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Guangzhou’s Yangjicun Gradually Demolished for Redevelopment

Guangzhou's Yangjicun with vast tracts of buildings already demolished and cleared.

Guangzhou's Yangjicun at dusk before demolition began in 2010.

From NetEase:

Guangzhou’s disappearing Yangjicun

2010 July 1st, demolition of Guangzhou’s Yangjicun [Yangji Village] began, the first hammer blow ringing throughout Yangjicun’s north-south old street — Xiongzhen Avenue. On the old street’s west and east sides were 15 and 6 crisscrossing alleys. After over a year of demolitions, the residents here have all scattered “to the ends of the earth”.

[Above] 2010 July 14th, Yangjicun at dusk, where scattered lights appear only along one alley.

[Click to enlarge and for slideshow.]

Guangzhou's Yangjicun at dusk as demolition began for its redevelopment.

2010 July 14th, from the rooftop of a nearby building overlooking Yangjicun, the densely packed buildings covering every single inch of the land.

Guangzhou's Yangjicun with vast tracts of buildings already demolished and cleared.

2010 August 17th, a month after the demolitions began, already large tracts of buildings have been flattened.

Guangzhou's Yangjicun with vast tracts of buildings already demolished and cleared.

2010 August 26th dusk, the lights of Zhongshan interchange and Guangzhou Avenue shine brightly while a few rare lights also appear amongst the not yet demolished buildings of Yangjicun.

Guangzhou's Yangjicun with vast tracts of buildings already demolished and cleared.

2011 February 15th dusk, dump trucks transporting construction waste and sludge working overnight.

A few remaning buildings or "nail houses" in Guangzhou's Yangjicun.

2011 May 11th, Yangjicun in the midst of heavy rains, with only a few buildings still standing amongst the rubble.

A few remaning buildings or "nail houses" in Guangzhou's Yangjicun as lightning flashes across the evening sky.

2011 May 11th, lightning pierces the dusk sky, as few buildings remain in Yangjicun.

A few remaning buildings or "nail houses" in Guangzhou's Yangjicun.

2012 January 16th, only ten-something buildings remain standing amongst the rubble of Yangjicun, with ten-something households spending Spring Festival guarding their old homes.

A former resident of Yangjicun standing in front of his old home with a poster of the future redeveloped Yangjicun.

Former resident Li Fengyin takes a photo in front of his old home with an artist’s rendering of [the future redeveloped] Yangjicun.

A former resident of Yangjicun standing in front of her old home with a poster of the future redeveloped Yangjicun.

Former resident Li Jie’e takes a photo in front of her old home with an artist’s portrayal of [the future redeveloped] Yangjicun.

A former resident of Yangjicun standing in front of her old home with a poster of the future redeveloped Yangjicun.

Former resident Liang Yongquan takes a photo in front of her old home with an artist’s rendering of [the future redeveloped] Yangjicun.

Former residents of Yangjicun standing in front of their old home with a poster of the future redeveloped Yangjicun.

Former residents Yao Muchang and her mother and nephew take a photo in front of their old home with an artist’s portrayal of [the future redeveloped] Yangjicun.

Comments on NetEase:

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寡妇村牛村长 [网易广西防城港市网友]:

This can be considered the overnight disappearance of a village, the villagers having become city residents.

海豚深蓝 [网易湖北省武汉市网友]:

The demolition of this kind of “village within a city” means how many villagers [residents] become multi-millionaires. The demolition of every little building means getting a new home of the same floorspace. I know of a “village-within-a-city” slacker/hoodlum where the demolition [of his home] brought his family 8 new homes [apartment units]. From a slacker/hoodlum who only graduated from middle school to becoming a multi-millionaire who never has to worry about food and clothing ever again is this easy/simple…

网易广东省佛山市网友:

Now it is the city surrounding the rural/villages. According to the latest statistics, the urban population has for the first time surpassed the rural population, which demonstrates this point. The people who have dispersed can now online look for past happy memories in their old photographs.

帮啊公做嘢 [网易广东省肇庆市网友]:

Seeing these, I find it a little frightening, like the feeling of being wiped out!!

网易广东省佛山市网友:

What a familiar name! I’ve often passed by this stop when riding the subway, changing lines at this stop, but never exiting the station to look at the surrounding sights.

网易广东省佛山市网友:

The people who have dispersed need not feel too much regret and reluctance to part with this place, because memories are always more beautiful than they really were.

KU豆 [网易广东省中山市网友]:

Rents will now be more expensive.

网易浙江省网友 [realy000]: (responding to 海豚深蓝)

Many people who had their homes demolished in the early years have absolutely nothing at all, having missed the right times.

网易陕西省网友 [1325814347967]: (responding to 海豚深蓝)

The comment above [by 海豚深蓝] is very objective. This kind of phenomenon is so prevalent in Xi’an, though no multi-millionaires but plenty of millionaires~!!

网易山西省太原市网友 [qlw4110]: (responding to above)

Taiyuan too. The slackers/hoodlums here where we are who originally had nothing have become multimillionaires now because of demolitions. When Yangjiabaocun was demolished, the least that was paid [by redevelopers to the old residents] was 5 million~~~~ It’s that easy/simple.

网易广东省深圳市宝安区网友: (responding to above)

Softly asks: What will the children and grandchildren of the despotic gentry do? When the 70-year leases expire, will they become poor people like us rabble? When we were in school in the past, the teacher always said that capitalist societies were societies where people preyed on each other, that capitalists only nakedly exploited the workers. Only when I grew up did I discover that we are even more tragic. At least for better or worse they only have capitalists and landlords, whereas we have an extra thing: corrupt officials. People preying on each other is small stuff, but dogs preying on people, now that’s a special characteristic [of China].

石门一只眼 [网易河北省石家庄市网友]:

“This building has not signed, do not demolished” Haha.

[Referring to the spray painted words in the 11th photo.]

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

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