China sets standards to promote the renovation of residential areas in cities

Jul 10, 2020

On July 10, the General Office of the State Council issued the “Guidelines on comprehensively promoting the renovation of old urban residential areas”. These guidelines aim to incorporate local participation to adjust residents’ needs and call for a diversity in measures to adjust them to local needs. In addition, historical heritage sites will be preserved through the measures stipulated in the Guidelines.

The guidelines aim at older structures, which in the most newly built-up areas of Chinese cities refer to buildings constructed before the year 2000. Those communities have often suffered under a lack of maintenance and frequently do not receive the services and infrastructure incorporated into areas constructed after the turn of the millennium.

According to the guidelines target projects can be classified into three categories:

  1. Basic level: In order to meet the security and living demands of residents, municipal infrastructure should be upgraded Repairs in roofing, exterior walls, and staircases of buildings are also needed.
  2. Mid-level: This level mainly involves the renovation and construction of environmental facilities, focusing on energy-saving measures. In addition, the green environment and the lighting environment should be improved.
  3. Advanced level: To improve the living standards for the residents, more community services should be provided. Among others kindergartens, nursing homes, and convenience stores are included in this category..

Renovation’ costs should be partly allocated to the beneficiaries, meaning both private and public owners of the buildings. While the national government will support the measures with financial subsidies, local governments will be allowed to issue special bonds to finance the measures. To prevent the hidden debt issue, financing through the market is preferred where possible.

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Sino-German Urbanisation Partnership

Project country
Political Partners
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU); Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD)

In 2013, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang initiated the Sino-German Urbanisation Partnership as a response to rising rates of urbanisation, a higher frequency of climate change-induced natural disasters and increasing levels of environmental degradation. The partnership is overseen by the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD) of the People’s Republic of China, and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has been responsible for implementing the Partnership Project since June 2016. Funded through the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of BMU, the project focuses on promoting sustainable, integrated urban development in China and Germany. The governing structure of the Sino-German Urbanisation Partnership consists of a Steering Committee and an Annual Meeting of the Working Group on Urbanisation that involves all active members in the Partnership. Every three years a High-level Forum on Urbanisation is held, alternating between China and Germany.