According to new government measures announced last week, the government is encouraging districts to employ nightlife directors, officials in charge of promoting (and regulating) local nightlife. "Guiding" where citizens go to spend the night. It's meant to mirror a similar scheme in New York, which has been a staggering success. Suggestions for Shanghai include maybe closing some streets to vehicle traffic after certain hours and letting places put tables and chairs out. That'd be nice!
It takes the Shine article nine sentences to mention Yongkang Lu, which is eight longer than real-life conversations on the topic. Shanghai's vibrantest bar street was finally shut down in 2016 after years of disputes with the neighbors and the bao'ans rounding up the furniture. It's a byword for the point at which a sumptuous, buxom after-dark street culture infringes upon the rights of residents living above an unlicensed bacchanalia to sleep. Somewhere around ebike jousting?
The solution was to move everything underground, spawning the Found 158 pocket dimension. On Dagu Lu, the authorities banned terraces for six months, just as the weather was turning good. Neither ideal solutions.
On the bright side, with an office dedicated to the sector, streetside bars, late-night eateries and social activities that occur after retirees go to sleep might have improved channels of communication with the powers that be. Maybe even advocacy.
On the cynical side, all the rhetoric we've seen is about the "Shanghai brand" and the city's goal of becoming an "international shopping destination." A vibrant nightlife is good for cities. Not only does it make it appealing to visitors and enrich the social tapestry with only occasionally puke-stained thread, it keeps goods, money and services flowing way past your bedtime. And that's what it's all about! Lubricating Shanghai's bold, thrusting economic growth.
Where do I send my resume?