What does a drive from the centre of Shanghai 上海 to the airport reveal about the city? Is the drive up the inclined planes to the elevated highway a foreplay to flying? Snapshots from an early-morning expedition into a jungle of towers, a peripheric patchwork of pylons, while speeding along a city of sounds barriers. Once again, we’re on-the-move.
Driving in-between the towers, it is easy to forget the city, but hard to escape it. The urbanites of the future will living in a spectacle of side-ways cities. Side-ways cities, next to in-between cities, are some of our favorite cities. Early-morning cities are hard to capture: usually they are gone by the moment we wake up.
While speeding towards the airport, it is hard to tell if anybody already woke up in these dormitory districts. It is hard to tell if they already left for their job, or if there is actually anyone living here. Shanghai 上海 is a city that has decided not to halt the sprawl of high-rises. It stretches itself from the sea to the sky. To stay in the center is to understand its force, power and future. To drive to the place where it could end, means to see how futile the future is: a machination of market-driven mass housing.
Pudong is located so far away from the center that one sometimes doubts its existence, that one is worried the cab driver made a mistake and is driving you to your city of destination. One only gets comfortable when recognizing the airport’s architectural outposts: the airport hotel, the warehouses, the billboards that pop-up along the runway.
Pictures by movingcities.org