The region where the Pearl River flows into the South China Sea has seen some of the most rapid urban expansion in human history over the past few decades – transforming what was mostly agricultural land in 1979 into what is the manufacturing heartland of a global economic superpower today. — The Guardian
All the radar systems, lighthouses, barracks, ports and airfields that China has set up on its newly built island chain in the South China Sea require tremendous amounts of electricity, which is hard to come by in a place hundreds of miles from the country’s power grid.
Beijing may have come up with a solution: floating nuclear power plants.
A state-owned company, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, is planning to build a fleet of the vessels to provide electricity to remote locations [...] — nytimes.com
"Foreigners consider [Kangbashi] to be abandoned. Chinese consider the city to be still developing," [photographer Raphael Olivier] explains.
"A lot of the early news reports focus on it being a failed, weird place -- but it's also a huge accomplishment and people there are not necessarily unhappy, there is a huge sense of hope. You have to respect that on a certain level." — CNN
The American government’s relaxation of its 56-year embargo against Cuba and the inauguration of direct flights from China has triggered a race to invest in the island’s tourist infrastructure [...]
There are reports that China’s Suntime International Economic Trading Company will go ahead with a luxury hotel in Havana, in a joint venture Cuba’s state tourism agency, Cubanacán. The size of the hotel is reported variously at 600 to 650 rooms, with Suntime investing up to $150m — Global Construction Review
Beijing is stepping up measures to fight against smog and pollution by building a web of ventilation corridors as one of its plans to combat climate issues, according to municipal authorities.
“Ventilation corridors can improve wind flow through a city so that wind can blow away heat and pollutants, relieving urban heat island effect and air pollution,” Wang Fei, deputy head of Beijing’s urban planning committee, told Xinhua News Agency. — CCTV America
...eye-catching edifices began as China’s way of announcing its arrival as a powerful player on the world stage. Now, however, the Chinese government has changed course: It has officially declared this to be “weird” architecture that must be stopped. Chinese leaders have turned their backs on these structures, a shift that underscores China’s new conception of itself and its ambitions for the future [...] — the New Republic
A directive issued on Sunday by the State Council, China’s cabinet, and the Communist Party’s Central Committee says no to architecture that is “oversized, xenocentric, weird” and devoid of cultural tradition. Instead, buildings should be “suitable, economic, green and pleasing to the eye.” The directive also calls for an end to gated communities.
The guidelines come two months after a high-level meeting to address some of the problems that have arisen as a result of China’s rapid urbanization. — nytimes.com
Graham Fink has been documenting the demolition sites of Shanghai for five years, trying to capture the state of flux during this period of rapid urbanisation. His Ballads of Shanghai exhibition is at London’s Riflemaker gallery until Sunday. — the Guardian
...the Nu [River is] the last remaining major watershed in China without a dam. For years, though, the local government has planned to build a series dams along the Nu, too. Entire villages have already been relocated to make way. If the dams are built, China’s last free-flowing river will turn into a series of cascading lakes. — Marketplace
'My family has lived here for generations. We don’t want the money, we don’t want our house destroyed, we just want to live here,' Mrs. Zhang declared.
The physical re-facing of China is cutting some very deep social scars. Abuse of power, corruption, developers in cahoots with government officials, and the misappropriation of funds are rife throughout the eviction and relocation process, littering the country with the seeds of discontent. — CityMetric
As of the 2010 census, the vast majority of Shanghai’s population lived in suburban areas. Between 2000 and 2010, suburban areas grew by 50 percent or more, compared to the city’s central districts, which grew slower or in some cases even shrank [...]
The villagers who join the urban economy, then, don’t go downtown, but to the settlements that dot the fringes of the city. The industries that really help China to grow are here, too — citylab.com
Just two days after images of a giant gold-colored statue of Mao in the bare fields of Henan Province spread across the Internet, the statue was gone — torn down apparently on the orders of embarrassed local officials. [...]
According to villagers and reports on online chat sites, the statue was the idea of a local businessman, Sun Qingxin ... “He is crazy about Mao,” said a villager who identified himself as Mr. Wang, a potato farmer. “His factory is full of Maos.” — nytimes.com
More news from China:China to sustainably build 10 New York City's worth of space in the next decadeChina hopes to improve its cities with newly released urban planning visionChina relaxes restrictions on who gets perks of urban public servicesConstruction stalled on 'world's tallest building', so...
In this rush to urbanize, China also has an enormous opportunity to move toward a “new pattern of urbanization.” Chinese cities could fulfill their potential to be the most energy-efficient human habitat rather than stoking energy consumption. — NextCity.org
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