Bei Luoguxiang, Hutong/Courtyard Housing

China > Shenzhen > Bei Luoguxiang, Hutong/Courtyard Housing

Site Coverage  
Parking Ratio
income group Low
Range Heights 1
basic project statistics
gross building area 48800
units 1300
population 4813
site area 80000 sq. m
coverage 61.00
parking 0
seniors 16
families w/ children 0
singles/couples 0
other 0
The neighborhood dates back to the 1260s when Yuan Dynasty first built the street grid and planned this area mainly for commercial and residential purposes. Luo-Gu Xiang (lane) is the main spine (north south) connecting a series of eight side-lanes running east-west, resembling the pattern of fish bones. Early maps of the 1750s showed that the neighborhood was mainly composed of medium-large sized courtyards, with each courtyard (in some cases, several paralleled courtyards combined into one unit) privately owned and occupied by one family (wealthy family). After the liberation of 1949, the government confiscated these courtyards, subdivided them and redistributed them (as rental housing at extremely low rents) to serve the housing needs of the working class. What left to the indigenous family was only a small portion of the original courtyard. As the offspring of the first-generation working class grew, those units were further subdivided into smaller units and the open space in the middle of the courtyard was gradually occupied by illegal construction to serve the increasing housing needs. Nowadays, many of those working class families remain in the community, with a few of them upgraded into market housing outside of the site. Those vacant units were thereafter rented to new immigrants at an affordable rate. However, compared to other old neighborhoods in Beijing, the percentage of migrant population in this area is fairly low.

1. Local census, accessed Oct. 2004
2. Information gathered from Google Earth
3. Maps and photo #2 are from author
4. Photo #1, Source: http://guosg.blog.hexun.com/34906542_d.html, accessed Nov 12th 2010
5. Photo #3, Source: http://guosg.blog.hexun.com/34906542_d.html, accessed Nov 12th 2010