Evaluation of the Effects of Bottom-Up Management in Preserving Values of Historic Hutong Neighborhood in Beijing: A Case Study of Community-Based Organization (CBO) - Shijia Hutong Historic Preservation Society
Business Administration, Management, and Operations
Civic and Community Engagement
Cultural Resource Management and Policy Analysis
Historic Preservation and Conservation
Urban, Community and Regional Planning
Preservation of traditional urban neighborhoods in China has long been a government-oriented process. In particular, since the “Old and Dilapidated Housing Renewal Program” implementation in the late 1990s, the Beijing Hutong neighborhood renewal has become an important trigger for the municipal governments to engage with the real estate market. Yet over the years, the official forces have been facing increasing challenges in the development of politics, socio-culture, and economy. As a complement to the current top-down management, the bottom-up approach could improve the recognition of a holistic spectrum of site values in the fast changing environments. However, the lack of on-the-ground community collaborations has limited the ability to test a grassroots-oriented preservation mechanism. The projects dedicated to renovating the courtyard built environments and promoting the neighborhood’s intangible values by applying a resident-centered decision-making process create valuable opportunities for the preservation practitioners to experiment with a bottom-up approach. The establishment of Shijia Hutong Historic Preservation Society (SHHPS) as the first registered community-based organization (CBO) in Beijing, has facilitated the transformation of decision-making roles between the officials and grassroots. My research probes into the effectiveness of a bottom-up management approach relative to the current top-down system in preserving the values of the Hutong neighborhood. The evaluation adopts a value-centered methodology for identifying, documenting and categorizing multiple values of the study area. Comparative analysis of the renovation project demonstrates the differences between the two approaches in the integration of interests, implementations and subsequent reviews. The efforts of promoting preservation mediated through a dedicated CBO have a beneficial effect on pursuing a more adaptive and sustainable system for the historical Chinese social contexts within the Hutong neighborhood.