china-suburbia-004

china-suburbia-004

China Suburbia cover
With cinaoggi.it and later china-underground.com, from 2005 to 2012 we had the opportunity to witness an era of radical changes.  In late 2005, we arrived at Aishilingeng Faguohuayuan condo, surrounded by the Luo Zhang urban village. Aishilingeng is located in northern Kunming, in the Panlongjiang district. The condo is named after the pretty town of Eislingen in Southern Germany. Faguohuayuan, in Chinese Mandarin, means French Garden. The use of European names is very common in China when you have to find a new name for an upscale neighborhood; the name should possibly summon an ideal of luxury and sophistication. A reservoir of ideas from which to draw is the European Renaissance. In 2007, in front of Luo Zhang Cun,  was built the Beichen Fortune Center, a high-end commercial center with cinemas, karaokes, fashion shops, etc.
The district was inhabited by Yunnanese, people from Kunming and people arriving from the neighboring provinces and countries, such as Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar. They took menial jobs to support themselves and their families and they lived in difficult conditions. Most of the population consisted of small artisans, shopkeepers, restaurateurs, hairdressers, construction workers, waiters, shop assistants, improvised pharmacists and doctors, masseuses and prostitutes.
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