dongjiaotou: vanishing edges

This afternoon, the old coast that was Dongjiaotou Port abruptly became visible. Until as recently as 10 years ago, Dongjiaotou had been a small port for shipping building materials — sand and bricks and tiles — from other Delta cities to western Shenzhen. However, land reclamation has overtaken the area behind the small mountain. Along the new coastal sidewalk, fishermen and their wives held a remnant market and then, suddenly, the road turns onto Nanshan District’s upscale neighborhoods. Impressions of a shifting landscape, below.

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shenzhen bay coastline, oct 27, 2012

I wandered to the Shenzhen Bay Park, tracking the construction and commodification of the new coastline. Land reclamation has brought views and parks, but I noticed that children and dogs still want to get their feet wet. Impressions, below.

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Shenzhen Bay Park

The rough edges of the Shenzhen Bay Western Area Landfill Zone, or Houhai (Backwaters) are being smoothed into upscale coastal parks. In fact, the construction is so fresh, seashells and oyster shells still surface in the sod. Yesterday, I walked to the Shenzhen Bay Park, which extends from the western edge of Mangrove Park and used to be a small harbor called Dongjiaotou, where goods and building materials were shipped to and from Baoan County and earlier incarnations of Shekou. Importantly, this upgraded coastline functions like so many parks in Shenzhen; the pleasantness of the park literally covers and symbolically blurs what it took to get here; and in this visceral sense, urban planning and landscaping are ideological practices. Impressions of Shenzhen Bay Park, below. Photos of Dongjiaotou Harbor Area and bluer skies from 2003.

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