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hi-tech houhai

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Those who have followed Shenzhen Noted for the past twelve years know that the reclamation of Houhai Bay has been one of my ongoing obsessions. Today, I walked again and found myself momentarily confused by the current grid; previously I used Binhe Road and its constructions to locate myself. I’m trying to think through what it means that sand has become glass. It is not the case that “all that is solid melts into air,” but rather all that was liquid solidifies and congeals. Mummies and amber. Dinosaurs and fossil fuels. Anyway, photos, below:

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patchwork shekou, 2016.10.28

New edges and older sections, urban tumescence overtakes low-lying hills and buries oceans. The strength of urban expansion, its righteous inevitability, shimmers and jiggles, impresses–even though eventually paths peter out and doors remain bolted.

Closed off closed out: enclosed.

This is not the city that I want. It is however the city that has shaped my dreams and fears, given form to what I think is possible, what I believe to be necessary.  Continue reading

line 11 mini encyclopedia: the nantou peninsula

Once upon a time, Nantou was the Ya’men for Xin’an County, and before that for the imperial salt monopoly. It’s currently where Shen Kong integration is being seriously re-worked.

houhai / xuefu rd

Today, I went to the Software Incubator Area and what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a landmark tried and true and watched for the past decade. It’s true and unexpected, but for years I have been documenting the land reclamation area east of Guimiao and north of Binhai (first impressions, here), and today on an errand to meet someone about the upcoming Maker Faire, I realized the road I was on–Xuefu Road–was in fact the road I had walked while documenting the emergence of New High Technology Park. Anyway, some before and after pictures:

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“evolution” in progress

Lei Sheng and I have worked together with a team of craftsmen from a Shenzhen factory to create “Evolution”, a site specific installation for the Shenzhen Public Sculpture Exhibition. The show opens tomorrow in Shenzhen central park, along side the Futian River. Comments and thoughts tomorrow, along with images of finished sculpture and other installations. To contextualize project, please click houhai, land reclamation and/ or oysters in the tag cloud. Below, pictures of evolutionary progress.

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to fill or not to fill…

…that is the question.

The lead article in today’s Shenzhen Evening Daily provocatively asks if the reader is for or against the China Petroleum plan to reclaim 37.9 hectares of Dapeng Bay. To date, Shenzhen has reclaimed 69 sq kilometers of coastline, an area six times larger than the Shekou Peninsula or 6.5% of Shenzhen’s total area. Moreover, of the Municipality’s 254 kilometer long coastline, only 40 kilometers remain undeveloped.

China Petroleum has proposed building a liquid natural gas (LNG) peaking power plant. Also known as peaker plants, and occasionally just “peakers,” these power stations do not run continuously, but rather provide additional energy during peak hours of demand, such as during summer afternoons when air-conditioning use is at its highest. They command a higher price per kilowatt hour than do base load plants, which operate continuously.

There has been a persistent buzz of protest against the proposed plan. The article goes on to say that in Shenzhen news net online survey, over 82% of respondents were against the plan. Moreover, there seems to be government support for the social push back. Last week, for example, a journalist friend said that Dapeng New District Government had no vested interest in the plant, but did have a interest in the coastline. Consequently, the government was using public disapproval as a means of countering China Petroleum, which is a national, state-owned enterprise.

Currently, Shenzhen is handling the stand-off through a hearing. The question facing the board, is whether or not the proposed station conforms to or is in conflict with Shenzhen’s environmental sustainability laws, which include protection for remaining coastline areas. Zhou Wei, a nature photographer and environmental activist has been at the forefront of bringing public awareness to the proposal and its environmental consequences. It is therefor notable that he is not one of the five members of the board that will hear arguments for and against building a Dapeng Peaker.

Of note. Today’s article phrased the question of “to fill or not to fill” in terms of the well-being of the City’s grandchildren:

We don’t know what the future of Dapeng Bay will be, nor do we know how you will view the decisions that we make today. Today we write this letter in the name of Shenzhen, in the hope that every choice we make will not harm our grandchildren.

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crumbling foundations

The first floor sinking, occupied by migrant workers. Above, several condos have been inhabited, but most floors remain empty, unused except as placeholders on accounting sheets. A section of Houhai Bin Road is being reconstructed. The chilly smog undulates.

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