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Workers' communities to be preserved

    Shanghai will expand the category of historic protection buildings for the next five years to include traditional residential lanes, industrial heritage and workers’ communities.

    The buildings that can typically represent the city’s features in a certain historic periods will be added into the listed heritages, the Shanghai Planning, Land and Resources Administration told the city’s political advisory body yesterday.

    The city currently has an estimated total of 44 square kilometers of historic buildings, equivalent to four Century Parks, under protection in downtown areas, along with 401 protected streets, the administration said.

    Local authorities will firstly take protective measures to old buildings even though their historic value has yet to be confirmed, an official with the administration said. Workers’ communities, which were built in the 1950s for model workers, are to be given protected status, the city government said.

    The communities were established to accommodate Shanghai’s rapidly expanding workforce during a period of industrial development. Featuring 30-square-meter apartments, with communal kitchens and bathrooms, the homes were much sought after and were offered only to the best workers.