Deterioration

I am intrigued by this building that I passed several times in my solo wanderings around Shanghai. Do people still live there? It appears that they do because of the open windows and laundry. On the other hand, is it vacant — or nearly vacant, waiting for the demolition crew? On the ground floor, the shops appear to be boarded up. Across the street is an upscale apartment complex and, as you can see, behind it is a sea of high-rise apartment buildings. (Click on an image to enlarge it.)

12 thoughts on “Deterioration

  1. I’ve noticed these, as well. Most do have some people refusing to move out, then they give them enough money and they do, lol. Then they demolish the community and build shiny new skyscrapers 😦
    I think what bothers me most is the loss of community.

    • I sort of suspected that is what is going on. While some areas of the building look completely abandoned, others look lived in, even if they look unlivable.

    • Actually they do. The government here gives them an apartment for every member of the household, so they are able to actually rent these out and prosper. And for most it’s a win-win situation (my Italian friend married to a local here in Hangzhou can’t wait for redevelopment to happen so she can move out of the mother in laws house!). But… Having spent time in her village community and at her wedding receptions, attended by nearly every member of the village, it makes me sad that there is a loss of the entire community. People that have lived next door to each other for generations are suddenly living in different, shiny, fancy buildings all over the city.

    • yes they do 🙂 most of these old broken down and very squalid old houses end up having a huge price tag due to their location, especially in major Tier 1 cities like Shanghai, Beijing etc, so when they do get an offer to re-locate they often wait until the very last moment before accepting, hence why you have some people still living there circled by total destruction and re-development, I personally know people who have made multiple millions (in $) from these re-locations

  2. From my coworkers here – it’s the same story – the communities of their childhood are scattered. Places from their grade school to where they played unrecognizable. Change represents progress – who wouldn’t want indoor plumbing? But, it also can represent a loss of community.

    • I agree. What seems to be different here in the US is that the building would have been demolished long ago, making a clean break toward “progress.” The sense of community is strong in Feicheng, where I worked, with people out every evening, just “hanging out” in the parks and on the streets. We don’t have that here.

    • I saw similar scenes all over the city and in Feicheng…and many times they were right next to newer and more modern (yet modest compared with US housing) high-rise apartment buildings.

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