Huangpu's former 'hardware street' to get a makeover

Most of the old residential buildings within a 1.6-square-kilometer area on Beijing Road E., once a major site for ironmongery, will be preserved.

Huangpu District will launch a new round of renovations on old residential communities along Beijing Road E., a former major site for ironmongery.

Hardware has fallen on hard times, and the once prosperous street for manufacturing ironmongery resources, will undergo “function restructuring and ecological rebuilding,” said Gao Yun, the Party secretary and director of Huangpu.

Most of the old residential buildings will be retained, with residents living inside them, within the 1.6-square-kilometer area along both Huangpu River and Suzhou Creek to keep the city’s most authentic lane-style living environment, Gao said in an interview with a local radio station.

The appearances will be preserved while the inner structures will be renovated to provide residents with their own bathrooms and kitchens.

Furthermore, some public areas — once occupied by illegal structures that have been removed — will become communal living rooms and community library with plantations.

“People will be able to both feel the past and have a vision for future at these neighborhoods,” said Gao.

Furthermore, innovative parks will be built along the river and creek to attract a swath of technology and startup companies specializing in artificial intelligence and Internet plus.

Companies will be able to research, exhibit and trade their technological products in the area that once was home to a science and technology industry park in 1990s, said Gao.

Huangpu District still has over 2.3 million square meters of old residential neighborhoods, including — nearly half of them estimated last year to have poor living conditions.

About 78,000 residents in Huangpu are without separate toilets and still have to use old-fashioned chamber pots, according to Gao.

Neighborhoods with living conditions too bad to be resolved will be used for new development, with residents to be relocated and compensated. The rest will have their living conditions transformed, Gao said.

The downtown district launched a trial renovation program on one of the old communities — Jukui Community near the Bund — last year.

About 287 households were moved out to rented apartments, the first time this was done in the city, thanks to subsidies from the district government, while their old homes were renovated.

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