Chengdu: A Megacity…

HomeForumsGeneral DiscussionChengdu: A Megacity…

  • This topic has 14 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 8 years ago by Eric.
Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 25 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #8585
    BrendanBrendan
    Moderator

    This article has just appeared in the Guardian (online) back in the UK, putting a surprising and refreshingly positive spin on the current development in Chengdu. Interesting times we’re all fortunate to be in. Thanks to Ray for directing me to this.

    How the rise of the megacity is changing the way we live.

    #16466
    RayRay
    Participant

    Great advertising for the ‘Du! This “400 metre artificial beach” sounds insane. The Guardian also has a feature on Chengdu food; more promotion for the city. Get ready for a huge influx of new arrivals…the secret is out….

    #16566
    RayRay
    Participant

    Great advertising for the ‘Du! This “400 metre artificial beach” sounds insane. The Guardian also has a feature on Chengdu food; more promotion for the city. Get ready for a huge influx of new arrivals…the secret is out….

    #16467
    BrendanBrendan
    Moderator

    That’s the one thing I wonder about, the ‘influx’ of foreigners shuttling into Chengdu. It will happen, especially as disdain grows amongst anyone with a free thought elsewhere in the world, and we should all be embracing it. I’d just hate to see Chengdu end up as another Beijing or Shanghai with huge enclaves of expats carving out territory and presence in the city (cultural arguments aside), Chengdu’s strength is it’s distance from this. We all know that skill sets and lateral thinking are missing here, and more such entities can only be a good thing. Let’s just hope it’s not corporates who are driving the change, and through it all Chengdu can retain it’s relative tranquility.

    #16567
    BrendanBrendan
    Moderator

    That’s the one thing I wonder about, the ‘influx’ of foreigners shuttling into Chengdu. It will happen, especially as disdain grows amongst anyone with a free thought elsewhere in the world, and we should all be embracing it. I’d just hate to see Chengdu end up as another Beijing or Shanghai with huge enclaves of expats carving out territory and presence in the city (cultural arguments aside), Chengdu’s strength is it’s distance from this. We all know that skill sets and lateral thinking are missing here, and more such entities can only be a good thing. Let’s just hope it’s not corporates who are driving the change, and through it all Chengdu can retain it’s relative tranquility.

    #16468
    Steeevyo
    Member

    I lived in Beijing for three wonderful years and just moved to Chengdu one month ago. I agree that everything is much harder here in terms of my selfish ‘expat’ expectations (e.g. a western style supermarket like Jenny Lou’s, a flat with an oven in the kitchen etc.). But even in Beijing, where the expat density is much much higher, to claim that this would have any effect on the the city that goes beyond scratching the surface is a bit of a stretch. In the municipality there are roughly 18 million people. How could a few hundred thousand expats (and that estimate already includes the 500.000 Koreans living in Beijing) have any serious impact. The urban changes throughout Chinas new and old Megacities have nothing to do with foreigners and everything to do with the rapid and radical changes in Chinese society. And the likes of Starbucks KFC and Pizza Hut dont come here for the foreigners they come here for the Chinese consumer.

    Having said that. I recently went on a site visit for that Waterworld Project mentioned in the article and I also saw a 30 minute animation film. We are building the contemporary art centre opposite of that building that’s why I am here. So anyway that fake beach will have a full length LED screen at the fake horizon to fake sunsets and sunrises. This entire building is insane indeed.

    #16568
    Steeevyo
    Member

    I lived in Beijing for three wonderful years and just moved to Chengdu one month ago. I agree that everything is much harder here in terms of my selfish ‘expat’ expectations (e.g. a western style supermarket like Jenny Lou’s, a flat with an oven in the kitchen etc.). But even in Beijing, where the expat density is much much higher, to claim that this would have any effect on the the city that goes beyond scratching the surface is a bit of a stretch. In the municipality there are roughly 18 million people. How could a few hundred thousand expats (and that estimate already includes the 500.000 Koreans living in Beijing) have any serious impact. The urban changes throughout Chinas new and old Megacities have nothing to do with foreigners and everything to do with the rapid and radical changes in Chinese society. And the likes of Starbucks KFC and Pizza Hut dont come here for the foreigners they come here for the Chinese consumer.

    Having said that. I recently went on a site visit for that Waterworld Project mentioned in the article and I also saw a 30 minute animation film. We are building the contemporary art centre opposite of that building that’s why I am here. So anyway that fake beach will have a full length LED screen at the fake horizon to fake sunsets and sunrises. This entire building is insane indeed.

    #16473
    Ader
    Participant

    “The Guardian also has a feature on Chengdu food”

    Is the food that good in Chengdu?

    #16573
    Ader
    Participant

    “The Guardian also has a feature on Chengdu food”

    Is the food that good in Chengdu?

    #16477
    BrendanBrendan
    Moderator
    Quote:
    How could a few hundred thousand… have any serious impact.

    I was generalising, and to be honest I seriously doubt anything beyond a few thousand new expats entering Chengdu is likely for a while, but it is fair to say that Beijing and Shanghai have been changed by their foreign inhabitants. I’m back in Beijing for Spring Festival as I write this, and it’s immediately apparent within short time of arriving just how different and perhaps even insulated Chengdu remains from the influences felt here. There is no Element Fresh or Hotel G in Chengdu, but they will arrive as the expanses between the metro lines are filled. Infrastructure is the make or break of any city, and always a strong consideration to foreign investment. This is more than a light discussion, there are many factors that separate the cities, just as their are many reasons why ‘upwardly mobile’ (I feel so 80’s using that!) white collar workers are more likely to remain in one rather than the other, spending their disparate salaries on the amenities developed specifically to cater to them in the first place. This is the change we’ve yet to see in Chengdu. My hope would be that it would be a broader, more commonly felt change, as opposed to the rise of yet more Sanlitun’s.

    As for China’s rapid development, that’s also a case in point. Rapid development largely equates to countless grand scale cookie cutter apartment complexes, which seem to rise up almost anywhere there’s an available scratch of land. Be it beside an obscure section of highway, or tucked beside an overpass, this is not the (generally) coherent development we witness in the West. Developers with inside information on future use and development of adjoining lands are only too keen to throw up yet another shopping mall or apartment complex. Starbucks and McD’s meanwhile are only too keen to park alongside and play the numbers game, but these are not the changes I’m speaking of. I absolutely want to see change in Chengdu for the better, even if in part for selfish reasons, including being able to grab a good all day breakfast & espresso at 2pm. A truly vibrant city is one that encompasses everyone living within it. What I see so far is a lack of planning and micro management, and foreign investment from blue chips only too keen to move in regardless. Then I think of Tongzilin in Chengdu, which to me feels like the archetypal dead zone of non contribution, and home to those only too happy to tuck themselves away amongst their peers. Again I’m generalising, but it’s not an untruth.

    Chengdu has so much promise as a city, with so much available land for new enterprise. It would be a tragic waste if in 10 years from now, all that had been created was adjoined pockets of same bearing down on the few remaining cultural imprints.

    Incidentally;

    Quote:
    Is the food that good in Chengdu?

    The food absolutely is that good. The article estimates some 40,000 restaurants in Chengdu, and as that might suggest you can find pretty much everything and anything you might imagine. It just might take you a while to eat your way to it!

    #16577
    BrendanBrendan
    Moderator
    Quote:
    How could a few hundred thousand… have any serious impact.

    I was generalising, and to be honest I seriously doubt anything beyond a few thousand new expats entering Chengdu is likely for a while, but it is fair to say that Beijing and Shanghai have been changed by their foreign inhabitants. I’m back in Beijing for Spring Festival as I write this, and it’s immediately apparent within short time of arriving just how different and perhaps even insulated Chengdu remains from the influences felt here. There is no Element Fresh or Hotel G in Chengdu, but they will arrive as the expanses between the metro lines are filled. Infrastructure is the make or break of any city, and always a strong consideration to foreign investment. This is more than a light discussion, there are many factors that separate the cities, just as their are many reasons why ‘upwardly mobile’ (I feel so 80’s using that!) white collar workers are more likely to remain in one rather than the other, spending their disparate salaries on the amenities developed specifically to cater to them in the first place. This is the change we’ve yet to see in Chengdu. My hope would be that it would be a broader, more commonly felt change, as opposed to the rise of yet more Sanlitun’s.

    As for China’s rapid development, that’s also a case in point. Rapid development largely equates to countless grand scale cookie cutter apartment complexes, which seem to rise up almost anywhere there’s an available scratch of land. Be it beside an obscure section of highway, or tucked beside an overpass, this is not the (generally) coherent development we witness in the West. Developers with inside information on future use and development of adjoining lands are only too keen to throw up yet another shopping mall or apartment complex. Starbucks and McD’s meanwhile are only too keen to park alongside and play the numbers game, but these are not the changes I’m speaking of. I absolutely want to see change in Chengdu for the better, even if in part for selfish reasons, including being able to grab a good all day breakfast & espresso at 2pm. A truly vibrant city is one that encompasses everyone living within it. What I see so far is a lack of planning and micro management, and foreign investment from blue chips only too keen to move in regardless. Then I think of Tongzilin in Chengdu, which to me feels like the archetypal dead zone of non contribution, and home to those only too happy to tuck themselves away amongst their peers. Again I’m generalising, but it’s not an untruth.

    Chengdu has so much promise as a city, with so much available land for new enterprise. It would be a tragic waste if in 10 years from now, all that had been created was adjoined pockets of same bearing down on the few remaining cultural imprints.

    Incidentally;

    Quote:
    Is the food that good in Chengdu?

    The food absolutely is that good. The article estimates some 40,000 restaurants in Chengdu, and as that might suggest you can find pretty much everything and anything you might imagine. It just might take you a while to eat your way to it!

    #16478
    RayRay
    Participant

    Chengdu megacity (megapolis) has decent air quality today, due to the relative lack of cars on the road. Had a run this morning on the 1st ring road (about 6 am) with barely a car around. Get out and enjoy a Chengdu “clean air day” (insert sarcasm if necessary)!

    #16578
    RayRay
    Participant

    Chengdu megacity (megapolis) has decent air quality today, due to the relative lack of cars on the road. Had a run this morning on the 1st ring road (about 6 am) with barely a car around. Get out and enjoy a Chengdu “clean air day” (insert sarcasm if necessary)!

    #16482
    BrendanBrendan
    Moderator
    Quote:
    “clean air day”

    It’s the same in Beijing right now, no cloud cover and very little traffic to speak of, so the air feels unusually clean. I’m sure though in a couple of days time I’ll be sucking up microns like a Dyson.

    And all this talk of Mega Cities… but where’s (Chinese) Judge Dredd?

    #16582
    BrendanBrendan
    Moderator
    Quote:
    “clean air day”

    It’s the same in Beijing right now, no cloud cover and very little traffic to speak of, so the air feels unusually clean. I’m sure though in a couple of days time I’ll be sucking up microns like a Dyson.

    And all this talk of Mega Cities… but where’s (Chinese) Judge Dredd?

    #16483
    RayRay
    Participant

    I read that immediately after the fireworks in Beijing the air quality was extremely dangerous, due to the fireworks and alot of nasty chemicals in them. Environmental groups lobbied people to refrain from buying fireworks, but with little success. Hospital admissions for respiratory problems increased dramatically. Possibly the same situation here…?

    Judge Dredd? That’s the chen guan (street police)! Keeping the city orderly! Taking out the (human) trash!

    #16583
    RayRay
    Participant

    I read that immediately after the fireworks in Beijing the air quality was extremely dangerous, due to the fireworks and alot of nasty chemicals in them. Environmental groups lobbied people to refrain from buying fireworks, but with little success. Hospital admissions for respiratory problems increased dramatically. Possibly the same situation here…?

    Judge Dredd? That’s the chen guan (street police)! Keeping the city orderly! Taking out the (human) trash!

    #16514
    CharlieCharlie
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    This “400 metre artificial beach” sounds insane

    We were just talking about this the other day – can’t wait to check that place out. I think it’s inside the most enormous construction project ever, in the south near the High Tech Zone. I passed it the other day in a taxi and the driver was telling me about it. It reminds me of the Pentagon, which is also retardedly huge.

    #16605
    CharlieCharlie
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    This “400 metre artificial beach” sounds insane

    We were just talking about this the other day – can’t wait to check that place out. I think it’s inside the most enormous construction project ever, in the south near the High Tech Zone. I passed it the other day in a taxi and the driver was telling me about it. It reminds me of the Pentagon, which is also retardedly huge.

    #16730
    AMAM
    Participant

    There seems to have been a lot of articles recently about Chengdu/Sichuan in the UK broadsheets.

    Here is one about Sichuan cuisine from the Guardian.

    EDIT: Sorry, just noticed this was discussed earlier in this thread.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 25 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.