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Photographer's Note

I've made a lot of critical remarks on TE about city development here in Shanghai, especially with regards to the prevalent practice of pushing low-income inner-city residents out of their homes to make way for new high-rise projects. My suggestion has always been for renovation, rather than demolition of old architectural styles; a more gente approach to shaping this fascinating city.
With this picture, I want to point in the direction of some of the trends, which have positive prospects. I hope that the Chinese TE members, who have been offended by my critique of urban planners and politicians will recognize what I mean here.
This is from the area around 1933 in the Hongkou district. An old slaughterhouse and factory area has been renovated with great care for the historical details, while also intelligently mixing in new elements. To the right here is an outside café / restaurant, which should help attracting money to the area, while to the left is an old residential area and in the background are new highrise apartment blocks. I hope the old style residential area on the left will not merely be demolished as happens elsewhere. At the same time, I also hope that their residents will achieve a higher living standard. Many people in China see this as a contradiction. But I think that this is not necessarily the case: If these areas are renovated and the residents given better amenities, they can still afford to live in their old neighbourhood to which they are attached by having lived there for a long time. I believe their traditional styles add a historical and cultural value to this neighbourhood, and in order to attract customers and tourists to this area, far from downtown, the local government could invest in the renovation, (it does not cost as much as destroying it and building completely new), so that the residents can still afford to live there.
I hope the 1933 will attract more resources to this Hongkou neighbourhood and that its residents will benefit from this.

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The image is taken around midnight, looking West.

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Additional Photos by Henrik Kloppenborg (kloppenborg) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 139 W: 0 N: 159] (977)
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