Guanzhou Modernized

Guanzhou Modernized explores the development of Guanzhou Island, a pocket of untouched farmland in the center of Guangzhou, south China’s metropolis of light industry.

Guanzhou sits to the southeast of the Guangzhou economic machine. It’s a place that was simply leapfrogged by development. Further south, beyond University City, is Panyu, a suburban area now boasting Asia’s largest water park. To the north and west is the dense urban network of buildings and streets of a massive city on the make. Once you zoom out a bit, the wresting of land from villagers not too far from some of the most expensive land in China seems not only inevitable but long overdue.

It all started in America. Decades ago, a Guangzhou native immigrated to the States to study and begin his new life. He adapted, growing rich and beginning to think of ways to operate on a large scale. Seeing the American market as saturated and slow, he triumphantly returned to his native land, armed with visions of real estate developments and prestige-building science center projects to transform his hometown. This was 1999, well into the Reform and Opening economic miracle taking place in Guangzhou but just a little before China was ready to move from industrial generation to luxury, high-end living.

Produced by Du Gang, Jeremy Kutner, Ivy Wang

Originally published on April 23, 2009

One Response to “Guanzhou Modernized”

  1. The End of a Rural Enclave in a Chinese Megalopolis - The China Blog – Says:

    [...] This Recently I’ve posted links to a few videos on the Asia Society’s China Green page. Here’s another worth checking out. It’s a look at the controversial development of a largely rural island in the southern Chinese [...]

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