China Builds Highway Around House That Refuses to Move
In the city of Wenling, located in China’s eastern province of Zheijang, a highway has been built around a residential building that refuses to relocate. Luo Baogen, unsatisfied with the relocation compensation offered by the government decided to remain in the half-demolished building with his wife. According to China Daily, the road, which leads to the Wenling Railway Station, hasn’t been put into use yet.
Even though all of the other residents have moved out, the government has not demolished the other rooms for sake of the remaining couple’s safety.
According to the National Post (where you can find more picture and detailed information), these buildings that refuse to move for new developments are called ‘nail houses’ in reference to old, gnarled nails that cannot be easily removed.
Every couple years, these defiant ‘nail houses’ make the rounds online. They serve as a symbolic testament to the ‘little guy’ standing up against the government and pushy developers.
According to Wikipedia: In the People’s Republic of China, during most of the Communist era, private ownership of real property was abolished. The central government officially owned all real estate, and could in theory dictate who was entitled to control any piece of property according to national interests. Private citizens, therefore, did not have a legal right to keep their property if the government decided they should leave (although in practice, entitlements arose for various reasons).
With a strengthening economy and the rise of free markets beginning in the late 1990s, private developers began building shopping malls, hotels, and other private developments in densely populated urban centers, which required displacing residents who lived on the land. Developers would typically offer relatively low compensation to the residents, reflecting the pre-development value of their properties or the cost of obtaining alternate housing elsewhere. Should residents resist, or try to take advantage of their bargaining position, powerful developers could persuade local officials and courts to order residents off the land. In other cases, residents would be arrested on false charges or thugs would be hired to scare away the residents. [Source]
If you enjoyed this post, the Sifter