Galleries 22
Collections 0
Groups 0
Created 28-Oct-06
Modified 12-Jan-15
As China modernizes, its population becomes more urban. In fact, planners and demographers estimate that by 2030 about 60% of the then 1.5 billion Chinese will live in cities (as of the end of 2007, the ratio is around 47%). Thus Chinese cities undergo huge structural and functional changes these days. As urban planning (guihua 规划) is closely related to central planning (jihua 计划), with very little wealth being generated in the non-competitive rural areas, China experiences internal migration towards urban centers of an unprecedented scale.

For the sake of argument, one could divide the evolution of the Chinese city into the following (very broad) categories:
1. Traditional, walled cities ("Yao/Shun era" to the 1930s); very few remaining, such as Xian; negative example: Beijing.
2. The socialist city (1950s to mid-1980s); boosting the percentage of blue-collar workers, affordable housing, urban communes, work-unit (danwei 单位) type, discreet enclosures, broad, central avenues and large squares, Soviet style exhibition halls.
3. The hybrid city (1860s to today); western design principles meshed with Chinese traditional street grids and architecture; Shanghai, Tianjin are good examples. Many of these were the first to develop a modern infrastructure.
4. The global city (mid-90 to today) - complete with CBD inhabitated by sufficient number of TNCs, large-scale commercial and industrial zoning regulations, international airport, a multiplicity of urban cores, internationally linked informal network hubs, etc. Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai come to mind.

The images provided here depict the ongoing urban transformation of Chinese cities since 1981 (the first time I visited China). Please also check out the Tianjin and Fuzhou related galleries for similar images.

Thomas H. Hahn
Ithaca & Beijing

Beijing Urban Planning Exhibition Hall

Visitors 802
25 photos
Created 23-Jul-06
Modified 23-Jul-06
Beijing Urban Planning Exhibition Hall

Beijing Urban Planning 1954 - 北京1954年城市规划测绘图

15 photos
Created 9-Nov-08
Modified 9-Nov-08
Beijing Urban Planning 1954 - 北京1954年城市规划测绘图

The new/old Gongwangfu 恭王府

Visitors 662
64 photos
Created 4-Aug-06
Modified 4-Aug-06
The new/old Gongwangfu 恭王府

A new street in Beijing

Visitors 427
16 photos
Created 2-Feb-09
Modified 2-Feb-09
A new street in Beijing

Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city

Visitors 1563
40 photos
Created 20-Nov-08
Modified 20-Nov-08
Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city

Life in a Chinese city (1985/86)

72 photos
Created 25-Sep-13
Modified 25-Sep-13
Life in a Chinese city (1985/86)

Urban renewal along the old Grand Canal in Wuxi

Visitors 380
34 photos
Created 28-Mar-13
Modified 28-Mar-13
Urban renewal along the old Grand Canal in Wuxi

Post-industrial landscapes: Factory 798 in Beijing

Visitors 223
35 photos
Created 26-Mar-09
Modified 26-Mar-09
Post-industrial landscapes: Factory 798 in Beijing

8 months after the Wenchuan earthquake

Visitors 902
40 photos
Created 4-Feb-09
Modified 4-Feb-09
8 months after the Wenchuan earthquake

Wuzhen - A traditional Chinese water village

Visitors 172
49 photos
Created 13-Jan-15
Modified 13-Jan-15
Wuzhen - A traditional Chinese water village

The old village of Nanxun 湖州南潯 (Zhejiang province)

39 photos
Created 11-Feb-09
Modified 11-Feb-09
The old village of Nanxun 湖州南潯 (Zhejiang province)

The old village of Qingyan 贵州青岩

35 photos
Created 15-Feb-09
Modified 15-Feb-09
The old village of Qingyan 贵州青岩

Suzhou in b/w

Visitors 195
8 photos
Created 24-Dec-06
Modified 24-Dec-06
Suzhou in b/w

Chongwu township 崇武镇 in Fujian province

Visitors 215
25 photos
Created 13-Jan-07
Modified 13-Jan-07
Chongwu township 崇武镇 in Fujian province

Christian churches in China

175 photos
Created 17-Feb-15
Modified 17-Feb-15
Christian churches in China

Chinese artists and the city 近代城市化与当代艺术家

193 photos
Created 13-Mar-16
Modified 13-Mar-16
Chinese artists and the city 近代城市化与当代艺术家

Beijing - Views from above

Visitors 314
6 photos
Created 1-May-11
Modified 1-May-11
Beijing - Views from above

Beijing CCTV Tower - artistic renderings

Visitors 711
19 photos
Created 1-Nov-13
Modified 1-Nov-13
Beijing CCTV Tower - artistic renderings

Shanghai scrapbook

24 photos
Created 12-Dec-12
Modified 12-Dec-12
Shanghai scrapbook

How China's children view the city

Visitors 40
22 photos
Created 28-Jan-14
Modified 28-Jan-14
How China's children view the city

The Taku and Beitang Forts near Tianjin

18 photos
Created 23-Jul-06
Modified 23-Jul-06
The Taku and Beitang Forts near Tianjin

Tianjin's former Italian concession

46 photos
Created 1-Oct-10
Modified 1-Oct-10
Tianjin's former Italian concession