(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)
Households sign to relocate from downtown ghetto
Over 2,400 households of residents living in Shanghai’s last remaining downtown ghetto will get relocated as most of them signed to accept the relocation deals over the weekend.
Some 92 percent of residents living in the western block of Qiaojia Road area in Huangpu District put their names on the dotted line on the first day the consultation process on Saturday.
The relocation can be begin as long as 85 percent of the residents agree. They can move to designated housing or receive cash compensation to purchase new properties on their own.
Officials with the Laoximen Subdistrict and neighborhood committees set up consultation offices to explain policies, answer question and help solve family disputes for the remaining residents who were still reluctant to leave.
Qiaojia Road is a small street in the old town, once the center of Shanghai, that covers 2 square kilometers. The road stretches for less than one kilometer. It was where Xu Guangqi (1562-1633), a scholar-bureaucrat of the Ming Dynasty, was born. His former residence is still in existence.
Painter Wang Yiting’s former residence is also on Qiaojia Road. In 1922, Wang welcomed Albert Einstein and his wife to the house.
The condition of the historic buildings in the area has worsened and buildings that once housed only one family are now stuffed with five or six, sometimes more. Residents are still using chamber pots in the neighborhoods.
Huangpu has the largest amount of lane-style neighborhoods awaiting modernization, some 2 million square meters with shared bathrooms and kitchens. About 65,000 households in the downtown district are still using chamber pots.
The district government had planned to relocate or renovate 8,000 households each year until 2025.
It is part of a new round of face-lifting campaigns that have already been launched in Huangpu. They include the renovation of the former home of Shanghai Municipal Council and the city government near the Bund, the Chengxingli residential community and the Qiaojia Road Neighborhood.
As another key project, the nearly century-old former city government building is being preserved and renovated into offices, cultural and public space as well as commercial property. It will open to the public in 2023.
The Chengxingli neighborhood, a shikumen, or stone-gate community, on Beijing Road W., offers a new model for renovations in old neighborhoods. The project relocated some residents while renovating the living spaces of those who choose to remain.
Relocated families free up space for each remaining household. This space will be used for new kitchen and toilet facilities.