FILE PHOTO: A man walks at the financial district of Pudong in Shanghai March 11, 2014.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

China is rapidly urbanizing. More than half of China’s population now lives in cities, and over 100 Chinese cities have over 1 million people each.

Many urban centers, like Shanghai and Shenzhen, have gone from modest fishing villages to booming megacities. Others have become mega-ghost cities — high-tech (often luxury) urban centers that fail to attract many residents.

Here’s a look at some of China’s largest real estate developments that will change its cities even more.

Nanhui New City

Set to be complete by 2020, Nanhui will be a “satellite city” (kind of like an urbanized suburb) in the Pudong area of Shanghai. It’s over a decade in the making. Construction, including residential complexes, eight university campuses, a museum, offices, plazas, and retail began in 2003.  

Designed by the German architects Gerkan, Marg, and Partners, Nanhui New City plans to attract 800,000 residents and reportedly cost $4.5 billion.  



The Chengdu Creative Centre

Designed by the UK-based architecture firm Broadway Malyan, the Chengdu Creative Centre will be a business and residential park in Chengdu. The 2.9 million-square-foot district will feature offices, retail, and green spaces.

It is the first phase of a larger, longer-term city development project, called Tianfu, which will span 609 square miles and several counties in Chengdu. Plans for the next phases have not yet been released.

Chengdu Great City

When complete by 2020, Chengdu Great City — a city located about two miles outside Chengdu — will create enough housing to accommodate 80,000 people.

The development will be less car-dependent than most metropolises in China, according to architects Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. For example, half the road space will be devoted to pedestrian traffic, and all homes will be within a two-minute walk of a public park.

The architects also say that Chengdu Great City will generate 60% less carbon dioxide than a conventional development of similar population.

The project aims to conserve the area’s existing farmland and green space — 60% of the site will be preserved for agriculture and 15% will be devoted to parks and other grassy space. The remaining 25% will feature residential and office space, roads, and sidewalks. The masterplan also includes a transit stop to connect to Chengdu.

Construction began on the 13 million-square-foot project in 2012.

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