In November 1979, the southern Chinese county Bao’an with a population of about 50 000 people was renamed to Shenzhen. One year later Deng Xiaoping declared the newly-formed city to be the country’s first special economic zone. Today, Shenzhen is among the fastest growing cities in the world with a population of more than 12 million people and the statue of the Chinese leader is on of it’s main tourist attractions
Back in the 80’s the Gangxia quarter used to be one of the typical neighbourhoods of Shenzhen. Built right after the city was established, on the land of the local villagers, they’ve accommodated the “builders of the new city” – migration workers coming from all over China. At present, most of these neighbourhoods have already been destroyed, and others are waiting for their turn, surrounded by skyscrapers, residential towers and city highways.
At the end of 2008, the Shenzhen city governors reached the decision that the neighbourhood will be pulled down and replaced by a modern residential complex which had to be completed in the course of one year. At that time, the five hundred buildings of the Gangxia eighbourhood were inhabited by more than 70 000 people. They were informed they had to leave their homes within three months. Nevertheless some of the owners refuse to sell their property because of the low prices offered by the city government. As a result the construction of the complex has been delayed by more than two years, which means huge losses for investment companies. Authorities, on their part, stopped the water supply and demolished near-by buildings in order to “convince” people to leave.