Baltimore and Beijing: A Learning Expedition to China
Famously Rampant Urbanization
country. The establishment of the People’s Republic saw the proportion of rural residents in the solid majority. Although Chinese cities boast histories reaching back thousands of years, they were mostly distinct settlements, often retaining ancient defensive walls and sharing key aspects of their city plans. However, starting from the late 1970s, with the establishment of new policies, the growth of its cities, and the transformation of its population from predominantly rural to mainly city-dwelling, took off.
|Twenty-three existing and planned urban megaregions in China (Fang 2011)|
Shifting Policy Landscape
Shortcomings in Contemporary Urbanization
Visualizing Urbanization: Opportunities for Enhancement
|Change of land covers in Beijing from 1984 through 2010. Red is
developed urban land. Copyright
Prof. Weiqi Zhou. Do not duplicate without permission.
The Reach of Urbanization
|Urban district rising on recently converted agricultural land
between Beijing and Tianjin.
An Urban Ecological Future
Professorship from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. My hosts were Prof. Weiqi Zhou and Prof. Zhiyun Ouyang of the State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology of the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences. The graduate students and faculty in Prof. Zhou’s lab were indispensable guides and warm friends, and I am indebted to them all for many kindnesses, including compensating for my attempts to apply New York rules for jaywalking in an inappropriate cultural context. I know a lot more about urbanism and urban ecology now than I did when I landed in Beijing. They also taught me how to make dumplings.