Institutionalizing Co-production in the Conservation and Renewal of Residential Urban Heritages in Shanghai: The Obstacles and Solutions
MetadataShow full item record
In Shanghai, the spatial division inside residential heritages is intricate. Even the smallest top-down renewal projects involve several households’ interests. Without an “empowered participatory governance” (Fung and Wright 2003), communities tend to form intense exclusion, refusing government interventions (Tallon 2013). Under such background, in 2017, the author accompanied a co-producing renewal process along with the Shanghai Xuhui district and communities. This paper reviews the co-production theory, summarizes its advantages of meeting individual demands and utilizing residents’ initiative inputs, its nature of breaking current rules and using conflicts tactics, as well as its drawbacks of potential structural and fire-fighting dangers of buildings, as shown in the “Dream Home” TV program. Then the paper examines the case of No.620 West Jianguo Road, a pilot project of institutionalizing the co-production, aiming at bringing out its merits and eliminating its defects. Two obstacles in this process are elaborated and the reasons for them are analyzed: a) The intricate interests within residents are hard to coordinate only by designers, but the current mechanism doesn’t enable the residents to reach a consensus beforehand or integrate them into the design phase. b) The division of ownership and use-right in the history causes unequal duties and rights and mutually restricted power between the residents and the state, resulting in the state’s inability to occupy or repair its property as well as the reluctance to support the residents’ initiative repair. Afterward, the paper proposes corresponding solutions based on relevant practical references, focusing on optimizing and deepening the mechanism of state-community engagement in the residential renewal, and adjusting the rights, responsibilities, and benefits of the owners and users. To sum up, this research suggests that a “public-sector led” co-production may be still possible, with a changed power balance and certain modification to the current rules, and could achieve unexpected results when the state has difficulty in delivering services; whereas the shift of planners’ roles indicates that empowerment may be gradually taking place.