These Chinese Buildings are Coming to a City Near You

May 31, 2018
China's overseas building campaign is spreading Chinese-style urbanism around the globe.

A square mile of new land spreads out from the shores of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Crews are 80% through reclaiming approximately 65 million cubic meters of sand from the Indian Ocean floor.

The land will form the foundation of Port City Colombo a massive new district of high-rise office towers, luxury apartments, tree-lined canals and beachfront villas.

Adjacent to the city's central business district and a recently upgraded port, the $1.4 billion project is touted by its developers as "a world class city for South Asia."

Renovation of Wencun Village

March 3, 2017
Taking inspiration from local materials and vernacular architecture, Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu remade a rural Chinese village in their image.

Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu have been studying villages in China for years, documenting the slow decline of rural towns as the nation has run headlong into a new urbanized era. These villages are the last bastions of a way of life, and a fading traditional architecture. Wang and Lu hope to preserve both, without rebuilding the past: Instead, their Hangzhou-based firm Amateur Architecture Studio is designing new buildings based on traditional forms that aim to rejuvenate these areas—and maybe even lure young people back from cities.

Why China's Urbanization Isn't Creating a Middle Class

February 29, 2012
China's hukou system is holding it back from creating a middle class.

The rapid rate of development in China manifests itself most clearly in its cities. With some populations rising into the tens of millions, China’s cities are the economic powerhouses of the country, and are helping to create a whole new era of financial prosperity. For some observers, this translates into 1.3 billion people who now have the money to afford the sort of commercial goods many of the country’s factories had previously been producing for the affluent populations of other countries.

Interpreting the World Through the Lens of Tintin

December 23, 2011
A researcher retraces the steps of Tintin around the world.

In comic books created over the course of six decades, a young Belgian reporter named Tintin travels the world, embroiling himself in investigations and adventures. From Soviet Russia to Egypt to China, Tintin’s adventures took him to many exotic locales and into sticky situations with people of countless cultures. The comic has been translated into about 60 languages, and is now a major motion picture by Steven Spielberg, out in U.S. theaters this week.