A friend sent these sad photos of the once-beautiful old town neighborhood being torn down and turned into a parking lot. I'm tired of saying the same thing over and over, but I know I'm right. These were not substandard dwellings; they had a rich potential for renewal. They did not have to become run down and remain without toilets in the 21st century – they were purposefully neglected, in order to cheapen their buyout. The sanitation upgrade and the density decrease were possible without evicting the residents and demolishing their houses; there are successful precedents, in the old town and in other districts. There aren't any long-term city planning strategies behind the decision to demolish and redevelop historic housing in Shanghai – just pure greed and short-term goals of the city officials and corporate investors who seek to exploit downtown land. This was Shanghai's only truly medieval neighborhood in the city center. There will never be any kind of neighborhood in the full sense of the word at this location, ever. The city of Shanghai has just lost another piece and gained nothing.