On June 19, Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council, presided over the State Council executive meeting to promote the transformation of old urban communities and discuss measures to meet the general publics’ expectations of their current standard of living. The meeting determined the following objectives:

1.The object range and standards of the transformation should be specified as soon as possible. Pilot projects will be carried out this year to accumulate experience for further implementation.

2.Guidance from the government should be enhanced, nevertheless the community should play the main role in this transformation process while the wishes of the residents should be respected.

3.Financing and innovation mechanisms should be revived and modernized. Central subsidies will be arranged for the renovation of old urban communities this year. Financial institutions and municipalities are encouraged to explore sustainable ways to increase financial support for the renovation of old communities. In order to attract the participation of social forces, market-based methods should be used in this context.

4.Based on the community transformation, the government should guide the development of community pension, childcare, medical care, food support, cleaning, and other services, and promote the establishment of a long-term community management mechanism.

In April 2019, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, together with the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Finance, issued the Notice on Transformation of the Old Communities in 2019. Read more in CN

According to preliminary statistics, China has nearly 160,000 old communities with a construction area of about 4 billion m2 where more than 42 million households and hundreds of millions of people live. At the end of 2017, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development launched several pilot projects in the context of old urban community transformation in 15 cities including Xiamen and Guangzhou. As of December 2018, the pilot cities have transformed 106 old communities, from which 59,000 households have benefitted. This practice of implementing projects in pilot cities proves that the renovation of old urban communities is not necessarily costly but beneficial. It not only helps residents improve their basic living conditions but also help to enhances people’s sense of well-being and security. It’s also an important measure to expand investment and to stimulate domestic demand. Read more in CN