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Beiwu follow-up 13: a beautiful town district

August 6, 2012

Leaving behind brick and tiles houses, living in a new town district

2012-06- 26 Beijing Daily

2010-09-30 in the afternoon, several Beiwu villagers who are about to move into new housing hold “golden keys” which symbolize their new good fortune. On this day, the more than 1500 apartments in Beiwu Jiayuan became open for people to complete the application process and move in.

Beijing development goes on anew every day, every month, an achievement attracting worldwide attention. In five years the environment has improved, life is more beautiful, the inhabitants happiness index has risen substantially. From 2012-06-26, the Beijing Daily starts a new column, “My Five Years.” to tell what sort of great changes have occurred, captured in the small details of daily life.

The narrator: Guo Guiying

I am Guo Guiying, 61 years old, a Beiwu villages resident. In five years I have experienced a big change –I have gone from living in a brick and tile house, to living in a high building, in a neighborhood just like a city district –with nothing missing!

Originally Beiwu was a small village of 3000 people, but also 20,000 migrants from outside. We all rented rooms to them. I put up a shoddily constructed building, that went right up to the street. In the village garbage was scattered, wastewater spilled out, the roads were bumpy. It was inconvenient to go away because of having tenants. Every day from early in the morning you had to wait in a line to use the bathroom. During this period, we saw townspeople living in clean, neat and tidy areas –how we envied them!

We were worried, but the government was even more worried. They came four times to investigate, and three times convened meetings to develop a plan to push forward urban rural unification. After that,  Beiwu village formulated a plan to demolish the village and move, as “the government leads, the villagers take a major role, ” We were the first pilot project implemented in the urban rural unification plan, and in a mere half year, all 775 household compounds were demolished.

One year later, our new homes –Beiwu Jiayuan –were finished. 2.5 meter high rooms, snowy white walls, clear windows, gas electricity, water, heat, all energy saving;  internet ready, with broadband. Now it is a beautiful town district with flower gardens and parks. There is an underground garage for cars, a bicycle shed, supermarket, pre-school, vegetable market, and all the other necessary facilities. I never would have believed this would be possible before!

konjaku: what follows repeats almost verbatim the content of an article from 2011-05-24 (Beiwu follow-up 9: a well earned rest.) Guo Guiying says heat and cooking in Beiwu Jiayuan is with natural gas. At first she was afraid to use it because of the expense, but discovered she actually saved money over using coal in the old village. She spends her days roaming in the nearby park, and considers the rest of her life “a well-earned rest in a comfortable nest.”

plan for Beiwu Jiayuan

artist rendering of Beiwu Jiayuan 1

artist rendering 2

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