Beijing once again vows to renovate the shantytown in its CBD

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/9/11 18:48:39

Office buildings loom large behind Huashiying village in Chaoyang district, Beijing. Photo: IC

Just a few dozen meters away from Beijing's booming "central business district" lies a shanty village, in which bungalows and illegally built makeshift houses sit squeezed together in the shadows of glitzy, glass office buildings.

It doesn't look like it should exist in the heart of the bustling capital city center. Tangled electricity cables hang over the low, one-story brick houses, and the narrow alleyways are flanked by small shops, with sewage overflowing around.

Huashiying village, near Jingguang bridge within the city's East Third Ring Road, is currently home to more than 800 households.

Most of the residents are migrant workers who rent homes in the village taking advantage of its superb location and cheap rent.

Some long-time residents, unable to buy new houses elsewhere, have found it hard to escape in the village. Some families with four or five members share a room of just a dozen square meters.

After decades of construction and real estate development, Beijing still has a number of such urban villages scattered around the city.

The renovation of Huashiying was first proposed as early as 1991. However, demolition never begun. This year, the village appeared again in the planned list of locations to be renovated by the Chaoyang district. According to the plan, the evacuated area will be used for parks and schools.

The compensation scheme hasn't been announced, but 400 households are meant to be moved out this year. The difficulty lies in the big number of tenants the village holds.

For some residents, their dream of better city life may be closer, but it may also mean for others that a last haven of cheap city center housing will be lost and they'll have to move a lot further away from where they now work.

Global Times

A resident walks in an alleyway in Huashiying. Photo: IC

Houses are built closely together in the village, which is mostly populated by migrants. Photo: IC

A boy walks through a narrow lane. Photo: IC

A resident stands in his home in Huashiying. Photo: IC


Newspaper headline: Shantytown in Beijing CBD

Posted in: In-Depth

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