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The view from afar: accelerate the pace

November 16, 2012


Across the whole country 1200 households live in slums — difficulties of requisitioning land, demolishing areas and moving residents are very great

Changsha 2009

Changsha 2009

Xinjing news (reporter Jiang Yanjin) reported yesterday that up to the present, construction projects to replace slum districts have effected more than 1000 houses, but there are still more than 1200 households in slums. Further, looking at the existing cases of urban renewal, the replacement housing in these projects has often been lacking in quality.

A person of responsibility in the Residential Building Section said slum districts were historical remnants of past eras in which there were insufficient resources. Now they express the “two structural dimensions” of the current city [the modern, bright, and new versus the old, shabby and decrepit]. It is necessary to accelerate the pace of their transformation.  In the first stage, from 2006 to the end of 2011, 1000 houses were remade. In 2012 so far, it has been more than 300. Apparently in remaking slum areas there is a “lower limit” for replacement housing, which  consists of 45 square meters or above [the size of a one bedroom apartment].

The task is formidable. There are many “villages within cities” remaining, old and shabby, cramped and unsafe. An outstanding problem is the high cost of tearing them down and replacing them with new buildings, a cost difficult to estimate in advance. This means there are in some cases insufficient funds for the replacement housing, resulting in a loss of quality. Henceforth the government will provide displaced slum dwellers with completely equipped buildings that meet a higher cultural standard and are structurally sound.

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