More downtown old houses to get renovated

Huangpu District plans to renovate 8,000 households of old residential buildings each year from 2019 to 2025 to improve the living condition.

Huangpu District plans to renovate 8,000 households of old residential buildings each year from 2019 to 2025 to improve the living condition while protect the historical downtown residence.

The district has the largest remaining of the city's decrepit lane-style neighborhoods, covering some 2 million square meters, which features crammed living space and shared bathrooms and kitchens. About 65,000 households in the downtown district are still using chamber pots.

The district government plans to finish renovating all the level-2 lane-style houses, or those in the worst condition without private toilet or kitchen, by the end of 2025.

Senior officials with the district on Tuesday inspected several old residential neighborhoods which are about to receive facelifts.

Innovative strategies have been tried and will be expanded this year, which include to relocate some residents to spare larger living space and rebuild those without protective values.

The focus will on three major regions — the old town area near the Yuyuan Garden, the residential area around the Xintiandi and the riverside region along Suzhou Creek on Beijing Road E., where most of the houses in poor condition locate, said Hong Jiliang, deputy director of Huangpu District.

The officials yesterday inspected a trial renovation campaign on the Chengxingli, a shikumen, or stone-gate community, on Beijing Road W. The project is under way to relocate some residents while renovating the living spaces of those who choose to remain.

These relocated families will free up space for each remaining household. This space will be used for new kitchen and toilet facilities.

The renovation strategy on the neighborhood, which is known for hosting annual “alley games” competitions, will become one of the new measures to protect the city’s remaining stone-gated houses and be expanded, according to the district government.

The city government has plans to protect about 90 percent of downtown lane-style or lilong houses. Citywide, there are 8.1 square kilometers of residential space that is more than 50 years old and over 7.3 square kilometers will be preserved. Nearly one-fourth of these buildings are in Huangpu District.

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