Completion of Tongji University Graduates-led “People & City" Jing’an District Community Project for Sustainable Development
  PublishDate:2015-11-30  Hits:3039


The project was co-organized by the Tongji University, the Jing’an Temple Neighborhood Office of the Shanghai Jing'an District People's Government, and the WHITRAP Shanghai, with supports from AkzoNobel China’s undergraduate summer school for social practice. The project started with the Jing’an temple neighborhood’s intact historic layouts—villages (cun), squares (fang), lanes (li), and alleys (long)—and aimed at exploring transformations and core values of the city’s heritage through historical and architectural research. Issues and challenges of traditional neighborhoods discovered in the process informed the approach to a sustainable and harmonic development of the people-city coexistence. The project’s built-in multi-party approach to include youth, district dwellers, and other conservation stakeholders makes it a highly applicable case study of public-driven welfare programs. The research of the five-month project was conducted by40 students, who came from various disciplines at the Tongji University, with the majority of them graduate students from the Architectural and Urban Planning as well as Sociology Departments. They studied and conducted research on the historical developments of the district, spatial and architectural characteristics of traditional lane-neighborhoods (lilong), and the lives of neighborhood dwellers in eight neighborhoods in the Jing’an District. The project’s outcomes entail a research report, a simplified version of the research (community version), activities videos, postcards, short stories, poems, paintings, along with presentation boards. Aside from the public benefits generated, the project has won various awards, namely, the Akzo Nobel China Student Sustainability Award—Special Project, the Grand Prize of the Seventh Zhixing Cup Shanghai Municipal Student Competition, and the Agile Property Student Prize on Social Practices. The project’s publication is widely promoted in the district--with the main part exhibited in the Jing’an District City Memory Exhibition Hall--as well as in the national university network supported by Akzo Nobel China. The project has received local media attention and specially featured in the Liberation Daily and Shanghai TV news channel. (Editor/LIU Zhen)

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