Renovations breathe life into Chongqing's Zhongzhou Old Street

By Hou Liqiang | | Updated: 2023-11-28 17:02
Share - WeChat

Zhongzhou Old Street is the only urban zone that has kept its appearance as intact as it was before 1993, when the construction of the Three Gorges Reservoir commenced in all 20 of the county-level areas covered by the project.

The 0.5-square-kilometer community in Zhongxian county, Chongqing, still boasts some traditional cob-walled houses with wooden framework. But most buildings there were built with gray bricks, which were widely used last century but are no longer produced across the country. A stone city gate constructed during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) remains intact.

As new buildings towered over nearby areas, many residents chose to move away from the street because of its poor infrastructure.

Power failures occurred occasionally, and the roads were full of bumps and potholes, recalled 73-year-old resident Wang Suqin.

But now, the hustle and bustle is reemerging in the old street thanks to a renovation project.

Supported by funds allocated by the central government for the Three Gorges Reservoir's follow-up work, the Zhongxian government launched the project with a total investment of about 212 million yuan ($29.6 million) in 2020. Infrastructure in the area has been greatly improved, and many old houses have been reinforced.

The old street has seen tourists pour in as renovations continue, and many businesses have boomed.

Attracted by the development of Zhongzhou Old Street, Mu Shucheng and his wife, Yi Haohan, both natives, have each opened a store in the community.

Mu used to work as an interior designer in Guiyang, capital of Guizhou province. After seeing how successful the milk tea store Yi had opened in 2021 had become, the 33-year-old decided to come back home and open an eatery.

"The government provided all the necessary equipment in my store, even the chairs. I only had to buy what I use to cook the noodles," he said, adding he was spared the monthly rent of 600 yuan for the first two months.

Business is good, Mu said, especially during weekends and holidays. During the past National Day holiday, which lasted from Sept 29 to Oct 6, the average daily business volume of his store reached more than 2,000 yuan, he said.

"Surely, I make more from the business than working as an interior designer," he said smiling.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349