“A block will lose vitality inevitably if it lacks young people,” said Ma Xiangming, chief engineer of Guangdong Urban and Rural Planning and Design Institute.
From the perspective of urban development, a neighborhood gets old because industries and living conditions there can no longer meet the needs of modern society, Ma said, adding that young people will not return to old blocks if the businesses environment isn’t improved, no matter how well the buildings are renovated.
The transformed Yongqing Fang is now the cradle for young entrepreneurs. The completed phase one transformation project of the street has attracted 60 shops and businesses, including cultural and creative shops, boutique home-stay hotels, light meal restaurants, and media companies, becoming a popular base for young “makers.”
Today, Yongqing Fang has become a must-visit tourist spot in Guangzhou, with popular cafes, cultural and creative shops, and home-stay hotels attracting a great number of young visitors.
Last year, the average number of visitors to the ancient street hit 3,000 per day during weekdays and 5,000 on weekends at the peak time.
Yongqing Fang is packed with visitors on May 3. (Photo: Courtesy of China Vanke Co., Ltd.)