Searching for memories in Shanghai's alleys

Jiang Xiaowei
Shanghai Daily photographer Jaing Xiaowei captures scenes of everyday life in the city's vanishing old communities.
Jiang Xiaowei

Longtang is a unique style of Shanghai neighborhood, found in small alleys. With the city's development, more and more old communities and buildings are disappearing. 

According to the city's major policy goals for 2020, the government aims to complete the renovation of 550,000 square meters of dilapidated housing in downtown districts, benefiting 28,000 households.

Shanghai Daily photographer Jiang Xiaowei looks for memories of his childhood in old alleys like Zhaozhou Road and Xiamen Road in Huangpu District. Both communities will be renovated soon and their residents are waiting to move into new apartments.

Searching for memories in Shanghais alleys
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A plastic bathtub hangs outside the window of an old building on Zhaozhou Road in Huangpu District. Residents take showers in such tubs as there are no bathrooms in their homes.


Searching for memories in Shanghais alleys
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Two spittoons, which are used as portable toilets, are left under an outdoor sink. 

Searching for memories in Shanghais alleys
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A sign on the wall reminds residents to be well-mannered.

Searching for memories in Shanghais alleys
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A faucet in a public corridor is fitted with a lock by its owner.  

Searching for memories in Shanghais alleys
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Four faucets for different households share a sink in a public kitchen.

Searching for memories in Shanghais alleys
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

More than 10 electricity meters line a wall of a shikumen building at Xiamen Road, each for a household in the building.


Searching for memories in Shanghais alleys
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

An old man sits in an alley. Residents of old neighborhoods love to spend time in public areas due to limited space at home.


Searching for memories in Shanghais alleys
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A child sits in an old-fashioned stroller on Xiamen Road.

Searching for memories in Shanghais alleys
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Two cats play on the roof of a shikumen building.

Searching for memories in Shanghais alleys
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A smoke extraction pipe winds above old buildings on Xiamen Road. 

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