buildings in each block are usually arranged in an array, with two to four buildings being connected structurally. The roof of the building is a 30-degree sloping roof to cope with Shanghai’s rainy weather with water tanks being housed inside. The buildings are spaced between 15m and 23m apart from north to south and 6m and 7m apart from east to west. Between the buildings, there are usually passageways for cars and people and greenery with no function. Some of the buildings feature gym equipment and lawns. The office is usually located on the ground floor of a building or in a detached office building with one or two floors. The CRC is responsible for basic welfare (care for the disabled and disadvantaged residents), political and health promotion and the management of conflicts between residents in its area. Additionally, each neighbourhood employs a property management company to maintain the facilities and security of the Xiaoqu.

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Shanghai Old public housing: a historical trace

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Fig.15(left) The public facilities Fig.16-17(right) The indoor space of old public housing

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Fig.18 The typical plan of old public housing Source: Drawing by the author

Unit

Each unit provides one or two bedrooms facing south and a bathroom (>3.5m2) and kitchen (>4m2) facing north. The units are connected by a 1.2m corridor. Vertical circulation is achieved through a 2.4m staircase located in the middle of the north side of the unit. For management purposes, each building chooses one of its residents to be the building manager and assist the work of the CRC. This is usually an elderly retired resident.

Structure Fig.18

Old public housing in the 1980s were brick masonry structures. All the walls except the partition walls for the bathrooms and kitchens were load-bearing.

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Fig.20 The typical ection of old public housing Source: Drawing by the author

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1.3 People in Old Public Housing As a product of the collective era, old public housing used to house 95% of the urban population. Residents were given housing as employees of state-owned enterprises or government agencies under the housing distribution system. Residents were allotted flats of differing quality based on their job role. Labour and productivity had ramifications for the distribution of space. However, the population of old public housing has undergone significant change and upheaval as the country's housing system has moved from public to private ownership. Housing reform in 1992 saw the free sale and rental of housing in these communities. In sum, the enormous changes that Chinese society has undergone over the last few decades are reflected in the changing demographics of old public housing. Today, the identity and nature of residents are very complex. Beyond the fact that old public housing residents are all of low to

Fig. 21

middle income, they cannot be defined by any single criteria such as age, lifestyle and nature of work. The great diversity of the population is a major cause of the divisions in the community. The following paragraphs classify residents according to their living habits daily routines and generation.

Local and outsider

As a result of China’s previous housing distribution system, old public housing residents were colleagues. Colleagues married colleagues and their children worked for the same companies. Over the course of decades together, a certain degree of kinship gradually developed. However, the development of free trade increased the income of some residents. By around 2000, having experienced a certain accumulation of wealth, residents moved out of their former neighbourhoods by purchasing homes and acquiring commercial properties. At the same time, as the city grew and attracted more and more people from outside, the sale or rental of public housing brought a large number of people from outside into the community. From this perspective, residents can be divided into those who have always lived in an area and those who have moved in since the housing reform.

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Fig. 23


Fig.21 A case of demographic change of old public housing Source: Drawing by the author

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Local: Locals are those who have lived in old public housing since early childhood or youth. They share the same habits, ways of life, language and so on because they are related to the neighbourhood by work or blood and have lived together for a long time. Outsider: Outsiders are those who move into the community by buying or renting a home. Unlike locals who have lived there for a long time, outsiders who come from different cities and even different countries have their own habits, customs and even beliefs. Due to the different lifestyles and social circles of these two groups, locals and outsiders live in the one community but often disagree. Community life is often dominated by a society of locals, while the foreign population presents a society of strangers who do not know each other and they have almost no voice in the community.

Owner and tenant

As the economy took off after 2000, further increases in house prices reduced the number of houses being bought and sold. This left the owners of public housing unable to buy new houses and relocate. In turn, the rise in the price of old public housing discouraged outsiders from buying. Instead of buying and selling, housing trends have moved towards renting and leasing. Homes are being posted on rental sites as short-term accommodation for workers and temporary accommodation for tourists. Therefore, high housing prices have created the conditions for temporary and permanent homes for old public housing residents. Owner: Owners are those who own their home and do not have a second property. They must live in the community permanently in the future due to a lack of alternative options. Tenant: Tenants are those who rent a property and do not have the financial means to buy a property. They will move out after a short period (a few days or months) depending on their work schedule, travel plans or financial situation.

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Fig.22 The report of questionnaire survey Source: Drawing by the author

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Due to the difference in the length of residence of these two groups, they embody completely different attitudes towards community space. On the one hand, owners have longterm living plans for the space and are often very concerned about changes within the community. On the other hand, tenants and their landlords are unconcerned about changes within the community. This is because tenants who live in the community for a short time often will not be around to enjoy the fruits of any renovation. The landlords who do not live in the community have no sense of responsibility for it.

Young and old

With the changes in social institutions and the development of urban life, the younger generation in the community socialises completely differently from the older generation. The older generation mostly worked for state enterprises that enforced a strict eight-hour workday. They were thus usually back in the community after 6pm. In contrast, the younger generation mostly works for private companies and have a 25 The 996 work schedule refers to a working system that starts at 9 am and ends at 9 PM, and takes one hour (or less) off at noon and evening, working more than 10 hours in total, and working 6 days a week

‘996’ work schedule25 that leaves little time for them to be active within the community and sees their lifestyles adopt an urban scale. Young: The young are those born after the 1980s. They are used to having a nightlife, an internet presence and unpredictable working hours. Old: The old are those born before the 1980s. They are used to a slower pace of life, are not good at socialising online and tend to work eight-hour shifts. Young people often build relationships based on career and interest. The older generation prefers blood, kinship and neighbourhood relationships based on their community. Therefore, young people find it hard to build a local circle of friends. The future of many communities is often dominated by the elderly, including its transformation. In the literature in this field, many studies focus exclusively on the elderly in old public housing communities. This further limits the younger generation's right to speak in the community.

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Fig.23 The social boundares between different groups Source: Drawing by the author

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2. Shanghai Old public housing: emergence and decline

2.1 Urbanisation: The battle between economics and well-being In recent years, Shanghai has become one of the most prosperous cities in the world.26 This is not an accident but the result of a long-term city development policy proposed Fig. 24

in 1992 in Deng Xiaoping’s ‘Talks in the South’. 27 In his talks, Deng Xiaoping, the leader of China between 1978 and 1989, stated that ‘Shanghai is currently fully equipped to move faster...Otherwise, the current situation of reform and opening up in the Yangtze River Delta, the entire Yangtze River Basin, and even the whole country will be different.’28 After 40 years of central government neglect of Shanghai's development,29 Shanghai was finally opening its borders with the promise of economic growth and improved quality of life for citizens. China’s economic development follows planning from the central government according to the country’s Five-Year Plans. The development plan for Shanghai was known as ‘one leader, three centres’. It aimed to rehabilitate Shanghai's international status in terms of the economy, trade and finance. The first step consisted of carrying out urban improvements across the old city centre and its

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Fig.24 Deng Xiaoping met with the leaders of the party, government and army in Shanghai and spent New Year's Eve with people from all walks of life in Shanghai. (22/01/1993) 26 According to the data Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data, Shanghai ranks 9th for GDP of cities worldwide with a GDP of US $598.4 billion. 27

In Deng Xiaoping’s ‘Talks in the South ( 邓小平 南方谈话 )’ presented during Deng Xiaoping's inspection trip to Wuchang, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shanghai (1992), he puts forward a series of views on the reform and development of southern cities through reflection on and summary of the experiences and problems of China’s reform and opening up (1978) over the past decade. 28 Zhu Zhengwu, Traveling to the South: A Complete Record of Deng Xiaoping's Southern Talks in 1992 (GDP Press, 2012). 29 After 1949, foreign trade was closed off in Shanghai. As the richest city in China, most of Shanghai’s industrial income was used to aid the development of cities across the country. Moreover, Shanghai was not included in the list of target cities during the countries programme of economic reform and opening up until 1992.

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Fig.25 The urbanisation of Shanghai Source: Li jinghong, Housing in Shnaghai 1949-1990(SSP Press)1993

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Fig.26(up) The land lease in 1990 Fig.27(below) The demolition in 1990 Source: http://finance.sina.com.cn/china/2018-10-01/doc-ihkvrhpr8363667.shtml

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surrounding urban areas that included the construction of a financial centre in the inner city, the reconfiguration of the city mobility system of three ring roads and railway network and so on. Through the improvement of the inner city, the ultimate aim was to develop the entire city to enable it to drive the economic development of the Yangtze River Delta region and, in turn, the entire Chinese economy. Additionally, to promote free trade and recoup funds for public construction, the Shanghai municipality delegated Fig. 26 Fig. 27

the responsibility of land development to private developers via land lease.30 After 1992, through a series of incentives including introducing new technologies and joint venture, a large number of enterprises moved to Shanghai. Before the nation’s economic reform and under the distribution system of housing, the distribution of labour and productivity had implications for the distribution of housing. Now, the market economy brought about by investment from foreign and private companies had ended the distribution system and offered citizens the possibility of housing choice. This has stimulated the productive activity of citizens and plays an

30 After Deng Xiaoping’s ‘Talks in the South’ in January of 1992, the Shanghai municipality moved to a land lease system. Via this system, t municipal government grants demolition permits according to the central government's plan for the land and the developer leases the right to use the land through a competitive bidding process and provides economic compensation to residents following the government's compensation policy. The impact of land lease is twofold: 1. House replacement: Replaced houses located in the suburbs are 1.5 times larger than the original property. 2. Economic compensation: Residents receive compensation for their property based on the market price and the price difference of nearby private housing.

important role in urban development. In parallel to public and private development, it was intended that the city as a whole was developed. In the decades after 1992, Shanghai has experienced rapid economic growth. After 1992, the average growth rate of Shanghai’s GDP reached 12.7%. According to a report by the State Council’s Development Research Centre presented at the 2020 Shanghai City Promotion Conference, Shanghai’s GDP reached 3.8 trillion yuan in 2019, ranking second among Asian cities and sixth among global cities. The city’s overall impact on the world's economic development has expanded significantly. This shows that Shanghai now welcomes everyone, local and foreign, to come and build in Shanghai and find a better life. In the last two decades, the construction industry has played

Impact on architecture

an important role in supporting economic development in China. At the same time, more and more young people have chosen architecture as their profession. However, the position of architects in the construction process has

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Fig.28 The Lujiazui CBD and old public housing behind it

declined. In the pursuit of greater economic benefits and shorter construction times, design and personal ambitions have been side-lined. In the case of private housing, for example, developers are only concerned with the size, number and speed of the construction of flats to allow them to generate as much profit as possible. In the face of the extraordinarily high number of projects and strict time limits, architects have gradually lost their voice in the industry and their job has been reduced to making calculations while

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complying with building codes.

2.2 Demolition and relocation Demolition and relocation are viewed as key economic

Demolition and relocation as a tool for

engines. By demolishing ageing housing in the inner

economic growth

city, urban areas have been used to support high-value industries, such as finance and commerce. Therefore, demolishing ageing housing in the inner city and building

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Fig.29 The current urbancondition of Shanghai 2020

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Source: Shanghai Old public housing: emergence andDrawing decline by the author

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new buildings such as malls, office buildings and private housing drive improvements for the economy. In the case of Century Avenue, by replacing half of the blocks in Lujiazui Street, the Lujiazui Central Business District (CBD) was established in 2000. In 2019, Lujiazui CBD was home to about 1,000 financial companies with a total output value of about £11 billion. The high economic returns generated by land rents, commercial income and financial compensation made demolitions hugely beneficial for the government, the city and the residents. From 1991 to 2000, 28 million square metres of housing was demolished in Shanghai and approximately 640,000 households were relocated. However, the situation has changed in recent years. Demolition and relocation as a tool for

Since about 2010, social cleansing brought about by

social cleaning

demolition has become a hot topic in China. A balance between economic compensation, housing replacement and surrounding living conditions has not been struck. The housing prices of properties surrounding old public housing

31 For example, in 2007, financial compensation for the residents of Dongjiadu Xiaoqu was around £3000 per apartment, while the price of nearby commercial houses had reached £13,000 per square metre.

has increased to eight times the economic compensation offered for old public housing properties31 and the location of housing replacements is often more than 20km from the city centre. Therefore, from the residents’ perspective, although demolition could get them financial compensation or a larger house, the huge price differences between their and other properties and the location of housing replacements would drive them out of the cities and into the suburbs. Demolition has thus become a tool of gentrification and social cleansing. Centralisation and unbalanced resources

Centralisation and unbalanced resources

With the centralisation of the city, a huge imbalance in access to public institutions, infrastructure, employment opportunities and so on has arisen between urban areas and the suburbs. Firstly, the best educational and medical institutions are concentrated in urban areas as a result of the Hukou system. Once old public housing residents lose their housing, they are no longer able to enjoy these public institutions. Secondly, incomplete suburban transportation systems increase the average commute for workers, making it on average over an hour. Today's office workers are expected to work a much longer day than the traditional eight hours and this means they are willing to pay for

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convenient transportation. Finally, the increasing number of office buildings and commercial centres caused by the development of the city has brought more job opportunities and higher salaries. As prices continue to rise in Shanghai, seizing these high-paying job opportunities is often the only way to continue to live in the city. The imbalance in access to public institutions, infrastructure Fig. 30

No more demolition

and job opportunities is the main reason why people oppose the social cleansing caused by the demolition of old public housing. Unsurprisingly, residents' dissatisfaction with demolition and relocation has increased. The increase in demolition funds for residents has increased the economic and time cost of urban development. To mitigate the negative effects of urban centralisation, the situation in Shanghai’s urban areas has changed.

Fig. 31

Fig.30 Residents against the demolition

Fig.31 The urban development plan published in 2016

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Following the publication of the Thirteenth Plan in 2016, the Shanghai government has shifted the focus of development from the main urban areas to the suburbs along the Outer Ring Road. Shanghai's goal for the next 15 years is to develop the Jiading, Qingpu, Songjiang, Fengxian and Nanhui districts, to transform them into new hubs around Shanghai’s city centre to share the pressures and benefits of the population and industry of the inner city. This means that the development input for the inner city will be reduced accordingly. 32 From 2005 to 2020, due to excessively high costs, excluding large-scale events such as the World Expo, there was no large-scale demolition of residential buildings in Shanghai. In 2014, the area for relocated houses in Shanghai accounted for only 3% of commercial housing sales. In March 2020, the central government delegated land approval rights to the municipal government to allow large cities including Shanghai to develop agricultural land in the suburbs. 33 Shantytowns in Shanghai were mostly built before 1950 and have no internal bathrooms. The worst of the shantytowns do not even have running water. 34 The concept of the reverse cycle proposed by Tong Ming in his article ‘Micro-community renovation is a continuous win-win resolution’, refers to the deterioration of the environment due to a lack of maintenance of the living environment, which further reduces the incentive to repair the living environment and increases the cost of repairing it.

Currently, for both internal and external reasons, the development of Shanghai’s city centre has slowed down,32 specifically the demolition and relocation of old housing stock. The target for demolition has been narrowed to shantytowns with extremely poor living conditions.33 In 2019, the Shanghai Demolition and Relocation Office announced a tenfold decrease in the area of land to be expropriated compared with 2009. Although this has largely reduced the social cleansing caused by demolition and relocation, allowing residents to continue to enjoy the amenities, job opportunities and so on that urban development brings, the fact remains that old public housing residents are not better off as a result. The doubts about demolition started when the pace of demolition slowed and reached a peak when Shanghai announced a shift in the city's development focus. mentioned Professor Tong Ming, who works on the direction of urban housing development, stated that ‘Even if the houses were retained, it would not make the lives of the residents any better (…) in fact, these houses will be caught in a reverse cycle’.34 With the withdrawal of the government as the party responsible for housing maintenance, the lack of responsibility taken for the living environment, the collective behaviour of the residents and financial considerations make repairing and maintaining housing difficult. This has led to the continued decay of housing stock. This situation is especially serious in the old residential areas that have been removed from the demolition list.

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Fig. 32


NEGATIVE CYCLE

Fig.32 The negative cycle proposed by Tongming Source: Drawing by the author

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2.3 Case study: Century Avenue and Weifang Street Since the location of old public housing in Shanghai touches the economic centres developed after the 1990s, this has brought old public housing into conflict with the very symbols of economic development. Century Avenue is one of the most important development sites in Shanghai and construction was started in 1990 by the government with the aim of relaunching the financial and trade functions of Shanghai. As such, it is explored here as a typical economic centre. Century Avenuse

Century Avenue is located in the Pudong district of Shanghai. The development plan covers five streets totalling 50 square kilometres. With the development of Century Avenue over the past 30 years, more and more land has been rented to private developers, all of which was previously public housing. Taking the Oriental Pearl Tower as the starting point and the Government Building for Pudong New District as the end point, office buildings have been built on both sides of the 5-kilometre-long avenue. The avenue has been lined with office buildings, shopping centres, parks and so on thanks to foreign capital. With the Oriental Pearl Tower as its centrepiece, a 29-square-kilometre financial and trade development area has been established, generating nearly £60 billion for China every year. Today, 31 office towers have been completed with the Shanghai Centre Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Centre still under development. The Pudong Government Building is neighboured by the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, Oriental Art Centre, Shanghai Botanical Garden and Shanghai Aquarium. In 2019, the Pudong Government Building attracted 254,000 visitors during the seven-day National Day holiday. The area along the river has been developed into high-end private housing. For example, Tangchen Yipin Commercial Housing was built in 2005 and is now priced at £30,000 per square metre. The development of these areas has increased housing prices and brought housing compensation costs for demolition to a price that cannot be paid by private

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Fig. 34


Fig.33 The governence boundary of Lujiazui Source: Drawing by the author

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The Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower Build year: 1995

Pudong N Governm Build yea

Shangha Build yea

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Lujiazui CBD Shanghai Center & Jingmao Building & Shanghai World Financial Center

Commercial House: Tomson Riviera Price: 12,000£/m2(2005)

Shanghai No.1 Yaohan China's first large-scale commercial retail enterprise with a Sinoforeign joint venture

Ali Buidling

New District ment Building ar: 1995

ai Science center ar: 2001 Fig.34 The introduction of Century Avenue Source: Drawing by the author

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developers. In the development of Century Avenue, a large number of old houses have been preserved in Lujiazui Street in the north and Weifang Street in the south. The research takes Weifang Street as a case study to show the living conditions of this housing. Weifang Street

Weifang Street was built in 1986 as public housing assigned to employees of state-owned enterprises. The area under its jurisdiction is 3.89 square kilometres in size. The street is divided into three parts: four blocks in the east, which is now crossed by Century Avenue and is called Zhuyuan New Village; 10 blocks in the middle to form Weifang New Village; and four blocks along the river in the west, which are shantytowns built before the 1950s. Both new villages have public institutions such as schools, hospitals and markets. In 2020, 20 years after the development of Century Avenue, Weifang Street was divided into 27 Shequ with their own neighbourhood committees. In different Shequ, the institutional and residential areas are separated by a fence or wall with each neighbourhood committee managing one or more Xiaoqu. To date, three of the four eastern blocks have been redeveloped into commercial districts containing

Fig. 35

21 office buildings and 2 shopping centres. Only the blocks in the northeast corner have been reserved for housing. The western shantytowns were demolished and redeveloped into high-end homes and museums. In Weifang New Village, except for a small part of the north-eastern part of the plot, most of the old public housing has been retained. Those residents whose houses have been demolished have been provided with the appropriate compensation according to government policy. Thanks to development efforts, the demographics of the population of Weifang New Village have changed. The total population of Weifang Street is approximately 100,548 (2010), 74% of which live in old public housing. With privatisation and commercialisation in the 1990s, some residents chose to move into higher-end communities after their income increased. They rent out their public housing

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Fig. 36


Fig.35 The demolition in Weifang street Source: Drawing by the author

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property, sell it or leave their elderly relatives to live there alone. The residents of this housing can thus now be divided into four groups: original residents who are employees of state-owned enterprises and their descendants, migrant workers who rent houses from local people, senior employees who buy houses and local elderly people who are retired employees of state-owned enterprises. The social mobility described above occurred frequently in the first decade of the 21st century but gradually plateaued over the next 10 years. This is because of the rapid increase in housing prices in the past 20 years, which has left the remaining low- and middle-income social groups increasingly unable to move away, trapping them in old public housing. At the same time, the new tenants are often low- and middle-income residents. Therefore, the privatisation and marketisation of public housing in the 1990s exacerbated the stratification and isolation of communities.

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Fig.36 The building plan of Meiyuan Village in 1990 Source: Li jinghong, Housing in Shnaghai 1949-1990(SSP Press)1993

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PART 2 Renovation Old public housing was designed to be simple, repetitive and inflexible. However, urban development has complicated the composition of the population of this housing. These settlements have not been able to keep up with the radical social changes that have taken place since the opening up of China. It is clear that old public housing needs to be renewed to enable it to adapt to contemporary urban needs. In the urban context of Shanghai, it is necessary to replace demolition with renovation and to preserve old public housing to ensure that low- and middle-income groups can still afford to live in urban areas. However, what form should this regeneration take? How can regeneration be promoted? What is the future of old public housing? The following chapters will address the conflicts and paradoxes inherent in the planning, management and maintenance of these neighbourhoods.

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Chapter 3 Renovation and participatory discussion 3.1 The dilemma of renovation 3.2 Oppositional relationships 3.3 Funding limitations 3.4 Spatial limitations Proposition: Collaborative renovation agency Chapter 4 Renovation and well-being 4.1 Well-being 4.2 Living conditions in old public housing 4.3 Spatial and social separation Proposition: Extension, Addition, Transformation Chapter 5 Renovation and social provisions 5.1 The definition of social provisions 5.2 Social provisions in old public housing 5.3 Broken the boundary Proposition: Alternative space at multiple scales

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3. Renovation and participatory discussion

3.1 The dilemma of renovation In recent years, one step ahead of the government, architects and scholars have been working hard in the field of housing renovation. It is argued that the sociological significance of renovation and its evolutionary effect on existing spaces needs to be explored. Hence, renovation projects are becoming a vehicle for resistance against the commodification of architects. The architect's ability to communicate, coordinate and integrate plays a key role in facilitating and developing renovation projects. Pioneering concepts such as participatory renovation, cooperative communities, third part and collaborative organisation are being introduced by scholars from Japan and Europe. The question thus arises, how can these concepts be exploited and applied in the Chinese urban context? This chapter is a case study of failed and successful renovations in Shanghai. An attempt is made to respond to the questions: what factors hinder the promotion of renovation? What renovation strategies are applicable to Shanghai at the moment? How

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Public Space

Indoor Space

Outdoor Space

Communal Space

Fig.41 The living condition in old public housing, 2000

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can renovation efforts be taken forward? Additionally, and most importantly, this chapter will endeavour to redefine renovation in the context of Shanghai through the lens of its sociological significance. Fig. 41

Living conditions have generally declined in old public housing since 2000 and thus attempts at renovation have been increasing. Governments, individuals, designers, architects, sociologists, activists and several other parties have made repeated efforts to promote renewal through different means. Since 2010, a variety of pilot renovation practices have taken place in Shanghai either through unilateral efforts or through the cooperation of multiple parties. For example, the CRC in Siping Street has worked with the College of Design and Innovation in Tongji University to carry out four consecutive renovation festivals for the old public housing neighbourhood under its jurisdiction, He Jia, who is both an architect and a resident of old public housing, successfully renovated his neighbourhood with his friends and neighbours and JUND Architects is attempting to build an urban renovation platform using the renovation of the Shiquan neighbourhood as a starting point. However, all of these attempts to move forward are dependent on parties being willing to invest financial or human resources and there is no requirement for the success or otherwise of the project to be reported. As a result, there is no uniform approach to dealing with old housing stock across Shanghai.

3.2 contradictory relationships The contradictory relationship between the government and old public housing residents is exacerbated by the misperceptions surrounding the extent of each party's responsibility towards the other. Apart from having absolute dominion over their privately owned flats, residents are unaware of their power over shared space within their community, even if they have paid for it. This is demonstrated, for example, by the fact that residents have every right to put forward a collective proposal and make alterations when they need a communal green space to serve as a children's playground. Rather, residents believe that this should be a matter that the government is solely

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responsible for. These attitudes are part of the legacy of the Danwei system. Residents, especially those who have lived in public housing since its inception, are accustomed to CRC being responsible for resolving social issues and managing public affairs instead of the residents. However, since the breakdown of the Danwei system and the withdrawal of strong state control from neighbourhoods, the residents' committees have been transformed from government's institutions as they were under the Danwei system to autonomous institutions under the Shequ system. This change of status has left them without the power or ability to respond to the various issues impacting residents. The work of the CRCs is now reduced to political advocacy, care for the disadvantaged and disabled and coordination of relations between residents. However, residents have not adapted to this change and, even after they acquire their property rights, they are still highly dependent on the government. They usually believe and expect that the responsibility for the maintenance of their neighbourhoods lies with the government and the CRCs. Correspondingly, the government's inability to intercede is perceived by the residents as inaction, which ultimately leads to distrust of the government by the residents. When the living conditions of the old public housings built in the 1950s and 1960s deteriorated to the point where improvements had to be made, a comical sight emerged: the residents and the government were working at cross purposes, engaged in uncommunicative renovation projects with each side acting according to their own point of view and working hard to scupper each other's plans. This situation manifests in the following ways. On the one hand, residents make small-scale renovations in defiance of government regulations. Not only are patios and balconies being incorporated into interior spaces for residential use, but residents are also trying to turn their rooms into recreational facilities, kiosks, domestic services, etc. These projects do benefit some of the residents but do not satisfy all of them. Moreover, as a completely non-consensual activity, it

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Fig. 42


has been criticised for its unregulated structure and illegal operation. Although the local government has acquiesced to such actions to a certain extent, legally enforced demolitions of this work at the request of the central government has been carried out. Thus, while this informal renovation may benefit a small group of residents, it is causing conflict among the residents and between the residents and the government. Fig. 43

On the other hand, the municipality has led several major renovation projects. Renovation has been incorporated into community building (shequjianshe).35 Tasks were set by the municipality and allocated to each CRC The neighbourhood committees were given the task of creating, for example, 'child-friendly' or 'elderly-friendly' neighbourhoods. However, without the consent of the residents (property owners), these renovation projects are often limited to a small number of existing communal facilities in the neighbourhood and the facades of housing. Even if this is not the case, this purposeful renovation programme fundamentally disregards

35 Although many aspects of top-down renovation projects have been criticised by researchers, they have had some positive effects. They have opened up access for small-scale renovation. Although not yet perfect, a channel for application and approval is gradually opening up exclusively for renovation from the central government to local governments to the neighbourhood committees that manage each Xiaoqu. Building codes, management rules, etc. are likely to be adjusted slightly as the government becomes more involved in the regeneration of the neighbourhood as administrator.

the needs of the middle-aged. These projects have been criticised and complained about by residents for not bringing substantial improvements to their lives and for instead bringing noise, scaffolding and construction waste, which have a detrimental effect on their quality of life. The oppositional relationships described above have ended

Non-governmental agencies and

up creating serious obstacles to the funding, organisation,

Professional mediatories

construction and maintenance of regeneration projects. In response to this, the third party has been proposed. Located between local municipalities and residents, this subsystem provides support for residents’ renovations in terms of design proposals, construction techniques, funding, marketing and organisational activities and replaces the government as the overseer of renewal projects and decision-maker for issues such as site selection and safety specifications. The reorganisation of management has changed the logic and technologies of governance, transferring new responsibilities to a range of third parties,36 including community planners, research institutes, commercial companies, university lecturers, self-organised social groups including community interest groups, new media operation teams, non-profit

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36 Dayu Studio, one of the renovation organisations established by He Jia in the Xinhua Xiaoqu, has been taken as a case study. To start with, the renovations were initiated by several architects living in the Xiaoqu. With the support of the residents’ committee, they began to reuse the abandoned spaces in the Xiaoqu. As they were already friends and neighbours with the residents, the architects' proposal was completed with the participation of fellow residents. As the regeneration project received good feedback, a number of enthusiastic residents and external scholars gradually joined in. Subsequently, some of the Dayu members were offered salaries to move to full-time positions as a result of conversations between the neighbourhood committee and the higher authorities. Dayu's work is not confined to its own neighbourhood and has been extended to other Xiaoqus over the past two years on behalf of other neighbourhood committees.

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Fig.42 The operation mode of bottom-up renovation

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Fig.43 The operation mode of top-down renovation

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participatory renovation

Fig.43 The operation mode of participatory renovation

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organisations, volunteer teams, and so on. With the emergence of this dimension, the role of the government has shifted from leading to coordinating. Also, the role of residents has shifted from that of passive receivers to active managers. Participatory renovation

Despite the above, the oppositional relationship between government and residents remains. For example, one retrofit that aims to complete the work set out by the government is suspected of actively avoiding coordination and negotiation from the outset. Even when this is not the case, residents' resistance to government action has been transformed into an instinctive refusal to communicate and change. Indeed, in most early examples of renovation initiatives, it can be observed that the CRC has invited the architect to provide a plan for the renovation (for example, a garden in which to rest) but when the design is completed, none of the residents uses the space as the designer intended. The beautifully designed gardens were used by residents to dry their laundry or, in some cases, were simply abandoned. In general, government-led regeneration projects without resident participation are useless investments that create more derelict space. Participatory design, a concept that has moved from the field of interactive design to the field of architectural design, is not just about listening to users but also about involving them in design decisions and even in construction. It has performed well in regeneration projects on Danchi in Japan. Through participatory design, the mass housing built in the post-war period has been used to gradually regenerate the surrounding land. The designers communicate with the residents, allowing them to fully voice their demands and

Fig.44 Pariticipatory discussion in renovation process

co-create their neighbourhood. Both the decision-making process and the final outcome of the regeneration play a very important role in reshaping the relationships between the residents of the community and rebuilding community

37 As of 2015, the danchi regeneration project basically covers the Tokyo metropolitan area

cohesion. The results37 show that renovation projects built through participatory design are better used and better maintained than those built without this user participation. In practice, however, participatory renovation continues to

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Fig. 44


face significant challenges. The founder of Dayu Studio He Jia states that ‘In many cases, residents have not yet adapted to their own identity transformation. They are wary of foreigners and don't think that renovation will bring them a better life. Even when they are motivated, the residents don't know what their needs are and are not sure how to participate in the design.’ More than just promoting participatory design, the residents need a boost to complete the process of moving from passive acceptance to active participation. How can a longterm legal and formal habit of renovation for the residents be established through renewal? The incremental renovation that occurred in the case of ‘Open Four Space’ may offer an answer. Fig. 45

‘Open Four Space’ is an annual renovation campaign organised by Tongji University. Working towards set annual

Incremental Renovation

renovation goals, the three-month campaign is completed by students and professors from Tongji University. Renovation is seen not only as a way to improve the living environment according to the needs of the residents but also as a process of re-cultivating the social operation model in terms of raising residents' awareness of renovation. In its first year, the campaign focused on repainting the walls and hallways and its second year placing interactive installations in communal spaces and organising events to promote residents' involvement, such as sales and community activities. In its third year, many residents offered to take

Fig.45 The poster of Open Four Space

part in the renovation activities and work with the students to come up with ideas. In its fourth year, at the suggestion of the community, the disused utility room was converted into a renovation workshop where regular community events were held and a long-term renovation service was provided. In its fifth year, the renovation project became larger in scale and began to target some of the shops along neighbourhood streets. From initial resistance to unwanted visitors from the university to awareness of the potential for improvement to their living environment among residents, the regeneration process has moved forward under its own steam. This process has been a continuous learning process for the residents and has resulted in a gradual change in their

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attitudes. Even if participatory regeneration is more respectful of residents' views, it should not force them to participate in the discussion if they do not wish to. In the Shanghai context, contending with residents' strong reliance on government action for regeneration and their instinctive questioning of change, designers often need to invest more time in persuasion and communication. This investment can be endless. It is therefore important to gradually build up residents' awareness and confidence in regeneration through incremental renovation. The ultimate aim is to encourage the residents to take the initiative and promote renewal.

3.3 Funding limitations Apart from the delicate relationship between the government and the residents, which needs to be shaped by a third party, the funding for renovation has always been a major issue. Unlike private housing developed by real estate developers, old public housing lacks the financial support of real estate developers. This has led to a reduction in the current sources of funding to government grants, residents' funds and community donations. These funds are a drop in the ocean when it comes to the regeneration of housing. This lack of funding is ultimately reflected in the downgrading of project Fig.46 The circular economy

content: simplification of restoration works (e.g. painting of walls, restoration of greenery), compromises on materials and construction (e.g. use of cheap materials, informal erections) and reduction of rewards for participants (e.g. free proposals by designers, suppliers provide materials at cost). As it is not profitable, the renovation of old public housing is considered to be a unilateral investment offering no returns. Most of the facade renovation works restored facades to their original state after two years pending a new round of renovation. The cheap materials are removed and replaced in a short period adding to the waste and cost of materials. At the same time, a new round of renovation still depends on the selflessness of the participants. This unilateral input strategy is clearly not sustainable in the long term given the large number of old housing stock throughout Shanghai.

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Thus, a viable economic loop needs to be established to bring in more funds and facilitate the use of appropriate materials first-time to reduce waste and costs. Fig. 46

Establishing a viable economic loop requires the use of

The circular economy and material cycle

38

capital. In the case of the Meilong neighbourhood , in addition to the cost of the extension borne by the residents and applying for government subsidies for renewal, the ground floor was transformed to house offices, seniors’ activity centres and convenience stores. The community was able to obtain rent from businesses to support subsequent renovation and maintenance. The presence of businesses also provided additional services for the residents. Materials removed in urban renovation are shipped to the countryside for 20£ per truckload to be buried. The reuse of materials is not stressed in the country, but internationally it has long been an important topic. Rotor, a Brussels-based collective, dedicated to stimulating reuse in the construction

38 To resolve the issue of the shortage of funds, the government has tried to increase profits through expansion to support the addition of elevators. First, the original house was built on two floors one of which is sold and the proceeds used to pay for elevators. Second, the original residents are moved in free of charge to the remaining floor and the original first floor is changed to support social needs by providing space for, for example, neighbourhood offices, seniors’ activity centres and convenience stores. The rents received from private companies, such as those responsible for the convenience stores and courier stations, are used to maintain the elevators. Third, each household expands the resident's unit by 8-10 square metres through renovation, with residents paying an expansion cost based on the specifics of their renovation.

industry. He proposes to set up a material recycling chain (Demolition-transport-reproduction-utilization) with a professional material handling team responsible for the reuse of building materials.39 This not only avoids unnecessary waste of resources, but also reduces the cost of materials.

39 Lecture: Objet Trouvé, DEVILIEGER, Lionel and Maarten GIELEN (Rotor)

In conclusion, the decay of housing is bound to happen. In the future, more housing will need to be renovated. Therefore, a virtuous circular economy must be created to replace the endless unilateral economic investment. The ultimate aim is to reduce the burden on the government and the social renewal fund. In addition, by industrialising the regeneration process and establishing a regeneration-related industry chain, the economic and environmental costs can be effectively reduced.

3.4 Spatial limitation As mentioned in the previous chapter on the planning of old public housing, the in-between space of these building is filled with roads and greenery. The dense spatial arrangement of the houses restricts the scope of renovation. Even if the available space is filled, it is often located in the

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corners of the neighbourhood and is too small to meet the needs of all residents. Both residents and the government are trying to overcome this limitation. Residents A growing number of residents are creating unprecedented social forms based on the rediscovery of collective living and of the quality of spaces. The series of small-scale renovations that have been completed demonstrate the communal ethos that residents have adopted to use space efficiently to meet their needs. By integrating the needs of their neighbours, residents have been able to combine the use of some of their traditionally conceived living spaces. The communal kitchen, the communal living room, the communal laundry and other elements of communal living are reappearing. On top of this, there are also innovations that respond to the needs of the times: communal housekeeping centres, communal children's evening classes, internet cafes, etc. With the limited space of old public housing, the provision of social facilities has been achieved cooperatively. To some extent, it is a system of mutual assistance for residents. For instance, groups of families may share some services to reduce economic and time costs (e.g. communal kitchen, communal dining room, housekeeping centre), some skilled individuals conduct classes for neighbours to provide smallscale knowledge transfer and economic benefits (e.g. public yoga classes, knitting classes, chess) and low-income vendors provide home delivery services to elderly people living alone (e.g. kiosks, elderly care). By collectively using the space, space utilisation is increased. This allows residents to access many services at a much lower economic cost. Government Meanwhile, the government are attempting to engage with the ties that bind residents when making relocation decisions in the community by revising and enacting a series of demolition and relocation policies, giving residents

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independent decision-making power to decide whether to stay or go. The ultimate aim is to secure more available space for resource redistribution and service delivery. The following is an excerpt of the Household Resettlement Plan (2019) published by the Putuo District Housing Management Bureau in Shanghai: 3....According to the requirements of the renovation design, some residents need to be removed through partial resettlement methods... 4....selected residents can choose between physical rehousing and monetary rehousing as compensation... ...Physical rehousing is based on the nearby principle of "this building, this xiaoqu, and this area": Priority is given to moving back to the original building; if you can't move back to the original building, you will be resettled in this xiaoqu; if you can't be resettled in this xiaoqu, you will be resettled in the xiaoqu nearby... The new policy considers the location and economic level of residents as criteria for the selection of candidates for resettlement. At the same time, it fully respects the intention of residents to be resettled and offers compensation accordingly. The policy has been well received, and in some neighbourhoods where the living conditions are extremely poor, resettlement opportunities sought after. Although this strategy is currently being tested in only a few central neighbourhoods, it is believed that it could be extended to all neighbourhoods. It is noteworthy that both residents and the government are fighting for more available space in their own way without demolishing existing buildings. In addition to freeing up more space through policy, the author believes that the intervention of a professional team to analyse the site to discover and make the most efficient use of the space is necessary.

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Proposition: Collaborative renovation a g e n c y a n d To p - d o w n Design

40 Zhu Mingjie and Ni Mingqing, Open Your Space: Design Intervention for Urban Resilience (Tong University Press, 2017).

This thesis will argue that the success of a renovation depends primarily on a designer’s dedication, government motivation and individual residents’ enthusiasm. There are countless deteriorating communities in the city and more are going into decay. Whether it is government- or publicled, urban renovation should always produce measurable output.40 In this context, spatial practices and policies that target established communities need to change how they think. Moving away from conventional direct funding to a selfsustaining approach to deteriorating public housing enables self-revitalisation as it does not require external intervention. Additionally, the ultimate aim of increasing residents' acceptance of renewal through a step-by-step approach is to achieve their transition from a passive to an active role. Therefore, the renovation of old housing stock in Shanghai needs to undergo a significant shift. Renewal is not just about optimising space; it is about reshaping how we live. To achieve this, a renovation body consisting of individuals or small teams is ineffectual. Instead, it is necessary to

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establish a sophisticated collaborative agency that unites all participants. This agency will work as a coordinator, providing an efficient operating system and establishing an excellent communication platform for the renovation work. The agency will employ designers, coordinators, organisers and construction workers to provide professional services including bespoke design, cooperative meetings for residents, safe use of materials and construction and even the creation of a programme database, a prefabricated component production chain and a material recycling chain. To ensure the efficiency of the renovation process, this agency will have distinct departments to manage the renovation funds (leasing, rent collection, investment), the renovation programme and the execution of works (establishing a good relationship with the residents), the establishment of an industrial chain (material recycling) and coordination with government policy (communicating with residents about their intention to move). Transition Phase The collaborative agency plans to complete communication with residents and site exploration in the target housing area over a 10-year period before any major renovation. The following are the steps that will be undertaken in the transition phase: 1.Initial survey of housing conditions and identification of target housing areas. 2.Survey of target housing area and assessment of available space and housing structures in the community. 3.Establishing a good relationship with the residents through organised events and small-scale participatory design. 4.Establishing workstations in the residential area to prepare for long-term renovation work. 5.Conducting workshop to develop residents' awareness of renovation. 6.Communicating with each resident to fully understand their needs. This includes their future plans, requests for additional services, etc. 7.Communicating with residents who wish to move and offering financial or housing compensation as a matter of policy.

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4. Renovation and Wellbeing

4.1 Well-being The issue of well-being, where people ”perceive that their lives are going well”41, is one of substantial scholarly Fig. 47

concerns. In the book ‘ China’s Urban Communities’, Peter G. Rowe conceptualized it through the comparison of the definition from WHO in 1946 and OECD in 2011. He believes that well-being is related to seven factor: work

The definition of Well-being 41 “Well-being concepts”, U.S.Centers for Disease Contol and Prevention(U.S. CDC),last modified March 6.2013. http://www.cdc.gov/hrqol/wellbeing.htm 42 Peter.G.Rowe, China's urban communities (GNL Press, 2017), p87

and life balance, jobs and earnings, environmental quality, education and skills, social connections, civic engagement

Fig.47 The definition of Well-being

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43 After the reform and opening up, the central government issued a series of policies (‘Notice of the State Council on the Issue of Farmers Settling in Market Towns’, ‘Notice of the State Council Approving and Transmitting the Opinions of the Ministry of Public Security on Promoting the Reform of the Household Registration Management System in Small Towns’, ‘"Notice of the General Office of the State Council on Actively and Steadily Promoting the Reform of the Household Registration Management System’) to enact the change in household registration from the Hukou system to allow citizens to move between cities and rural areas and between cities and cities. 44 Figures from the Shanghai Bureau of Statistics show that the migrant population leaving Shanghai was roughly 140,000 in 2015 and over 20,000 in 2016 due to pressure on house prices

and governance, personal security and housing.42 However, in today’s urban condition, Housing plays an important role in the acquisition of other factors and largely determines the well-being of people. Relevant to the discussion of housing and well-being is, first, the Hukou regulations43, which required every Chinese person to be registered and to specify their place of residence. Their place of registration, which was, typically, the location where their associated household resided, determined the benefits they were entitled to access, especially public education and health benefits. Second, with the growth of overtime culture, the average working day in Shanghai has increased to over 10 hours. Thus, living somewhere that can shorten your commute can be instrumental to getting more out of life. As most higherpaying jobs are concentrated in the city centre, the location of residences also influences job opportunities to some

Fig.48 Number of outsider (2012-2016) (10,000 people)

extent. Third, newly built housing is always of better quality than older housing. In particular, it is safer, less noisy and better managed. In China, buying a home often means that one has a stable family and, in most cases, this equates to a stable life. As a result, even if high prices force people to rent, buying or replacing a home once they have sufficient savings is still the ultimate goal of most Chinese people. However, housing in Shanghai is becoming increasingly unaffordable. In this situation, high housing prices make demolition and relocation unaffordable and exacerbate the existing housing crisis. Recently, Shanghai's competitiveness has reduced in terms of human resources and the well-being of its citizens.44

Housing crisis

On the one hand, high housing prices prevent outsiders from buying into an area. Some people choose to move to cities around Shanghai because of unaffordable rents in the city. Even if one’s economic situation allows, securing a household registration in Shanghai and accessing medical and educational benefits by buying a house is still a luxury for most people. This is because obtaining a household registration in Shanghai is subject to strict academic and asset checks. They often have to choose to settle in other

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Fig. 48


Fig.49

Housing development in shanghai

cities after making a fortune in Shanghai. On the other hand, in terms of the citizen, those who cannot afford to replace their homes are trapped in decaying houses, taking other risks besides deteriorating living conditions such as loss of opportunities for promotion, lack of access to better education, and so on. This situation involves a variety of different social, class and age groups. It does not constitute a strictly class- and age-defined phenomenon but an interclass practice, which mainly appears among the working-class, the lower-middleclass and migrant groups and also involves students, the young, the elderly, low-paid workers and professionals and workers in insecure industries. In recent years, the increase in housing prices has affected increasing numbers of people with more economically well-off social groups also being impacted. In this context, the old residences that were called off for

Old public housing as a key for Well-

demolition are back on the table. In particular, the status of

being

old housing stock, of which by far the most numerous is old public housing built in the 1970s and 1990s, has become crucial. Situated between the Central and Outer Ring Roads,

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old public housing has convenient transport links and good public education and health benefits, as well as relatively low housing prices. This makes it an affordable option for lowand middle-income groups in the city. For example, graduate students usually rent an apartment when they begin their career in Shanghai. However, while old public housing has become the only option for low- and middle-income people, they are becoming less and less popular as the quality of these houses declines. Old public housing may offer good infrastructure in urban areas for low- and middle-income groups but their shortcomings in all other regards means that this is no longer enough to guarantee a resident’s wellbeing. In July 2020, Shanghai released its latest ‘White Paper on Urban Renewal: Focusing on Community Renewal and Revitalising the City’. The report highlighted that renovating old houses and their neighbourhoods is the key to unlocking the potential of urban stock, promoting urban renewal and revitalising the city. The ultimate aim is to increase the wellbeing of people on low and middle incomes by improving the living conditions in old public housing.

4.2 living condition in old public housing To understand residents' lives in the old public housing, the author created and distributed a questionnaire and conducted interviews with the residents of old public housing in Shanghai in October-December 2020. A total of 415 questionnaires were collected from 274 households, of which 21% were home to occupants aged 65 years or older, 41% were 30-60 years old and 8% were under 18 years old. Interviews were also conducted with 12 residents from different age groups. 'I don't understand life in old public housing,' is how Ms Shao (41), who has lived in old public housing for 20 years, described the situation. 'I never stay in the Xiaoqu, you need to ask my mother.' This response was very common among respondents under the age of 60. They did not move around in the communal spaces of the Xiaoqu. Shopping, looking after children, meeting with friends and exercising were all activities that often cannot be done in the Xiaoqu. Leaving

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Fig.50-51 Due to the lack of facilities in the area, residents are forced to carry out their activities outside the community.

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the Xiaoqu is thus the first step in their outings. The situation is different among respondents aged 18-30. Apart from going out to work and study, they often stay at home and live their lives through a range of online tools such as online shopping platforms, takeaway platforms, online games and chat software. 'I'm already tired from work, isn't it good to lie at home when I'm resting?' When asked about socialising with friends, Mr Sheng (26) said that most of his friends, both at work and online, live in other parts of the city and that he must spend one to three hours travelling to socialise with people in person. So-called common space in the Xiaoqu is filled with driveways, pavements and green space and does not provide functional space for social connection. This has almost destroyed the medium-scale community of residents under 60. Residents living in the same neighbourhood do not know each other. In a survey on familiarity with residents in the Xiaoqu, 91% of respondents under 60 years of age stated that they either know no or a maximum of five people. The situation is completely different among people aged 60 and over who spend almost all their time in the Xiaoqu. They meet up to dance on the green, put a few tables and chairs in the aisle for tea or go to a friend's house to play cards and join a choir club organised by the CRC. Mrs Shao's mother, Mrs Huang (71), shared her busy and enjoyable schedule with the author. The life of the elderly seems to be very rich in the Xiaoqu and they are all familiar with each other. However, this is not down to the planning of the community. Most of the seniors' friends are colleagues, relatives or friends from their younger days. Moreover, there are no services outside the Xiaoqu that appeal to the elderly. Rather than living within a small community, the elderly are essentially trapped by the city outside and are unable to get out. The very way the district is planned creates problems for older people. Stairs and paths that are difficult to navigate are a challenge for anyone with mobility issues. This can be a problem even within the housing itself. Six months ago, Mrs Wong and her friends changed the venue of their daily gathering to the home of Mr Li (aged 95, who lives on the sixth floor). This was because, with no lift, he had no way

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of getting downstairs as he is a wheelchair user. ‘If we can't walk either, we'll all have to stay at home,’ Mrs Wong said, expressing concern.

4.3 Spatial and Social Separation It is clear that although old public housing ensures people of low and middle incomes can live in the centre, the conditions in which they are expected to live do not ensure their wellbeing. Due to the low-quality construction prevalent at the time, the 21st century has seen a succession of material and structural problems in old public housing, such as water leaks, poor sound insulation, blocked pipes, mouldy walls and poor thermal insulation. The ageing of materials has led to a deterioration in the quality of life of the residents in terms of noise problems, heating problems, damp problems, and so on. However, simple renovations of old housing infrastructure and the property management system overseen by the government in the early 2000s have helped to reduce the impact of these issues. The element that has the biggest impact on the lives of residents is the disrupted relationships and minimal potential social opportunities allowed by old public housing. Apart from the elderly population, the residents have no sense of belonging to their community because of the loss of relationships. This is attributed to the huge imbalance between the public services available for the elderly those available for younger people caused by the collapse in public services following the dismantling of the Danwei system and the downgrading of the scope of services provided by the CRCs under the Shequ system. The CRCs have shifted their limited resources to serving vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, the disabled and children. As communities age, more and more public services are dominated by the elderly. This has led to a neglect of community services for the general population, ultimately creating the imbalance that exists today. This imbalance divides the spaces for activities between older people and others and is undermining social networks, ultimately preventing the potential for intergenerational care, working cooperatively, crisis support and resilience. However, and most importantly, limited

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space does not prevent the provision of more facilities for all generations, whether this relates to helping people secure a basic living or increase social opportunities. As unaffordable housing is increasingly bridging the class divide and affecting more and more people, demand for housing that can satisfy people’s changing needs continues to grow. The modern employee needs to be able to drive to work as they can no longer walk to work in the neighbourhood but only a small amount of parking is available. Long overtime makes going to a restaurant the norm more so than cooking and eating at home, as was the case in the past, and the 15-minute walk from the house to the nearby restaurant makes eating a time-consuming task. The majority of residents now pursue more entertainment options in their non-working hours than they did in the past, and which are not available in old public housing. In the past, a large number of young families lived in such housing. Today, the proportion of elderly people has risen considerably and the lack of any lifts and related elderly care facilities in old housing stock makes travelling and living dangerous and limiting for this group. The existing Xiaoqu unit and old public housing have created a functional empty space. This space, which we call common space, has established two boundaries between the living unit and the city. These boundaries force people to live at home and spatially close the channels for residents to communicate. Especially in today’s urban context, the traditional community based on work (Danwei) or blood Fig. 52

(village) is broken. This situation adds to the heterogeneity of

Fig.52 Two boundary in old public housing

different populations. The social separation between different groups of people has been caused by differences in living habits and daily routines and is further strengthened by the reality of urban housing blocks.

45

At the same time, these

45 Ferbandez Galiano, Lacaton & Vassal: Strategies of the Essential (Madrid Publishing, 2014).

blocks and their residents are isolated by other functional spaces in the city. Social separation exists not only between different groups of residents but also between residents and the wider community. Clearly, providing comprehensive restoration works to maintain the buildings and restore them to their original state

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will not improve the wellbeing of residents and even risks reinforcing spatial and social disconnection. More than just filling functional gaps in space, the renovation's primary aim is to squeeze more undefined space into the neighbourhood to meet the needs of residents. It is therefore questionable to define renovation only as the resistance to demolition and the restoration of existing structures; its evolutionary effect on existing spaces also needs to be explored.

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Proposition: Extension, Addition, Transformation Given the above, regeneration requires the complete renovation of buildings while preserving the original architecture and residents. To meet additional needs, renovation should involve not only the repair of existing infrastructure but also the upgrading of architectural spaces and the addition of functions within the community. With the motto ‘Never demolish, never remove or replace, always add, transform, and reuse’, Lacaton & Vassal 46 committed to completing renovation at a fraction of the cost. Through the renovation of modernist slab estates in France, they managed to prove that it is possible to renovate properties without demolition and with less waste of materials, labour and capital and most importantly, without negative consequences for residents (e.g. relocation, changes in rents). Moreover, their method of extending buildings although banal is crucial since it questions how renovation deals with spatial limitations. The proposition put forward here is based on the design principles of transformation applied to 530 dwellings by Fig. 53

Lacaton & Vassal.47 Specifically, this proposition involves adding an independent structure besides the existing building in a way that is responsive to both the urban and economic context of Shanghai. To discover more undefined spaces without demolition and negative consequences for residents, three strategies are proposed: A.EXTENSION: Adding a linear structure to the north side of the building to extend the corridor.

Fig.53 The transformation of 530 dwellings

B.ADDITION: Adding buildings between the two existing buildings to reorganise the circulation space. C.TRANSFORMATION: Transforming the ground floor into a

46 Ferbandez Galiano, Lacaton & Vassal: Strategies of the Essential (Madrid Publishing, 2014).

multiple-use space by allocate the residents.

47

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The objective of the renovation is to exchange more space for a minimum cost of demolition.Through Extension, addition and transformation, more available space is sought, and the distribution of circulation and functional areas in the area is reshaped.

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A.EXTENSION

110

B.ADDIT

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TION

C.TRANSFORMATION

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At the same time, the extension work is accompanied by the renovation of the existing buildings’ plumbing and the waterproofing and insulation of the walls. The duration of the work is one week for each floor, from packing furniture to renovation and cleaning. During this time, the residents are able to use government subsidised housing funds to temporarily leave or stay with neighbours in nearby buildings.

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The renovation minimises the impact on residents' lives. The transformation work has been separated into several short time quick build project. The duration of each project was kept to less than 2 weeks and did not require the residents to move there belongings.

1

2

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3

6

4

7

5

8

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Top-down Design The agency conducts an overall study of the space in the community and communicates with individual residents about their wishes regarding relocation. In conjunction with the government's planning guidelines for the area, the agency determines the most appropriate transformation options to implement the three strategies of extension, addition and transformation. This will support the typological transformation of existing housing stock. The criteria of the strategies are as follows. A. EXTENSION 1.The extension must not exceed 3m and must not be less than 1.2m. 2.Extensions must be on the south side of the building and not directly connected to private residential properties. 3.Extensions are not permitted when the north-south separation between buildings is less than 15m. Extensions shall not exceed the building boundaries of the Xiaoqu. B. ADDITION 1.An addition must not exceed the maximum number of storeys of the existing dwelling. 2.An addition must not obstruct the main road in the community. 3.An addition shall not be permitted when the east-west spacing between buildings exceeds 40m. 4.No more than four existing buildings may be connected by an addition. C. TRANSFORMATION 1.Transformation can only take place on the ground and second floors. 2.No more than 15% of the total number of flats in the community may be transformed. 3.The service area must be determined according to the accessibility of the target building: this building, this community or this street.

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SURVEY

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ASSESSMENT

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FINAL PLAN

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5. Renovation and social provision

A mentioned in the previous chapter, in old public housing, residents have had to survive with only basic services. The lack of functional space has contributed to the emergence of undesirable social phenomena such as loneliness and anomie and has thus been hugely damaging to wellbeing. To compensate for the lack of functional space caused by the shortcomings in community planning and the Shequ system, renovation with an emphasis on the incorporation of social welfare into abandoned or little-used spaces, including community environmental protection, community medical care, community finance, community markets, community pensions and community childcare, has become vital. This chapter will clearly define these spaces by evaluating both their operational mode and spatial strategy. Moreover, the sociological significance of the renovation of these spaces will be explored.

5.1 The definition of social provisions In recent years, there has been an explosion of interest in the social aspects of renovation in architecture studies in China. By emphasising concepts such as participatory design and cooperative renovation, the focus of research has shifted from architecture to management, sociology and even psychology. However, few definitions of the target spaces generated by such renovation strategies have been provided. To furture and better provide the target space, those space has been difined as social provision. Social provisions are shared facilities that generate a genuine sense of community. They aim to build social

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relationships and provide access to additional services. Unlike the basic provisions that are considered to be essential to life such as houses, roads, running water and electricity, social provisions such as nurseries, libraries, barbers and playgrounds focus on meeting people’s needs beyond those of survival such as healthcare, education, appearance and entertainment. Social provisions do not exist in a dedicated and singular space for social ends but provide a facility with several designated functions. The ‘social’ part is achieved as a supplement to the facility’s designated functions. For instance, retail, education, work and care spaces have very specific functions and users but they can also have a social impact often in-between or beside specific spaces and activities: arrival and departure moments, side areas of informal meetings, preparation rooms and circulation areas. These primary and supplementary spaces and functions of social provisions successfully cultivate social interactions because of the possible interplay between intentional and incidental use.

5.2 Social provisions in old public housing As the spatial design of old public housing is relatively simple, whether it is a bottom-up informal renovation, a government-led top-down renovation or a third party-led renovation, the spatial strategy of renovation projects can be summarised as follows: transforming common space, expanding private space and occupying common space. Residents contribute to organising the layout of social provisions and making them more flexible. Renovation occurs at different levels such as the road (space between Xiaoqus), street (space between buildings) and corridor (space between living units), providing different ranges of services. Entertainment, sport, healthcare, education, housework, gardening, commercial and other functional space are inserted into common space. Additionally, the function of social provisions is not fixed. Social provisions are used efficiently at different times. Take a space of 25 square metres with a few tables and chairs as

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Fig. 54 Fig. 55


Fig.54 Case study: Occupy

Fig.55 Case study: Share

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Fig.56 Case study: Social provision in different time

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an example. In the mornings, it is used for knitting classes for the elderly. In the afternoons, it can be used for childcare for residents where children eat together after school. After 8pm, Fig. 56

it becomes a yoga class for young people. On weekends, the space hosts a full day of charity sales. A schedule of appointments for different groups is posted on the door of the space to clarify the function of the space at a given time.

5.3 Broken the boundary Social provisions provide another form of collective living in the Xiaoqu: an optional, non-compulsory shared approach to living. Social provisions are reshaping social relations between groups. Therefore, the concept of mid-scale communities is being re-established in big cities. The midscale communities that are emerging are no longer walled in with people bound together by blood or work ties. The new mid-scale community is a non-coercive, invisible community composed of a myriad of social provisions that are inserted within the community based on the residents’ desire and need for services. The scope of these social provisions is proportional to the size of the area. From a 2-minute to a 10-minute walk, the range of services is calculated by the walking distance from housing units rather than the field defined by walls and fences. The mismatch between the range of services and the existing spatial boundaries is breaking down the social and spatial boundaries of the Xiaoqu and old public housing. The first boundary is between private units and common Fig. 57

space. In addition to those spaces defined by the designer, the residents themselves define a flexible space that blurs the original boundary between these two spaces. By occupying and sharing spaces, this changeable boundary flexibly accommodates the changing needs of the residents, such as temporarily converting common space into a dining room. The second boundary challenges the original administrative boundary of Xiaoqus: the fence of the Xiaoqu. The additional social provisions diversify old public housing, which increases the communication between Xiaoqus. Moreover, it opens the Xiaoqu to the city. Moreover, it get response to the city.

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Fig.57 Communication between units, buildings and xiaoqus

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Fig.57 In the case of Mrs Li’s chess room, this chess room brings income to mrs li while making friends with neighbours who love chess.

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Fig.58

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Different operation modes of social provision

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Fig.59 Case study: Social provision connect different groups

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Fig.60 Case study: Social provision built by occuping and sharing

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Proposition: Alternative space in multiple scale

In conclusion, the spatial and temporal flexibility of social provisions plays an important role in enhancing the relationships between residents. They are not just about meeting the needs of residents in the most efficient way to increase their engagement in the neighbourhood. The process of ownership, management and change of function based on negotiation and discussion between residents also promotes communication between them. To respond to previous research, the proposition provides a flexible structure to accommodate multiple uses and future changes. This structure, its prefabricated components and the production and recycling chains behind it allow residents to change the function of the space quickly and safely in an environmentally friendly way. Moreover, the flexible application of gates defines the movable boundaries of social provisions (private, neighbourhood-oriented, citizen-oriented) and allows the target group of social provisions to change. The protocols applied are described in the following pages in the form of a booklet that can operate as a renovation manual for old public housing.

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Bottom-up design The negotiation process for this changing system provided by the renovation agency is essential to ensuring a smooth communication process for residents. Once residents are provided with the proposal, a residents’ meeting will be held monthly to discuss it. Moreover, the agency offers professional solutions and employs the appropriate staff according to requirements. Additionally, the agency coordinates and manages work to avoid confusion and the repetition of tasks.

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Entrance & Park

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By creating a database, updating the service content and building components for renovation happen periodical according to the changing need.

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PART 3 Design & Conclusion

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Design Experiment Conclusion and future discuss

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Design Experiment

As a pilot project, the exercise simulates the implementation of the proposed renovation protocols assuming no funding shortfalls or opposition from residents. The simulation of top-down and bottom-up decision-making is based on site research and interviews with government officials and residents. The results are not intended to produce a standardised solution. Rather, the aim is to introduce an alternative that can potentially be established as an archetypical renovation approach that allows residents and governments to cooperatively reorganise existing old public housing in different ways. Consequently, non-specificity was the criterion for selecting the site to ensure that the simulation was implementable for all old public housing. Site: Weifang Forth neighbourhood, Pudong New District. Located in the inner city, 2km away from Lujiazui CBD and built in 1980.

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Target building

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Site condition: Weifang street

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SITE RESEARCH and RENOVATION ASSESSMENT The renovation target, Building No. 474 and No. 475, is located in the northeast corner of the neighbourhood. The neighbourhood entrance is away from the building so that it takes residents 10 minutes to leave the neighbourhood. Due to the poor accessibility of the building, the service of TRANSFORMATION only face to the resident in this building and surrounding buildings. The building is 21 metres and 15 metres away from the adjacent buildings to the south and north respectively, which allows an EXTENSION of up to 3 metres in width. There are no main roads surrounding this building, meaning that there is the potential for an ADDITION and the reprogramming of the ground floor.

RESIDENTS DISCUSSION Building No. 474 and No. 475 is a typical six-storey housing block with two independent staircases connecting 24 flats each. The 46 households here are home to a total of 146 people. To gather residents’ ideas and bring them into the design discussion, the research includes interviews with each family and two design meetings with volunteers. The data collected on the residents living on the ground and second floors, including their design wishes, was collated as follows:

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Conclusion and future discuss Increasing housing prices are leading to the social cleansing of low- and middle-income individuals who are being prevented from living in the city centre of Shanghai. The relative affordability of post-war housing, known as old public housing, thus plays an important role in ensuring that groups such as low-income local residents, migrant workers and new citizens can live in the inner city. However, old public housing in Shanghai has proven to be only a short-term solution as it is unable to address today’s housing crisis and provides poor living conditions that hinder social interaction. As a product of the collective era, the planning, management and maintenance of old public housing retain traces of that period. In this context, this dissertation advocates for a more moderate strategy for urban regeneration, namely, renovation, instead of demolition with the ultimate aim of regenerating old public housing without precipitating social cleansing. In addressing the challenges of renovation in contemporary Shanghai, the dissertation does not provide a specific solution for a particular neighbourhood but rather seeks to propose a general renovation mechanism for old public housing to facilitate city-wide renovation efforts. Therefore, the proposed renovation strategy not only focuses on spatial transformation but also emphasises the organisation, management scheme and mode of operation of works. The collaborative renovation agency is intended to optimise and integrate existing renovation strategies and forces to create an efficient channel of communication between the government and residents. On the one hand, it conducts renovation assessments through site research of neighbourhoods and proposes feasible options to assist the government in making top-down macro-renovation decisions. By rediscovering the value of the residential area for the city,

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the isolation of the residential area in the city is disrupted. The aim of this strategy is the typological transformation of this housing stock from mono-functional to multi-functional spaces that can respond to the complex demands of today's urban spaces and residents. On the other hand, the renovation negotiation process facilitated by the agency allows residents to (and learn how to) participate and decide on the functions of social provisions in their neighbourhood, ensuring and mobilising their power over the neighbourhood space. The aim of this strategy is not only to respect the wishes of residents but also to establish the expectation that they will be able to regulate the functioning of their neighbourhoods in response to social mobility issues and as yet unknown challenges. The proposed renovation strategy thus attempts to fundamentally challenge the existing Xiaoqu. The ultimate vision is for residents themselves to shape their own neighbourhoods and build a truly civil society under the Shequ system. However, the ambition of this dissertation goes beyond the above. Taking old public housing in Shanghai as a case in point, this renovation mechanism is expected to be applicable to Chinese cities with similar urban issues, such as Shenzhen and Beijing. More than just transforming the Fig. 62

logic of urban regeneration, the wide application of these strategies has the potential to transform the contemporary Chinese construction industry in terms of the role of the architect, the handling and application of construction materials and construction logic. As the aim of this dissertation is more to present a general renovation mechanism than a specific solution, there are limitations to the proposed renovation protocols. As an individual project for an MPhil, the spatial study of old public housing was not sufficient to cover the variety of special and complex site conditions that exist. Improving this research thus requires the combined efforts of diverse parties. Since the topic of housing renovation in urban areas has been gaining momentum over the last decade, the author remains positive about the possibility that the ultimate goal of all renovation activities will be achieved: creating a better life for residents.

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Fig.62

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Typological transformation

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Fig.63

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