While “The Brickening” has so far mostly affected commercial properties, including wiping out many well-known and beloved food and beverage institutions, the next phase in Beijing’s ongoing urban rejuvenation will start to affect residents of areas designated as historical and cultural conservation zones. These areas are mostly located within the Second Ring Road north of the Forbidden City.
Relocating city residents is also a key part of the city’s plan for historic conservation. The areas zoned for conservation contain approximately 95,000 households with 285,000 persons making for a population density of about 27,500 people per square kilometer, close to that of Mumbai.
According to the plan, “Population dispersal is one of the objects of the conservation program as well as the crux for implementing the conservation program.” Land designated for residential purposes is set to shrink by about 15 percent. That’s a serious reduction, but nothing compared to the plan’s recommendation to reduce the amount of land for industrial and other uses in the conservation zone by nearly two-thirds. Hence the brickening of your favorite bespoke vermouth bar.