booming Shanghai

The China blog of the Asia Society just published a piece on the Dramatic Urbanization in China Over Decades. This is a partial reblog.

Twenty-six years ago, only 26 percent of the Chinese population lived in urban areas. Since then, China’s urbanization rate has risen to almost 56 percent, meaning hundreds of millions of people have packed themselves into the country’s 662 cities. As Jamil Anderlini at the Financial Times notes, this is actually thelargest migration of any kind of mammal in history. While these huge numbers convey the scope of China’s transformation, it’s hard to actually imagine what the movement of millions of people looks like. Struck by this idea, Dheera Venkatraman recently traveled across China, putting together a photo series called “Time Traveling in China.”

Most will have seen pictures showing the changing skyline of Pudong:


Pudong, Shanghai, approximately 1920 source:

When the original photo of what is now Pudong was taken in 1920, Shanghai was divided into foreign concessions with a combined population of about 900,000. Today, it is the largest city in China, and one of the largest cities in the world, with a population of about 24 million. 

But satellite photo comparisons are even more telling:

So more and more Grossstadtgefluester:

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