Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:

Wei, Ran (2019). The Current Relocation Practice in Chinese Historic Districts from the Perspective of Residents' Willingness to Relocate: A Case Study of Baitasi Historic District, Beijing (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


After years of trials, China has been shifting the model of historic district regeneration from massive destruction and construction to incremental and small-scale preservation, including changing the complete and involuntary relocation of original residents to negotiable and partial relocation. During the process, residents’ willingness to relocate is important for the decision-makers to consider who is likely to move and who is likely to stay. To investigate the residents’ willingness to relocate for the purpose of improving the relocation and regeneration practice in Chinese historic districts, this research uses Baitasi Historic District in Beijing as an example and focuses on those who are unwilling to relocate. By literature research and semi-structured interviews, this research identifies five factors that cause some residents unwilling to relocate: unsatisfactory government compensation; good accessibility to facilities and services in and around the neighborhood; complicated property ownership; emotional attachment to the neighborhood; and the residents’ age. Moreover, the research distinguishes two types of residents that are unwilling to relocate. The first type is defined as conditional stayers who will be willing to relocate if the government raises the amount of compensation and offers better new houses. The other type is defined as determined stayers who are determined to stay in the neighborhood despite the government policy. Their different demands to housing and anticipation of the historic district regeneration reflect various problems within the relocation policy. Consequently, the research offers four policy recommendations: enhance community engagement, broaden financing sources, provide more relocation options, and explore applicable rehabilitation plan.


relocation policy, voluntary relocation, willingness to relocate, historic district, China



Date Posted: 03 June 2019