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Can Mass Production Housing Satisfy People's Diverse Living Needs?

1636 words - 7 pages

1. Brief History of American Mass Suburbia
1.1. Using Levittown as an Example
The period of postwar America witnessed a extensive building boom. As one of the paradigm of American suburbanization after World War II, Levittown displays mass-produced, standardized and also affordable houses that were exploited by the firm of Levitt and Sons, Inc, at the start. Although this new production techniques met massive housing demand effectively, and solved many social issues, there are some critiques about homogenization that were waged. The urbanist Lewis Mumford believed, 'a multitude of uniform, unidentifiable houses, line up in flexibly, a uniform distances on uniform roads, in a treeless ...view middle of the document...

2. Chinese Suburbanization
2.1. Elite Housing
In China, developers also realized the superiority of standardized housing. They popularized mass-production technology, and put it into use in both urban area and suburbs. Like American mass-produced suburbs, similar scenes appears in China. But this time, the target customers of mass-produced housings are rich.
2.2. Survey about Chinese Rich:
In the Chinese Rich report, almost 60% of rich accumulate their wealth by establishing enterprises by themselves. 12% of rich get their treasures by accumulation of their wages and welfare. Most of the rich in China is distributed in eastern big cities. And Beijing have the largest number of rich than other cities. Among these rich, most of them has get married and had at least one child. So high quality houses with beautiful natural landscape, and quiet peaceful environment becomes their intense demands for their children, spouses and themselves.
In Beijing, wealthy neighborhood distribution have distinct characteristics. Intellectual elite would like to choose to live nearby Zhongguancun which is amount to Silicon Valley in America, while financial elite would like to select central business district as their ideal living area. Different from intellectual and financial elite, stars and artists is prefer to live in the suburb, where near the mountain, by the river. Some suburbs also near airports so that stars choose such areas to escape paparazzo. Star-centered rich usually spends a lot of time on performance among different cities. They want to live deliberately, and lazily when they go back home. They don't have time to build houses by themselves, so whole process are completely rely on their star agents, realtors, and developers. Whether such standardized housing can match today's rich taste becomes doubtful.
2.3. Case Study
The "Changan No. 1" use its failure gives us the answer. This project was built by standardized production method in Mentougou District, a western suburb in Beijing. It includes 39 single family houses with the selling price of over 100,000,000 RNB (16,129,032 dollars) of each house. To cater to rich's mentality of showing off, developers let designers to design housing style as French imperial residence. However, Liang Jiuhong, a chief engineer of this project said, "Our houses are not suitable for living." In fact, sales status of this villa area is not ideal. Now developers are planning to transform it into jewelry, painting clubs or museums to recycle financing in frustration. One hands, the failure of "Changan No. 1" is relative to the housing macro-control of government. On the other hands, it also proves that such standardized, uniform houses are not enough to satisfy people's more and more diverse value orientation, and aesthetic orientation.
On the contrary, another similar project, "Jujun", has a good result of selling housing. In 2000, when houses in this community began to sell, 98 houses...

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