Whitehorse village Niamh Kerrigan-plaisted

The difference of before and after the development of Whitehorse Village to Wuxi New Town

Questions we may ask....

  • What is gained?
  • How much does it cost?
  • What are the facilities? Will it effect the environment? Is there still a community?
  • What are the opinions of the residents and do they change?┬áDo views differ between residents?
  • Will it improve lives? Will it give people economic support? Will it create more jobs? Is it sustainable?
What is GAINED?

Before the huge development of Whitehorse Village into Wuxi New Town, the residents used to earn very little - around 200 pounds a year - so they couldn't BUILD wealth, it was just enough to live off. The only way many people could make this money was farming. Even so, many husbands left as migrant workers to the cities to send money home, leaving the wife at home to look after the children and farm. Often the children help the mother to farm, but obviously sometimes the labour is too hard for children, so the grandparents babysit or help around the house. When the huge change happened, the mothers and the fathers were able to work and earn a lot more money for the family, meaning less manual labour was required and the mothers could live less stressful lives.

Bring the cities to the countryside.
How much does it cost?

The building work didn't necessarily cost very much, but the way things were being built was not taking account of the quality of the buildings, only how quickly they were being built. In a place where earthquakes are likely, this lack of quality could cause many injuries.

What are the facilities? Will it effect the environment? Is there still a community?

Priorities of what was being built were not the best for the residents. The apartments where they were promised to be living in shortly were not prioritised. There was temporary accommodation, but they weren't very nice - they were bad quality and they looked like prisons. Once the apartments were actually built, they were very bad quality and so the residents were worried about the effect earthquakes would have on them, some even refused to move in. It took two years for schools to be built. To build the new town, the builders had to destroy lots of farmland which presumably was supporting wildlife. The builders sometimes dumped waste from the building work untidily which sometimes disrupted the residents and their farms. Many of the residents left during the buildingwork so a lot of the community went, and the community that stayed were diluted into the new town.

What are the opinions of the residents and do they change? Do views differ between residents?

It was very upsetting for the residents. There were many riots and complaints. Graves had to be moved and land given up, many traditions and memories were built over. The fact that the new facilities were still unsatisfactory after all the trauma of having to leave their homes, put up with graves being moved and land being lost, was extremely depressing for many of the residents. Although, once all the changes had been completely made, the residents then had access to many new jobs and schools, so in the end many said they were happy although some remained unhappy.

This school has given children like me a better education, in the past people didn't have much schooling, but now farmer's children get educated properly, that's important.
Will it improve lives? Will it give people economic support? Will it create more jobs? Is it sustainable?
Before ---------------------------------------------------> After

The people said themselves that the change was for the better. It has supplied more jobs and given the children the potential for jobs. From the fact it has successful schools suggests that the new city is sustainable. This is because as long as the students do well they will able to get good jobs themselves and afford to live there. The jobs will increase the wealth and slowly the town might start to expand.

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