china-suburbia-005

china-suburbia-005

China Suburbia cover
Luo Zhang Cun, the urban village around  Aishilingeng, consisted mainly of old multi-story houses decorated with dirty  white tiles, the same buildings built all over the rest of China from the 80s to early 00s. In general, the quality of these buildings is very low, the hygienic conditions are poor. These kind of old districts are difficult to control since developing into a myriad of narrow streets and alleyways that wind between the mainly illegal buildings. Landowners rent them to the city’s floating population, unable to afford an apartment in other area of the city: urban villages have become the breeding grounds for social problems such as prostitution, child labor, crime, drug addiction and alcoholism.
Villages like Luo Zhang Cun used to be located on the outskirts of the city. With the expansion of the city, farmlands formerly cultivated by the villagers were mandatorily purchased and turned into urban land by the government. Soon after their purchase, villages tend to be surrounded by rising skyscrapers. Though located in an urban area, they are still “rural”. Consequently, the villages become independent kingdoms, outside the laws and urban planning.
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