chapter
8 Pages

Introduction

Looking toward the twenty-first century, a cover of the New York Times Magazine declared:

The 21st Century Starts Here: China Booms. The World Holds its Breath. (Buruma 1996)

As China booms, its cities increasingly take center stage in the drama of explosive growth and unprecedented changes. Ten of the world’s 15 fastest-growing cities are in China, and at current growth rates China could add about 350 million people – more than the population of the USA – to its cities over the next two decades. When the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, only about 10 percent of the population lived in cities. Today more than half of the people live in cities that continue to grow at an unprecedented rate (Wines 2012).