China to Rev up Bullet Train Revolution with World's Fastest Service on Shanghai-Beijing Line

Sarah Zheng
South China Morning Post
China will soon start official operation of the world’s fastest train service, knocking an hour off the 1,318km journey between Beijing and Shanghai.

Environment

08.02.17

Crowded Beijing Revives Old Plan for New Overflow City

from chinadialogue
On April 1, 2017—April Fool’s Day—the government made a surprise announcement that a satellite city bigger than New York would be built from scratch on the outskirts of Beijing. Official news site Xinhua described Xiong’an New District as the “plan...

Netizens Say One of the Chinese Cities Just Upgraded to 'First-Tier' Doesn't Deserve the Label

Cheang Ming
CNBC
Fifteen Chinese cities joined Shanghai and Beijing in boasting "first-tier" status in a recent study, but the one of the latest additions to that category might not quite fit the bill, according to some...

$100 Billion Chinese-Made City Near Singapore ’Scares the Hell Out of Everybody’

Pooja Thakur Mahrotri and En Han Choong
Bloomberg
Planeloads of buyers fly in as condos rise from the sea

Features

09.13.16

The Destruction of Baishizhou

Eli MacKinnon
Early this spring, the Chinese character for “demolish” (“拆”) showed up in red spray paint on a strip of shops in Shenzhen’s Baishizhou neighborhood. Wang An, 41, has been selling women’s underwear from one of these shops for the last 10 years. “...

China, Sweltering, Doles Out Subsidies for High Heat

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
The government appears to be trying to raise consciousness of the heat subsidies.

China to Pillory, or Praise, Cities Based on Water Pollution

Edward Wong
New York Times
Water and soil pollution have received less attention than foul air but are just as hazardous, if not more so.

China’s Devastating Floods Can Be Traced Back to Corruption and Overbuilding

Zheping Huang
Quartz
Scandals are not uncommon in China’s flood-control projects.

Gate-Crash! China’s New Housing Rules Irk the Gilded Classes

Hannah Beech
Time
New directive says roads in private housing estates should “gradually open up” to the public.

Caixin Media

10.20.15

Moving 2 Million People for Beijing’s Urban Reset

Nearly 2 million Beijing residents will be moved to the city’s outlying districts from the center by 2020 as part of a massive urban revamp designed to better control people, traffic, and smog.The movers include up to 1 million government workers...

Environment

09.11.15

Beijing Slams Henan Capital for Using Scarce Fresh Water to Combat Smog

Officials in the city of Zhengzhou are under central government scrutiny after media reports revealed the capital of Henan province is using valuable fresh water supplies to combat air pollution. Scientists and academics have criticised...

In China’s Heartland, Small Cities Flourish

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
Even in slowdown, a Yangtze River town bursts with consumer vitality.

China’s “New Normal” is Shifting the Country’s Economic Center of Gravity

Richard Macauley
Quartz
But it is not only because more developed cities are slowing that the rest of China is advancing. Smaller, poorer cities are also innovating their way out of the doldrums. Guiyang, capital of Guizhou, China’s poorest province, tops this year’s...

As Beijing Becomes a Supercity, the Rapid Growth Brings Pains

New York Times
The planned megalopolis, a metropolitan area that would be about six times the size of New York's, is meant to revamp northern China's economy...

Books

06.25.15

City of Virtues

Chuck Wooldridge
Throughout Nanjing’s history, writers have claimed that its spectacular landscape of mountains and rivers imbued the city with “royal qi,” making it a place of great political significance. City of Virtues examines the ways a series of visionaries, drawing on past glories of the city, projected their ideologies onto Nanjing as they constructed buildings, performed rituals, and reworked the literary heritage of the city. More than an urban history of Nanjing from the late 18th century until 1911―encompassing the Opium War, the Taiping occupation of the city, the rebuilding of the city by Zeng Guofan, and attempts to establish it as the capital of the Republic of China―this study shows how utopian visions of the cosmos shaped Nanjing’s path through the turbulent 19th century.―University of Washington Press{chop}

Sinica Podcast

02.02.15

Shanghai and the Future Now

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Expats in Beijing may be partial to our rugged smogtropolis, but even the most diehard northerner will admit that Shanghai is the more romantic of the two cities, with its very name conjuring up images of 19th century opium dens, jazz bars in the...

Few Signs of Construction at Yujiapu, China's Manhattan Replica

Ian Williams
NBC News
Complete with its own Rockefeller Center and Twin Towers, Yujiapu been billed as the world's largest financial center in the making. But this Manhattan still has a long way to go...

Why China May Avoid a U.S.-Style Property Crash

Esther Fung
Wall Street Journal
“China has clear signs of ‘froth,’ if not a bubble, in housing,” says Goldman Sachs. It looks reminiscent of the bubbles in Japan in the early 1990s and the U.S. from 2006 to 2010, it says—and finds China might turn out differently.

China is Building Phoenix Towers, the World’s Tallest Twin Skyscrapers

News.com.au
Chinese builders have ambitious designs on erecting the world’s tallest skyscraper, soaring more than more 3,000 feet into the heavens.

Caixin Media

05.06.14

Growing Pains for a Megalopolis in Transition

Twenty years of on-and-off government discussions have yielded little progress toward the goal of coordinating urban and industrial development in a key Chinese megalopolis—the region encompassing the nation's capital Beijing, neighboring Hebei...

Media

02.14.14

A Kapital Idea

Matthew Niederhauser & David M. Barreda
Matthew Neiderhauser is a photographer and artist whose work is influenced by his studies in anthropology. He lived in Beijing for six years and recently returned to the United States. His pictorial book Sound Kapital, published in 2009, documented...

Reports

11.11.13

Reimagining China’s Cities

Isabel Hilton, et. al.
Isabel Hilton
chinadialogue
After nearly three decades of rapid urbanisation, China’s official and unofficial city dwellers outnumber its farmers. China’s urbanisation counts as the biggest and fastest social movement in human history, a movement that has turned Chinese...

Reports

08.27.13

China National Human Development Report 2013

United Nations
China had more urban than rural residents for the first time in 2011. The urbanization rate reached 52.6 percent in 2012, a major milestone with significant implications. In the midst of this urban transformation, China’s leaders have increasingly...

Sinica Podcast

06.14.13

China in Images and Words

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn are delighted to host Matthew Niederhauser. A photographer focusing on urban development in China, Matthew has been published in various journals including The New Yorker, National Geographic, The...

Instant City

Nicolai Ouroussoff
Harper’s Magazine
In the district of Bao’an in Shenzhen, thousands of laborers live in a makeshift city of prefabricated dormitories beside the hulking, mile-long steel shell of what will soon be the city’s newest airline terminal.  

Books

04.23.13

Original Copies

Bianca Bosker
A 108-meter high Eiffel Tower rises above Champs Elysées Square in Hangzhou. A Chengdu residential complex for 200,000 recreates Dorchester, England. An ersatz Queen’s Guard patrols Shanghai’s Thames Town, where pubs and statues of Winston Churchill abound. Gleaming replicas of the White House dot Chinese cities from Fuyang to Shenzhen. These examples are but a sampling of China’s most popular and startling architectural movement: the construction of monumental themed communities that replicate towns and cities in the West.Original Copies presents the first definitive chronicle of this remarkable phenomenon in which entire townships appear to have been airlifted from their historic and geographic foundations in Europe and the Americas, and spot-welded to Chinese cities. These copycat constructions are not theme parks but thriving communities where Chinese families raise children, cook dinners, and simulate the experiences of a pseudo-Orange County or Oxford.In recounting the untold and evolving story of China’s predilection for replicating the greatest architectural hits of the West, Bianca Bosker explores what this unprecedented experiment in “duplitecture” implies for the social, political, architectural, and commercial landscape of contemporary China. With her lively, authoritative narrative, the author shows us how, in subtle but important ways, these homes and public spaces shape the behavior of their residents, as they reflect the achievements, dreams, and anxieties of those who inhabit them, as well as those of their developers and designers. — University of Hawai‘i Press{chop}{node, 3673, 4}

Conversation

03.08.13

Will China’s Property Market Crash, and So What If It Does?

Dorinda Elliott & Bill Bishop
Dorinda Elliott:At this week’s National People’s Congress, outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao proclaimed that the government kept housing prices from rising too fast. Really? I wonder what my 28-year-old Shanghainese friend Robert thinks about that. He and...

The Death and Life of a Great Chinese City

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
Judging from the evidence of Michael Meyer’s portrait of life in a narrow backstreet of Beijing as China prepared for the Olympic Games, old Beijing has been vanishing for a very long time. “Peking you simply would not be able to recognize except by...