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We will not be moved! Resistance to China's urban spread [PHOTOS]


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We will not be moved! Resistance to China's urban spread [PHOTOS]

In China, they’re known as ‘Nail Houses’, solitary buildings whose stubborn inhabitants refuse to sell their property to real estate developers. Most argue that the compensation they are being offered is not enough.

These Nail Houses sit incongruously in the middle of motorways, shopping centres, hotel complexes and high-rise apartment blocks, a symbol of defiance against China’s urban spread.

These bizarre sights have become more common in China since a law passed in 2007 that forces authorities to prove demolition is in the public interest before privately owned land can be seized. While most property owners lose their court battles against developers and face eviction, some are successful and their homes stand as proud monuments to the resistance of the individual.

  • Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region, 2015

  • Luoyang, Henan province, 2015

  • Wenling, Zhejiang province, 2012

  • Changsha, Hunan province, 2007

  • Chongqing, 2009

  • Shenzen, 2007. Photo: Paul Yeung, Reuters, 2007

  • Rui’an, Zhejiang province, 2013

  • Hefei, Anhui province, 2010

  • Hefei, Anhui province, 2008. Photo: Jianan Yu, Reuters (Banner reads “strongly requesting the government to punish the developer who demolished my house, give back my home”)

  • Guangzhou, Guangdong province, 2008. Photo: Joe Tan, Reuters. A nail house is demolished after its owner lost a legal battle with developers of a high-rise apartment complex

  • Hefei, Anhui province, 2010

  • Nanjing, Jiangsu province, 2008. Photo: Sean Yong, Reuters

  • Xiangyang, Hubei province, 2013

  • Kunming, Yunnan province, 2010

  • Central Shanghai, 2010. Photo: Carlos Barria, Reuters. A woman stands at the balcony of her house which will be demolished to build new apartments

  • Chongqing, 2007. Photo: Zhou Shuquang


(All photos from Reuters unless otherwise stipulated)

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