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Goodbye, Ludan Village: Shenzhen Residences Demolished

Posted: 05/30/2014 5:30 pm

ludan village demolition chaiqian

Goodbye, Ludan Village. You were just 14 years old.

Hello, New Ludan Village. You’ll be receiving new residents just three years from now.

Yes, the long-awaited time has come, and today marks the last day before demolition begins on the old Ludan Village in order to make way for New Ludan Village. Now deserted, Ludan Village, Shenzhen will be rebuilt as 56 original high-rise residences, each towering at 120 meters tall.

With this gallery we’ll take a look at Ludan Village before it is no more. Meanwhile, of the 1,002 families that must relocate from their homes, 938 signed an agreement that transferred their residences over so far.

Well, for now, we’ll have our memories.

ludan village demolition chaiqian ludan village demolition chaiqianludan village demolition chaiqianludan village demolition chaiqianludan village demolition chaiqianludan village demolition chaiqianPhotos: QQ, Weibo, People’s Daily Online, TeTimes, Sofun, Jingme, CCWQTV


Demolition Begins on Hidden Forest House in Guangzhou

Posted: 04/17/2014 10:23 am

guangzhou illegal structure penthouse treehouse tianhe demolition extra stories“Clear-cutting” has begun on the forest built on top of a Guangzhou apartment building to hide illegally-constructed floors. Local chengguan and the owner of what has been called “Guangzhou’s most ‘niu’ illegal building” have reached an agreement to start demolition on the treehouse penthouse, Nanfang Daily reported.

We’re trying to imagine just what kind of negotiation took place as a source with the chengguan revealed the legality of the building was never actually determined. Instead, demolition was initiated since the owner was anxious Guangzhou residents couldn’t see the virtual forest for the trees.

guangzhou illegal structure penthouse treehouse tianhe demolition extra stories

In a move that may further deter the promotion of Shenzhen rooftops as a green space, we note with bemusement that the colloquial name given by the Chinese press to this apartment is “big green hat”. For those who have never been on the receiving end of this insult, “wearing a green hat” is the Chinese euphemism for  a “cuckold”.

Located in North Haitangge Neighborhood of Tianhe District, we imagine Poison Ivy is currently cursing at the Caped Crusader and is plotting from another secret lair, perhaps from the rooftop temple located in Shenzhen.


Photos: Nanfang Daily, ChinaNews via bzcm


Henan Official: Workers Who Forcibly Relocate Residents Are “The Cutest”

Posted: 04/16/2014 7:36 pm
shao chunjie

Shao Chunjie outlining where dreams will be simultaneously built and destroyed.

It’s one thing to say outlandish things, but it’s another thing to be proud of it. People online have been buzzing about the sheer brazen gall of a Henan official who praised the government workers employed for the purpose of chaiqian, which is the act of forcibly removing residents from their homes so that they can be relocated as their homes are demolished.

Shao Chunjie is a municipal secretary for the District of Shihe in the city of Xinyang, Henan Province. And now, he’s internet famous.

Shao is said to have lauded these folks that tear down homes and dreams for a living at the scene of the incident, and we know this because he thought it was a good idea to write down these words for posterity. In an essay. Published on the internet. On an official government website.

Published on December 25, 2013 and verified by a reporter from Nandu, here are some choice highlights in praise of these people who sweat and toll so that we may have fresh, new real estate to develop upon:

This moment will forever be engraved in the pages of history, this moment will forever be engraved in the minds of the people… You people [that are forcibly removing and relocated these residents] are the kindest, the most venerable, the cutest people of all of Shihe District! You are the most worthy of receiving songs and praises!

For sure. I hear that Rage Against the Machine is thinking about a reunion tour.

Grand and noble Shihe People are firmly resolved to overcome any obstacle, and tenaciously hold onto the ideal that “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. They are able to withstand bitter suffering, able to do battle, able to take on great tasks — all with exceptional quality. They have a spirit that will never give up: they can chew through the stiffest bone, and pull out even the toughest nail.

As the people who resist forcible relocation are colloquially said to live in “nail houses”, I think you killed with that pun, Shao. (Way to work with the material!)

And then there’s this:

Upon seeing a veteran of forcibly relocating residents named Zhang Deshun covered in dust, Shao Chunjie became very compassionate and emotional, saying, ‘We humbly thank you who work so hard to tear down these houses for the government. You have suffered bitterly, encountered difficulties, and the government will remember this for always…’

Shihe District resident Chen Gang says says refers to an incident back on December 20, 2013 in which Chen and his family were forced out of their home and beaten before an agreement was even made.

Man, if only my boss was as thankful for all my hard work… but then, I don’t destroy people’s lives for a living. At least, as a mild-mannered blogger, not yet…

Photo:, smehen


Nation’s tallest illegal building demolished in Guangzhou

Posted: 12/30/2013 7:00 am

An 18-storey illegal building has been demolished in Guangzhou’s Huadu District, the city’s propaganda department has announced. This is part of a trend that spread across the nation in 2013, in which local authorities emphasised their seriousness about tackling the issue of illegal constructions.

The location of the building, near Guangzhou North Station, clashed with some of the goals of the city’s Urban Planning Bureau. The building had a floor space of 22,917 square metres and had already been put into operation. It was demolished Dec. 28 after an investigation into its legality that began in June 2012.

The demolition in Huadu District, image courtesy of Chinanews

The most high-profile illegal constructions of the past year have included the fake mountain villa in Beijing, the rooftop temple in Shenzhen and the Dongguan “castle in the sky.”


Guangzhou destroys two heritage buildings from the 1940s, despite protests

Posted: 06/14/2013 10:00 am

Two buildings on Guangzhou’s Shishu Road which represent a rare form of architecture were leveled on the morning of June 11 in spite of locals having written to the government to protest, Xinhua reports. Both were built during the Republic of China period in the 1940s.

The demolition crew in action, courtesy of Xinhua

The buildings were said by experts to represent a form of architecture that mixed the ancient with the modern and is extremely rare. The type of architecture was even described as being as important to China’s cultural heritage as the panda.

Historically significant buildings being demolished in the name of development is, of course, nothing new.

Philip Pan described the process in his 2008 book, Out of Mao’s Shadow:

In reality, though, local officials often approved projects and sold land-use rights to developers without going through the trouble of buying or seizing them from homeowners first. Officials then conspired with developers to pressure owners to give up their land. Developers often hired thugs to intimidate residents while police looked the other way. And local authorities sometimes cut off water, electricity, or heat to the holdouts. If necessary, the government intervened on behalf of developers and ordered a forced eviction on questionable legal grounds. Altogether, between 1991 and 2003, more than half a million families in Beijing were evicted by developers.

This has given rise to the coinage of the term “chaina,” which sounds like the English word “China” but means “Where should we demolish next?”


Guangzhou’s most popular culture park, Redtory, to be demolished

Posted: 03/26/2013 7:00 am

Redtory, a culture park which was converted from an abandoned tin can factory in 2009, is set to be demolished within six years to make way for the expansion of Guangzhou’s International Finance City, XKB reports.

After Liao Xinbo, the deputy head of Guangzhou’s Sanitation Bureau announced that the park would be demolished, there was much discussion among netizens and the original post has already been forwarded over 2000 times.

One netizen summed up the general mood by saying that Guangzhou would lose its raison d’etre if it becomes just another metropolis like Shanghai or New York.

An official in Tianhe District told the newspaper that the western section of the 7.5 square kilometre financial district will be further developed but it is not yet 100% certain whether it will be necessary to demolish Redtory.

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