This photo was taken this morning on Yongfu Lu near Fuxing Lu. Nothing screams “Better City, Better Life” like walking on some blacktop. A local business owner said this ugly, quick-fix approach to city planning could be a sign that Shanghai is really feeling the crunch as it tries to get its myriad “beautification” projects completed before the May 1 start of the 2010 World Expo. On the plus side, asphalt sidewalks will probably last a bit longer than the already-cracking-and-coming-unstuck brick ones laid out not too long ago in other parts of the French Concession. But we’re definitely not looking forward to strolling on — or getting stuck to — these human driveways when they help make Shanghai’s already muggy summers even muggier.