Hangzhou | metro & Hutouchen village

Hangzhou's Hutouchen Village 湖头陈村 in Chengxiang Town, Xiaoshan District | 2012

During the past few weeks MovingCities spend a considerable amount of time in Hangzhou 杭州. Besides lecturing at CAA, we ventured out into some unknown metropolitan territories. As the new Hangzhou Metro was recently opened, we embarked on a field trip to the end of the line and found Hutouchen Village 湖头陈村, a village soon to disappear.

The construction of the Hangzhou Metro 杭州地铁 subway Line 1 started in 2006, and it officially open on November 24, 2012. Hangzhou 杭州 is the 17th city in the PRC to have a rapid transit system. Its first line is 48km in length, featuring 30 stations [which are not all opened yet!], now connects downtown Hangzhou with the suburban areas of the city. [wikipedia]

This is just the beginning: “Hangzhou’s metro network, upon its full completion in 2050, will comprise 40 percent of the city’s public transport and Hangzhou will build 10 metro lines by 2020 with a combined length of 375 km and by 2050, it will have a total of 13 lines.[Hangzhou Hi Center]

Shanghai - Hangzhou | April 2012

Shanghai - Hangzhou | March 2011

While documenting our previous train trips from Shanghai 上海 to Hangzhou 杭州 [May 2012, April 2012, June 2011 & March 2011] we expressed our fascination for an interesting and specific form of rural regionalism: the Zhejiang Farmers’ Architectural Style. We marveled about their style as quite fat, plump, or lean and lost, while aping each other; pondered about the motives, reproduction by proxy, and wondered if these farmers’ fantasies are a footnote in a yet to be written book about China’s urban state?

XiangHu Station 湘湖站 [exit B: Hutouchen Village 湖头陈村] | November 29, 2012

In order to have a closer look at this phenomenon, we took in Hangzhou 杭州 subway Line 1 at ChengZhan Station 城站站 and stopped at XiangHu Station 湘湖站 [Chengxiang Town, Xiaoshan District]. From there we headed towards the nearby Hutouchen Village 湖头陈村.

Here is a view on the area as seen on Google-Maps:

Initially we naively believed the local residents must have been pleased that a subway stop was located so close to their village. But while wandering around, and seeing the village in a state of demolition, we realized that once the subway was finished, so were the days of the village.

When massive public transportation arrives, so do the projects for new towers /new middle class compounds [see last picture below].
Is it the fate of China’s farmer’s villages to not be part of China’s urban future?
A few images are on larger format, scroll & click.

Hutouchen Village 湖头陈村 in Hangzhou's Xiaoshan District | November 29, 2012

Pictures by  movingcities.org

address: Hutouchen Village, Chengxiang Town, Xiaoshan District,
address: Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, 311200 P.R.China
通讯地址:浙江省杭州市萧山区 城厢镇  湖头陈村 邮政编码:311200

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