Hannah Beech: Ye Olde Shanghai

Suburbs From the TIME Asia Magazine:

Just a couple of years ago, the vegetable patches of Anting, a hamlet west of Shanghai, yielded some of the sweetest spinach this side of the Yangtze River. Now, out of farmers’ fields, an entire German-style town has sprouted, its brightly hued gingerbread homes modeled on those of Weimar in Germany. The new town, which will soon house some 30,000 distinctly un-German people, was designed by Albert Speer, son of Adolf Hitler’s favorite architect. Forty kilometers away in Songjiang, barefoot migrant are building another massive city, this a vision of ye olde England with tidy Tudor cottages, cobbled paths, a giant castle and a garden maze. In Pujiang, another Shanghai suburb, 100,000 citizens will soon occupy an Italian dreamscape complete with languid canals. In all, at least 500,000 people are expected to live in Shanghai’s seven new satellite towns, each designed in the style of a different Western nation.

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