Urban landscape of Chongqing, one of the fastest growing city in China.
One of the founding element of China's transformation over the past decades has been the urbanization of its population.. The share of rural population dropped from 75% to 45% in just 25 years. Hundreds of millions of people moving and drastically changing their lifestyle.. This phenomenon has triggered a total reshaping of China's urban landscape. Historic neighborhoods have been razed to leave room to high-rises and shopping malls. Alleyways have become expressways. Meanwhile this influx of population has put urban infrastructures under stress, with packed buses and subways, drying water resources, and increased air pollution.
Buyers and sellers at a real estate market fair in Beijing.
A migrant's child standing in the ruins of Beijing traditional housing. The destruction of old neighborhoods including many architectural treasures is one consequence of China's urbanization.
A worker by a construction site in Beijing.
A man staring at a large residential complex under construction by the Yangtze in Chongqing. Part of the "Chongqing Model" developed by Party Secretary Bo Xilai includes the construction of social housing. Chongqing has the fastest growing GDP in China. Residential housing investment as a share of China's GDP has tripled from 2% in 2000 to 6% in 2011.
A pedestrian walking on an overpass in Beijing financial district.
A migrant worker selling kites in Beijing. Chinese cities urban growth is fuelled in large part by the influx of rural population seeking higher wages in the urban areas.
A hostess in a Beijing restaurant.
Waitress is one of of the most common job women from the countryside seeking higher wages in urban areas.
Street scene on the outskirts of Beijing where cheap rents have attracted hundreds of young graduates from all over China. They come to the big city with the hope that their diploma can land them a good job, only to find a very different reality: very low paid jobs if any. In this area they can rent a room for as little as RMB500 a month (euros 60). These young graduates are being called "ants". They live in shoddy constructions hastily built by locals eager to cash in on these new comers.
Residential buildings under construction in Caofeidian a new city built on reclaimed land at a high cost. Billed as the "world's first realised eco-city" at its inception, 8 years and 91 billion dollars later, few industries have moved there and the city is mostly empty.
Bad planning, mismanagement, speculation and corruption have led to the creation of many "ghost cities".