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Glass Confetti, The Develpment of Pazhou Park.

October 23, 2011

If you want to know where glass bottles in Guangzhou meet their maker, take the 764 bus over the Pazhou Bridge and fallow the smell of burning plastic. Guangzhou is a city where you know your rent will increase when the air gets too clean.

Last year Pazhou village was filled with people. Now it’s a field of broken glass and smoke. This field of broken glass and remains of brick houses has a view brand new skyscrapers. The view is hideously beautiful. A must see for urban explorers.

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The restoration of the Pazhou Tower is a fallow up on a 1981 preservation project done by the Hong Kong History Museum. An extension of Guangdong Greenway will fallow around the Pazhou Park linking a bike path to University town. The renovations will be fantastic for anyone who likes to cycle or jog. At the moment Pazhou park is designated for glass and scrap metal recycling.

The assortments of bricks you’ll see in the photos are stubs of the former Pazhou village, which was occupied only last year. It’s like visiting the crater where the meteor landed killing the dinosaurs. It’s the smoking gun of urban renewal.

When you walk through wear good shoes because little pellets of glass will crunch under your feet. Also bring a dust mask because near by there is an over whelming smell of burning rubber and plastic. The are is undergoing a transformation so it’s like showing up to a dinner party when the cooks are dropping things and shouting at each other. Though the area seems deserted there is evidence of regular visitors. The tower steps  lead to a shrine where someone is continuously leaving offerings of food to religious deities.

Of course this won’t be an industrial junkyard forever. The entire region is in the hands of a Chicago architectural firm named Goettsch Partners. Click on this link to view the master plan. As always historical landmarks in Guangdong are completely random. An entire village can be removed making way for the ideas of American architects, while one single Ming Pagoda is designated as ‘historic.’

In two years tourists visit this pagoda they will talk about it being hundreds of years old, when it’s actually 31 years old, it was rebuilt in the approximate location, not nearly as old as Pazhou village. See it now, and don’t be afraid of the dog when you climb the steps. The 1981 paint job is chipping. Proof that history is an ongoing creative process which changes every generation.


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