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Gang-sha Village, Urban Village

China > Shenzhen > Gang-sha Village, Urban Village

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SITE SPECIFICATIONS
Site Coverage  
Parking Ratio n/a
income group Low
Range Heights 4-12
 
basic project statistics
gross building area 525000
units 9936
population 15540
site area 162000 sq. m
coverage 55.00
parking 0
   
demographics
seniors 0
families w/ children 0
singles/couples 0
other 0
High-density urban villages in Shenzhen result from the rapid expansion of the city and the influx of migrant workers since the 1980s. As the city expands, farmland surrounding traditional settlements was requisitioned by the local government for urban landuse while the settlement along with the indigenous villagers remained. Villagers upgraded their houses, sometimes multiple times, to accommodate migrant workers as a major source of income. As there virtually were no regulations on the redevelopment of urban villages back then, these villages became extremely dense, reaching 8-12 floors with a distance between buildings only 1-2 meters. As residents can reach each other from their windows, these settlements are also called “shaking-hand” buildings. These urban villages provide affordable housing for median-low income population as well as new comers in the city. However, due to their sub-standard living conditions and the lack of administration from the city, problems such as hygiene, crime, and prostitution are prevelant.
Before demolition in late 2009, Gang-Sha was the last urban village in the city’s CBD and it had a typical experience as most other urban villages in Shenzhen.
According to Wei, (Wei, Zhuang. 2007. “Study on urban-village reformation: the reformation of Heyuan block in Gangsha village Shenzhen, China.” thesis, Department of Architecture, Hong Kong University. http://hub.hku.hk/handle/10722/52822. Accessed Nov. 1st, 2010)
“Before 1980 Gangsha village was a traditional rural village, with low building density. Every private house had a big courtyard in the front. The village was surrounding by broad farm land….
In 1980’s, the residential buildings were relocated, because the former village was requisitioned by the city for development. The new buildings kept the same configuration from the old village. Most of the houses were three or three and a half residential building with a front courtyard. This residential building could be called “the first generation housing” of Gangsha village. At the same time the industrial factories were began to build. The factories were 5 to 6 stories high with the elevator inside and kept appropriate distance (10 meters) for freightage. Because the factories belonged to the corporation of Gangsha village, individual could not rebuild or extend them. This form was kept to the present.
In the last part of 1980’s, the increasing immigrant population generated great demand of housing. The villagers rebuilt or extended their private houses for more rental area.
The height of some buildings exceeded the regulation announced by the government and reached five or six stories, and the front courtyards were replaced by new constructions. The buildings’ distance became shorter than permitted (8 meters). These residential buildings was called “the second generation housing” of Gangsha village.
After 1990 the new issued policy led a new round of rebuilding or extending the former private houses. The villagers made their private housing as the highest site coverage and highest plot ratio as they can on the land (about 10m X 10m) they own.
Generally the building height was around 8 stories. The tallest building even reached
12 stories. The distance among building was further short, even less than 1.5m. People in different building can shake hand with each other. That is so-called “shake-hand.”

When Gang-Sha was finally demolished in 2009, the villagers received huge compensations, in some cases far exceeding $15,000,000 per family, all thanks to the floor areas they built throughout the years.

References:
1. Shenzhen Urban Planning Bureau http://www.szplan.gov.cn/main/czcgz/zhxgh/200605250203771.shtml, accessed Nov. 1st 2010. The 552 dwelling buildings include 489 privately owned buildings and 63 collectively owned (by the village corporation) buildings. As there is no data upon the dwelling unit and floor plan arrangement of these village houses, the units here is estimated assuming that each floor is composed of two units with an average building height of 9 floors. Therefore the total units are 552(number of total buildings) * 9 (average floors) * 2 (units per floor) = 9936.

2. Wei, Zhuang. 2007. “Study on urban-village reformation: the reformation of Heyuan block in Gangsha village Shenzhen, China.” thesis, Department of Architecture, Hong Kong University. http://hub.hku.hk/handle/10722/52822. Accessed Nov. 1st, 2010

3. The site coverage refers to the average site coverage of 35%-55% in urban villages. Hao, Pu, Richard Sliuzas, and Stan Geertman. “Open Villages within the Exclusive City: an Empirical Study on Urban Villages in Shenzhen, China,” n.d. p.4. Accessed Oct. 29th 2010, from http://74.125.155.132/scholar?q=cache:dfxXQiUbkjIJ:scholar.google.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=40000000. Original data source: Shenzhen Urban Planning Bureau,

4. Landuse Plan of Gang-Xia, Source: Wei, Zhuang. 2007. “Study on urban-village reformation: the reformation of Heyuan block in Gangsha village Shenzhen, China.” thesis

5. Photo #1, Source: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=932042&page=1 Accessed Oct 29th 2010

6. Photo #2, Ariel view of Gang-sha Village, Source: Hao, Pu, Richard Sliuzas, and Stan Geertman. “The development and redevelopment of urban villages in Shenzhen.” Habitat International In Press, Corrected Proof (n.d.). p.5

7. Photo #3, population structure of urban village, Source: Hao, Pu, Richard Sliuzas, and Stan Geertman. “Open Villages within the Exclusive City: an Empirical Study on Urban Villages in Shenzhen, China,” n.d. p.7. Accessed Oct. 29th 2010, from http://74.125.155.132/scholar?q=cache:dfxXQiUbkjIJ:scholar.google.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=40000000. Original data source: Shenzhen Urban Planning Bureau