Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Apparently the wealthy elites are not pleased with the new directive issued by Chinese leadership to eliminate all gated communities. The Global Times has nice coverage:
A government document that instructs cities across China to open up the enormous numbers of gated residential compounds to ease traffic congestion aroused public controversy on Monday, with many residents arguing that the administrative order, though well-intentioned, may bring personal and property safety concerns.
The Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council on Sunday issued guidelines on urban development to deal with "urban ills" resulting from poor urban design. These ills include congestion, pollution and designing either over-large buildings or those which are too exotic.
The document said China will optimize the structure of street networks to promote an open and easy-access street-and-block system.
"No more enclosed residential compounds will be built in principle," the document said. "Existing residential and corporate compounds will gradually open up, so the interior roads can be put into public use, which will save land and help reallocate transport networks."
Since the late 1980s, many cities have built sprawling gated residential compounds - many with lawns and exercise venues and facilities inside - for safety and a better living environment for the apartment owners.
Congestion has plagued China's cities, despite ambitious expressway-building projects. Freeing up narrower roads and congested street designs have become a new concept in the country's urban planning.
The release of the guidelines comes two months after leaders met for the Central Urban Work Conference, promising to make China's sprawling cities more livable and green. The last time China held such a meeting was in 1978, when only 18 percent of the population lived in cities. That had increased to 56.1 percent by the end of 2015, according to the Xinhua News Agency.
"The second urban work conference, 37 years after the first, shows that urban planning is a core problem in China's economic and social development," Niu Fengrui, director of the Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.