Saturday, 27 December 2008

Living in a demolition zone

In Australia if a building is being demolished it is a "no go zone" - fences are erected to keep people out. Here in China I have seen some quite curious (by our standards) things in many of the buildings being demolished and there is no shortage of them around Zhejiang province alone.

Many buildings are past their "use by date" and are being slowly pulled down, and people previously living in the units or homes have been relocated to other places. Oddly in many of them there appears to be people still living in them - with the demolition very close to their living quarters.

If you look closely at the photograph above, you can see washing hanging out of two windows. Now I have no idea of knowing whether the washing has been abandoned, or the people who put it there are squatters, but if it is the latter I would suggest it would be rather precarious living.

I have seen similar in other places and recall seeing on my return from Shanghai a couple of weeks ago, lights on in one part of a building where all around was in a state of chaotic destruction.

I am impressed though that the demolition of many places is done so that many of the bricks, tiles and other building materials can be used again. Not the huge machinery that we often see when a building is coming down, but often teams of men using jack hammers, or swinging mallets, to save as much as they can of the building materials.

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