- Housing Relocation Practices: Case Study of Shanghai    click here to open paper content307 kb
by    Lee, Catherine | catherinelee13@yahoo.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
This paper focuses on relocation policies and process administered by the Municipal Government of Shanghai for land acquisition purposes. Furthermore it will identify a series of shortcomings through both literature review and practical examples.
The magnitude of China’s urban development is a contemporary phenomenon which captures the attention of scholars, politicians and entrepreneur around the world. After over two decades of rapid development, the country’s economy continues to grow at 10 percent per year. The effect of this pace is most visible in coastal cities; Shanghai is one of the economic powerhouses of China and its GDP is one of the highest in China. Close to ten percent of its remarkable economic growth as illustrated by GDP is fueled by real estate development and construction. In the early 1990s, the city's investment in the real estate sector was less than 1 billion yuan (120 million US dollars) annually. In 2001 the figure reached 63 billion yuan (7.6 billion US dollars). Each year, more than 10 million square metres of new construction appear in the market. This massive amount has brought about an equally significant number of involuntary resettlement cases. About 40 million people have been relocated in China in the last five decades, a number comparable to the entire population of Poland or Spain.

Despite improving public facilities and the city's image, complaints and protests from residents being relocated have escalated. Across the nation widespread disputes have resulted when local governments forced private residents to give way to urban construction.
One of the major problems is in area of compensation and the property rights of the residents not being protected. When urban development plans are drafted by government officials, the housing ownership and land-use rights of residents have not been considered.
The legal framework regarding involuntary resettlement for construction projects is mainly administered by the Ministry of National Land and Resources. Its main instrument is the Land Administration Law of 1998. This article will first describe the three levels of organization dealing with involuntary resettlements, including the Central Government, entities at the local level and agencies whose mandate is to manage the relocation process.
Focusing on the resettlement caused by land acquisition, the article will next describe the relocation process, identifying a series of shortcomings through both literature review and practical examples with Shanghai’s property development industry.
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