Located west of Baishizhou and east of Shenzhen University and the Shenzhen Science and Technology Park, Dachong was once a large urban village with over 1,200 handshake buildings. It is being redeveloped into an upscale residential area, with office buildings and mall.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to re-visit Baishizhou and get a sense of how the construction is being organized. Of note? A section of handshake buildings have been renovated as temporary housing for Dachong villagers, construction workers and young project administrators. By removing buildings, the developer, China Resources has created an intimate neighborhood with a park, basketball courts, and winding roads as well as a temporary shrine and ancestral hall. Indeed, this repurposing of extant handshakes is not only smart, it also suggests the contours of possible upgrades to extant urban villages, where the selective removal of one or two buildings would open up necessary public space without massive displacements of working class families, migrant workers, and young white collar workers.
Impressions of the temporary handshake neighborhood, below.