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The Gutting of Shanghai’s Y’Poo District – Further Massive Clearances on Pingliang Road Imminent

Posted: May 27th, 2016 | No Comments »

It’s becoming abundantly clear that 2016 will be the worst year for preserving Shanghai’s architectural heritage since the pre-2010 run up to EXPO. The old town, the former Northern and Western External Roads and Frenchtown have all seen serious bulldozing in the first five months of the year. However, no where is being gutted more or faster than the districts north of the Suzhou Creek – Hongkou, Tilanqiao and Yangpu (formerly Yangtzepoo or Y’Poo), once the Municipal Police’s “Eastern District”. you won’t see too many heritage walks arranged north of the Creek. Despite easy access by subway nowadays that area remains largely terra incognita to most tourists. However, north of the Creek, especially Y’Poo is (or increasingly was) home to a significant amount of interesting and important architecture, notably industrial architecture. The bulldozing of Y’Poo accelerated rapidly in the run up to EXPO and hasn’t really stopped, although most people forget just how large the district is.

Now, so the Global Times reports, Pinliang Road is under further sustained attack. I blogged back in February 2011 about the bulldozing of several villas along the street showing how post-EXPO destruction was just rolling right along in Y’Poo. Dalian Road (Dalny Road) and Jingxing Road (Jansen Road) have also seen major destruction.Tongbei Road (formerly Thorburn Road on the Hongkew/Yangtszepoo borders) has also seen large scale clearance up to and including most of the old Shanghai Municipal Waterworks. Dongdaming Road (formerly Seward Road) starting from Gongping Road (Kung Ping Road) toward the XinjianLu Tunnel is pretty much all gone (as blogged here in early 2011).Other examples include a wonderful block of housing, originally built 1925, that stretched along Huimin Road (formerly Baikal Road) between Tongbei (Thorburn), crossing Liaoyang Road (Liaoyong Road) and ran as far as Dalian Road (Dalny Road) which came down in 2010 (blogged here). There are many, many other examples.

Now the former apartment blocks on Tongbei Road, once owned by the Catholic Church in Shanghai, are to come down (see pictures below). With surrounding planned demolitions that’s 5,000 families being “relocated”. It seems nothing can stop the wholesale flattening of Y’Poo…

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