Industrial cities such as Harbin are struggling to keep up as China’s economy shifts towards services and consumption
When Shanghai decided to renovate its central Xintiandi (“New Heaven and Earth”) district, it focused on traditional 19th-century houses called shikumen, refurbishing them as souvenir stores, art galleries and Starbucks cafes with imperial-style facades. The neighbourhood now bustles with camera-toting millennials, and drives huge consumer spending.
The experiment was hailed a success and touted as a model of Chinese urban development. In the north-eastern city of Harbin, the central historic district of Lao Daowai was chosen for similar treatment.
Young people don’t really go to Lao Daowai. What’s the point?
Link : China in unfamiliar territory as rust belt cities flatline