The old town's entire southeast quarter is being prepared for redevelopment since the beginning of 2019. Residents are moving out; doors and windows of the houses are getting bricked up; construction walls block the entrances to the lanes. Once the human relocation and housing expropriation are completed, what is going to happen with the neighborhood? When the journalist He Yajun 何雅君 attempted to understand what plans were being made for the architectural heritage in this area, he faced a wall of silence. In Shanghai, redevelopment plans are kept secret from the public. The quest produced a hopelessly circuitous series of non-committal bureaucratic ramblings. In the end, He succeeded in extracting a statement from the municipal official Jiang Huayun 蒋华云 to the effect that "SOME of the valuable buildings MIGHT BE CONSIDERED for protection – using the special method 移地保护 – that is, by moving them close together to form a landscape."
After that, there have been no more press reports questioning the management of endangered heritage in the old town. Almost two years since the beginning of the process, there is still – officially – no clarity about the future of Qiaojia Road. Unofficially, though, there is perfect clarity: as a historic neighborhood Qiaojia Road is finished.
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Images: Shanghai Architecture Wandering 走跳上海建築.
See other entries on the redevelopment of Qiaojia Road.