Shanghai’s Suzhou Creek cleans up its act

The once-smelly and disease-ridden canal area is being made into a new waterfront destination for shopping, strolling and living – while preserving its heritage

A stroll along Shanghai’s Suzhou Creek was, for much of the 20th century, best undertaken with a handkerchief clamped firmly over the nose. Effluent from factories poured directly into its waters, which doubled as a public drinking well and sewer for the multi-generation families living on the sampans that crowded it from bank to bank. Cholera, typhoid, and dysentery were rampant.

Now, what was once Asia’s most notorious aquatic slum is poised to join the likes of Paris’s Canal St Martin as an agreeable urban waterfront.

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