Dazhalan 大栅栏 (colloquially known as Dashilar) is a famous traditional commercial street in Beijing located south of Tiananmen Square. The street and surrounding area hold many of Beijing’s historical brands, ranging from traditional Chinese herbal medicine stores to renowned tailors, shoe and hat makers, many of these businesses dating back to the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). As such the Dashilar area has much to offer in terms of traditional cultural value and heritage, and a government-lead initiative is currently testing a new grass-roots approach to maintaining and preserving this unique part of Beijing.
Since it’s launch in 2011, The Dashilar Project in Beijing has grown into a significant local attraction, where both locals and tourists can experience the urban revival of these traditional neighborhoods. In particular, it is the traditional Chinese arts and culture that is beginning to be revived and cultivated in this district. Collaborating with Beijing Design Week, Dashilar’s local residents and artists explore the new styles of business and architecture, setting up a framework aimed at achieving sustainable business models whilst respecting the original, traditional urban fabric of the Dashilar area.
In this second set of excerpts from the “Bruce in Beijing” radio show Bruce interviews Amy Mathieson (from China Building Restoration), Jasmine Tillu, and Andrew Bryant describe their opinions and projects that they are involved in, in the Dashilar area.
If you’d like to download the mp3 of an episode, right click the links underneath each and choose Save As.
Part 1 – Preserving the Dashilar
Amy discusses the role of the Dashilar Platform Approach in the development and preservation of Dashilar and its community.
Part 2 – Keeping a Vibrant Local Community in the Dashilar
The importance of small, sustainable, development and Dashilar’s vibrant community.
Part 3 – The Beijing Walking Experience
Walking along narrow roads, small streets and past local communities.
Part 4 – Uniqueness of Dashilar and Encouraging Sustainable Development
Amy discusses the importance of sustainable development and how it preserves the Dashilar neighborhood.
Part 5 – The Dashilar Platform
Jasmine and Andrew describe their involvement with The Dashilar Platform.
Part 6 – A Gradual Step by Step to Urban Renewal
Careful planning and thoughtful consideration in the development of the urban environment in Dashilar.
Part 7 – Hopes and Aspirations for Old Beijing
Jasmine and Andrew discusse the potential and future plans for the Dashilar area.