Zibo | part IV

Zibo | September 7, 2009
Zibo | September 7, 2009

During the third and last day of MovingCities’ recent trip to Zibo 淄博 we scanned a low-rise residential compound in the heart of the city (by walking) and the industrial Western areas, North-South axis and the railway station (by cab). Final Zibo 淄博 installment: housing, industry, infrastructure and football.

Everything in Zibo 淄博 feels both rundown and architecturally anonymous. If any of these few posts on Zibo 淄博 convey an image of what it must feel like to live, travel and work in this lesser-know Chinese city (population more than 1 million) than it is one of seemingly endless repetition and hardcore functional zoning. Repetitions of residential blocks, in Northern and Eastern direction, zoning of schools and business parks in the East and of industry towards the West and the North. In the South the city expands over farmland and dilapidated small factories.

It was interesting to how sequential building booms in Zibo 淄博 defined several architectural styles; the dogmatic Sino-Russian housing compounds, followed by facades composed out of a mix of bathroom tiles and blue glass that are exemplary of a yet undefined nineties Chinese style. Recent architectural developments showcase the locally interpreted global hotel style of the end of the nineties and today’s non-descript high-density suburban residential style that is engulfing the suburbs of many of China’s cities.

Will we be hearing more of Zibo 淄博 in the future? It is hard to tell, most likely not the effect of as past and present industrialization and urbanization policies makes it hardly a destination for the masses. But that might change if the city knows how to capitalize on a potential tourist asset; Zibo is the birth place of ancient football Cuju (in Chinese, “cu” means kick and “ju” means ball), which according to FIFA, was the earliest form of the sport.

Area around residential compound in the center of Zibo | September 7, 2009
Area around residential compound in the center of Zibo | September 7, 2009

Western outskirts of Zibo | September 7, 2009
Western outskirts of Zibo | September 7, 2009

Zibo central North-South axis | September 7, 2009
Zibo central North-South axis | September 7, 2009

Zibo Railway Station | September 7, 2009
Zibo Railway Station | September 7, 2009

Pictures by movingcities.org

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