Hutongs are settlements of compound houses lined in narrow alleyways. They are the homes and a way of life for Chinese families who have lived there for generations. This families are not poor or social cases, they are middle income workers, they simply enjoy the close friendly and social neighbouring relations. Due to modern urbanisation in China's big cities, the hutongs are fast disappering and the families are increasingly forced to live in high-rise, high cost appartments in anonymity. This mordernisation in living standards will change in the future the entire traditional cultural life. It remains to be seen if this is for the better or will it create huge social gaps.