reports from caiwuwei

The research division of Urbanus has sponsored Fu Na and Chris Gee’s research in Caiwuwei these past three years. Just recently, they released three videos that take viewers on walks through what remains of Caiwuwei. Of note: Caiwuwei has been upgraded and polished into an exemplar of the potential of high density living that can […]

new village origin stories: Caiwuwei redux

What to make of the following quote by Terry Farrell, architect behind the KK 100? The site of KK100, [Farrell] says, used to be Caiwuwei village, a poor and rundown area. Kingkey had to build seven towers to rehouse local people and a further seven for other locals to own and rent out, so that […]

luohu, dusk: 2016.10.27

Luohu as we knew it is changing. The recent announcement that urban renewal compensation has made billionaires of Shuibei villagers, the decision to selectively preserve and redesign Hubei as a “historic” public park area, and ongoing renewal of Caiwuwei fang (坊) or “branches”–individually, each of these projects entails demolition, evictions, and rebuilding and restructuring of […]

baishizhou demolition: the rising cost of shenzhen dreaming

Yesterday, I heard this story: A 30-something farmer from Lanzhou came to Shenzhen in 2013 in order to make his fortune. He started out working for a relative in a Lanzhou Noodle Shop, and then after a few months decided to open his own noodle shop. After looking around for a suitable place, he decided […]

yumin village: changing meanings of “farmer housing”

Just recently got my paws on “The History of Yumin Village (渔民村村史)”. Yumin Village, of course, was the village that Deng Xiaoping visited in 1984, during his first inspection trip to the SEZs. Xi Jinping followed up with a visit in 2012. So yes, this village has played an important symbolic role both in the […]

piecework: replacing urban villages with chimerican dreams

So this week is going by in a raze of urban village sections (片区). It seems that given the flat out difficulty of achieving 100% sign-off on property transfer and compensation packages, government planners and their developer agents are targeting sections of urban village for urban renewal (instead of entire villages). These sections (a) border […]

laying siege to the villages: luohu and dongmen

A five-part essay, “Laying Siege to the Villages” has been published online at Open Democracy. Here’s part three, which discusses the opening of the Sino-British border at Luohu. Hong Kong lay south of the border and Shenzhen to its north. 3. Neo-Liberalizing the Bamboo Curtain: Luohu and Dongmen Two factors – political and economic – motivated the […]