January 16 2014

A Historical Chinese Industrial Building’s Fate Left to Government Hands

As the rate of industrialization and urbanization accelerates in China, more and more factories are becoming deserted. Preserving and developing industrial cultural heritage has become an issue that gathers the public’s attention. 

The Zhongyan Hongsifang Joint-Stock Company complex was built in the 1950s in Anhui Province, China. The industrial site had a glorious past, but as time changed and production techniques became more advanced, the machines became outdated and the factories were facing demolition. Whether to develop the site into commercial real estate or to convert it into a cultural center caused a debate among the locals, and more people supported preservation of the site.

In order to preserve and utilize the historic value of the Hongsifang industrial complex, the company had put in a lot of effort, including publishing a conceptual design of an industrial cultural convention center, which was supported by different stakeholders. However, the Hongsifang complex did not escape the fate of demolition due to the local government’ planning decision. 

CNSG Anhui Hong Sifang Co., LTD.

CNSG Anhui Hong Sifang Co., LTD.

According to Chen Shaofeng, Vice Director of the Peking University Cultural Industry Institute, industrial heritage preservation has its special value to a city’s history and the residents’ collective memories. In order to preserve the distinct characters of each city, the local governments should establish special programs to protect the cultural heritage and include historic preservation in their plans.

Do you know any cases of historical preservation of industrial sites?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

The original article, published in Chinese, can be found here.

Jue Wang

Jue Wang is a Master of Urban Planning student at the University of Southern California (USC) with a concentration in sustainable land use planning. Born in a small town along the Yellow River and having grown up in the Pearl River Delta in southeastern China, she experienced the rapid transformation of rural and urban China in the past two decades. Inspired by the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, she decided to translate her passions towards the betterment of the natural and built environment to a career in urban planning. Being an Angeleno for five years, she has claimed Los Angeles as her second home. Through her work as a translator and content coordinator, Jue hopes to help more people learn about China's planning and environmental design issues.

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 16th, 2014 at 9:36 am and is filed under Community/Economic Development, History/Preservation, Urban Development/Real Estate, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


One Response to “A Historical Chinese Industrial Building’s Fate Left to Government Hands”

  1. Shannon Says:

    How does the US compare? I don’t think preserving industrial sites is one of our strong suites.

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