Magoosh GRE

UK Slum Clearance Programme

| March 5, 2015

1. Introduction

1.1 Introduction to the Study
Following the 1930’s Housing Act (the Greenwood Act) and the recognition that not enough was being done to alleviate the poor housing conditions of the working classes, the UK carried out a programme of slum clearance which lasted until the 1970’s (Pacione 2009). Huge amounts of sub-standard housing were demolished and replaced by new developments of council-owned housing (Hillier and Healey 2010). However, despite the benefits of this programme, a number of criticisms were made, particularly that the clearance disrupted working class communities (Conway 1999; Pacione 2009). Today, in the UK, the slum clearance programme has been completed, and while there still exist families living in substandard accommodation, the problem is by no means as severe as in the early years of the 20th century when destruction of housing stock during the 1st World War led to overcrowded conditions, housing shortages, unsanitary living arrangements and poor housing conditions, particularly in inner city, working class areas.
While the UK’s slum clearance programme is over, such programmes are ongoing elsewhere in the world, and while they have led to clear health benefits for the people relocated, they have been less successful in other areas, with areas of disruption marked by higher crime levels and less community cohesion (United Nations 2003). Across the world it has been estimated that over 400 million people live in slums, with many of the larger cities in the developing nations having up to 1/3 of the population located in substandard slum housing. China has had a problem with slums since the mid 20th Century, as more and more residents move to urban areas. There have been several attempts within China to address the problems of slums, however only very recently have the lessons learnt elsewhere in the world been assimilated to any extent. The problem of slums has been particularly relevant to Beijing, as they hosted the 2008 Olympics, and made a concerted attempt to present a modern, ecologically aware face to the world.
The issue of slum clearance is clearly an important one. The following dissertation looks at the UK slum clearance programme during the 20th century, to see if any lessons were learnt which could apply to current urban renewal attempts elsewhere in the world. The case of China will be considered, and the city of Beijing in particular, to look at how government there has addressed problems of poor housing and overcrowding, and whether they have assimilated the lessons learnt in the UK.
1.2 Problem Statement and Research Objective
This dissertation aims to address the current problem faced by many people in developing countries who live in substandard housing which lack sanitary arrangements, heating, light and infrastructure, and where crowding is rife. While slum conditions have been more or less removed within the UK and other developed nations, they continue to be a problem elsewhere in the world, particularly in the developing countries (UN-Habitat 2003). There is therefore a need to look at the successes and failures of the UK approach, to see if any lessons can be learnt to apply elsewhere.

The approach is therefore to look at the results of the UK slum clearance programme and assess what went well and badly, and to consider whether China and Beijing have approached the problem in a more enlightened way. The aim can be expressed as the following question:

Have the lessons learnt in the UK slum clearance programme been assimilated into China’s and Beijing’s approach to slum clearance and urban renewal?

This research question can be divided into a number of further questions:
• What is the history of slum clearance in the UK?
• What was successful about the programme(s)?
• What was unsuccessful about the programme(s)?
• What possible approaches are there to slum clearance?
• How has China tackled the problems of slums?
• How has Beijing tacked the problem of slums?
• What could China and Beijing do in future to improve their performance?
1.3 Proposal Structure
The dissertation takes the form of an extended literature review. First, the methodology used is briefly discussed. Next, the case of the UK is examined in detail, looking at the phases of slum clearance and urban renewal within the UK, and asking what was successful and what was less successful. The following chapter looks at theoretical issues of slum clearance. The dissertation then moves on to look at urban renewal within China, before discussing the case of Beijing. Finally, the extent to which lessons learned in the UK have been assimilated is discussed.

2. Methodology
This study assumes a broadly positivist approach to the area under investigation. That is, it follows a scientific model under which a set of research questions are investigated in order to provide answers, gathering evidence to support or refute the key ideas. It assumes that there is an objective world, and that this world exists independently of human experience. It also assumes that the researcher can come to understand this world through a process of investigation. In addition, the aim is to collect a wide body of research rather than look at one or two cases (Wilson 2010)
The contrasting research approach, that of interpretivism, is rejected. That is, the study rejects the idea that knowledge is subjective, and that enquiries should concern the meaning given to experience by people. Interpretivist approaches usually concentrate on the views of one or two subjects, and develop hypotheses after the research is carried out (Wilson 2010).

The study also utilises a case study structure, looking at the case of Beijing, China as an example of a modern slum clearance programme in a developing world. Although case studies have disadvantages, for example picking out the relevant information and the possibility that the case selected might not be generalisable to the wider situation (Myers 2008), it was felt that examining a particular example of slum clearance would be useful in illustrating the human cost of slums and insensitive clearance programmes.

Data was gathered from a number of sources including academic text books and journals. Information was gathered both through visiting university libraries and electronically through data base searches. Key words were used to restrict the scope of electronic searches. These included ‘slum clearance’ ‘urban renewal’ ‘urban planning’ ‘urban regeneration’ and other similar relevant terms.

3. Literature Review
3.1 Introduction
The following section forms the main part of the dissertation, and is broken down into sections. Each section looks at a distinct aspect of the area under investigation. The definition of ‘slum’ is considered, then the history of slum clearance in the UK is discussed at length. The good and bad points about the programmes in the UK are brought out. Then, the global situation is discussed, first with an overview of approaches to slum clearance, then moving on to the case of China before discussing Beijing. Finally there is a discussion of whether lessons have been learnt from other countries, for example the UK

3.2 Overview: Urban Renewal and Regeneration Theory
There is a clear intuitive notion of the meaning of the word slum: as Gilbert explains:

“Today, the noun ‘slum’ is employed in popular usage to describe ‘bad’ shelter. It is used at varying scales: anything from a house to a large settlement can be classified as a slum providing that it is perceived to be substandard and is occupied by the poor” (Gilbert 2007, p. 697)

The popular definition often also involves the idea that the shelter is overcrowded, lacks basic services including water, refuse collection and lighting, and also lacks communal social areas and facilities such as schools and health clinics (Gilbert 2007). However, definitions of the word differ from country to country, despite efforts to create global definitions and measures. The UN, for example, have attempted to propose a definition of a slum as a shelter which lacks access to drinking water and sanitation, is poorly built, overcrowded and insecure (UN-Habitat 2003, p. 12). The UN definition seems to accord with the popular idea of what a slum is, outlined above. This definition will be assumed in the following dissertation. However, it should be noted that there exists some debate about the nature of slums. Some question, for example the overly physical characteristics of the UN definition of slums. Others have suggested that slums should rather be defined as a function of modern day capitalisation and globalisation, with a labour force exceeding the supply of jobs (Davis 2006), or that they are marked by an informality of regulation or illegality which is created by capitalism. By marking informality as a deviation from the norm, slums are stigmatised (Roy and AlSayyad 2004). Others see illegal housing and squats as housing which is affordable for the poor (Turner 1972), and hence seek to overturn the negative associations of the word ‘slum’. While views such as these undoubtedly make a good point about the relationships between our notion of ‘slum’ and those of modern value and economic systems, they do seem to overlook the extent to which areas designated ‘slums’ are, over-ridingly, unpleasant and overcrowded places which lack the amenities considered to be necessary for healthy and happy life. The following, therefore, will assume the UN definition of a slum.
3.3 Urban Renewal and Slum Clearance in the UK
3.3.1 Slum Clearance 1930-1970
Slums were a feature of social and economic change in the UK. The 19th century saw a transformation in the working environment in the country. As the Industrial Revolution took hold, people flocked from the countryside to new cities. Living conditions in the cities were poor, and by the mid 19th Century this had come to the attention of the authorities. Between 1851 and 1903 no less than 28 Acts of Parliament to do with Housing and Health had been passed, concerned to improve conditions of living and set standards for accommodation. However, by the early years of the 20th Century it was estimated that there was a housing shortage of at least ½ million (McKay and Cox 1979). The First World War exacerbated this situation, as house building ceased and rents increased. Between the wars there was some attempt to build more public housing. Previously only small numbers of such accommodation had been built by local authorities, primarily in Liverpool and London (McKay and Cox 1979). During this period, the UK led the world in slum clearance: other countries relied upon piecemeal efforts by private enterprise, and did not have nationally organised programmes like the UK one (Headey 1978).

The UK programmes of slum clearance divide into clear stages. The first stage, from 1930 to 1950 or so, was initiated by the 1930 Housing Act, introduced by the Labour Government, and designed to address the problem of housing unfit for habitation by allocating subsidies to local authorities (Lund 2011). Despite Acts passed in 1919 and 1923, which offered Local Authorities funding to clear slums, hardly any urban renewal had taken place before this. The 1930’s Act aimed to reverse the overcrowding and poverty linked to the slums, and stipulated that Local Authorities had to create and submit a 5 year plan setting out their strategy for slum clearance. Despite a change of government in 1931, this programme continued, with new laws introduced throughout the 1930’s. By 1940, approximately 273,000 houses had been demolished as part of slum clearance programmes (McKay and Cox 1979).

The next stage of urban renewal in the UK took place between the 1950’s and 1970’s. Even in the 1950’s people still lived in very poor slum conditions, in houses without running water or bathrooms, with decomposing plaster, holes in the ceilings and floors, and outside toilets. Many houses were dark, and residents were overcrowed. Others were infested with rats, mice or insects. Even in 1956 the Royal Society of Health were told that half of the housing stock in Greater Manchester was unfit for repair (Shapely 2007) The 50’s marked the start of the largest scale programme for slum clearance the UK has seen (Cullingworth and Nadin 2002). Part of the rationale for this was the increase in UK population through more births and commonwealth and other immigration (Dimitriou and Thompson 2007) This large-scale programme of slum clearance lasted throughout the 1950’s to the 1970s, and gathered pace in the mid 50’s. It saw the UK’s inner cities transformed by a programme of public housing development (Beer et al 2011). The government estimated in 1955 that there were still 850,000 slum dwellings in the UK, but this seems likely to have been an underestimation: by the late 1970’s 1.5 houses had been destroyed or emptied, with nearly 4 million people relocated (Pacione 2009). Table 1 sums up the statistics on UK house clearance throughout the first two periods.

Time Span Houses Cleared / Demolished People Moved
To March 1934 27,564 91,109
April 34-March 39 245,272 1,000,417
1940-44 – _
1945-49 29,350 98,950
1950-54 60,532 211,090
1955-59 213,402 682.228
1960-64 303,621 833,746
1965-69 339,419 896,352
1970-75 367,381 821,076
Table 1: Slum Clearance in UK to 1975 (Source: Headey 1978, p. 105)

The final stage of slum clearances took place from 1970 onwards, and as by then many lessons had been learned through previous experience, this stage will be discussed below.

3.3.2 Positives and Negatives about the Slum Clearance Programme
While there were many problems with the clearance programme, there were also many successes. As Pacione comments:
this was a remarkable quantitative achievement, and there is no doubt that the slum clearance and redevelopment programmes provided a superior housing and residential environment for most families (Pacione 2009, p. 232)

However, there were many problems with the programme, which will now be discussed in detail. These started to be recognised fairly early: by the 50’s sociologists began to study the impact of urban renewal programmes upon residents, finding a tendency towards authoritarianism and an inhuman scale (Klemek 2011). Overall, there were problems of scale and timing with the 1950’s to 1970’s programme, and they also had a negative impact on existing communities, placing stress on residents (Pacione 2009)

One problem which occurred is known as ‘planning blight’ National policies required Local Authorities to meet targets for demolishing buildings, but the extent to which this would physically impact on the local community was underestimated (Power 1993). The clearance programme took quite a long period of time, for example it typically took two years for a compulsory purchase order to be obtained, and another two years for the residents to be rehoused. In addition, cuts to national funding led to further delays, as did problems with local government co-ordination of schemes (Pacione 2009) Landlords were subject to compulsory purchase orders which were frequently contested in court, leading to further delays (Power 1993). Capacity to rebuild was also lower than need. During this time, repair work on the old housing stock nearly ceased, and by the time residents moved out their homes and immediate areas were in much worse condition than they were initially. In many areas councils bought back the vacated housing stock, and frequently these would become squatted or vandalised, making the living conditions for those remaining even worse (Pacione 2009). Across the UK there were areas of semi-derelict streets, half abandoned by residents. Areas were also marked by demolition sites and building works, and shops and local businesses were also closed either as part of clearance programmes or because the resident population could no longer support them (Power 1993).

Problems with the look of the area and local services were matched by social problems. The 50’s to 70’s programme of slum clearance was marked by an ‘insensitivity to community concerns’ (Cullingworth and Nadin 2002, p. 25). The delays to the clearance programme, discussed above, meant that people had to wait a long time before relocating to their new neighbourhoods. As well as the negative consequences for the physical environment, social networks were also damaged. As people left their familiar neighbourhoods, communities were disrupted and people felt more isolated. They also felt insecure as they were unsure what the future held for them, in terms of where and when they would be moving. This social breakdown was exacerbated by a lack of communication between local and national authorities and residents (Pacione 2009). This hit the poorest residents hardest, with a “breaking apart and displacement of working class communities” (Tallon 2009, p. 36).

In addition to issues facing those waiting to move, there were also problems with the new estates upon which they were frequently housed. Often, the council estates and high-rises into which people were re-housed were not well thought out. Planning was poor, and the overall result was a lack of community and infrastructure with poor local schools, poor environment, no cultural or shopping facilities and lack of resident choice (Hardill et al 2001). One problem was location: people were mostly moved to large council estates on the edge of cities. These ‘overspill’ estates tended to be situated a long way from the facilities needed, with poor public transport links and no local infrastructure to compensate for the difficulty of travelling into the city (Cullingworth and Nadin 2002)

As well as problems with location and facilities, there were also a number of problems with the new housing supplied for the residents, marked by “the inadequate character of some redevelopment schemes” (Cullingworth and Nadin 2002, p. 25) For example, and particularly in the 60’s, there was a move from better quality low-level housing to using high rise housing as a cheap and quick solution to slum clearance. In the 50’s, the early part of the redevelopment programme in the 1950’s had seen an emphasis of lower density housing with adequate special provision for resident needs (Tallon 2009). Schemes were influenced by utopian ideas about housing like the ‘Garden Cities’, an idea originally proposed in the late 19th Century by Howard, who envisaged small cities offering housing, employment and leisure facilities, with plenty of green space and parks, and the option for agriculture and self-sufficiency (Fook and Chen 2010). Attempts to realise the dream have been attempted in the UK since the early 20th Century, for example with Letchworth Garden City, planned in 1904 (Whitehand and Carr 2001), and the movement was influential in designing social housing (Power 1993), as Howard had envisaged the Garden Cities on as strong communities providing a range of housing including low-cost, affordable housing for workers (Gurran 2007) While early schemes tried to incorporate spacious housing and low density estates and were influenced by utopian ideals such as the Garden Cities, by the 1960’s urban areas had practically used up all the available land for building of this nature. This led to the development of high rise blocks (Tallon 2009). There was also a social move towards modernism in the 60’s, which influenced the take up of designs for high rise housing which had been about since the 40’s. There was a desire on the part of government to sweep away the old and bring in the welfare state providing for the needs of citizens. The government started to put considerable pressure on local authorities to build more quickly and cheaply, to house the vast numbers of UK residents still living in slums, and both Conservative and Labour promoted tower block and system built designs as “offering a quick and affordable solution to the continuing problems of inner-city slums (Shapely 2007, p. 161) The ground had been laid by the Housing Subsidies Act in 1956, which offered subsidies to Local Authorities building housing of 5 stories or more, despite the higher costs of maintaining developments like these (Jones and Murie 2006). High rises offered many short term opportunities for time and cost savings, including bulk buying of materials, possibilities for standardisation of design, construction, methods and equipment, and the use of unskilled and semi skilled labour (Shapely 2007). However, the social consequences of living in tall buildings was hardly understood at the time of construction. These included the isolation from other residents, the lack of visual awareness of what is going on in the community at ground level, vandalism, and lack of amenities. In addition, there are severe technical issues. The complexity of construction of tall buildings means maintenance costs are very high, between two and seven times as high per unit as the cost of maintaining a two story property. Maintenance also takes longer. Problems are due in part to the fact that access takes place via lifts (McGinty, 1974). The 1968 explosion and collapse of Ronan Point in East London effectively ended the development of high rises as local authority housing (Jones and Murie 2006). In 1968, 20% of new housing planned by local authorities were buildings of 5 stories of more: by 1973 this figure had shrunk to 2.4% (McGinty 1974). While residents moving into the high-rise blocks were initially enthusiastic, problems with block maintenance and isolation of residents quickly emerged. Finally, not all residents were happy to be moved from the slums. Some saw the move as a ‘step down’ into council owned accommodation, others were unhappy with the rises in rent, despite the improved living facilities (Pacione 2009).
Other problems were to do with the extent of the scheme. Government was well aware of this by the 1970’s. One central problem was the focus upon slum clearance simply was not enough. Demolition of poor quality buildings did not address the continuing existence of inadequate housing, nor the fact that housing that was adequate in itself was left to deteriorate. One of the factors contributing to this was the existence of rent control (Cullingworth and Nadin 2002). Rent control was introduced in the UK during the two World Wars in the 20th Century, to limit the levels of rents charged by private landlords for poorer quality housing. It continued after the wars for a considerable period. It was designed to stop landlords capitalising on housing shortages by raising rents. However, it proved difficult to remove, and also meant that the supply of housing was reduced, as landlords were not encouraged to offer their accommodation for rent, as they would get relatively little return due to fixed rent levels (Glennerster 2009). Another problem with the programme as a whole was that it concentrated on the physicality of housing and less at the impact of housing on the residents, for example the social and cultural issues outlined above (Cullingworth and Nadin 2002)
3.3.2 Lessons Learned in the UK
The UK government started to realise the full extent of the negatives associated with the slum clearance programme by the 1970’s. This led to a reappraisal of the programmes and strategy. They had seen that it was not enough to demolish buildings, but there was also a need to regenerate existing housing stock. They also realised this should not be done on an individual basis, but through area-wide policies, which had the effect of also encouraging individual regeneration of houses. They also realised that there was a need to concentrate not on the physicality of housing exclusively but also upon the impact upon residents. The late 1960’s onwards saw many new programmes developed, aiming to create a national policy to address this gap. Many different departments were involved, for example the Home Office created the 1968 Urban Programme and the 1974 Community Development Programme, and the DHSS the 1973 Cycle of Deprivation Studies (Cullingworth and Nadin 2002)

By the 1980’s, the earlier prevailing “discourse of reconstruction” (Jones and Evans 2008, p. 2) had been replaced with a different discourse, that of Urban Regeneration, suggesting that rather than demolish and replace existing structures and communities, the focus would be upon working with what is already there, and improve it. The initial focus, under the 1980’s Conservative government led by Margaret Thatcher, was upon the individual rather than the community, but this era did see the beginning of attempts to bring economic improvements and social changes to deprived urban areas, in part prompted by incidents such as the Toxteth riots in inner-city Liverpool. During the 90’s and beginning of the 21st century, the nature of urban regeneration changed again, with a more holistic approach which aimed to address all facets of community life including housing, economic and work opportunities, social and environmental aspects. This move to a more holistic Urban Regeneration viewpoint seems a useful one, as it addresses many of the problems uncovered during the 80 years in which slum clearance programmes have existed within the UK.

In summary, there are clear lessons which were learned during the UK clearance programme. The first lesson concerns the need to address the new buildings. High-rise developments have a number of problems for the residents, and are expensive to maintain. The infrastructure of new housing developments needs to be in place, including transport, shops and schooling. More than merely physical needs of residents need to be taken into account, for example the risk of isolation to residents displaced from their existing community needs to be addressed, perhaps by attempting to move residents as communities, rather than as individuals. In addition, as the lengthy time scale of many UK renewal schemes led to ‘planning blight’, there is a need to make sure clearance takes place as quickly as possible. There should be more communication between authorities and local residents from early consultations before clearance programmes through to gathering feedback after residents are moved. The interests of the residents should be at the heart of the process. A holistic approach should be taken by local authorities as well as by national government, with a clear strategy shared with all partners and an assurance that communication will be adequate. Demolition of existing residences should be replaced by a programme of renewal.
3.4 Urban Renewal and Slum Clearance Worldwide
The following section will take a more general view of slum clearance programmes, placing them within the context of the wider disciplines of urban policy and planning. An overview of theories about urban renewal and redevelopment will be presented, first summarising the UK experience and then moving on to wider perspectives on slum clearance, to overview the experiences and approaches of different countries.

3.4.1 Urban Planning: General Theories of Urban Renewal and Redevelopment
Writing of the UK situation, Roberts and Sykes provide a useful summary of developments within urban planning. They distinguish five phases, each occupying a decade in time since the 50s: Reconstruction (1950’s), Revitalisation (1960’s), Renewal (1970’s), Redevelopment (1980’s) and Regeneration (1990s). The following table (table 2) summarises the main features of these:
Reconstruct-ion (50’s) Revitalisat-ion (60’s) Renewal
(1970’s) Redevelop-ment (1980’s) Regenerat-ion (1990’s)
Strategy Rebuilding new areas of exisiting towns, based on ‘masterplan’ As 50’s, suburban growth, start of renovation of existing areas New focus on renewing existing structures, continuation of periphery develop-ment Major schemes, flagship projects, out-of-town develop-ments Comprehensive, holistic, integrated
Who is involved Government, Local Authorities, Private Sector Balance between public and private sectors is aim Role of private sector expands, government decentral-isation Private sector, special agencies, start of partner-ship initiatives Partnership approach
Geographic focus Local Regional Initial balance between regional and local gives way to local emphasis Site specific to local Regional, focus on wider area
Economic focus Mainly public investment with some private As 50’s but growth in private sector Constraints on public sector growth, more private Private sector dominates More equality between private and public sector
Social Approach Improvement in living standards through housing Improve social and welfare issues Greater empowerment of community members Self-help by community, little support Emphasis on community
Physical Approach Slum clearance, building on edges of cities As 50s with some rehabilitation of existing stock Renewal of older urban structures Replacement, large schemes, new developments Smaller scale, new focus on heritage and conservation
Environment-al Approach Landscaping, greening Selective improvements Environmental improvements and some new schemes Developing concern for bigger environmental picture Focus on sustainability
Table 2: Phases in urban planning (source: Roberts and Sykes 2000, p. 14)

Taking a wider perspective, policy about renewal and regeneration can be seen as a function of the relationship between theory and institutional response Within the UK and US, for example, three theories of urban decline have supported urban policy, change from policy depends on how successful or not each is in changing the situation which provoked action. These models can also be traced in the urban planning phases in table two.
The three models which characterise post-war UK and USA policy and practice are: UK and US has seen three models influencing urban policy:

• Environmental Determinism
• ‘Cycles of Disadvantage’ thesis
• Structural analysis (Coleman 1985)

Environmental Determinism, broadly, is the idea that human life is controlled by the enviroinment and can be explained in physical terms. Culture, society and psychology are all influenced by the environment and habitat (Alexander and Fairbridge 1999). The theory is rooted in social reform movements from Victorian era, garden cities movement, and modernism. Central premise is that “control and manipulation of the physical environment had a direct and determinate effect on social behaviour” (Carey 1990, online). This approach characterised the widespread slum clearances of the 50’s and 60’s in the UK, seeing demolition of derelict housing, large system built social housing and moves to estates on the peripheries of cities. This approach makes the physical nature of housing most important. Although widely criticised, Environmental Determinism left a lasting legacy simply because the estates are still in existence. Some suggest (Coleman 1985) that anti-social behaviour is direct result of inadequate design of council estates incorporating features such as deck access, or the circulation patterns created by estatease (Law and Sawyers 1988). It has been criticised for concentrating on physical at the expense of residents, for failing to take account of differences between social groups, and for nor taking account of the need for management and maintenance of housing. It was recognised early that the happiness of residents relates not to the design or space or housing but how the estate was looked after (DOE 1972). Despite such criticisms, the attraction to such theories remained strong because they are simple and offer solutions to difficult issues (Coleman 1985).

Because the environmental approach had flaws, it was gradually replaced by a less simple approach involving an understanding of urban problems in terms of cycles of social and economic disadvantage, stating that residents found it hard to break out of the problems which engulf them (Coleman 1985). Cycle of Disadvantage theories, also known as ‘Cycle of Deprivation’ theories, suggest that social exclusion, rather than being a consequence of environment, is passed from generation to generation (Moss 2002). Such theories originated in the USA with the ‘Chicago School’ of sociology, for example Park, Burgess, Shevky and Bell. Cycle of disadvantage / deprivation theories were championed in the UK in the early 70’s by the Conservative Secretary of State for Education, Keith Joseph, who held that there was a need to change the mind-set of the working class poor to stop disadvantage passing to subsequent generations (Gillies 2007). UK programmes included Housing Action Areas, General Improvement Areas and Educational Priority Neighbourhoods. The theory was also enthusiastically taken up in the USA, where it led to a number of programmes including the Community Action Programs and Model Cities Program, and the development of the Office of Economic Opportunity. In practice the theory did not deliver the results that might be hoped for. In addition, it was criticised because the social indicators used were unable to adequately define areas of deprivation, because the criteria of definition left the bulk of the poor outside the defined areas, and for the possibility that resources would be directed to the wrong people. The theory was also criticised because of its local rather than national approach (Coleman 1985).

The final approach is structural analysis and adjustment. This recognises the role of global forces on local poverty, and the extent to which areas are subject to forces outside of their control (Coleman 1985). In an increasingly global world, with the breakdown of barriers between nations, it is increasingly hard to see problems as isolated in one small area (Jenkins et al 2007), for example with decisions about jobs made by factory owners in another country. International forces include the economic, business and financial, the role of underdeveloped countries competing for resources. The oil crisis in 1973 also made people realise the extent to which UK and other nations are effected by events world wide (Coleman 1985)

The influence of these theories can be traced through policy and practice in Europe and the USA, with early spend on physical renewal of the environment giving way to an approach focusing upon the transmission of poverty from generation to generation, and subsequently taking global and structural factors into account. However, the three primary themes discussed above were assessed in the 1980’s, and things have since moved on. During the 90’s a new approach started, with an aim to co-ordinate different types of intervention with a ‘spatially concentrated, functionally integrated approach”. There was debate in the 90’s and 21st century about the rationale for area-based interventions, with some arguing that direct intervention into local neighbourhoods is essential to combat poverty through resident empowerment and improving employment opportunities (Vranken et al 2003) with others arguing against this, suggesting that local approaches merely displace issues to different neighbourhoods, and that interventions rather need to target multiple neighbourhoods (Nodus 2010, p. 25) Other debates concern the desirability of social mixing: what should the social breakdown in urban areas be? Some argue that there should be a mix of rich and poor for regeneration to take place, while others say this does not wrok, with problems developing communication between the different social groups (Musterd and Ostendorf (2008; (Nodus 2010). The experience in the UK does seem to have shown the the three main approaches identified above are outdated, and that there is a need for the integrated approach which was embraced in the 90’s.

3.4.2 Global Attempts at Slum Clearance, Urban Renewal and Regeneration
Despite many developed nations having managed their slum problem adequately, developing nations have increasing problems with slum conditions in their cities. The first recognition that slums were likely to pose a problem was that of the World Bank in 1990, which warned that urban poverty would be one of the most significant issues of the 21st Century (Davis 2006). The first global review of urban poverty was carried out by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) who published an influential report, ‘The Challenge of Slums’ in 2003. This collated data from three sources: case studies of slums and poverty in 34 cities around the world, a large database including indicators from 237 countries, and global data from household surveys, including information from China and the ex-Soviet countries (UN-Habitat 2003). The authors of the 2003 report take a classical approach to defining slums, “characterised by overcrowding, poor or informal housing, inadequate access to safe water and sanitation, and insecurity of tenure” (Davis 2006 p. 22). This highlights the physicality of the problem, but sidelines the social and cultural aspects which, within the UK, theorists realised needed to be addressed as well. It is also seen as a somewhat restrictive definition, although despite this the report estimates that more than 1 billion people would live in slum conditions by 2005. The countries with the highest proportion of slums are Ethiopia, Chad, Afghanistan and Napal, and the area with the fastest increase in slums is the Russian Federation. It has been estimated that there are more than 200,000 slums globally, ranging in size from settlements of just a few hundred to areas occupied by over 1,000,000 people. While some slums have been in existence for many years, many have developed since the 60’s, particularly the ‘megaslums’, emerging when previously distinct slum areas join (Davis 2006).

Davis proposes a useful ‘typology of slums’ (Davis 2006, p 26), a model of the types of slums found world wide:

A. Metro Core
1. Formal
(a) tenements
(i) hand-me-downs
(ii) built for poor
(b) public housing
(c) hostels, flophouses
2. Informal
(a) squatters
(i) unauthorised
(ii) authorised
(b) pavement dwellers

B. Periphery
1. Formal
(a) private rental
(b) public housing
2. Informal
(a) pirate sub-division
(i) owner occupied
(ii) rental
(b) squatters
3. Refugee Camps
(Source: Davis 2006, p. 30)
The United Nations (UN) (UN-Habitat 2003) suggest in their report that there is a need to ensure that everyone worldwide has the basic needs of life: food, shelter, access to health facilities and employment, and to achieve “cities without slums (UN-Habitat 2003, p. 189). The developed world has already achieved these basic conditions, utilising a range of methods to do so, but all approaches, the UN claim, involve “government, the private sector and civil society working together or negotiating solutions” (UN-Habitat 2003, p. 189). While some advances in some areas were made during the 90’s, other areas, particularly urban housing have been neglected. The UN suggest a number of reasons for this: first, there has been little urban planning, particularly to deal with population growth; second, there have been few attempts to deal with the conditions in slum areas; third, the market has been unable to provide adequate housing for all, and finally there are fewer jobs available. With this in mind, they propose a strategy to tackle the problems of slums:

• Co-ordination of planning for urban areas, housing and population growth at all levels, to create inclusive cities
• The preferred solution to upgrade slums in partnership with local people (working on improvements) and government subsidies as well as donations
• Improvement needs to be part of a city wide strategy, and will cover water supply, sanitation, roads and footpaths and housing.
(UN-Habitat 2003)

They also identify problems which have arisen in previous attempts, which lead them to stress other aspects essential to the success of slum clearance programmes:
• Local government needs to be fully involved
• Local people and civil society need to be involved from planning phase
• Only if sufficient numbers of people are in favour of the plan will it succeed
• An asset management approach is necessary to ensure buildings are managed properly long-term
• The building residents need to be able to cover the costs of running the properties, with support from government and the private sector if necessary
(UN-Habitat 2003)

While these suggestions seem to incorporate the experiences of the UK gathered from the slum clearance programme there, UN-Habitat’s ideas have attracted some criticism. Gilbert (2007), for example, while acknowledging the value of drawing attention to the housing problem, suggests that “by using the term ‘slum’, the campaign’s main goal becomes blurred and obscure the real steps that need to be taken to improve living conditions” (Gilbert 2007, p. 709). That is, because the term brings to mind negative images, housing problems so complex and deeply rooted that they cannot be resolved. It evokes old ideas about poverty, and “evokes a response that it cannot control” by conflating poor housing conditions with moral judgements about the people who live in such conditions. It also evokes a falsely utopian idea of a perfect world (Gilbert 2007, p. 710).
Despite critiques such as these, it seems clear that there is a problem with low quality habitation in the developing world, and also clear that the UN has highlighted the need for action, and suggested some ways in which this should be organised. In addition, there is some suggestion that attitudes worldwide are changing. Slums are generally, nowadays a feature of developing countries. In such countries slums originally developed near urban areas, to take advantage of the jobs and facilities of such areas. When urban planning started to be utilised in the developing nations, a typical approach was to concentrate on building better urban areas in new locations, and ignoring the slums altogether (Cave 2005). Initial approaches were bureaucratic and modernist, assuming that the management of the slums was solely a problem for government, and rejecting the value of local knowledge (De Souza Briggs 2008). Gradually, there was a change of opinion, starting with the interest in ‘self-help’ housing in the 70’s (De Souza Briggs 2008) as a catalyst for new thinking about slums. When, later, public opinion started to demand action for the slums, a common response from governments was to demolish the slums, which simply meant they relocated elsewhere. However, later years have seen a change in attitude, with the UN recommended approach embraced and a focus upon improving existing settlements (Cave 2005). There has been a recognition that authoritarian perspectives are not appropriate, and a consequent new awareness of the value of regional and local strategies. At the same time, economies and markets in the developing world are starting to transform, and the newly global economy is also playing a part as well as a growing awareness of the value of civil society and local initiatives. The new approach could be described as a partnership one, with complex relationship between government, private enterprise and people (De Souza Briggs 2008). All this seems in line with lessons learned from the UK case, outlined above.

3.5 Urban Renewal and Slum Clearance: Case Study of China
3.5.1 History of Slums and Slum Clearance in China
Within China, the Communist Party came in to power in 1945, and private housing was gradually reduced until, by the 1960’s, it was all-but non-existent. The State owned most of the housing stock (Zhu 1999). The new government had high ideals of rebuilding “the cities as models of socialist organisation and ideology” with cities being redeveloped around industrial work places, and a typical city built up around walled compounds with communities centred on the place of work (Gaubatz 1999).
Over the years since 1945 there was ongoing lack on investment in housing, and by the 70’s the level of housing per head was at an all-time low (Zhu 1999). As a consequence, in part, of this long-term lack of investment, slums are not new within China (Tinker and Summerfield 1999). Even as early as 1951, it was noted (Keyes 1951) that large amounts of people were attracted to Chinese cities, with consequent overcrowding. Single room dwellings were common, with the one room sharing the functions of living room, kitchen and bedroom, sometimes for more than one family. Dormitories were also rife, and bed-sharing frequent. People were attracted to the cities by the factories, but employers seldom provided accommodation for the workers they relied upon. The crowding and poor conditions were exacerbated by population increases, shortage of materials for building, and growth in the cost of building (Keyes 1951). A slum clearance programme took place in 1950, but despite this the slums continued to develop (Zhu 1999).

Widespread migration to the cities, for example Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) saw rapid development, particularly along canals and swamp areas. By 1977, in Ho Chi Minh City it was estimated that there were 43,000 slum homes. By 1975 the Government started to recognise the problem of slums, and between 75 and 85 started a programme of moving people from slum areas to new ‘economic zones’ (Tinker and Summerfield 1999). The 80’s also saw privatisation of housing, and to some extent provision of houses increased (Zhu 1999). At one stage there was a a policy instigated of limiting the expansion of the major Chinese cities, and a corresponding move to relocate people to rural areas, by reclaiming agricultural land. Despite Government enthusiasm for slum clearance, the policy was poorly funded and not particularly successful and people started to move back to the cities and suburbs. Housing policy also played a part. There were tight controls on the sale of housing and new buildings, and people were asked to justify their need for a property before building or purchase went ahead (Tinker and Summerfield 1999). From 1978 China migrated from a planned to a market economy. The approach was experimental, with the market system “grafted onto” the existing structure of administration (Fang and Zhang 2003, p. 151). During this period, laws were passed to separate land use rights from state ownership, and to allow diverse sources of investment in housing, leading to the commodification of the housing market (Fang and Zhang 2003). Consequently, between 1989 and 93 a period of housing speculation took place, and the price of houses and lands increased rapidly as China opened up to foreign investment and economic liberalisation took place (Han 2002). This was exacerbated by the devolution of power at the start of the 80’s to local government, who allocate land, run enterprise and plan. While this has led to increases in local residents income, it has also contributed to the increase in development by private businesses, and local authorities also developed land to increase their revenue (Acharya 2006)

Overseas buyers flocked to China to take advantages of the future they saw for the country. Despite Government regulations imposed in 1994, housing remained expensive, and the most poor were excluded from decent housing, living rather in illegal, substandard slum facilities. With the 1986 to 1990 ‘open door’ period, however, the government opened communications between China and elsewhere, and was able to learn from the experience of other countries in slum-clearance and urban renewal. A policy of demolishing slums gave way to a process of upgrading them with the involvement of the community. However, by the late 90’s onwards, there was increasing pressure for large urban regeneration projects, to improve China’s image worldwide. Slums had no part in such a vision of China (Tinker and Summerfield 1999). In Shanghai, for example, work on improving housing began in the 80’s, with 40 million square metres of new buildings finished by 1988 (over twice the volume of housing produced between 1950 and 1978). Average space per head was also increased. By 1994, housing of poor standard had been reduced to an all-time low, although construction slowed down in the 90’s. The effort saw government working with developers, buying unwanted flats from developers at the lowest possible price, then selling to residents of the slums at a subsidised rate (Han, 2000)

There has been some success in the programme to address the Chinese Slums. China’s slum population fallen from 37.3 in 2000 to 28.2 in 2010 (Wu et al 2011) Some however suggest that China has not suffered the problem of slums to the same extent as other places (Wang et al 2009). Currently, China is still experiencing pressure on its cities, with urban growth currently at about 4% per year, creating an unsustainable pressure on resources, with China’s ecological footprint estimated to be approximately 1.6 times greater than its biocapacity. It is estimated that by 2015 half of China’s population will be living in urban areas (in 1980 it was 20%). Many urban areas in China continue to be plagued by slums and poverty (The Economist 2007). In China, with a new market economy, cities were considered means to growth, with competition between cities to attract overseas investment (Acharya 2006) There have been some attempts to address conflicts between developers and conservationists, with a growing recognition of the need to protect the built environment. However, there has been conflict between redevelopment and conservation in some incidences, with unique heritage lost (Acharya 2006).

From a different point of view, some challenge the definition of areas, particularly urban villages as slums, mirroring a critique of the term outlined at the start of this dissertation. These settlements on the outskirts of towns are areas where migrants frequently settle, and are usually assumed as slums by authorities. Urban villages came about because there is a dual system of land use in China, with Rural land owned collectively and urban land owned by the state. During the period of fast expansion of cities, former rural villages became enclosed by city land, and thus were officially people rather than state owned. Formal urban planning in china covers only state owned land, with control in rural areas relatively lax. Consequently residents are able to build and extend their houses relatively freely. In turn, China’s urbanized villages became sites of high building density, with poor development of services and infrastructure. This, Wu et al suggest, (2010) leads to negative assessment from the authorities, who see them as chaotic, unwanted and without a place in modern life. They read the dilapidated appearance of the villages as signs of crime, fire hazard and unhealthy living conditions (Wu et al 2011). Also, the villages have some positive characteristics: they provide affordable housing to migrants (Song et al 2008), and the rental provides income to poor farmers (He et al 2009). They also contribute to manufacturing, with many small businesses present in the m (Wu et al 2010). Wu et al also suggest that while they lack bathrooms and toilets, they do possess electricity, and some even connect to the internet. For example, in Tangjialing in Beijing, many residents work in IT, and available residences range from low quality rooms to studios with a kitchen and toilet. Most rental properties in this slum are connected to the internet. The residences utilise the space creatively with some unusual innovations. A bus connects residents with main transport links. Wu challenges the government policy of demolition, seeing it as a means of exerting control and political influence .

3.5.2 Beijing and Slums
Beiijing hosted the 2008 Olympics, and as such was placed in the spotlight with the world aware of the city. This meant that there was a pressure on the city to present itself in a good light. For this reason, it is useful to look at the case of Beijing and slum clearance. There have been clear problems with much of the programmes directed at the slums, and it would seem that lessons from around the world have not been incorporated.

Attempts to address housing issues in Beijing date from much earlier than the Olympic era. In 1990, the government initiated the Old and Dilapidated Housing Redevelopment (ODHR) programme, designed to improve living conditions (Fang and Zhang 2003). The redevelopment was concentrated in the four inner city districts, Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chongwen and Xuanwu, redeveloping the hutongs and shieyuan (Acharya 2006). The redevelopment was not successful in its intention, as it “quickly became a large-scale speculative form of development involving massive demolition and ruthless displacement, resulting in enormous social and cultural costs” (Fang and Zhang 2003, p. 150).
In 1949, when the Communists came to power, Beijing was made the capital of China again, with the desire to turn it into an industrial city. This desire was hampered by politics and financial constraints, and there was considerable underinvestment in the housing stock, although the inner city grew with new workers flooding into the city. This led to housing shortages, to such an extent that the government planned redevelopment by the end of the 1980’s (Wu 1999). Due to the deregulation of the economy mentioned above, more resources were made available for such projects. Against this background the ODHR programme aimed to replace old housing and provide better quality residences in the inner city (Fang and Zhang 2003). From the outset, the ODHR programme was reliant upon a partnership with real estate developers, as well as relying on a contribution from residents towards their new homes. (Shin 2009). By 1993 plans for redevelopment included over 20 square km of land and 1 million residents. ODHR programmes increased from 37 in 1991 to 279 in 1999, and were targeted at inner-city areas. The aim was to replace old and poor condition buildings with commercial property and high rise residential developments (Shin 2009).

However, despite the avowed intentions of this programme, there were a number of disappointing outcomes. First, the main method of clearing old housing stock was demolition, an approach inherited from old-style socialist planning. By 1998 over 4 million sq. metres of traditional housing had been removed in the old city, most of which were the traditional ‘courtyard houses’. These courtyard houses were over 100 years old, and offered a “unique traditional living pattern and a liveable socio-economic environment on which many local small businesses… relied” (Fang and Zhang 2003, p. 154). The demolition included listed buildings (Fang 2000). In addition, the redevelopment featured retail and office buildings at the expense of residential housing (Fang and Zhang 2003). It has been estimated that only 1/3 of those displaced in the clearances were rehoused as part of the programme. By the end of the 90’s there was an increasing reliance on financial compensation for residents whose home was demolished, but this was inadequate to buy housing in the same area (Shin 2007).
In order to understand how these problems came about, it is necessary to understand more about the role of government, the private sector and legislation. The programme instigated in Beijing in the 90’s was heavily dependent upon the part played by capital injected by real estate developers. The way in which this came about has been attributed to the nature of the relationship of the local state to national policies about market reform, and the embracing of entrepreneurialism (Shin 2009). Even local government shared the enthusiasm for entrepreneurial acgtivity, which, it has been claimed, has made the link between local government and real estate developers closer (Zhu 2002). This enthusiasm within local government meant that they were unduly influenced by the interests of property developers rather than local people. In addition, legal changes in the 90’s meant that developers had more access to inner city land for redevelopment, and perks including paying for the rights after building. Land was allocated through a process of secret negotiation, and sold for low rates, often below the market value. Also, through the way in which the ODHR programme developed over the years, local monopolies developed, although a growing number of independent real estate companies joined the local market (Fang and Zhang 2003), the main motivation of which was profit rather than the interests of local residents (Zhang and Fang 2003). Only those developers with close links to local government had access to the inner city land, and to those developers local residents were increasingly seen as barriers to profit, not beneficiaries. For example, in some cases residents were informed their homes would be removed in two weeks time, and that they had to agree to any relocation plans the developers proposed. The previous, scheme for compensation for residents, devised during the socialist regime, was abandoned, and fair compensation for dispersed residents was no longer provided (Fang and Zhang 2003)

The redevelopment programme and the demolition of traditional housing stock has led to a number of social problems, with over ½ million residents affected over 10 years. Residents were offered the chance to rent or buy property, but as house prices in the inner city increased vastly in the 90’s, locals were unable to afford the new prices, and many were force to move away or relocate to settlements (Fang 2000). The compensation offered was also dependent on the family co-operating with the developers’ demands, and was frequently low due to undervaluation of the property. There was also a degree of arbitrariness in handing out compensation. In addition, the land rights of residents has been ignored, which has meant lower compensation for demolition, with owners compensated for the built area not the plot area (Acharya 2006). Many people were relocated, particularly those from the lower socio-economic groups including people on low income, people with poor education, and the elderly. They were not provided with temporary accommodation, and only a relatively small number move back to their old communities (Acharya 2006). In addition, many of the new buildings for residents were inadequately planned, lacked transport links and were of poor quality. Senior residents were particularly badly affected, as they relied on the social links and support of neighbours (Fang and Zhang 2003) Other side effects of the displacement include loss of jobs, increased transport costs, break up of communities and even families (Acharya 2006) In addition, by the end of the 90’s, over 32,000 families had not been resettled (Fang and Zhang 2003). Although initially happy, by the mid 90’s many residents had organised group action to express their feelings about the programme and the negative consequences (Wang 1996). For example in 2002 over 10,000 residents filed a case against the government, claiming that resettlement laws had been violated (Acharya 2006).

However, in 2000 a new policy was instigated which aimed to address problems this caused by increasing the supply of affordable housing: ‘Weigai Dai Fanggai’. While the market led approach still existed, the new policy was more emphasised in official documents after 2000. The idea was to make owning a home more affordable for low and middle income households through increasing the stock of residential dwelling and offering subsidies to developers. (Shin 2009) Overall, recent developments do not seem to have learned lessons from the past. More recently, the transformation of Beijing has continued, with an aim to develop its status as an international city for the 2008 Olympics. As such, there was an attempt to apply international standards to infrastructure, housing and new buildings. It was estimated that Beijing’s investment in the Olympics would be $33.82 billion, with 3 million square metres of old housing being rebuilt. The new redevelopments are very much a function of the 90’s ODHR programme, and its deterioration from high ideals for rehousing residents to a way of generating profits for developers. By the late 1980s the number of Hutongs was 3900, from 7000 in 1949, and there are now around 2000. 40% of the old city area was destroyed by 2002 (Acharya 2006). The Hutongs are the traditional chinese streets, long and winding, and a great tourist attraction. They are arranged primarily west and east, forming a fishbone shape and connecting to north and south running larger roads. They allow shelter from the elements, and enhance resident’s privacy. They are made up of the traditional Chinese courtyard houses, or ‘Siheyuan’, with low buildings grouped around a central courtyard space. Houses of this style offer peace for the residents, and privacy from the life of the city around. They feature innovative interior designs and elaborate carvings. These traditional streets and buildings have come under great pressure, especially during the time of preparation for the Olympics, with hundreds of Hutongs destroyed and replaced by modern, high rise buildings. This movement of destruction started with the 1990’s programmes Of the remaining Hutongs, 900 are in danger of being destroyed as they are not protected. Many of Beijings younger residents also prefer Western style, modern buildings (Fang 2009)

However, and on the positive side, recent attempts at redevelopment have at least opened up the possibility of new perspectives, even though these ideas have not fully translated into practice, and although there is much debate about the best way to go about this (Acharya 2006). Some still hold a market approach, suggesting that the city needs to be remodelled to suit a modern, global society, others (for eample Liangyong and Junhua of the Tsinghua School of Architecture) propose an organic approach which adapts existing buildings gradually. Others suggest the need to conserve the whole of the remaining old city area, so that heritage is based around a living community (Acharya 2006). Indeed, there is a new emphasis upon conservation, particularly when the Olympics appeared as a possibility for China. There have been a number of initiatives aimed at conservation since the 80’s, however these have been, until recently, poorly implemented. However, the Conservation Plan for the 25 Conservation Districts of Historic Sites in Beijing (2000) marked a change, and a new emphasis on the traditional hutongs and siheyuans, stipulating that the courtyard model should be used where possible. However, the conservation area covers only 17% of the remaining old city, and many areas are still under threat (Acharya 2006). Overall, despite some recent changes, not enough is being done to safeguard the positive aspects of Biejing’s older housing.
4 Discussion and Conclusion
The above discussion of the Chinese approach to slum clearance and urban renewal, and the case of Beijing, demonstrates that lessons that might have been learned from the UK experience were not assimilated quickly enough. This might, in part, be due to the lack of communication between China and the West, but as lines of communication opened up from the 1980’s, there has been plenty of time for local and national governments in China to look at the experience of other countries in organising slum clearance. Although residents in Beijing were initially pleased with their relocation, as they had more space and better conditions, as the redevelopments progressed many felt the disadvantages outweighed the advantages, just as in the UK.
Above were identified a number of lessons which should have been learned from the UK case. These can be summarised as follows:

• New buildings should be adequate
• Renewal rather than demolition
• Infrastructure should be in place
• Isolation of the residents should be avoided
• Planning blight should be avoided
• Communication should be at heart of process
• Holistic approach should be taken
• There should be a clear strategy

In terms of Beijing’s experience, the new buildings seem to be fairly adequate in terms of need for shelter, water and facilities such as gas, however, many buildings of historic and heritage interest have been demolished. The hutongs served the needs of both individuals and communities well, and offered a place of respite and peace from a noisy city. They were arranged in close knit communities, however the bulk of these have been removed during Beijing’s renovation programme. This contradicts the second lesson above. In addition, the residents relocated found that the infrastructure, transport, social links and work had not been put in place in the new houses. This led to isolation for many as the close-knit communities were disbanded. Elderly people, relying on social networks, were particularly hard hit. While ‘planning blight’ has not been identified in the case of Beijing, the buildings constructed in many of the sites which were redeveloped serve the interests not of local residents but of the wealthy, particularly tourists, and large businesses. The last three lessons also seem to have been ignored. The impetus for the redevelopment of Beijing came from the desire to transform the city to address the increasing problems of poor living conditions in slums, but was increasingly driven not by concern for the residents but by the interests of real estate developers who hoped to make money from displacing residents and building offices and luxury retail developments. Local people were inadequately consulted, and the houses to which they were relocated were less than ideal. As well as the issues outlined above, not all residents were relocated, but a large proportion simply received compensation which, more often than not, failed to reflect the real value of the property. In summary, and while Beijing’s government seems belatedly to be recognising the issues of its approach to urban renewal, important lessons from the UK about the problems of clearing slums were ignored.

The above has attempted to look at the UK experience of slum clearance and urban renewal in the 20th century, looking at the changes made to programmes, what worked and what was done badly. General approaches to slum clearance, and the contemporary situation worldwide was discussed, before moving on to consider the Chinese experience of urban renewal. Finally, the case of Beijing was discussed, showing that they repeated many mistakes made in the UK, and added new mistakes specific to their circumstances. One overriding need is to adjust the relationship between private and public sector. For too long the situation in Beijing has been overshadowed by the aspirations and needs of the private sector (Healey et al 1992), and the government has simply gone along with their demands (Quilley 1999). This is slowly starting to change, but to develop housing solutions which really serve the needs of residents, a partnership approach should be developed, with a clear strategy for the future and the thoughts of all stakeholders involved from the very start of any new programme.

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