After moving around in elevators and by foot, we explored Zibo 淄博 by cab. First we went East. And that for a simple reason: from on top of the city we saw smokestacks and powerplants in the West, while Zibo’s Eastern horizon was dotted with construction cranes. Peri-urban pictures.
On the Eastern fringe of Zibo 淄博, the urban development consists of large plots of residential houses, business parks and universities. Anticipation is a key word to describe this area of the city: anticipation of traffic, knowledge, people and high-density suburban life. Today the infrastructure has been lay-out (a six lane infrastructural grid superimposed on farm land) and small peri-urban villages are waiting to be evacuated and demolished in order to make place for an expanding city.
This urban migratory movement was in way a reality-check with some of the issues we explored in “Moving Cities: Life on the New Frontier” (Sarai Reader 2007 | Frontiers). when wrote the following on these conditions:
Today supposedly more people live in urban than in rural conditions, and it is expected that this will inevitably escalate. However, it is not a clean, classic split: the world is mixed with rural-urban sites, peri-urban environments, in-between zones subject to migratory movement, temporary shelters and havens for the massive floating population of migrants who are not inhabitants but employees of the city. Their access to the labour required by the city counts more than their location within the city. That location is transient and ephemeral.
The full text (bringing Rem Koolhaas, Aldous Huxley, CIAM, Yona Friedman, Manuel De Landa and Joel Garreau in the mix) can be dowloaded (pdf alert!). For now, Zibo from the center to the center, via the East.
Pictures by movingcities.org