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Heritage Trail project

Courtyard Institute Heritage Talk Series (No. 4, 2014):Learning from the collaborative rehabilitation of a Beijing Dazayuan

During Summer 2013, Sinapolis conducted a unique rehabilitation operation on a “dazayuan” (大杂院,  courtyards highly densified after 1950 and often dilapidated) in the heart of the city.


The dazayuan stands for between 60 % and 80 % of the surface of the zones involved in the heritage protection programme in the centre of Beijing. Understanding the evolutions of these specific urban forms seems therefore primordial to provide solutions for the preservation of the ancient centre. In this view, the project seeks to promote new rehabilitation practices meanwhile pursuing a reflection on the general applicability of the suggested arrangement plans. Within this micro-area for community residence, Sinapolis set out a process of rehabilitation which is both respectful of the specificity of the site as well as innovative from a social and economic viewpoint, with an emphasis on the active and continued participation of the inhabitants in the project.

What does this participation in the rehabilitation process reveal? What can be the impacts of the establishment of a “micro-urban planning” in the heart of Beijing? These are the several points that Jérémie Descamps will raise throughout the talk.

Talk Arrangements:


Courtyard Institute

Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center (CHP)

The Schoolhouse at Mutianyu

Date:                  12th April, 2014 (Saturday)

Time:                 10:00-12:00 with Q & A

Venue:               No. 28, Zhonglao Hutong (See map attached)

Ticket:               RMB50 per person, including a drink

Language:         English

RSVP:                Rsvp.sihe@gmail.com (seats will be reserved for those who RSVPed)

About the Speaker

Jeremie Descamps has worked in Beijing since the early 2000s as a sinologist and urban planner – he holds two master degrees from the French National Institute of Oriental Language & Civilization and the Paris Institute of Urban Planning.

He lived in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Harbin, Qufu before settling in Beijing, where he founded Sinapolis, a Think Tank providing studies and resources on cities and built environments in China. Sinapolis analyzes trends in China’s urbanization, from technical to cultural as well as local to global perspectives, providing professionals with urban studies, expert documentation and Media Watch, seminars and workshop sessions. Sinapolis also organizes exhibitions and events on contemporary urban China for a broader audience.

Website: www.sinapolis.net









No. 28, Zhonglao Hutong (as shown by the red dot)

For parking: The Zhonglao Hutong is very narrow, and it is best to walk in and part you car in Huayu Hotel, on Shatan Houjie.

问路电话/ For direction guidance:6601-6366

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