Community building in old urban neighbourhoods

International Social Science Journal (Chinese Edition)

No.1, 2019


Community building in old urban neighbourhoods (Abstract)


Shen Yuan


Based on the empirical facts from field works, the article revisits the concept of community and defines it as human settlement in certain territory. Residents, relational network, space and tradition, are identified as four key elements in definition of community. In light of this, it classifies the communities in the Beijing Municipality into five categories: work-unit-system, commercial residential building estate, old block, downtown-village, city-periphery-village and rural. Based on the experiences of the sociologist teams of Tsinghua University for community building in the Dashilar area, the author analyzes the effects of the three key approaches – nurturing voluntary organizations in communities, adjustments to courtyard spaces, and rejuvenation of local community culture – on “activation” of communities.