“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

A Tragedy of the Common: Property Rights Issues in Shanghai Historic Residences

Posted: August 24th, 2010 | No Comments »

Amy Sommers, an American lawyer with the Shanghai office of Squier Sanders and Dempsey, and Kara Phillips of the Seattle University Law Library have produced an interesting and in-depth study of post-1949 Chinese land reform policies, how they’ve impacted contemporary urban landscapes and how Chinese cities, in particular Shanghai, have ended up with the awful urban planning they have and the total disregard for architectural preservation and heritage that is so obviously evident. The paper is called A Tragedy of the Common: Property Rights Issues in Shanghai Historic Residences and is available to download here. Be warned – it’s important and interesting…but not necessarily a light read for those of us not of a lawerly bent.

And here’s where I get really lazy. I was going to write it all up but Adam Minter at Shanghai Scrap beat me to the punch by some not inconsiderable measure both in terms of timing, value and volume…and also interviewed Sommers about the paper just to rub it in. So I’m just going to link to the two posts Adam’s done and head off early to the pub for the day and just say I’ll owe him a pint for his hard work!

Disappearing Shanghai: The Roots of an Urban Tragedy, Pt. I

Disappearing Shanghai: The Roots of an Urban Tragedy, Pt. II


Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter


Leave a Reply