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From Old Neighborhoods to New Landmarks: Exploring Daijiaxiang's "Transformation" Code (part 2)

2024-06-07 | Guihuazhongguo

2) The present life.

In 2018, Yuzhong District comprehensively launched the Daijiaxiang Old Neighborhood Urban Renewal Project, using a micro-renewal approach similar to acupuncture therapy in Chinese medicine, adopting a unified planning, step-by-step promotion, and "government + residents" joint implementation mode, improving public service facilities, preserving old buildings, reshaping regional functions, and adjusting the industrial pattern, to reactivate the value and vitality of the area. This has reactivated the value and vitality of the area. Opened to the public in 2021, the renewed Daijiaxiang Old Neighborhood has shown the street style of Chongqing in the 1970s and 1980s, and has now become a new urban humanistic landmark with a collection of cultural and creative bazaars, boutique hotels, art exhibitions, and Yu-flavored restaurants.

A) Multi-party efforts to reshape the Daijiaxiang style.

Government plays a leading prying role.

In the process of renewal, the government implemented the regional environmental transformation, public service facilities supporting complementary, municipal infrastructure renovation, all the illegal buildings in the area were demolished, the step alleyway was rectified and widened, and the new cliff walkway was built for 1,100 meters, forming six landscapes and five viewing platforms such as Hanging Foot Tower, Craggy Huang Ge, benefiting more than 1,000 residents and creating a good environment for the residents to participate in the renewal work on their own. External environment. Daijiaxiang has transformed from a "back street" of a busy neighborhood into a "facade" of a landscape living room, laying the foundation for the overall functional improvement of the area.

The first step in the renovation was to open up the entrance to Linjiang Road so that Daijia Lane would no longer be a backstreet area. The first step was to knock down the dilapidated buildings on Daijia Alley next to Linjiang Road, build a new public space, and introduce a new main pedestrian entrance. This also allowed Daijia Alley to have a display surface on Linjiang Road, which has a high volume of pedestrian traffic.

Daijiaxiang near the cliffs of Riverside Road was chosen to shape a characteristic Chongqing pan mountain trail. The new trail retains the old footstools and the Hongyacong city wall, which are the characteristics of Yubei, and builds a cliff walkway that gradually winds downward in a "Z" shape horizontally to the east, and connects the west side of the cliff walkway to the west with a suspended trestle that runs parallel to the city wall. Thus, the new entrance of Daijiaxiang not only achieves the purpose of linking the Jiefangbei business district and Hongyadong scenic spot, but also links the upper and lower halves of Chongqing with a height difference of about 60 meters, which seems to be a twisted condition that can sometimes be turned into a treasure and become a unique experience scene.

After the completion of the Daijiaxiang Yabi Trail, the accessibility and experience of the community was also further enhanced. Measures such as the construction of new public restrooms in the community and the improvement of sewer pipes in the area all paved the way for later specialty businesses and a thriving population. When more and more tourists come to Chongqing, and tend to explore those unique characteristics of the mountain city of the old streets and alleys of the old neighborhoods, a collection of multiple advantages of the Daijiaxiang, naturally have the possibility of out of the circle.

Residents' spontaneous participation in urban renewal.

With the environmental transformation of the area, improvement of spatial quality and commercial vitality, Daijiaxiang attracts a large number of tourists. The increasing commercial value of the ground floor has led to the full commercialization of the residents' own properties on the ground floor of the block buildings, especially the various characteristic small stores stationed in the ground floor, which has enhanced the overall fun of the street, the experience of the industry and the richness of the categories.

Prosperous bottom business further accelerated the pace of residents' independent renewal, residents began to carry out the renewal and reconstruction of the second and third floors and above on their own initiative, and spontaneously carried out the addition of elevators, housing renovation, and the formation of various characteristic small stores, and the residents' independent renewal invested nearly one hundred million yuan in total. 

The vertical extension of the building renewal makes the commercial scale of the neighborhood expand continuously, the atmosphere of the neighborhood becomes stronger and stronger, and the brand influence of “Daijiaxiang” continues to spill over to the surrounding area.

B) Spontaneous growth of businesses that revitalize the neighborhood.

Platform companies create a demonstration effect by leading by example.

The district-level platform company is responsible for the renewal and transformation of commercial stock assets and integration and operation, and takes the lead in importing high-quality industries, driving the upgrading of industries and forming a demonstration and driving effect by leading the way. 

After upgrading the stock of assets, the introduction of experiential, interactive and scene-oriented main consumer business, has formed the "Daijiaxiang" city's new business card. The renewal of the commercial space has been the finishing touch. Daijiaxiang used to be a necessary route for community residents, and after becoming a transit point for well-known scenic spots, it would face more tourists and local residents in other districts, which made Daijiaxiang both a city living room and a unique persona. 

One of the innovations is the cliff-side box, a small commercial body with a large bright orange color as its outer wrapping. Instead of using expensive art installations, the Daijiaxiang Renewal Project has identified the changing nature of Chongqing's buildings, and has taken materials from the local area and renewed the small space with "artistic treatment", making a special building made of nine giant containers staggered and overlapping. After the completion of the box on the edge of the cliff, it was handed over to a professional company to operate, and the business style is also based on culture and innovation, food and beverage, coffee, and pubs.

In addition to the new buildings, Daijiaxiang is unique in that it retains the original living atmosphere while gathering a circle of independent businesses, rendering a sense of warmth and fashionable atmosphere. The city wall overlooking the river at the side of the box on the cliff is a recreation of the daily scene and a collage of urban memories with the life scenes of the 70s and 80s. The neat signage, store signs, lighting, and public art make the street image less homely and casual.


Overlooking Daijia Lane, this bright orange box can be seen near the section of Riverside Road. [Photo/Guihuazhongguo]


The most representative small street of Daijiaxiang's renewed area is just a hundred meters away and is known by locals as Chongqing Wukang Lu. [Photo/Guihuazhongguo]

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Edited and Translated by Guan Tao