Thursday, May 23, 2013

ShenZhen Population Boom: 30,000 to 12,000,000 -- in 30 years

I've got some fabulous pictures to share, thanks to another adoptive parent, who shared the following article: Here's What Shenzhen, China Looked Like Just Before Becoming One Of The Most Important Cities In The World. I've written about ShenZhen before (Shenzhen: Fishing Village to Major Port), but I never ceased to be amazed by it's growth. According to this, the population around 1980 was roughly 30,000. However, about that time, China designated it a Special Economic Zone, freeing it from much of the Communist rules that the rest of the country has to follow in terms of private business growth. The city has taken off ever since, and the most recent figures provide a population estimate of 12,000,000.

Here are 5 random pictures from the article I linked above (all taken in 1980):
 
 
 
 

And now, compare those to the following (also taken from that article):


And this (taken from my own blog):

Or, better yet, watch this 48 second video that shows a better look at the gridlock we found ourselves stuck in for two-plus hours:

Gridlock from Amy Reynolds on Vimeo.

I read that the population density in ShenZhen is at 6,620 people (per square mile).  Can you imagine just how strange it must have been for Shaling to arrive here and see such wide expanses of single-family homes?!?

Finally, just a bit off topic, but while searching for the gridlock video to share, I stumbled across this one as well. Shaling and Natalie (who was adopted to a family in Florida the same day we got Shaling) are chattering away in Chinese. While I wouldn't trade being able to converse with Shaling, I am nostalgic for those days of hearing her rattle off in Chinese like this. Shaling is the one in the green jacket (on the right):

More Gridlock from Brock Reynolds on Vimeo.

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