Recently MovingCities went scanning the thematically and sketchy styled satellite towns [a Dutch, Nordic, Italian, Spanish, British, German, Canadian and even Chinese one] dotting the periphery of Shanghai. The text, published earlier in Bauwelt, can now be read online. A few extracts:
Where in western cultures signs of historicism – Las Vegas, Disneyland, Amsterdam – are support by ideas of ideology, tourism or preservation, in developing, or even redeveloping, cultures similar signs of historicism are oftentimes understood from economical, real-estate or consumer perspectives.
The first thing one notices upon entering these guarded territories, is how small they are. Yes, they are walkable and varied in form, street section and amount of public space. They are definitely no districts, almost not even towns, and even in the case of Holland Village just a square and a street. They are stretches of land, tucked away in-between other real-estate development.
Nordic Town is already under transformation. Today it is more Chinatown than Copenhagen, its surrounding has more high-rise projects than the whole of Helsinki, and in terms of distance to the centre of the Shanghai, it could be a satellite town from Stockholm. This Nordic setting is slowly, but steadily being snowed under by Chinese billboards and posters.
Thames Town has plenty of empty shops: Euro Fashion, Thames Times or Twilight Club. Thames Town, like Europe, faces a crisis of consumption and capital.