Chapter 8: Homeowner self-governance and its sustainability: case study of a residential neighbourhood in Shenzhen
Jingzhou Building, located in Futian District in Shenzhen, is a high-rise residential building with 442 households; it was developed by a stateowned real-estate company and is legendary in Shenzhen's history of property management for having accomplished seven 'firsts'. It was the first building to launch mass collective action against the property developer, which it ultimately won, the first to claim 100 000 yuan of compensation from the property developer, the first to sack the property company appointed by the developer and to break the tradition in the property management trade of 'those who develop, manage [the property]'; its residents were the first to exercise their legal right to make independent decisions in hiring their property management agent and to defy administrative interference from the government. Their owners' committee was the first to be dismissed by the housing department, the first to restore and then improve its property value after successfully protecting its legal rights, and the first to participate in the legislative process with its neighbourhood management experience. The experience of Jingzhou Building homeowners attracted the attention of the media and scholars. Meng (2007) has analysed the implications of their actions and affirms the significance of these actions in extending the sphere of homeowners' rights beyond management issues to rights in the political arena, whereas Li (2008) has connected the 'Jingzhou' phenomenon to citizen participation and local self-governance.
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