polis: a collective blog about cities worldwide

A Bird’s Eye View of China’s Rapid Urbanization

by Natalia Echeverri

China's urbanization is happening at a pace never seen before. In the last two decades, thousands of new developments have sprouted along the fringes of cities across China. Wilderness and farmland have been heedlessly replaced by replicated towers. Villages have been demolished as developers prepare grounds for the next development.

The southern edge of the city of Xi'an in 2005.

The same view in 2009.

The same view in 2010.

These changes can be traced through Google Earth. The following video shows a decade of transformation of 11 Chinese cities: Beijing, Tianjin, Nanjing, Shanghai (Pudong), Shenzhen, Chengdu, Shenyang, Changchun, Hangzhou, Wenzhou and Xi'an. These are just few of the countless examples.

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