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With Developing Public Rental Housing, Chongqing's More Attractive to the Youth

By RAN ZHENGICHONGQING|Jul 09,2022

Recently, the Chinese government announced the pilot list for the construction of development-oriented cities for youth across the country. There are 45 pilot cities nationwide, including Jiangbei District and Shapingba District of Chongqing. What significance does this have for Chongqing’s urban development? What international experience can we learn from? 

What is a development-oriented youth city?

A development-oriented youth city is a new urbanization strategy, a way of urban development that prioritizes youth development, where the youth and the city promote each other.

Public rental housing has matured in some developed countries. The development of public rental housing is closely related to the strength and attitude of the government.

Huangjue Ping, Jiulongpo District, Chongqing.

Huangjue Ping, Jiulongpo District, Chongqing. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

In Canada, public rental housing is managed at the provincial level. Because the funds come from government welfare expenditures, there are often deficiencies in the management and maintenance of rental housing. In Japan, near train stations and other busy places, often can notice words such as “toei housing”, “community-controlled housing”, and “city-owned housing”. These are public housing and effectively alleviate housing difficulties for low-income families. Flats have been built on a large scale in Singapore since the 1960s and sold by the government to eligible first-time buyers at below-market prices. Currently, about eight out of every ten people in Singapore live in these flats.

Homes in big Chinese cities are largely unaffordable for many young people and migrant workers after years of rapid price gains. To alleviate the housing difficulties for new urban dwellers and young people, China will build millions of low-cost rental housing by 2025.

Fertile soil for young people to grow

In September 2020, Chongqing sorted out a statistical analysis report on youth in Chongqing, covering primary data on the youth population and education-related conditions to build a statistical monitoring system for youth development planning. Meanwhile, Chongqing makes a database to realize data sharing and accurate analysis to grasp young people’s portraits.

Deng Jing, deputy director and researcher of the Institute of International Trade and Logistics, Chongqing Academy of Social Sciences, said that Chongqing had accumulated good experience in urban planning, construction and management. Some achievements have also been made in constructing an international, green, intelligent, and humanistic metropolis. This pilot project will help to provide more targeted urban functions for the youth.

Chongqing 18 Steps is like a dream world at dusk.

Chongqing 18 Steps is like a dream world at dusk. (iChongqing file photo)

Cities in developed countries have formulated relevant laws, development strategies and public policies, and their index system’s construction is significant for Chongqing’s current policies and practices. They have achieved good interaction between youth and cities by improving living conditions, technology entrepreneurship, tolerant environment, and public services.

1.4 million people benefited and half were new citizens

“Public rental housing in Chongqing covered the full range of new citizens, young people, and other permanent urban residents. As of the end of May this year, 554,000 sets have been allocated, benefiting more than 1.4 million people with housing difficulties. Among them, new citizens such as college graduates and migrant workers account for 51%,” said an official from Chongqing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

The public rental housing community also coordinates public services such as employment, education, medical care, and elderly care. It plays an active role in serving the construction of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle and promoting new urbanism.

The Chongqing government is looking for housing sources around rail transit stations, business districts, industrial parks, and hospitals to increase the supply of affordable rental housing. At present, the city has implemented 105,000 sets (rooms) of affordable rental housing and plans to reach 400,000 sets (rooms) during the “14th Five-Year Plan” period. Jiangbei District has implemented 1,044 affordable rental housing sets and 4,299 sets in Shapingba District.

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