Archive for October, 2014

China builds more houses in 12 years than there are in all of the U.K.

Written October 7th, 2014 by

chinese megacitiesThe growth rates in this article published by New Republic on Chinese megacities seem quite unbelievable: In 12 Years, China Built More Houses Than There Are In All of the U.K. Take the example of Shenzhen growing to 12 million people in 30 years from a cluster of small fishing villages. This gives a compound growth rate of 20% per year, assuming a starting base of 50,000 people.

To put this into perspective, the urban growth models we are dealing with have a compound growth rate around 2% per year.  To service that low growth rate requires investment of many hundred millions of dollars in network infrastructure projects. To have a growth rate 10 times our rate requires investments into the billions of dollars and that is just for one megacity. The article suggests there are at least 6 megacities and 160 cities with populations of more than a million. That is a staggering amount of infrastructure investment required to service that population growth. Read the rest of this entry »