boardwalk shenzhen: jiaochangwei booms

Almost one year ago, I posted on the development of Jiaochangwei, which is probably best understood as Atlantic City or Coney Island on speed, Shenzhen speed. Continue reading

the artron art centre / book wall

Today I joined the opening for the Atron Art Centre, which boasts the largest book collection / book display in the world. Still under construction, the building glitters, as do Atron’s ambitions to promote and propagate knowledge and culture. Impressions, below.

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impressions, futian

The other day, I walked from Huaqiangbei through Gangxia and Xinzhou, where I hooked back to Shuiwei via Huanggang Park, a wonderfully unexpected urban oasis. Today, I’m uploading impressions of the diverse complexity that characterizes Futian Distict, which is home to Huaqiangbei, the central business district, and some of the most well-planned urban villages in the city.

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shanghai hotel, 2005 and 2015

Pictures of the Shanghai Hotel, one of the earliest and most important landmarks on Shennan Road taken in 2005 and 2010, respectively. Other than the skies, of note: In 2005, the bus stop was being expanded and the six story Rainbow Department Store was tucked away behind the Grand Skylight Hotel. By 2010, the new Rainbow Department Store dwarfs all other buildings. This is all part of the upgrading of Huaqiangbei.

2005

2015

大鹏所城 (II): history in the making

Almost seven years ago to the day, I posted thoughts on cultural history. The prompt for my speculations was Dapeng Garrison, which at the time was the lack of recognition for the site, which is Shenzhen’s only national level cultural relic. Two days ago, I returned and the space was hop, hop, hopping in all sorts of telling ways. What changes had allowed Dapeng Garrison to suddenly attract students, busloads of tourists, and random day-trippers? Like most Shenzhen stories, the answer is a twisting, convoluted story of profits, grey economies, the allure of accomplishments, and the real consequences of administrative failure. Continue reading

conspicuous construction

It turns out there’s a word for the ongoing architecture of inequality: conspicuous construction.

affordable housing II: more on dormitories

Yesterday I was talking with a tourist destination designer from the Tourism Division of OCT. He explained that each themepark hires approximately 1,000 workers who are housed in dedicated buildings in OCT holdings. From the mid-eighties through the mid 90s, these apartments were allocated to single workers in OCT management. However, as they moved into larger apartments, which they bought through housing reform policies, the use of the dormitories changed. As did living densities. Continue reading