The Shanghai Lilong: Approaches to Rehabilitation and Reuse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional


The Shanghai lilong is an attractive and vibrant house type. Originating in Shanghai in the 19th century, it came to dominate the city by the 20th century, before declining into decrepitude under Communist rule and then suffering from mass destruction when capitalism was reintroduced after 1978. Since the beginning of the 21st century, however, perceptions have begun to change again. The lilong may not be in such danger from destruction any more but there is another danger, one that could prove almost as devastating unless we pay attention to how the remaining stock of this unique house type is redeveloped in the city. This paper looks at four lilong redevelopments that have taken place since 2000. Xintiandi and Tianzifang are vibrant commercial areas, Jianyeli is a residential redevelopment, and Jing’an Villa straddles the commercial and the residential. All four exhibit different approaches to rehabilitation and reuse in Shanghai. They will be compared here to see which approach is best suited to ensuring the lilong’s continued vitality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-5
Number of pages2
JournalThe Newsletter
Issue number87
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Shanghai
  • lilong
  • rehabilitation
  • reuse

Cite this