Thames Town: China’s new Suburbia
Thames town is an English style new satellite town built close to Shanghai as part of the local governments ‘One City –Nine Towns’ plan. This plan was hatched out of the population boom being experienced in Shanghai. In the past 15 years the population has increased by 8 million and the landmass it covers has increased from 100sqkm to a staggering 680sqkm. Despite this growth Shanghai is still four times as densely populated as New York. The ‘One City –Nine Towns’ plan seeks to construct nine satellite towns around Shanghai. Six of these towns are to be themed on European style cities from the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and Italy.
The rise of China’s new middle ‘class’ is resulting in the creation of a new suburbia, the same phenomenon as seen in post-war Britain and America. Now that disposable incomes are reaching levels that allow people to pay for better education, annual holidays and private accommodation, the landscape of China is changing in the same manner as seen in the West. This is China’s suburban revolution.