Rehabilitating the Old City of Beijing: A Project in the Ju'er Hutong Neighbourhood

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UBC Press, 2011 M11 1 - 264 pages
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Seventy years of revolution and turmoil have had a severe impact on the miraculous ancient urban form of Beijing, but economic growth since the early 1990s has threatened to deal the coup de grace. In Rehabilitating the Old City of Beijing, Wu Liangyong presents an impassioned plea to turn the tide of demolition and offers a new direction for the planning and development of China's capital.

Wu, a student and colleague of China's first architectural historian, Liang Sicheng, is a champion of the human-scaled development and a voice for conservation. But above all, he is an architect, and it is through his own projects, built and unbuilt, that he advocates a more humane vision of the city. Wu's project for the renewal of the Ju'er Hutong (Chrysanthemum Lane) neighbourhood in the heart of Beijing's Old City takes pride of place in this book.

A thoughtful analysis of those aspects of the ancient capital's features, which the project aims to respect and conserve, is followed by a detailed account of the design and development process of the project itself. Architectural drawings and photographs of the completed project, and data on the neighbourhood's resident population present the state of the art in Chinese residential design and planning -- a field that is deeply challenged by reforms sweeping through the entire economy and society of the country.

Urban historians, conservationists, planners, and architectural scholars and practitioners interested in Chinese cities, or in any of the world's great capitals, will want to read this book.

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1 The City of Beijing in Historical Perspective
2 Planning and Development in Beijing since 1949
3 Residential Development and the Renewal of Derelict Houses
4 Organic Renewal in Historic Cities
5 Traditional Courtyard Houses and a New Prototype
6 Planning and Design of the Juer Hutong Project
7 PostOccupancy Evaluation and Lessons from the Planning and Design Experience
8 The Continuing Debate over Redevelopment
9 Future Prospects
10 Conclusion
Glossary of Chinese Terms

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About the author (2011)

Wu Liangyong is a professor at Tshinghua University's School of Architecture and a member of the Chinese Academy of Science and the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

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