Qingdao is an ambitious growing city. Much like the rest of China, infrastructure development is rapid and the residents of Qingdao are expecting more and want to show the world how far they’ve come. This can be seen at a political level with the construction of the worlds largest bridge over water. It can also be seen at an individual level with the rapid acquisition of private motor vehicles – big, fancy expensive motor vehicles. I’m a bit scared of seeing this phenomenon and how the streets and other urban spaces are coping with the onslaught of showy automobility.
WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SAY ABOUT QINGDAO?
On average, people’s disposable income doubled between 2005 and 2011 (1)
Still to do!
WHEN WILL I BE IN QINGDAO AND WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
I am arriving in Qingdao at the end of May. I will travel there by train so I will get to see the contrasts between the countryside and a modern Chinese city. I’m staying with my cousin, who has warned me that it isn’t very traditional and everything is changing. She has also told me that she either walks or takes the bus to university – depending on the pollution level. I hope I can breath some fresh air from time to time.
I am very curious to see what it is like to ride a bicycle – china has been synonymous with riding bicycles but times are changing. I read that bicycles are forbidden from a number of streets and my cousin said none of her friends ride. I am still not completely convinced but maybe I just have some romantic notions of riding the streets of a chinese city on an old bicycle. We’ll see.