Mega Growth for China's Megacities

It seems as though China has even more megacities than we originally thought. What the United Nations puts at 6, is actually more like 15 megacities- defined as those with more than 10 million people.

The rate of Chinese urbanization has increased at a massive rate with nearly 500 million people being added to its cities in a period of just 35 years. This is based upon a new report released by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The analysis was based upon functional urban areas rather than cities traditionally defined by administrative borders. The updated list now includes Harbin, known for its annual ice and snow sculpture festival and Nanjing which sits on the Yangtze River.

With almost 3,000 people neglecting the countryside of China each day, there are additional plans for the government to move more than 100 million people into the cities within the next 10 years. In order to accommodate this massive influx of people China intends to do whatever necessary including flattening 700 mountains and filling in valleys to create 250 kilometers of additional space for housing and workspace.

Meixi Lake is slated as one of the largest urban design ventures in the world. It is anticipated that nearly 180,000 people will be housed in this location as the city is set to be 6.5 million square metres in size. The city is structured to blend in with the surrounding mountains along with a myriad of lakes and parks designed to improve residential health.

Another city by the name of Nanhui New City is being constructed 60 miles from Shanghai. This $7 billion pursuit being referred to as a “mini Hong Kong”, will be structured around a trade free zone the country is optimistic will elevate commerce in the region. The city’s design includes office buildings, entertainment facilities, and shopping centers designed to make a center of tourism and commercial success.

Work on the new urban centre Kangbashi began in 2003 just outside of the city of Ordos, referred to as the world’s largest ghost city. The intended purpose of area was to be a symbol of wealth and progression for China. However, a variety of problems including investors backing out and unpaid loans halted construction in its tracks. Ultimately, the goal is to get the city back on its feet and with recent reports of the city’s growing population it seems to be headed in the right direction. Plus, the Chinese government is offering incentives to entice people to move there while also relocating public facilities (i.e. schools and hospitals) in order to force people to move.

China also apparently wants a Big Apple of its own with its construction of Yujiapu. The $56 million project will be located near Tianjin approximately 200 kilometers from Beijing. It’s slated to have its own Twin Tower complex and Rockefeller Centre and be even bigger than Manhattan’s financial centre, overtaking Wall Street and the City of London.

At the rate China is growing, the likelihood of there being even more Chinese megacities in the future is great. It will be interesting to see the final product of these latest projects and the impact that has on China and its economy.