Bottom-up urban regeneration: the forming and mechanism of Songzhuang art village, Beijing

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This research discusses about the bottom-up regeneration process of Songzhuang Art Village in Beijing, China. As a typical but unusual development process in urban regeneration, Songzhuang case shows the vitality of the local actors. The research includes three major issues. First is the study of the regeneration process of Songzhuang, in which the government-led top-down planning process and the local bottom-up development process are both discusses and compared. The second issue discuss is about the mechanism of such process. The last issue to discuss is the role of planning in the bottom-up regeneration process. According to the research, Songzhuang’s success relies on bottom-up regeneration rather than the top-down process. It is been discusses that such spontaneous growth path could have more actors involved, with dynamic local economy and opportunities for spatial restructuring. Most importantly, the mechanism of Songzhuang’s bottom-up regeneration process is composed by four key items: core actors (artists, villagers, and village government), extended actors (investment groups, marketing groups, and public services groups, etc.), conditions and catalysts (flow of people, capital, spaces, information, and policies), and reactions. All of these items contribute to the growth and prosperity of the art industry. Finally, we look into the role of planning, in order to find out better approaches for planners when dealing with the cases like Songzhuang. To rethink planning strategies. To be aware of the emerging new economy, and to cooperate with local self-management principles. This research could be helpful for gaining deeper understanding of Songzhuang Art Village, but also understand the general mechanism of similar cases. In a context of the rapid growing creative economy around the globe, such research seems crucial and necessary.
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