Preservation and reconstruction urban villages in Guangzhou
2011-June-21 Source:
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It is confirmed by the municipal office of "Three-Old Transformation" that the transformation project of urban villages in Guangzhou is currently well advanced. Among the 138 urban villages included in the project, 52 will be completely transformed while the remaining 86 will undergo a comprehensive overhaul. The twofold strategy is observed of preservation and reconstruction.

As Su Zequn, a standing member of the CPC Committee of Guangzhou Municipality and executive vice mayor of Guangzhou Municipality indicated, a pilot program will be put into implementation in Guangzhou, the essence of which is transform urban villages in a more scientific way without substantial demolition and reconstruction. In the meanwhile, in accordance with the guidance of Wang Yang, Party secretary of Guangdong Province, museums of migrant workers will be established, which will exhibit and record all real objects, films and documents related to the project of urban-village transformation amid Guangzhou's urbanization process. This unique and enchanting episode of urbanization will go down in history as part of Guangzhou's magnificent cultural tapestry.

The so-called overall transformation is (with Liede Village as an outstanding example), to demolish all old buildings and put land plots on sales or auction. The other option is for the village community to independently solicit real estate developers for reconstruction. This model is adopted by several famous urban villages, most notably Liede Village, Linhe Village, Yangji Village and Xian Village. Another priority for the year 2011 is to advance the overall transformation projects in ten key urban function regions (including Zhujiang New Town and Baiyun new Town), Panyu South Railway Station and in old villages that affect city landscape and regional coordinated development.

Comprehensive overhaul can be recorded as a form of protective transformation, which will be applied to Huangpu Old Village in Haizhu District and Yu'anwei Village in Liwan District. Representatives from the municipal office of "Three-Old Transformation" indicate that new means and ways will be constantly sought to perfect the overhaul program. Several new comprehensive overhaul projects will be initiated this year, which will be oriented towards several historically and culturally valuable old villages, including Shiqian Village in Huadu District.

The representative also said that comprehensive overhaul the following steps: diversion of rain and sewage water, installation of power grids, televisions and telecommunication facilities, building fa ade finishing, administrative services and the standardization of fire fighting facilities.

In addition, the protection of Lingnan village culture and customs receives a top priority in the Urban-Village Transformation Project. Culturally valuable Lingnan villages will be comprehensively protected, while historically precious buildings, famous trees and plants, and cultural heritage within these urban villages will be moved to other places or renovated in their original places. In the meanwhile, legislation and other means will be employed to protect buildings of Lingnan characteristics, including Qilou buildings which exemplify the essence of Lingnan architecture. The principle of "putting protection first" will be acted upon to the letter when it comes to Qilou buildings and other architecture that reflect the overall history and culture of Guangzhou. Simply put, these historically and culturally valuable buildings will not be demolished.

(Translated by Guangzhou Association of Foreign Affairs Translators)

Editor: Olivia
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