The Big Issue : Edition 477
THEBIGISSUE6–19FEB2015 25 ShanghaiRises AS DAVE TACON wandered through the streets of Shanghai, his new home, he noticed something strange. On one side of the river were some of the tallest gleaming skyscrapers in the world. On the other was a warren of decrepit lanes and houses, called ‘longtangs’. As skyscrapers reached new heights of modernity, people living in the longtangs had tacked timber extensions onto their literally crumbling houses. Tacon also noticed a big red Chinese character painted on the sides of many houses. The character translated as ‘dismantle’: these old neighbourhoods were earmarked for demolition to make way for luxury apartments, the inhabitants to be moved to low-income housing on the outskirts of the city. Tacon’s photographs of Shanghai capture a unique moment in the city’s history – as last remnants of the old are methodically erased by the new. And with approximately 166,000 millionaires living in the city, there is plenty of demand for new.