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Courtyard Housing and Cultural Sustainability in China

Donia Zhang Neoland School of Chinese Culture

Abstract

The Chinese have lived in single-extended-family courtyard houses in many parts of China for thousands of years. The earliest courtyard house found in China was during the Middle Neolithic period (5,000-3,000 BCE). However, the 20th century was a significant turning point in the evolution of Chinese courtyard houses. This presentation provides an overview of this transition and evaluates some of its causes. Based on Dr. Zhang’s empirical research and analysis of six multi-household renewed and new courtyard housing experimental projects built in Beijing and Suzhou since the 1990s, she observes that, although the new communal courtyards can facilitate some social interactions, neighborly relations are only partially influenced by the form and space of the courtyard housing, and are perhaps influenced even more so by China’s changing and polarizing society as manifested in these specific residents’ socioeconomic levels, housing tenure, modern lifestyles, community involvement, common language, cultural awareness, and demographic backgrounds.

Content

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Supplementary material

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Courtyard Housing and Cultural Sustainability in China Presentation Script
Courtyard Housing and Cultural Sustainability in China Presentation Script
Thumbnail image of Donia_Zhang_Courtyard_Housing_Cultural_Sustainability_China_University_of_Toronto_Flyer_b_2015_1_16.pdf
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Courtyard Housing and Cultural Sustainability in China Presentation Poster/Flyer
Courtyard Housing and Cultural Sustainability in China Presentation Poster/Flyer

Supplementary weblinks

Courtyard Housing and Cultural Sustainability in China | Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy Event Webpage
Courtyard Housing and Cultural Sustainability in China | Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy Event Webpage
Courtyard Housing and Cultural Sustainability in China | Canadian Architect Event Webpage
Courtyard Housing and Cultural Sustainability in China | Canadian Architect Event Webpage

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