When I went out yesterday for an exploratory walk (air quality to bad for a long run) I had expected the last bit of it, on the Pudong side, to be the most boring. I was curious about the ferry – as crossing the Huangpu, wherever one does it , makes for an interesting experience, so that was the reason to cross, but from there…
Turns out, as is often the case, that expectations don’t make for trustworthy guidance when scouting new territory. Except that I was right about the ferry: indeed very much worth the trouble. On the Pudong side one immediately enters a working class neighborhood, a bit grim but very lively, while curiously the industry on the river bank is brand new, interesting architecture and where I left the river a large restored traditional building, not yet accessible but visible from the road. But then, from there all the way to Jiyang Road, a block of what I would estimate to be maybe four square kilometers, it is a demolition zone. Looked as if the dozers had been at work very recently, still lots of people, still many salvaging whatever is worth salvaging, still lots of commerce and industry operational, and pockets of intact housing and workshops, market and eatery centres, but overall, the impression of a huge earthquake zone.
The scale is daunting, and its most impressive feature. All of this is just South of the Oriental Sports Centre area, which is a stage further along the redevelopment trajectory, all set to become the ‘New Bund‘. Absolutely fascinating to see this, but that may be my twisted sense of aesthetics.
I’ll make it up with some mainstream ear-candy: