Government Re-Contextualizations, or how the plan gets fixed

boxed methane pipe, part of the rennovations on dongbin road

Upgrading continues in Nanshan. This morning we received notice that the Nanshan Bureau of Public Works will begin the second part of its 6 + 1 street scenery renovation project (街景整治工程). All the neon is part of this project, which includes upgrading walls (remember the air-conditioner cages?), planting trees and flowers (have I posted pictures of the wooden pots for methane gas release on Dongbin Street yet?), and replacing old billboards, presumably with new billboards (I know I’ve taken pictures of World of War characters creeping across buildings…) Pictures here.

It’s a very Shenzhen approach to governance: build something. It’s as if the constant construction and reconstruction of space will keep people in their respective places. So, for those of you wondering how renovation functions as a means of governance (and I know you’re out there), I’ve translated part of the brochure we received. What I’d like to call attention to is the history captured in the street names. These street names chart the historic progression of development in Nanshan. Some streets are “old” from before reform, some are “new”, built in close proximity to old centers in the eighties. Some streets speak to reform dreams. Still other streets were laid on landfill more than twenty years after old and new was defined by governmental policy. The renovation project homogonizes all this history, as if the streets appeared together one day, already complete unto themselves, derived from some perfect, omnipotent plan.

街区再造 品质南山
6 + 1城市改造工程是南山区政府继去年对蛇口新街、海月路、学府路、沙河路口、留仙大道、朱光路等六条街道和南海大道(一期)、创业路、沙河西路、东滨路(一期)的景观整治改造之后,对南海大道(二期)、蛇口老街+海昌街、后海大道(南段)、南山大道、南新路、东滨路(二期)、居仙大厦进行改造整治,改造内容包括建筑里面、路面、人行道铺面、广告招牌等。

Street Reconstruction, Quality Nanshan
The 6 + 1 Urban Improvement Project is a continuation of the Nanshan District Government’s street renovation project. Last year, Nanshan renovated the appearences of Shekou New Street, Haiyue Road, Xuefu Road, Shahe Intersection, Liuxian Main Street, Zhuguang Road, Nanhai Main Street (part one), Construction Street, Shahe West Road, and Dongbin Street (part one). This year, Nanshan will renovate Nanhai Main Street (part two), Shekou Old Street + Nanchang Street, Houhai Main Street (southern portion), Nanshan Main Street, New Nan Road, Dongbin Road (part two), and Juxian Building. Renovations include: building interiors, street fronts, sidewalks and storefronts, and billboards.

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