Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Pudong Construction Site

This is a short update about a construction project, using pictures again taken from my father. This will be my last update to use his pictures, at least until next time he visits! He snapped a number of shots of a massive multi-use complex that's going up in Pudong - upscale shopping and upscale apartments. The location is directly between the Jinmao Tower I mentioned in my last update, and the enormous Super Brands Mall. Actually none of these shots are my own, except for this picture showing the scope of the project. The image is pretty evenly split in halves. The bottom half shows the area being worked on, the top half shows a mall and six skyscrapers:

I've said it before, I'll say it again: there are construction projects everywhere you go in Shanghai, and everywhere I've been in China for that matter. I talked before about an apartment complex going up. This project is much larger, you can see it's one piece of heavy equipment after the next:

This project is a lot more modern than most you'll come across in China. For instance, much of the equipment looks brand new, and recently imported - Liebherr is a German brand, this site also features some American brands, although in general imported construction equipment in China comes from Japan or Korea.

But there's also equipment that looks like a relic from the Great Leap Forward. I'm not the expert, but this looks something like mining equipment. I assume it has to do with building deep foundation supports, a necessity given the Pudong being marshland and all.

Construction projects often have a fundamentally different look to them in China. There's less ready access to advanced machinery and skilled workers, but construction worker wages are extremely low and there's less safety regulations for workers. The end result is you see a lot of people doing things by hand, or a large crowd of workers working directly alongside the machinery. Honestly, this worksite is more modern than most, but you can still see oildrums being carted on bike, or trenches being hand-shoveled.

Many Shanghai construction sites feature on-site living for the workers, who are usually young men straight from the countryside. They're just tin-shack accomodations, obviously. I don't think this site features on-site living. Regardless, I enjoy zooming in on my top-down photo like it was a spy satellite, and I did come across this complex. While I'm pretty sure it's not on-site housing, have a look and judge for yourself:

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