So, as the Xiasha Kingkey project finishes up, another urban renovation project begins in neighboring Shangsha. Below, impressions of the Xiasha plaza, the Kingkey complex along Binhe Road, and the state of unmaking in Shangsha.
What a juxtaposition against the Xiasha Kingkey project. The Kingkey project, in my view, is an example of a ‘best case’ redevelopment project: the scope of the project was limited primarily to old industrial buildings populated mostly with KTVs and Saunas, which had become a rather infamous red light district. And while the north side of plot is complete with the mandatory lifeless commercial highrise and indoor mall space, the south side of the project does have storefronts that open to the street. The vast majority of what was historical Xiasha was left undisturbed. In the meantime, the exterior of the nongminfang in Xiasha were renovated (nowhere near as handsome as Shuiwei, but still a marginal improvement), and the plaza is quite a pleasant place. Walking through, you can tell that the local village government actually, well, cares a bit about the place.
Shangsha, however, is just… getting razed to the ground. In pieces, perhaps, but that’s the process. Shangsha has always Xiasha’s shabbier, dirtier cousin – landlords just living the Chinese dream I suppose.
Two villages situated literally beside eachother, with drastically disparate development paths. What a difference governance makes.