If so, please check out, The New Companion to Urban Design, which includes a copy of my paper, “Heart of Shenzhen: The Movement to Preserve ‘Ancient’ Hubei Village.” Of course, there’re many more cities and ideas to read about. Continue reading
On Thursday and Friday, June 13-14, Handshake 302 led a workshop on pursuing sustainable development goals. The bi-lingual workshop was part of mass innovation week and Shenzhen maker week. We turned to Shuiwei for our inspiration. Images from the event show the city at its best: young, smart, and willing to contribute.
On Saturday June 15 and 16, Urban Flesh and Bones: Futian Edition visited one of the most important cultural geographies in the city—the CBD central axis. As with previous editions of Urban Flesh and Bones, neither the heat nor the rain deterred participants from coming out to rediscover Shenzhen. This edition emphasized the importance of urban planning and how we imagine urban cultural geographies. As this edition coincided with National Mass Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week, our tour explored how the CBD central axis became the steel and concrete manifestation of the work and dreams that launched Shenzhen from a manufacturing city to world leader in technology and innovation. Continue reading
As rumors of demolition become more substantial, the implications of how it will directly impact individual lives is being felt. On June 30 / July 1, several landlords (most likely sub-letter landlords) demanded that because of immanent demolition, renters in Xintang and Shangbaishi would have to move out by September. These notices were unofficial, in that they did not carry the seal of the city government. Nevertheless, they have induced panic because the time directly impacts schooling. Continue reading
In “City on the Fill,” I have been tracking the transformation of the Houhai coastline. Houhai means “backwater” and Qianhai means “front water.” These are terms from over 1,700 years ago, referring to the bays behind and in front of the former yamen at Nantou. Both Houhai and Qianhai have been repurposed in Shenzhen 3.0. Houhai has transformed from being a literal backwater at the edges of Shenzhen 1.0 and upscale suburbs in Shenzhen 2.0 to the new location of the city’s upgraded electronics industry. Qianhai, of course, is the site of the Qianhai-Shekou Free Trade Zone, which has defined development in Shenzhen for about a decade and is itself proposed as the new center of 3.0. (Inquiring minds want to know: will it happen?)
On Sunday, June 9, visiting artist Huang Yingxue presented her work Train Ticket at Handshake 302. The idea behind Train Ticket was simple, but profound. Yingxue printed train tickets for Baishizhou, leaving empty time and place of departure. She then asked Baishizhou shopkeepers and residents to fill in the ticket with their hometown and date of arrival in Baishizhou. The ticket was then photographed in a relevant environment. One ticket was photographed in a shoe shop and another at a watermelon stand. Continue reading
You may be wondering, how much more literal a representation of a cultural ecology can we get than that of a prospector walking a grid on reclaimed land? Not many prospected on the rubble beneath Coastal City, circa 2006, but for a few brief years–after the fill had dried but before it had settled–the stretch of bay which would become Coastal City, the Nanshan Cultural Area, including the Shenzhen Bay Arena and Talent Park gave rise to a strange ecology of squatters, tree farmers, hi-tech garbage pickers, and children who set off firecrackers at the city’s edges. The images below, for example, were taken one overcast day in April 2006 at the former site of a squatting community and the future site of the Tencent building. That day, several men had driven onto the land fill in order to fly their planes.