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Blue Dot = Current Western Extent of MTR Hong Kong Island Line (Sheung Wan)       Red Dot = Terminus of Island Line Western Extension To Open in 2014 (Kennedy Town)

Infrastructure development continues in Hong Kong as the city’s Metro Transit Railway (MTR) extends its underground Island Line into the city’s Western District. Beginning construction in 2009, the western extension of the Island Line (dubbed the ‘West Island Line’) is set to open in 2014. The Island Line currently ends at Sheung Wan, one stop west of Central (Hong Kong’s central business district), but the extension will add three new stops, including Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong University, and terminating at Kennedy Town. View full post »

  • Hao Hao Report - Someone thinks this story is hao-tastic…

    This story was submitted to Hao Hao Report – a collection of China’s best stories and blog posts. If you like this story, be sure to go vote for it….ReplyCancel

  • easternodysseymusic - I should image they will start developing the land as well. Start nocking down all the old flats. Always a problem with these public transport development plans.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Great article! Just wondering: is the West Island MTR Line opening date still June 2014? I can’t seem to find something recent on Google…

    Also, will all stations open at the same time or will it be staggered with Sai Ying Pun / HKU first?

    Thanks!ReplyCancel

Infographic Courtesy of Statista

With the ongoing spate of food safety scandals, Chinese consumers are rightly weary of the source and quality of their food. Unfortunately, food quality regulatory bodies in China remain unreliable and direct access to fresh food sources is limited for an increasingly urbanized populace. This is one of the great contradictions of China’s urban development: a country which for most of its history was majority agriculturally based is on the fast track to be one of the most urbanized nations in the world.

Status conscious Chinese urbanites would rather not associate with anything related to farming, as it evokes the recent memory of rural peasant life. For many upwardly mobile city dwellers, international restaurant chains like KFC, McDonalds and Pizza Hut are considered the best options for upper-class ‘healthy’ dining (that is, food with high caloric content).

The urban growth of China is a boon to these chains as more American consumers shun them in favor of a more organic, natural diet. The shift in American consumer preferences is reflected in the success of supermarket chain Whole Foods, local farmers markets, and the growing popularity of the Slow Food movement.

Given China’s new-found love affair with processed food and growing ambivalence about the role of agriculture, I was confident there was probably not much interest in organic farming. That was until I visited Anlong Village- a wholly organic, zero waste farm 50 km northwest of central Chengdu. With a full-time population of 3,000 residents, Anlong Village is sponsored by the Chengdu Urban Rivers Association (CURA), a local non-profit NGO. View full post »

  • a - how did you visit?ReplyCancel

  • Scott Kennelly - Thank you for writing this. It is a very interesting read. I thought there was much more organic farming in China, but I guess I was mistaken. I also thought that about 75% of the population was still working and living on farms in rural areas. I guess that is not true either.ReplyCancel

  • Nicolas Vereecken - Thank you for a great article! I would like to visit this place in spring 2016 — can you let me know which Anlong it is? There are 3 villages with this name on my map… !!! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE - Nice post…..the article is very information and well said. Please do the have agriculture training centre in the village. ThanksReplyCancel

Lessard Design, an American architecture firm based out of the Washington D.C. area, recently shared with us some images of their competition winning entry for the Nanjing Technology Community. Designed in conjunction with local design institute Nanjing City-Town Architecture Design & Consultants (CTA Architects), the project is a 4,280,000 square foot office complex geared towards technology entrepreneurs. View full post »

The good people over at Statista provided us with yet another excellent China infographic, this time about the country’s huge online population. Already, 1 in 5 worldwide internet users is Chinese, yet still less than half of the country’s population is online. Most of those are people living in China’s urban areas, accounting for 73.5% of those online. That statistic and the overall number of people using the internet is bound to increase with the technological advantages that urban areas continue to afford over rural areas.

The world of microblogging is also exploding. China’s version of Twitter, called Weibo, is already a paradigm-changing social phenomenon with over 300 million registered users. Although strict government controls routinely restrict searches for sensitive topics, savvy netizens find ways around these blockades through the use of aliases and codewords. For instance, while the ongoing saga surrounding the recent escape of blind dissident Chen Guangcheng from house arrest has led authorities to block searches for his name, Weibo users are creatively microblogging around the sensors .

It might be too early to assess the full extent of influence that widespread internet use has on Chinese society, but it is safe to assume that it has already changed the social landscape in significant ways.

  • Patricia H. Gay - I am new to your impressive blog. My interest priority is historic preservation so am hoping to learn from your blog about historic architecture, from modest to grand, with perhaps more interest in the modest and less grand, and historic neighborhood preservation, including street grids and neighborhood commercial areas, in China. Preservation is a critical component of environmental conservation, for a number of what should be obvious reasons. Destroying the historic built environment is not good for the environment; I am pleased that historic preservation programs have contributed as much as they have to environmental conservation, although they are not valued in that way in general.ReplyCancel