Since May 2015, the Shanghai Municipal Government has issued a series of policies on urban regeneration, manifesting a transformation from the long-established socioeconomic growth model that relies on expansion, to one that stresses holistic social development and cultural values. Subsequently, a wide range of interpretations, speculations, practices and explorations around urban regeneration has sprung up.
The Urban China magazine has given persistent attention to urban regeneration practices since 2015, documenting the multiple prospects of different participants, and the problems and difficulties they have encountered. As a top-down agenda, urban regeneration has given rise to varied interpretations within different contexts – it could mean environmental upgrading, architectural renovation, land replacement, or even redevelopment. This also indicates that which specific policies and standards a project relies on is often unclear. Therefore, it remains a field of practice where developers, designers, community organizations and residents would have to experiment through joint effort.
This book is a documentation of two Urban Design Festivals held in Shenzhen and Shanghai from 2018 to 2020. By tracking the process of these two regeneration projects and revisiting them over a two-year period, the book investigates the use of design interventions in local communities, including several design schemes that have undergone rounds of revision in the design phase as well as delays during construction. By recording and clarifying the various reasons behind such delays and revisions, the book hopes to illuminate the user-oriented nature of urban regeneration practices, and prompt us to rethink the ‘who for’, ‘how to’, and ‘what afterwards’ in renovation designs. The comparative cases in Shanghai and Shenzhen have revealed a shared pattern where stakeholders are cooperative in the early stage and later encountered by difficulties and contradictions. In both cases, property right stood out as a prominent barrier to the progress of urban renewal.
As the lead organizer of the Urban Design Festival, Assbook, a digital media on architecture established in 2015, explores a new multi-partnership model for urban regeneration.
The book is designed and edited double-sided, presenting two projects as inextricably linked counterparts under different urban conditions.
Producer: TAN Jianning, YOU Yang
Chief Editor: TAN Jianning
Editors: TAN Jianning, YUAN Jing, SONG Yating, CUI Guo
Assistant Editors: PAN Ye, LIU Renhui, WU Yu, MEI Mengyue, WU Xiang, SHE Yue, YANG Songfei
Design: July Cooperative Company