China’s Urban Boom — (Part 9) Building A Century in Fifteen Years

CITIES & THE WEALTH OF NATIONS

Part 9, two cities: Nanjing & Qingdao

Nanjing, China — With a population over 8 million, Nanjing has long been a national center of education, research, transport networks, and tourism — with electronics, cars, petrochemical, iron and steel, and power as the “Five Pillar Industries.” Nanjing is the second largest commercial center in the East China region, after Shanghai. It has been ranked fourth by Forbes magazine in its listing of “2008 Top 100 Business Cities in Mainland China”, seventh in the evaluation of “Cities with Strongest Comprehensive Strength” issued by the National Statistics Bureau, and second in the evaluation of cities with most sustainable development potential in the Yangtze River Delta. It has also been awarded the title of 2008 Habitat Scroll of Honor of China, Special Award of UN Habitat Scroll of Honor and National Civilized City. Since China’s entry into the WTO, Nanjing has received increasing attention from foreign investors, and on average, two new foreign firms establish offices in the city every day.

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Qingdao, China — With a population over 8 million, Qingdao  is a major seaport, naval base, and industrial center on China’s eastern seaboard. In 2009, Qingdao was named China’s most livable city. The GDP has grown steadily at an average pace of 16% annually over a decade. In 2006, Qingdao was ranked one of six “golden cities” by the World Bank, assessed on factors including investment climate and government effectiveness. Northern Qingdao is a manufacturing center. The city has recently experienced a strong growth period, with a new central business district created to the east of the older business district. Outside the city center there is a large industrial zone, which includes chemical processing, rubber and heavy manufacturing, in addition to a growing high-tech area. Numerous local and national service companies, rather than manufacturers, are based in the city’s southern district — this along with local wind patterns allows Qingdao to enjoy clean, clear air year round.

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