An Endogenous Housing Production Model for the Dong Minority in Tongdao County, Hunan, China
The housing industry in Dong villages of Tongdao County, Hunan has
undergone substantial changes over the last two decades. For centuries, the
construction of the traditional dwelling has been an essential pier supporting
the self-sufficient economy of the Dong communities. However, under the
pressure of rural development, the local households seek to redefine the notion
of house through the use of modern technology, material, utility, and stylistic
expression, all of which are foreign to the very context of the local territory.
In consequence, the associated economic activities in the house building
process has been re-directed towards the urban areas, causing the further disjunction
of the urban-rural development.
There is no denying that Dong housing is in need of modernization. However,
intrinsic to this paradigm shift is the question of how to reorient these rural
initiatives to maximize the retention of the benefits within the local
territory, and more importantly, provide impetus for the sustainable
development of the Dong Minority.
To this end, the research is structured into three parts. First, it aims
to formulate a comprehensive profile of the existing housing construction
industry in Pingtan area. Second, with the intention to uncover the underlying
economic network, the research pays specific attention to the traditional and
“modernized” housing production process in terms of individuals, activities,
information, and resources. Lastly, the research attempts to propose an
alternative house production method, in the form of a pilot prototype, to regenerate
economic vibrancy at local level.