Chongqing, the biggest city in the world 2007-2009Woman in solitude waiting for the departure of the cable car which cross the Yangtze riverStatement
Endless suburbs, speckled with fallow land of concrete. And in the distance, at the hazy horizon, shimmers the diffuse verticality of power: groups of high-rises that could delude the viewer into thinking this is a city centre but is simply bigger than the other districts. The new skyline is radiant with indifference, and yet its shimmer hypnotises. No, megacities generally do not look democratic. The measure of urbanisation remains behind urban growth. And when such places create identification, they mostly do so indirectly in the form of barrack villages that can be wiped off the map if need be - like fly droppings on an urban-planning master plan. A megacity has grown up between the Yangtze and the Chia-ling rivers. Two and a half hours by plane from Shanghai, the city is already home to more than 35 million people - more than New Delhi and New York combined. The city is called Chongqing and is a new beginning and springboard at the same time. Chongqing is intended to adopt its share of the 150 million Chinese who are part of the economic giant's biggest rural exodus in history. The urban conglomeration is already the most important bridgehead in opening up China's West. Chongqing simply grows and grows, by half a million inhabitants per year, in an area the size of Austria, that cost 160 billion euros, and takes eight hours to cross by car. Whether such anonymous, semi-urban zones can offer real protection?
Text by Robert Haidinger