Right around our corner, the city is disappearing and being torn down. Since the beginning of this week, a section of Changde Lu (between Wuding Lu and Kangding Lu) is the territory where jackhammers, moving companies, land surveyors, local inhabitants and trucks take up with equal urban zeal their role in Shanghai‘s theater of progress. What for? Road widening? A new subway line? Expo-related renovation?
All of a sudden the section of the street has changed, a corridor flanked by fruit-, bicycle repair- and cigarette shops, with massage parlors, hairdressers and restaurants, has become symbol for the orphaned urban order of the 21st century Shanghai. At one side the shops are still thriving, but also trembling by the sight of the instant wasteland in front of them, while on the other side local inhabitants need to get used to the new facades, the new entrances to their houses. Above and around them workers are tearing down the neighborhood.
One hardly needs to look at a map to understand what is happening with this section of the city. During the past months, both from the North as from the South road widening projects have taken place and the area between Wuding Lu and Kangding Lu was the last one standing. Snapshots as a contribution to understand what it means when a district desires to become a symbol of new Shanghai in the 21st century.
Pictures by movingcities.org
Shanghai | Jing’an District I [January 2010]