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China’s Nail Houses: owners refusing to budge for the sake of development

The West doesn’t look too kindly on China’s human rights record. But while homeowners across the US can have their property seized by any government official brandishing an ’eminent decree’ order, the Chinese don’t seem so gung ho. At least in some cases. This means that rather than the bulldozers barreling in and flattening whatever they choose, they need to work around the problem, literally.

This has led to hundreds of so-called Nail Houses, or properties whose owners refuse to budge, and who therefore end up a lone island amid a sea of new development. And good on them, say I.

On a construction site of a shopping mall, Chongqing, China, 2007
Liede Village, China, 2007
Shanghai, 2007
Shanghai, 2007
Shanghai, 2007
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