"This road is a dead end. Please walk around."

"This road is a dead end. Please walk around."

Divide and conquer: the demolition of Shenzhen's most centrally located urban village - affordable housing for the city's immigrants, students, and low-income workers - starts here, behind this wall. I flew to Shenzhen to witness it myself, to understand what the city was losing by tearing down the structures that made its village-to-metropolis origin story possible.

"We're old now," said a butcher in Baishizhou. "We're too tired to start over."

I had expected to walk away with a story framed around loss. But for immigrants who had nothing when they first came to Shenzhen, more devastating than losing their apartment is the idea of having to start over - again.