Beijing, Tianjin May Start Urban Integration Plan, 21st Century Reports – Bloomberg. Original Chinese report: ???????
“A plan for urban integration of China’s eastern cities of Beijing, Tianjin, and the surrounding province of Hebei may be announced early next year.”
This plan is a very big deal if what is envisioned is something similar to Greater Tokyo. An integrated metropolis would be home to at least 60 million people.
UPDATE: See this recent satellite photo from NASA of Beijing and Tianjin at night to get a sense of the geography. END UPDATE
I mentioned the idea of “Greater Beijing” in April in a post about Jim Chanos, China bears and the real estate market:
8. We are starting to see the emergence of a Greater Beijing Metropolitan Area, along the lines of the Greater Tokyo Area, stretching east, north and south into Hebei and Tianjin. The eastern expansion of CBD and the Tongzhou New City (video here, in Chinese but with lots of pictures) are just two examples of this sprawl, a trend that will likely make central Beijing property even more desirable and expensive. The government is massively upgrading the public transportation network (see a map of the planned subway expansion) as part of this expansion of Greater Beijing.
The rising prices in Beijing are very painful for many Beijingers. But I think we are watching Beijing evolve into a truly world-class city, along the lines of New York, Tokyo or London. How many New Yorkers or Londoners or Tokyo residents can afford to live in the city center as opposed to commuting in from a suburb? The same dynamic is at play in Beijing.
This topic deserves a longer post, and I wil try to write one after the Holidays. Happy New Year, and thanks for reading.