WAIT A WEEK…IT WILL ALL CHANGE
Kunming, like all over China is changing faster than anyplace I have ever seen. In some of my past posts I referred to this as well. Much of this desire by the government to renew China is quickly wiping out it’s own cultural history. Hutongs in Beijing are almost extinct now. Historic villages and cities are torn down and rebuilt with modern condos.
Here in Kunming alone, thousands of condos have been torn down in just the last year. The old city center with buildings several hundred years old, is all gone save for about a 2 block strip. I think it is also earmarked for destruction. I was just through there and noticed the brick walls going up down the street. Soon after that they usually begin knocking down the buildings behind the walls.
These pictures show the destruction of two condo buildings downtown. 1 week later this park appears. Kunming seems to be replacing most of the old condo spaces with large parks, which really is a great improvement. All the people displaced by removing the condos, are given brand new condos that are being built SW of the city center. I must say that the new ones are quite impressive and a big step up for the people getting them. When a condo is ready for these people, they hold a lottery where they draw a number to see what condo you get. Seems like a fair enough system to me.
Still it is sad to see many historic buildings taken away to make room for high rise glass office buildings. Preservation of these buildings take a back seat to progress in China. I hope this attitude will change before China evolves into a place showcased by modern steel and glass cities. Time will tell.