Theses Master's

“Homes For The People”: A History of Planned Residential Communities in Beijing, 1949-1966

Liu, Yaozhi

“Homes For The People”: A History of Planned Residential Communities in Beijing, 1949-1966” examine the historic context and the perspective of preservation on the large planned residential communities in Beijing constructed in the socialist period before the Cultural Revolution. Focusing on the socio-political and architectural impacts of urban housing policies and concepts during the researched period of Beijing, the thesis reveals the evolution from the early residential planning layouts such as the Neighborhood Unit to socialist planning ideologies influenced heavily by Soviet urban models such as the Perimeter block and the Microdistrict.

The thesis evaluates the architectural and planning aspects of these planned residential communities, noting the transition from the early Soviet influenced designs to the large-scale, prefabricated building projects designed to maximize efficiency and promote a new socialist way of life. The planned residential communities were already deeply rooted in the city fabrics of Beijing until today.

Many of the planned residential communities still survived today, and are still called homes by thousands of families. They carried many values that are important to the city; the values of its aesthetic and technologies, and the social historic values in between the city and the residents. This thesis explores the challenges these areas face today, including issues of preservation and modernization, reflecting on the balance between maintaining historical integrity and meeting contemporary urban needs.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Historic Preservation
Thesis Advisors
Normandin, Kyle C.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
May 29, 2024