Old neighborhood to be reborn in Minhang
A project to turn a rundown neighborhood in Minhang District’s Zhuanqiao Town into a high-quality community with residential and commercial complexes, parks and educational facilities and make it a core area to support the town’s economic development was launched on Tuesday.
Covering 300,000 square meters, Zhuanqiao Ancient Street is the largest old neighborhood in the district. Many houses built in 1950s, which house more than 1,000 families, have fallen into disrepair and lack modern management services.
The renovation project began in 2018 with opinions sought from local residents. So far, 99.36 percent of them have signed agreements to be relocated.
“I have been waiting for the renovation for almost 50 years,” an 86-year-old woman surnamed Shao said. She has been living in a home without a bathroom and having to use a night stool.
“I’m getting older and it’s increasingly difficult for me to carry out the night stool for washing,” she said. “Now we can move into the new home with flush toilet. I feel so good.”
Another woman surnamed Chen said the lanes in the area are so small she had been worried she could not walk along them if she got fatter.
“And rainy days were also a headache for us living in houses with crumbling plaster and leaking roofs,” she said. “In the new apartment, I don’t have to worry about the flood seasons any more.”
The renovation plan is for high-end Shanghai-style residential complexes and a commercial complex along Zhuanxing Road. A new kindergarten and a 1,000-meter, 20-meter-wide park will be built along Liuleitang River and bridges will be built in the area.
Historical buildings will be open to the public after repair.
According to the town government, there are four sites with protected status and old buildings scattered in the area will be moved together and restored to their original appearance.
Among them is Zhou’s Residence at 24 North Street, which was built during the reign of Emperor Jiaqing (1796-1820) in the Qing Dynasty and rebuilt during the reign of Emperor Guangxu (1875-1908). The brick-and-wood structure, with its gate facing the east, has dozens of rooms on two floors.
At 8 West Street is He’s Messuage said to be built during the reign of Emperor Guangxu. Another two houses in the street, residences of the Yang and Chen families, were built in the early 1930s.
There buildings and the surrounding environment reflect the residential style and living conditions of local people over the past 100 years and more.
“We will combine together neighborhood renovation, urban renewal and historic landscape protection to make the ancient area more glamorous and people happier,” said Chen Gao, the town’s Party secretary.