Disneyland's final location of 116 hectares announced

10:03, November 24, 2009      

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SHANGHAI: The Shanghai version of the Magic Kingdom will be located at the Chuansha town of Pudong New Area, covering 116 hectares, according to the theme park's final plans announced on the National Development and Reform Commission website yesterday.

The Disneyland project, which will be jointly developed by Chinese and United States companies, will include an amusement park, a logistics support area, a public utilities area and a parking lot, the commission said.

The announcement is the first time authorities have officially confirmed the location of Shanghai Disneyland, even though previous media reports have pinpointed the area. The news has pushed Chuansha's home prices to 12,000 yuan ($1,760) per sq m from 3,000 yuan from three years ago.

The Shanghai government received the green light from authorities late last month to build Shanghai Disneyland Park in partnership with media giant Walt Disney Co.

"Many business-savvy people are making the Disney theme park a profit-driven project, seeking opportunities to make every penny of it," said Gu Xiaoming, professor from the tourism department at Fudan University.

By contrast, the villagers who live in the area are likely to benefit the least from the park.

And Li Zhengfang, a 58-year-old villager in Zhaohang, even gave her life when clamoring for benefits for some of the elderly, whose homes were "unluckily" not partitioned into the Disneyland division, Li's daughter said.

"My mother along with other four delegates had negotiated with the village committee in August in hopes of incorporating all the elderly into the Disneyland beneficiaries," said Li Ying, the late Li Zhengfang's daughter.

A widespread rumor had circulated in Zhaohang that the pension level for female villagers older than 55 or males older than 60 will be raised to the township level of 910 yuan from the current level of 385 yuan, if they were going to be relocated for Mickey, junior Li said.

On Aug 6, on her way to make an appeal for more benefits for the elderly, the senior Li died of high blood pressure, leaving the negotiations unsolved.

"Generally speaking, the government must subsidize farmers who lose their land for commercial or industrial projects, but the allowance range could be varied according to different conditions," said Gui Shixun, professor at the Population Research Institute, East China Normal University based in Shanghai.

Based on current regulations, farmers will be transferred to the "small-town social insurance system" from the rural pension as one of their compensations for losing their plots of land.

The system in Shanghai is a compulsory social insurance mainly targeting residents living in Shanghai's suburban areas who are registered as permanent residents in the city, aiming to guarantee their basic needs for life.

Officials from Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security Bureau said no specific policies have been announced to resettle the people to make way for the park.

Local officials said earlier that the government has started preliminary plans to resettle more than 4,000 residents in a 4-million-sq-m area in Pudong New Area that covers Zhaohang.

"Past experience has showed that the government must build residential buildings for the resettled residents, given the high price of commercial properties in Shanghai. The prices are so high that those villagers cannot afford to buy one," Gui said.

"From a long-term perspective, getting the residents in and training them to be staff of the Disneyland will benefit them more than merely giving them a sum of money as a compensation," Fudan University's Gu said.

Source:China Daily
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