søndag 3. april 2022

Pandemic Lessons From Shanghai’s Socialist Housing Projects

The recent COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai has once again highlighted the pandemic’s disparate impact on society’s most vulnerable members. While younger upper- and middle-class Chinese have largely been able to adapt to life under lockdown, the elderly, the disabled, and other marginalized groups have found life unbearable.

And then there is another largely invisible group: working-class and poor women dwelling in the city’s “Workers’ New Villages.” These were a public housing scheme established and operated by the state from the 1950s until the marketization of housing in the mid-1990s. In Shanghai and other Chinese cities, numerous Workers’ New Villages were built to house the influx of workers needed to meet the state’s ambitious industrialization goals.