A longtang (弄堂 lòngtáng, Shanghainese: longdang) is a lane in Shanghai and, by extension, a community centred on a lanes or several interconnected lanes. It is sometimes called lilong (里弄); the latter name incorporates the -li suffix often used in the name of residential developments in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Shanghai longdang is loosely equivalent to the hutong of Beijing. As with the term hutong, the Shanghai longdang can either refers to the lanes that the houses face onto, or a group of houses connected by the lane.
Very often the changes in the city's urban structure have affected these types of dwelling's relationship with the street or their surroundings. More often than not, they are either enclosed within high walls, or the limited space between them and the side walk is occupied by parasitic commercial spaces, that cover up the façade. Few of them are untouched and standing so we they become our impromptu photo shoot background.