Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Shanghai: Day 5

Shanghai is a strange mix of the old and new. Giant skyscrapers sit right alongside sprawls of tiny little houses. And even though most of the traditional areas seem to be getting cleared for new development, today I was glad to see at least one place where new housing in the traditional style was being built (presumably with running water and toilets inside..). It was encouraging, though hopefully long-term residents of the area will be able to afford the properties, rather than them being only affordable to the wealthy.

One of the most interesting buildings I saw in Shanghai was the 1933 Shanghai abattoir, now a shopping centre. Abstract concrete brutalist architecture weaves in and out in weird ways - originally designed to provide a calming effect on the cattle who would tread around it to their death.

And this was my last full day in Shanghai. An amazing city. Like Blade Runner come to life: the sights, sounds, smells, colours, people. It is the city of the future, today. In both the good ways and the bad, I believe.