Case Studies

Approaches to migrant village redevelopment: Evidences from three migrant villages in China

Case 1: Tangjialing, Beijing 

Key features

  • Located in the town of Xibeiwang outside the northwest fifth ring road of Beijing
  • From the year 2000, science park, software park and IT industry were extended to this area
  • Village collective land was leased to small family developers for constructions of self developed rental housing to accommodate the low-income white-collar IT migrants
  • Lax control by the village committee
  • Competitive rental housing market characterized by innovative approaches towards improving the living conditions of the tenants
  • Tangjialing redevelopment project was initiated in March 2010 with an objective to build Tangjialing New Town with a total floor space of 260,000 square metres.
  • The landlords and local villagers were required to temporarily vacate their old house
  • Competitive bids for two plots of land worth 3.74 billion Yuan and 1.48 billion Yuan were won by the developers of Vanke  and Wukuang respectively for the Tangjialing New Town which will eventually comprise of 29 residential high-rises.

Characteristics of redevelopment

Three way direct interactions between the state, village and developer during the redevelopment process

  • State-regulated and larger developers (including state-owned enterprises under the central government) participate in the land market wielding considerable influence in the redevelopment process
  • Villagers are generously compensated
  • Well developed rental economy.

 

Case 2: Gaojiabang,  Shanghai 

Key features

  • A hidden enclave of informal housing in Xuhui district of Shanghai spread over 6.7 hectares
  • Highly dense and congested settlement (developed in the 1980's) characterized by low quality housing
  • A legacy of the rise and fall of  Shanghai's colour TV industry
  • Private rental economy began to flourish  with the setting up of Caohejin Economic and Technological Development Zone (ETDZ) around 2002.
  • The composition of landlords is mixed in nature comprising of both urban and rural households as a result of its industrial heritage
  • A more commercial incremental land development approach, wherein, a part of the area is acquired and development is commenced running through different phases, rather than acquiring the whole area
  • Complex property rights characterized by high degree of informality and small unit size

Characteristics of redevelopment

  •  A more regularized model with the state acting as a mediator, playing the role of an effectiveintermediary between the villagers and the developers
  • Strict developmental controls implemented by the local government
  • The relationship between a villager and a developer is an indirect one, thereby prohibiting any unhealthy under-the-table deals between them
  •  Reduced investment of private capital  to the village redevelopment process on account of the high compensation costs,  restraint on plot ratio, complicated property rights, irregular parcel boundaries, unfavourable locations etc

Comparatively smaller scale rental economy.

 

Case 3: Liede,  Guangzhou

Key features

  • Located in the new central business district of Guangzhou, known as the Pearl River New Town
  • Occupies an area of 33.7 hectares with a total population of 7,800 people (about 3,000 households) in 2010 and a migrant population of 8,000 in 2008
  • 8.9% of the total building floor space lack property deed
  • Substantial reconstruction of Liede began in May 2007 and the project followed the prototype redevelopment of ‘three olds’ - old village, old factory and old urban areas (san jiu gai zhao)
  • Individual villages negotiated policies with the municipal government, under so-called ‘one village, one policy’ (yi cun y ice)
  • Villagers were fully compensated according to a 1:1 compensation ratio, i.e. the compensated space is equivalent to the space demolished while, 10% floor space compensation criterion was applied to non-certified areas
  • Given its proximity to the Asian Games 2010 site and the urgency to develop, the Liede redevelopment model manifested a marked departure from the standard government policy practice. The municipal government permitted higher plot ratio and waived off land leasing premium to developers
  • The properties in the newly redeveloped village remained collective assets, being associated with 'small property rights' which couldn't be sold directly in the market.

Characteristics of redevelopment

  • Informality was replaced by formality characterized by standard high rises to the satisfaction of the villagers
  • The state acted as a facilitator, encouraging functional coalition between village collectives and commercial developers
  • Opened up the channel of private capital for village redevelopment process.