The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development releases notice on Preventing Major Demolition and Construction in the Implementation of Urban Renewal Action. The Notice indicates that the implementation of urban renewal actions must transform urban development and construction, adhere to the simultaneous implementation of “reserving, reforming, and demolishing”, focusing on retention, utilization and upgrading, strengthen repairs and transformation, make up for urban shortcomings, focus on improving functions, and enhance urban vitality. In order to prevent excessive real estate development and large-scale demolition, to actively and steadily implement urban renewal actions and prevent major demolition and construction issues, the Ministry issues relevant requirements as follows:
First, insist on delineating the bottom line to prevent urban renewal from deformation and distortion. Strictly control large-scale demolition, expansion, and relocation. Except the buildings that were built illegally or have been identified as dangerous have no value for maintenance, do not demolish existing buildings on a large-scale. In principle, the urban renewal unit (district) or the demolished building area within the project should not be larger than the 20% of the current total buildings’ gross floor area. Other than the addition of necessary public service facilities, the construction scale of the original urban areas shall not increase largely. Do not exceed the original density and intensity, and in principle, the urban renewal unit’s demolition and construction ratio should not be greater than 2. Do not relocate residents on a large-scale or force the relocation, and do not break the existing social structure or the relationship between the people, the land, and the culture. The local or nearby relocation of residents should not be less than 50% of the residents of the urban renewal project.
Ensure the stable supply and demand in the rental housing market. Do not demolish urban villages or other old areas in a large-scale or in short time period, to prevent the imbalance of supply and demand in the rental housing market. The annual increase of rent in urban housing should not exceed 5%.
Second, insist on preserving the city memories. Keep and utilize existing buildings. Maintain the scale of the original city pattern. Encourage to repair and renew old factory areas, commercial areas and residential areas. Preserve the characteristics of the city. Do not damage the existing topography. Strengthen urban ecological restoration, reserve free space and increase greenery space, and retain the city’s unique regional environment, cultural characteristics, and architectural styles.
Lastly, ensure implementation within capabilities, and steadily promote transformation and upgrading. Strengthen planning as a whole, draft urban renewal plans scientifically based on the establishment of project database, and clarify the implementation schedule that is within the capabilities. Explore a sustainable urban renewal model. Encourage and promote the transition from development to manage, and explore a sustainable model of urban renewal under government guidance, market operation, and public participation. Speed up in resolving the shortcomings of functions, and encourage to build complete communities. Improve urban safety and resilience. In the process of adding greenery to cities, encourage close-to-nature, localized, easy-to-maintain, and sustainable ecological construction methods. Optimize vertical space, and strengthen the construction of blue-green-gray integrated sponge cities.
The Notice calls actions for all localities to summarize practices, to actively explore and promote urban renewal, and the effectively prevent major demolition and construction. The Ministry will regularly conduct research on the status of urban renewal work and pilot projects to continuously improve relevant policies, and steadily promote the implementation of urban renewal actions.
Edited and translated by Fan Junyi