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Building up a better community

By Fang Aiqing | China Daily | Updated: 2021-12-06 08:51

Architect Xue Feng (center, right) and Lyu Shiming, vice-chairman of the China Federation of the Disabled, visit an old neighborhood undergoing renovation in Haidian district of Beijing earlier this year.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Removing barriers and improving the environment brings people closer to each other and nature, Fang Aiqing reports.

A good structure is one that people think is both convenient and considerate for users, architect Xue Feng says.

As chief architect of Beijing-based China Construction Engineering Design and Research Institute Corp, Xue has been exploring construction and renovation of barrier-free facilities for the past eight years.

One of their recent works is part of a micro-space regeneration project launched by the Beijing city government involving eight old neighborhoods. The project was completed earlier this year.

Key focuses of this project include making better use of small patches of deserted land in the city and improving the quality of public spaces.

The Min'an community in Dongcheng district, constructed in 2003, is located at the northeastern corner of the Second Ring Road, not far from Dongzhimen subway station.

Its southern area has a U-shaped building with more than 700 households, enclosing a broad open space that, due to a tall building on its southern elevation, gets little direct sunlight.

Elderly people make up around 40 percent of the residents. In the past, the undeveloped land made it difficult for them to kill time within their own community.

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