Shanghai evicts small businesses and residents for Disney theme park

Authorities have evicted hundreds of Shanghai residents and dozens of businesses to clean up the air and make way for the newest Disney theme park, which opens Thursday. Residents were paid for lost homes but hundreds of employees of shuttered factories say they don’t know where their next jobs will be. In the district near the Disney site, at least 153 factories were ordered to close this year to cut pollution, according to the local government. Most are workshops that employ 10 to 20 people producing goods ranging from clothing to chemicals.

You can find low-paying work. But jobs that pay better you can’t get.

Chen, 50-year-old equipment inspector

Qin Lijun’s home was demolished in 2013 to make way for Disney construction. She prefers her new, 70-square-metre (700sq ft) apartment, one of three given to her extended family, where she lives with her dog, Harry. “The surroundings of the village, it doesn’t compare to now. You would be working in the factories there during the day, and then tending to your land when you got home,” said Qin. “Here, you walk out and it’s all greenery and flowers. The surroundings are so much better.”