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Community Transformation Management evaluated after one year (2011)

June 10, 2012

konjaku: After the initial trial of “sealed management” met with resistance in June and July 2010, the project was not halted, but instead steadily expanded in the kinder, gentler form of “community transformation management.” The most recent announcement was that in Tongzhou (a district in Beijing just inside the 6th ring road) 150 administrative villages would implement community transformation management.(2012-03-28,

Articles evaluating the progress of community transformation management after one year state that going in and out of the village is as simple as swiping a smart ID card at the entrance checkpoint. They state crime has fallen to zero, and use phrases such as “neat and tidy” clean and clear” “orderly and shipshape” to describe the villages. They say there are now dance floors, basketball courts, and other cultural and recreational facilities. Also, there is a government service center which will process all the official documents  and procedures the villagers might need, making their lives more convenient.

These articles do not tell us if the non-conforming buildings in the village have been torn down, or if the villagers are still renting rooms to migrant workers or not. If not, how are they making an income to live on? Nor does it tell us if calling the villages”urban communities” means that the villagers will legally become urban residents, and have the same rights to health insurance and social security. (For the importance of these questions, see the earlier post, “Beijing: Unification of urban and rural 1. Beiwu and Dawangjing“).As for the migrant workers, the articles tell us that all rentals are managed through the “Floating Population Service Center,” and more social services are being made available for them. We do not find out how easy it is for newly arrived migrant workers to enter the “sealed” village to rent, or if these services are for a gradually dwindling group of tenants who were there before community transformation management started. If these questions are not addressed,  we cannot tell if the villages will continue to exist as viable communities, or if they are in an interval of suspended animation preparatory to being demolished.

The following article goes so far as to assert there is an internal dimension to community transformation management. The key concept is “keeping standards”(lit. 标准化 standardization). This is brought about through such things as painting storefronts the same colors, using the same style of script for store signs, and people following certain codes of behavior.

The ideal is to be a “town planned development,” a group of modern multi-storied residential complexes set in a park or green zone. Dashengzhuang is twice described as being “like that” “resembling that,” but it is not that, at least not yet.

Small villages on the outskirts change form, becoming urban communities

Source: The People’s Daily 2011-12-30 (Translated excerpts)

This reporter went to Daxing Xihongmen town Dashengzhuang village, where the urban and rural unification is taking place. There he saw: the sentry box, the checkpoint,  clean and tidy streets, storefronts in the same style, a park, flower gardens, fitness equipment of all kinds, a reading room, board game room, a culture center. and much more. To handle ones affairs one doesn’t have to leave the village, if you walk 10 minutes you come to the public service office. “This is the result of the village putting into practice community transformation management,” said the village party branch secretary Li Wujiang.

Xihongmen town is within the urban rural unification plan.  Its head is in the fourth ring, its feet touch the sixth ring, its waist is in the fifth ring, the Jingkai expressway runs through it. Dashengzhuang village is to the east of the expressway –original residents number only 300, but its migrant worker population is 2000.

One year after community transformation management was begun, Dashengzhuang village is neat and tidy, without any trash.  The villagers sleep without fear of theft, there are no bars on the windows. Previously, the constant traffic of cars from outside entering the village brought hidden dangers, but no more.

Maintaining standards:

Not only externally and in outward appearance, but having standards arise internally, this “networking” is what causes community transformation management to be thoroughly carried out.

If you mention “community transformation management” most people  think of enclosing walls and sentry boxes, but the transformation Dashengzhuang village has undergone is far, far more than this.

If you walk 400 meters down the long main street of Dashengzhuang, you discover the small storefronts on both sides are all white with red trim, the signs all use Song typeface, they are tidy, orderly,  standard. Not far from the village east gate is a chain supermarket. The proprietor Mr Wang said, originally the stores along the road were of different types and appearances, some store signs were bigger, others small, it was chaotic. In front of the stores garbage was often piled up, everything was dirty. Last year the village repaired the road, and redid all the stores to have the same appearance and meet the same standard. After one year, it  emerges before ones eyes in this form.

To “make standard” has not only an external, but an internal form. Inside  Dashengzhuang village they have set rules “stores must keep things sanitary , they must not spill out onto the road, what they sell must be not irregular.” Li Wujiang said, nowadays the villagers can have confidence in the food they buy inside the village. They have established a villagers dining hall. The person who operates it must have a health license and other permits. It is a real benefit when the villagers can have confidence in the food and raw ingredients they purchase inside the village.

The villagers homes are neat and tidy.The walls of the courtyards are all the same ash-grey. The doors are painted, around the entrance way there is greenery. Inside the compounds there is open space, in which there are benches, fitness equipment, solar powered lights. It looks like it could be a scene in a planned town development.

The community management service center takes care of villagers’ health needs, rentals, family planning, altogether 37 services under one roof. The village committee registers, keeps files, and manages all rentals. This year the 45 year old Gong Jiaying came from Shandong, and has rented in Dashengzhuang for one year. “The village management is orderly and safe –it is like being in a town planned development.”

Reporters, Zhu Jingruo, Wang Mingbai, Yu Ronghua

城市小区 town planned development

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