In an recent article about the urbanization of nations around Asia, BBC cast some lights in the largest migration movement in the history of mankind:
Three decades of sustained economic growth, concentrated along the booming coast, has lured millions from the impoverished Chinese countryside. This great migration – unprecedented in human history – has put 46 Chinese cities over the one million mark since 1992, out of a national total of 102.
And this is just the start.
Currently only about 40% of China’s population lives in cities, roughly that of America in 1885.
It is estimated that another 350 million Chinese will become urban by 2025, raising China’s urban numbers to a cool billion.
Accommodating all these people has meant building on a scale the world has never seen before.
In the first 20 years of China’s economic revolution, begun under Deng Xiaoping in the late 1970s, China built some 6.5bn sq m (70bn sq ft) of new housing – the equivalent of more than 150 million average-sized apartments.
In Shanghai there were no skyscrapers in 1980; today it has twice as many as New York. Between 1990 and 2004 developers erected 85m sq m of commercial space in the city – equivalent to 334 Empire State buildings.
Nationwide, China’s construction industry employs a workforce of about 37 million.
Nearly half the world’s steel and cement is devoured there, and much of the world’s heavy construction equipment has relocated to the People’s Republic. Tower cranes, for example, have become the ubiquitous symbol of urban China.
read more at Rise of the Asian megacity (from BBC)