Ye Ole Shanghai

December 20, 2005

Given that many of this site's readers (uh, 4?) have some connection to Shanghai and/or urban planning, I thought it would be worth posting the link to a review in this week's NYer profiling the Xintiandi development in Shanghai. To be sure, this kind of mix use design isn't new, nor is the melding of old and new, but in China, it appears to be radical. Which makes me think that the forces of globalization and a homoginized uni-culture are unstoppable. (Although to be fair, this development was kind of fun to visit, and had some unique and subtle features that gave a hint--if you looked closely enough--of the old Shanghai. And, if there hadn't been a Starbucks there, I would have thoroughly enjoyed it.)

On Changing Chinese Customs:

“We wanted to create a mixed-use neighborhood, and we wanted to keep the streets walkable—it is not easy to do in China,” Albert Chan, a manager at Shui On, told me. “When we started this project, we showed it to people, and they said, ‘No Chinese will eat outside.’ But if you give them the right kind of place they will.”

On the Revival of the Bund:

"now that [Bund buildings] have been rediscovered they demonstrate how potent another Western idea has become here: old architecture is a very good way to make new money"

Discussion, links, and tweets

Good Morning!