Chinese cities are on the brink of disaster

In the history of mankind is the mass migration of the population of China, he moved to the city so rapidly that by 2030, approximately one in eight people on the planet will be living in the Chinese city.
Because of this enormous influx of population in the cities formed the largest colony of the world’s slum dwellers. Already, China has 220 million migrant workers. These workers live without the "hukou" — a special residence permit allowing the Chinese to buy apartments or send their children to public schools. Without such registration, these jobs at home turned into second-class citizens and live in squalid rooms on the outskirts of the city — in the winter without heating and hot summers — in the stifling atmosphere. These homes are overcrowded, people are living in cramped conditions at their disposal only public toilets, surrounded by piles of debris.

Some of them live in large urban basements, in which rent rooms without ventilation — there are not enough beds, and they are forced to sleep in shifts. And others have to live in the factories — close to jobs in areas hastily adapted for the night, or in tents near the construction sites. Last summer, in one of the expensive areas of Beijing — close to the elite houses up the tent city. Builders slept in green army tents, dried clothes on a clothesline stretched along the sidewalks and in the evenings playing table tennis.

"These people are constantly dictating all the new rules of the game" — says Tom Miller (Tom Miller), author of the book "A million Chinese citizens: the story of the largest mass migration in human history» (China’s Urban Million: The Story Behind the Greatest Migration in Human History ). Miller works as an editor of the quarterly publication on the Chinese economy China Economic Quarterly, he is living in China since 2002, and during that time was in 85 Chinese cities. In his book contains a chronological description of the rapid growth of urban population and how such a migration affected the life of the cities.

He believes that this impact can not be called positive. Cities, in his words — a "God knows what." The space allocated to them is irrational, there are many problems with street traffic, mud everywhere, on sidewalks gaping holes where pedestrians are falling. In addition, the city simply ugly.

According to Miller, the blame lies with the Soviet Union, which launched the construction of huge buildings and endless avenues, among which a person feels bug. In Chinese cities are also trying to build all the "no worse" than in Beijing, with its huge monuments that enshrine power. For example, the vast expanse of Tiananmen Square, with its many fire extinguishers (that protesters were nepovadno if they suddenly want to set themselves on fire), or the House of the People, which is spread over an area of 171,800 square meters and is in his hall can accommodate 10,000 people .

"The Communists, in contrast to other people who are not capable of nostalgic feeling," — said Miller. This means that they do not consider it necessary to maintain, say, the ancient city walls. "They are important to build for the future and build the cities that will be mainly production centers. The main town in the communist — functionality ".

And cities in China were built in the hope that people will live in the same place and work, and never go anywhere will not. "But when there is a change order, and comes capitalism, people begin to make various purchases, they have to move around the city, and the usual model (the city) suddenly becomes ineffective," — says Miller. Representatives of China’s rapidly growing middle class want to examine the shop windows «Gucci», buy BMW and ride out of town on modern bikes with a fixed gear.

And the city do not change — they just get bigger. Cities such as Chongqing (Chongqing), beckon to him, millions of peasants from the province, and by 2010 its population will increase from 10 million to 20 million people. These peasants will change for public housing their homes and small plots that prevented special crops, and move to urban apartments.

"For those employees who do not have skills that could come in handy in the city, such relocation can be a disaster — said Miller. — If I am the farmer, and settled in the new high-rise building … there is no place to keep chickens, and I myself can not find a job. I do not know how to live in the city. As a result of this relocation is formed class second-class citizens who are not able to integrate into society, live a normal life and work. "

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