Residents of a neighborhood filled with historic Shanghai architectural style buildings, shikumen, found themselves removed by their government in favor of new, modern luxury condos, hotels, up-scale retail stores, and trendy cafes.
Sophie Plottel looks into the lack of social justice in Shanghai’s Xintiandi District. A decade ago the government removed thousands of households and businesses so that the district could be transformed into a modern commercial center. Today it is filled with high-end retail shops, cafes, luxury condos and hotels. The shikumen style housing remains, ironically to “preserve the feel of ‘Old Shanghai’,” without its original residents. Little thought was given to where the displaced residents would go, as many have relocated to peri-urban areas “where infrastructure and facilities are largely underdeveloped."