The Chinese Dream
* WHAT IF YOU BUILT THE WHOLE MASS OF WESTERN EUROPE IN 20 YEARS?
* WHAT IF 400 MILLION FARMERS THEN MOVED IN?
* WHAT DRIVES THE GREATEST WAVE OF URBANIZATION IN HUMAN HISTORY?
* WHAT IS THE CHINESE DREAM?
‘an absorbing encyclopaedic monster of a book … intended not just to be read, but experienced visually, absorbed impressionistically: a barrage of different aesthetics combine to create the sense of something heady, febrile, truly dreamlike.’
‘catapults the reader into the extraordinary context of China’
– Architecture Today
‘If you have to get your hands on just one book about urban China, make it this one.’
‘from where I sit in the wheat, potash and oil rich northern Canadian prairie, I read this book as a warning’
– Space & Culture
Independent Publisher Awards 2009
Most Outstanding Design, Silver
In 2001 China announced a goal to build 400 new cities of 1 million inhabitants each by 2020 — that is, 20 new cities a year for 20 years. The hopes and hazards of dreaming at such a scale are as staggering as the reality already taking shape. The aspirations involved amount to no less than the creation of a new utopia. But is China mortgaging its present for an idealized future? And how does that promised tomorrow relate to the aggressive and relentless building boom of today?
The Chinese Dream presents an arresting vision of a nation in the midst of breakneck transformation. It is a visual tour de force, encompassing an encyclopaedic wealth of images, data, and creative ideas. Architecture, economics, urban theory and politics all interlock and explode in astonishing detail. Approaches range from statistical attack to floating helium balloons over Beijing, as the authors unpack the paradoxes at the heart of China’s struggle for change, and close in on the dream.