Empty Lane

Deconstructing Modernity: Unsettled Urban Living in a Changing Shanghai

Empty Lane

As historical neighborhoods, lilong are losing their vitality. Most of the residents are elderly, whereas others are migrant workers, a division that has resulted in conflicts between owners and renters. In addition, local governance requires removing all unauthorized objects, such as plants and furniture, from the lanes to make the entire block “clean.” Due to these changes, neighbors are gradually losing the habit of sharing and interacting with each other in the narrow lanes.