So one of the ongoing transformation in Shenzhen has been the transvaluation of the coastline from a space of production and transportation to a space of consumption and international logistics. In practical terms, it means that Shenzhen residents have been “landlocked” despite having a 162 mile (260 km) coastline. Inquiring minds want to know: how did that happen?
In other words, from roughly 1980 through 2000, the transition from Bao’an to Shenzhen could be understood as the transition from being a network of coastal settlements to being a landlocked city. The above image was created out of a walk along the Mangrove Coast Park, which was ongoing for over a decade. The chain fence prevented people from leaving the sidewalk to walk along Shenzhen Bay’s northern coast. It also served as a marker of where the old new coastline used to be. Below are images of the northern coast of Shenzhen Bay on July 28, 2009. This was no longer a working coastline, but rather a place of “coastal pleasures,” including ice creams and fresh coconut milk. Note also the old border towers that were built but only ever used as housing, not to guard the border, which shifted south too quickly.