The great Chinese city of Chengdu is just that; a city. Images that come to mind when imagining big Chinese cities range from perfectly symmetrical grey buildings, air thick with pollution to bustling bodies commuting to and from competitively tall office towers, and a distinct lack of nature; evidence of the Eastern cultural push for rapid urban development, emerging from an unforgiving industrial history. While some of this is true; there are of course an abundance of tower blocks and a general shade of grey covering the landscape, Chengdu appears to have significant differences to the standard expectation. For one, the city’s people are seemingly very calm, at ease, with no rush to be anywhere. This gives the city a safe feel that not many others can boast, in contrast to Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Chengdu appears as an oasis in the big relentless desert that is China.
Chengdu also appears to actively encourage nature within its borders, and you’ll find vines intertwined with the busy roads, girls playing with bright yellow leaves in winter, trees lining long streets, cats and dogs, flower baskets, creepers, ponds and parks; nature growing strong and green, holding together concrete districts and the people within them. I read an article recently implying that the presence of humans on earth and the development of urban environments has made nature an unwelcome intruder and a constant threat to our increasingly clinical and functionally ‘clean’ way of life. I do not believe this to be true, within the boundaries of Chengdu at least. Here are some examples of the thriving nature of Chengdu’s natural and man-made habitats.
Check out the WeChat article here! – I’m just happy to have my work up as part of the Chinese company I’ve been working for the last couple of months.