China's First Gated Community Erects 'Great Wall' Against Crime
Life is good in Aodi, a village in the city of Taizhou in China's coastal Zhejiang province... and the word is getting around. Unfortunately, Aodi's prosperity is drawing the wrong kind of attention. “The residents in Aodi village urged us to find a solution to the increasing number of thefts,” explained Ruan Guolin, chief of Kengzheng village (which administers three smaller villages including Aodi), “so we decided to build a village wall to cut the number of entrances from 10 to one.”
The 70-cm (28 inch) thick wall, which was completed in January of 2011 after workers broke ground last September, was constructed from more than 70,000 adobe bricks and features a 7-meter (23-ft) tall iron gate. Built in a style similar to the Great Wall of China though on a much smaller scale, the wall cost about 500,000 yuan ($75,700) to build, of which 70 percent was raised from the 270 villagers who live in Aodi.
The gate remains open to the public during the day but after 10 pm each evening it will be closed and only holders of special IC cards will be able to open it. “Each family has two entrance cards and a security office by the entrance is open 24 hours to offer emergency assistance,” according to Ruan Guolin.
Not everyone thinks hiding behind a wall is the best idea, however. “It's quite ridiculous to lock the villagers up for their protection during the night,” stated freelance columnist Wan Xiaoyang, “which seems to draw more attention to the fact that valuable properties are inside.”
Aodi's newfound wealth stems from the opening of a provincial highway in 2007 and the subsequent arrival of dozens of factories. By the end of 2010, 60 percent of the 76 families living in Aodi were living in private villas and 40 percent owned their own cars – no telling if they're Audis. (via China Daily and MSN)