Disappearing Shanghai: History of Shanghai Housing 1949 to Today
Feb 2011, Royal Asiatic Society

Hope: Further events, ways to work with city to preserve neighborhoods
Critically: Shanghai is last major Asian major metropolis to retain a signiciatna portion of its pre-WWII European housing.
Juxtaposition of charming and decrepit.
Sub-divided houses -> GPCR -> why? still?
See handout for list of disappearing buildings, neighborhoods (Weihai Rd)
Post 1949 Shanghai housing history

49-55 a rural party learns to manage a city 55-65 Socialist Transformation 66-76 GPCR Post-76 recovery and destruction


Recovery from war, CCP didn't want to antagonize the people Focus on rural, land-reform Housing shortages worsened "Production first, living conditions second" was th idea


CCP increased confidence, increased socialization: eg rent control, private-public joint management of housing Housing confiscated according to rules: 150 m^2 pp in big cities, 100 in medium, 50 in small Effects: no incentive for new housing, except from danwei


Chaos, no foral government policy But less destructive to people's sense of safety/fairness '66 "16 Points" housing not mentioned, but language gave hints 破四旧 -> punish people -> one way, 抢房 Many deeds destroyed to avoid repercussions of being a landowner People moved into "unowned houses" who now refused to leave 3 waves of 抢房 8/66 Red Guards empty houses of 旧 stuff, occupy rooms 12/66 Poor people emulate RG, gain access to housing, oust owners 7/67 Government orders housing confiscation In SH, 1.8M square meters taken, 26k families affected Less acceptable than confiscations in 56-65 because of lawlessness, lack of rules Neighborhoods are run down, but back when things were better cared for were more attractive, could be kept up again

Reform & opening

Property ownership system implemented gradually w/ transferable, marketized rights Long-term leases, urban real-estate market Campaign in late 80s to restore seized property Housing taken from villains (49-55) not returned Housing taken 56-65 more likely to be returned 'extra-legal acts', 'revolutionary violence' all good reasons intellectuals, famous invididuals, 海龟 given priority Housing administration agencies set up to decide cases, not courts (inexperienced judges, etc) No statute of limitations, but in practice the returns have stopped Challenges: Much ownership evidence destroyed Current occupants reluctant to leave, 使用权 Holdout occupants can be charged rent, but not forced to leave Even for owners who could prove ownership Must repay for maintenance fees paid by government over the decades Needed to lease to occupants who wouldn't leave Rental rates set low by government Owner had to fix up old, big houses Story of Red Guards dropping things through the roof How many square meters does SH housing bureau still control? Not published. Would have to be sorted out, maintenance, etc Government can take back neighborhoods, recompense occupants Supposed to be funded by gov't but cash usually comes from developers Therefore gov't favors large developers, would eshew cooperation with individuals Not in interest of government to facilitate small scale house buys Interested buyers would have to negotiate with 12 families on their own Difficult to bilk occupants out of their housing, haha! <-- me No incentive for small-scale preservation

Neighborhoods are going, little will be left in 10 years
Baoshan neo-shikumen houses 绿地公元 (sic) 1860 for sale, haha <— Ann Sommers!
In the future, only the "mega-wealthy" will live in these houses (haha, the people attending this talk at the Puli!)
The challenge should be to try and keep more of this, it's worth saving

Q. How fair is government compensation?
A. Outside of SH this is a problem, esp in collectives. [missed this]
Q. Who has 使用权? Can they be passed on? GPCR squatters?
A. If assigned by housig bureau, then you can get documentation. Yes, can be inherited. Squatters no, cannot pass on rights to their heirs; so some pressure on squatters to take gov't money; people in their 60s and 70s so these people not dying off yet.
Q. What is process of big development and rights transfer?
A. Awareness of rights in Shanghai and Hangzhou, need to negotiate with each owner. Time-consuming process of making friends with owners, finding out what they need. But still not a big problem relative to rates of return (profits!).
Q. Developers negotiate, or agencies?
A. Used to be agencies, but they started runing amock, horror stories, so was taken in house more. Much worse in country-side.
Q. Archival research done?
A. Lots of stuff on the web, some neibu materials.
Q. Grandfather's house taken from him as "villain", given to leaders. What rights do they have?
A. He has 使用权. Since late 90s, leaders may have purchased their house and have 产权, can sell and make $$$$$.
Q. (Neale) Impact of subway infrastructure on greater SH? Un-taken over areas where preservation efforts might have greatest impact, not just French Concession?
A. Gubei used to be bucolic countryside, so nothing architecturally distinctive out that far. Distinctive, valuable stuff is right in city center.
Q. No research in Chinese by Chinese?
A. Ton on GPCR, architects and urban planners researching CN cities and how they change. Little research on legal rights, had a hard time getting a journnal to publish this article because scope was too broad.
Q. What happened during post-revolution period?
A. If you owned a/your house it was left to you. Rental properties were taken. Simple rich were left alone. People played along, relinquished houses, companies, and then told to move out; traumatic. Rich who stayed treated worse than rich who left, ironically.
Q. Moscow went through a parallel process. Preservation happened, why not here? Protected areas for the new rich?
A. Chinese people don't love what is old. Chance to have something new is more appealing. "Trust me, you don't want to preserve that!" See success Xintiandi: get rid of the old stuff, but preserve the design — so attractive!
Q. Patriotic people who stayed and lost out actually gave their rights away, weren't stolen. So they 倒霉. How many people still are tenants of government? How many of them have usage rights? Still possible to convert 使用权 to 产权?
A. China is great at quantifying, numbers must exist, but we don't know. Arbitrage opportunity from converting 使用权 to 产权, money to convert can be made back by selling to outsiders, foreigners. So housing bureau cracked down on this.
Q. GPCR, number of evictions actually small? Presrevation + market-based approach? Ideas for solutions?
A. Haven't seen numbers. Shanghai unique situation, opportunity to preserve. In London, government gives allowances to purchase apartments, part of profits on sales went back into government pool. Government grants to preserve, affordable housing requirements. Without active policies this will not happen.
Q. Any rules about what you're allowed to preserve, not allowed to do?
A. Yes, there are rules but they aren't applied very strictly.
Q. Options for presrevation: low-level community activitism. Taikang Lu: from a gallery, to cafes, boutiques; government tolerance, appropriation. Is this an option?
A. Great example, maybe only example of community-originated interest, govt hands-off approach. Harder for dynamic to take hold as neighborhoods are demolished.
Q. What parts of government are responsible for preserving this heritage?
A. Yes, they exist, but economics: land-use grant fees. As land value increases, eminent domain becomes a major incentive, not preservation. "Protected neighborhoods" is pretty much a meaningless designation. (re: batch protected in 2004)
Q. Non-government groups advocating for old SH architecture?
A. Not aware of any groups. Invididuals who are concerened, but no groups. Please let me know. RAS cooperating with Shanghai Heritage to do walking tours or workshop to brainstorm. If interested in leading, helping, let RAS know.
Q. Is there any hope really? (Tess J)
A. I've talked to Chinese, and the people form SH tell me the government wants to preserve things, but they don't know how to do it in light of complicating factors. I am really pessimistic. Go out and enjoy it!