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Millions Residents Relocation

Improvement of Living Condition of the People in Temporary Housing

Zhang Min

05 / 2001

Since 1983, with a large scale of urban development, there were millions of Shanghai residents who relocated their home. The size of the population relocated is equivalent with a middle size city.

During 1980s, with the expansion of the investment channel, many enterprises and undertakings joined the urban renewal activities in downtown Shanghai. During 1980 to 1990, 16,1000 household relocated their homes. During the period, many households have to live in temporary housing with simple conditions because new housing construction in the renewal area and outside of the downtown could not catch up the speed of demolition.

The living standard of the relocated household degraded due to lack of basic facilities around the temporary housing. The relocated families complained strongly. Therefore, the government took three measures to ease the situation. First, the government built 2,5000 square meter housing for relocated household, Second, strictly control the amount of household for relocation and speed up the moving back activities for part of household, Third, strictly examine the project application to restrict the number of relocating household. Through the government efforts, the household living in the temporary housing was reducing gradually during late 1980s. In 1990,the household living in temporary housing was reduced to 30,000.

In 1990s, with the large scale of municipal construction and urban redevelopment, millions households moved from inner city to the newly developed suburb. From 1992 to 1996, housing supply lagged behind of old housing demolition. Therefore, the household living in temporary housing increased sharply. To ease the situation, the government took following measures:

First, provide housing demolition and relocation program a legal base. The government issued ’Urban Housing Demolition Management Regulation’, ’Rules for the Implementation of Urban Housing Demolition Management Regulation in Shanghai’. In the Rules, the role of demolishing institute, relocated household, management department is defined clearly. It also stipulates demolition procedure, standard of compensation, etc. All the districts in the metropolitan area have set up a demolition department.

Second, enhance management for demolishing process. The examining and approving system and procedure for demolishing project has been standardized. The management during housing demolishing process has been enhanced. It is required that the demolishing units have to explain the significance of the urban re-development to the relocated household and sign reasonable contract with them.

Third, enhance management for demolishing units. It is stipulate that all the demolishing units must get permission for their projects.

Forth, workers for demolishing project must have qualified certificates. The workers without the certificate can not engage in the demolishing work.

Through above measures, the re-development work in Shanghai improved greatly. From 1991 to 1996, 2953 demolishing project completed and 383,000 household relocated. During the period, around 1.5 million populations in the central city have been migrated to outlying area. This has improved living condition of the residents and created condition for large scale of urban renewal movement.

Palabras claves

desarrollo urbano, vivienda, demografía, construcción de la vivienda

, China, Shangai


During the Eighth Five-Year Plan period (1991-1995) Shanghai has been pouring some 68.63 billion yuan into municipal house projects, and the completed housing stood at 10.15 million square meters. The per capita living area reached 8 square meters in downtown area. The housing-shortage left over from the planned economy has been solved. Shanghai construction of housing projects is in line with the local practice, it represent China specialties. Its development though is: the major works at developing the new areas; to speed up the renovation of old areas in the same time, to ask the residents living in the downtown areas moving to new areas. There are 350 thousand households, about 1 million people moving to more than 100 residential areas which are elegant and well-equipped, its improved the citizen life qualities. Of course the remove-mode is in line with local government managerial modes. Under the effect of the planned economy, local government concerns more aspects of citizen life. The citizen trust local government but has no more choices. With China further open to the foreign countries, the remove-mode has also been changed, especial typical means is ` cash-paying` remove-mode. This is the first stage of remove-mode from `house-paying` to `cash-paying`. Nowadays the citizen has more choices.


Interview with a group of persons.

Other contacts :



Shanghai City. Development Research and Information Centre - 15F, 75 Wan Ping Nan Road, Shanghai 200032, P.R.China - China

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