Open a gated community in China

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Wang, Yunxin
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Su, Bin
Francis, Kerry
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Jiang Junfu District (Jinan, Shandong, China)
Jinan (Shandong Sheng, China)
Shandong Province (China)
housing estates
gated communities
public spaces
sustainable community development
traffic flows
pedestrian experience
architecture and culture
Chinese architecture
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Wang, Y. (2017) Open a gated community in China (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: 1. Why is it necessary to change existing gated communities in China to open housing estates? 2. How can we resolve the problem of letting traffic into residential spaces, while not sacrificing the security and privacy of residents? 3. How can a gated community gradually opened up? 4. How can Chinese traditional buildings elements be used to create a ‘Chinese’ residential area? ABSTRACT: Recently the Chinese government released a policy intended to stop the building of a closed housing estates. This means the walls of existing closed housing estates would need to be gradually taken down. Actually, 1000 years ago, China had already transformed from closed housing estates to open ones. Walled and gated areas of cities were gradually opened up for economic and social reasons. Now with increase in demands from residents, the China need to open the gated communities again. The origin of the modern open community comes from the ideal society that architects envisioned to meet the rapid economic and demographic growth after World War II. However, in China the gated community developed as a socialist country under the influence of the planned economy. Due to the large-scale blocks of urban division and urban traffic pressure, the government had to choose to open the gated communities to liberate the cities. Except for the above government's problems; the remaining gated communities have many problems for the residents in this generation. The excessive scale of the block and extended size of the wall block people's view of the cities. These gated communities create implosive forms which split the city into isolated islands. This causes cities to become invisible and characterless. There is usually a big scale semi-public space inside the gated walls. Because of this it doesn’t fit the human scale and lacks diversity, the residents cannot use it well. Therefore, it reduces communication in these gated communities. In my research of some new open housing estates, most of them are large scale high-rise apartment buildings. Architects normally designed the walk ways on the motorways which protected the residents from vehicles in the vertical direction. Normally the underground floor is the parking space, then the ground floor is commercial or public facilities to service the local people. Architects also use the continuous open space out or inside of the buildings and green roof gardens to improve the semi-public space. Then for some large-scale, new projects with more options for design, open housing estates can be built like that. But for an existing gated community, the height and scale of buildings are limited regarding, how to turn it into the open ones? Therefore, exploring how to open a gated community is the focus of my research project, not to design a new open housing estate. The project starts from urban design and end to design of individual residential building. However, the most important aspect of the process from urban design to housing design which identifies how to open a gated community step by step rather than by simply removing the walls. In the specific design of the old town in Jinan city, I first research and design the scale of the block, and then design the streets. At the same time, I use the remaining buildings and the distribute green space in a connected way to form a walking line which can open up the gated community. Finally, this research project will be a reference on how to open up gated communities in China to some extent.
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