Chongqing Emerging – Meet The World’s New Largest City
In China, the once rustic industrial city has emerged virtually overnight as not only China’s, but the World’s new largest city, with a population of 33 million people. That’s over 5 times the population of New York, in a city the size of Austria.
The economic boom and transformation occurring in Chongqing is record breaking. Last year, the economy grew 15%. Some $150 billion is being invested in infrastructure, such as the Chongqing Tiandi project, which strives to blend the old feel of the area with modern refinements. High-end restaurants are placed in traditional hand bricked buildings with tiled roofs. Although, skyscrapers and high end nightclubs still abound.
Chongqing has become the poster-child for urbanization in China, as farmland is gobbled up by expressways and skyscrapers, and thousands of new residents pour in every year. This is the face of new China, where by 2015, more than half of the 1.3 billion Chinese will live in cities for the first time in history.
Zhou came to Chongqing five years ago. “Chongqing was growing and the golf industry was about to take off,” Zhou explained. “This was the kind of city to settle in because I could build a career here.” Now Zhou is a golf pro, met his wife on the golf course, and owns his own home.
The Dark Side of Chongqing
Known once as the Foggy City, the pollution here continues to get worse as more people come to Chongquing for opportunities. The government has planned a massive tree planting project, to hold the city’s appeal, but investment in public transportation is notably absent.
The promise of wealth and opportunity remains a major draw, and people continue to come from all parts of China.
“People have become rich here and their spending power is higher.” says Tang Ka Wah, construction company executive.
A rise in extortion and racketeering, along with horrible air quality appear no deterrent when a good salary is promised and the opportunity to live the Chinese dream.