I.n the south of Shanghai, 50 kilometers from the center, the epitome of German bourgeoisie blows in the wind. There it is, the black, red and gold flag that can hardly be missing in any German allotment garden. Here, in Fengxian district, it flutters under the communist red of the flag of China, on which, in addition to the large yellow star – the party – five smaller ones symbolize the country’s social classes: workers, peasants, petty bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie. Here, in China’s first allotment garden, the latter class is clearly in power.
A plot of eight by eight meters for lease in the “Ecoland Club”, an allotment garden based on the German model, costs 5,000 yuan a year, the equivalent of 655 euros. According to a study by the Federal Institute for Building, Urban and Spatial Research, the average parcel size in allotment gardens in Germany is 370 square meters. The annual rent per square meter is stated as 18 cents. In Shanghai the tenants pay 10.25 euros. So a little less than for an apartment in the twin city of Hamburg.