Cocktail of past and present

Updated: 2015-06-06 08:06

By Satarupa Bhattacharjya In Shanghai(China Daily)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Cocktail of past and present

A scene from a dilapidating building. [Photo by Jing Wei / For China Daily]

The keepers say it is the real thing, complete with displays of original furniture and household items such as paperweights and glass lanterns used decades ago, and laminated copies of the defunct US movie magazine Photoplay resting on a wooden dressing table.

Walls made of rocks characterized such houses that had long alleyways between them and often open courtyards.

"Xintiandi's commercial success by means of shikumen demonstrated its success in the imagination of old Shanghai," the 62-year-old Yu wrote in a 2011 paper on socio-spatial perspectives on urban changes in Shanghai. But the loss of shikumen houses led people into more isolated living in present-day Shanghai, he added.

Shikumen houses, the majority of which were built in the 1920s and '30s, and where about 70 percent of the city dwellers lived, were torn down in the 90s, with urban planners arguing that they were dilapidated.

A Hong Kong-based company developed Xintiandi as an entertainment hub in the past 20 years.

In a separate paper on Shanghai's urban development from Mao's era to that of economic reformer Deng Xiaoping's time, Yu and his academic colleague Yan Fei, described Xintiandi as the "new landmark of 'capitalist' Shanghai".



Previous Page 1 2 3 4 Next Page