The Nanfang / Blog

[Photos] Cars Float Away in Severe Flooding in Beijing

Posted: 07/17/2014 1:31 pm

beijing flooding bridge underpass cars rain sewage infrastructure

After a heavy rainfall in Beijing, flooding in the city was so severe that motorist abandoned their cars under a railway bridge, reports Yangcheng Evening Report.

On Tiancun East Road in Haidian District, 18 cars were left abandoned in two meter high flooding yesterday (July 16) at around 7pm. The drivers said when they couldn’t drive through the water-covered area, they stopped there. Twenty minutes later, the entire underpass was flooded.

Check out the photos below.

beijing flooding bridge underpass cars rain sewage infrastructurebeijing flooding bridge underpass cars rain sewage infrastructurebeijing flooding bridge underpass cars rain sewage infrastructure

Photos: Golden Lamb Network of the Yangcheng Evening Report


Guangdong To Provide Free WiFi Province-Wide By Year End

Posted: 07/11/2014 9:39 pm

WiFiAn ambitious plan to upgrade Guangdong’s internet infrastructure will see free WiFi provided throughout the province as early as the end of this year, reports the Information Times.

Tentatively called “GD Free”, the upgrade will unify all of Guangdong’s internet infrastructure into one system. The ambitious project seeks to construct a world-class wireless network for all of Guangdong by 2020. The plan is to to lay fiber optic cables for each Guandong village starting from 2015.

At present, there are 17,000 WiFi hotspots around the province. This will be increased to 20,000 by next year.

Photo: Pearl River Times


PRD People: Transport Planner and Shenzhen Stalwart Mike Clark

Posted: 04/23/2014 11:00 am

If you had worked and been successful in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Haven, Connecticut, where would you choose to live? Englishman Mike Clark, 67, one of the world’s leading transport planners, has done all those things and decided that Shenzhen is the place where he wants to spend the rest of his life.

Mike Clark in Yunnan, image via Shenzhen Stuff

Clark has been a transport planner since shortly after he graduated from Bristol University in 1968 with a degree in Pure Mathematics. His career, which has also taken him to Algeria and Bolivia, saw him become one of the most sought after transport planners in the world in the 1990s, when he lived in Hong Kong.

Clark is also a well known character in Shenzhen who is known for – among other things – well-attended annual birthday parties, coining the term “YCG” (Young Chinese Girl), and having a cross-dressing alter-ego named Meimei (more on that later). This week, he took the time to talk to The Nanfang about Shenzhen, transport, ageism, and the impossibility of reintegrating after being an expat for so long.

A career in transport

Transport planning is the first stage of developing major infrastructure projects such as highways, railways, ports, and airports before or in parallel to the engineers, land use planners, economists, and other experts. He started out as a transport modeller in London before moving to Hong Kong in 1973 for his first particularly well-paid job.

“A transport model is a set of relationships which allow transport demand to be forecast from sets of input data including transport supply, socio-economic data, what are the costs of transport by various means of travel, and what transport policies are in place,” he explained to The Nanfang.

Clark left Hong Kong for Algeria in 1976 but would return several times in the eighties, most permanently in 1988 when his employer won a project called the Port and Airport Development Strategy [PADS] for the Hong Kong Strategic Planning Unit. The next decade would prove to be the most colourful period of his career.

“The project looked at ways of relocating Hong Kong’s port and airport and the necessary infrastructure and land use plans to go with those relocations. It was a very high-profile project with steering committees up to the Chief Secretary’s, and presentations to Hong Kong’s parliament, so I got a lot of exposure at the highest level,” he told The Nanfang.

Moreover, many of the government people he had worked with in the 70s and early 80s had progressed to very senior positions in the Transport Department and Transport Bureau. They knew, liked and trusted him. “As a result, our company won most of the important projects during the 90s, including Updating of the Second Comprehensive Transport Study, Electronic Road Pricing Study, Third Comprehensive Transport Study, North Lantau Development Study, and Hong Kong Airport Terminal Design,” Clark said. The common factor in all these studies was Mr. Mike Clark, so if somebody, somewhere had a transport question they would call him.

Life in Shenzhen

Despite having retired in 1999, he came to work in Shenzhen in 2003 when the consultancy he had worked for won a project called The Shenzhen Comprehensive Transport Study. He has since made a life for himself in Shenzhen. “Shenzhen suits me well now given what I want from my life, but wouldn’t have suited me in other stages. I wouldn’t want to be raising a family here for example,” said Clark.

One reason he cites for preferring Shenzhen to Hong Kong or the U.K. at this stage of life is the relative lack of ageism. “I know that I am old because I have a calendar, but I don’t want to do the things that old people are supposed to do in the UK. The western world is ageist in a way that China is not,” he opined.

His belief on the subject can perhaps best be summed up by two quotes on his Shenzhen Stuff page: “It’s not getting old that stops you doing things, it’s stopping doing things that makes you get old.” and “Honestly, I often think that it would be good to act my age, but it is so difficult.”

Enjoying the freedom of not having to act his age has led to some memorable moments in Shenzhen, many of which have involved his cross-dressing alter ego Meimei. “At fancy dress parties I usually wore a female costume from university days onwards,” he told The Nanfang when explaining how the character originated in 2009.

He discovered he could get a qipao made for 250 RMB shortly before his young adult daughters came to visit from England. “I think it’s part of a father’s duty to embarrass his daughters,” he explained.

But the most important thing keeping him in Shenzhen, along with the ease of travel for residents of the city, is the people he knows. “I can act as I wish with the friends, restaurant staff, people I meet on the metro, other expats cut adrift from their roots, whatever,” he said. His birthday parties, which are held in Huaqiangbei every December, are among the most popular annual events in Shenzhen’s English-speaking community.

Eternal expat

Although he still spends a good chunk of every year in Worcestershire, England, he is convinced that he will never be able to fit in again in his home country. Having worked overseas since 1973, he initially tried to stay in touch with school and university friends, but their lives have taken different paths. “Our life experiences and expectations were so different that we gradually lost common ground to support our friendship. My friends became more and more my colleagues and those people I met overseas,” he said.

Continuing on the subject of ageism, he claimed that in the U.K. there is a separation between young people places and activities and old people places and activities. “I was clearly part of the old people, but wasn’t interested in doing old people things. I found it almost impossible to make friends with young people and wasn’t accepted in their places,” he said.

Comparing the strong friendships he has in Shenzhen with the dull conversations about cars and gardens that he is forced to have when in England, Clark – who has just received a three year visa – is in no doubt that he prefers life in the Pearl River Delta to England: “Maybe I’ll go back there to die, but that’s what it would be.”


Guangzhou to Construct 12 New Subway Lines by 2016

Posted: 04/9/2014 11:42 am

You’ll be making your morning commute from the exotic locales of Guangzhou’s far-flung suburbs and satellite cities in the near future. PRC National Development and Reform Commission have announced that 203.9 billion yuan will be invested towards the construction of 19 transportation lines, Guangzhou Daily reported. Of these, 12 will be new subway lines or extensions of subway lines, and are to be completed by 2016

This new transportation infrastructure will lay a total 416.33 km of new track. Of note will be the implementation of a new electric trolley circuit that will connect Haizhu District, Guiguangtie Road, and Nanguangtie Road. Construction on this trolley circuit will begin building this year.

The 12 subway lines to be completed by 2016 will include the following. Check to see if these include your neighborhood:

  • Line 6 Phase Two (Changban–Xiangxue)
  • Line 7 Phase One (Guangzhou South Station–University City South)
  • Line 16 (Fenghuang Xincheng to Wenhua Park)
  • Line 9 Phase One (Fei’e Ling–Gaozeng)
  • Inter-continental Guangzhou–Foshan line (the Guangzhou portion from Xilang–Lijiao)
  • Line 4 South Extension (Jinzhou–Nansha Passenger Port)
  • Line 8 North Extension (Wenhua Park–Baiyun Lake)
  • Line 13 First Stage (Yuzhu–Xiangjingling)
  • Inter-provincial Dongguan–Shenzhen line from Xintang–Hongmei (Guangzhou portion)
  • Line 14 Phase One (Jiahewanggang–Jiekou)
  • Line 14 Subsidary Zhishi City Branch (Xinhe–Zhenlong)
  • Line 21 (Tianhe Park–Zengcheng Plaza)

Three more lines to be added in 2017, and the Inter-provincial Dongguan–Shenzhen line from Baiyun Airport–Guangzhou North Station to be completed in 2018.

Finally, there will now be more places to play with your phone and ignore your fellow commuters.

Photo: GZDaily


Shenzhen plays host to 2012 Low-Carbon Urban Development and Technology Forum

Posted: 04/26/2012 7:00 am

More than 200 of the world’s leading industry experts, academics, and entrepreneurs have descended upon Shenzhen for the 2012 Low-Carbon Urban & Regional Development and Technology Forum. Concluding today, the three-day forum was organized by the Peking University School of Environment and Energy, and the Shenzhen Municipal Government. Divided into four main topics (innovative green building and lighting systems, water and energy, wastewater and waste resources, and urban environment and settlement), the overall goal of the forum is simple: to promote the development of low-carbon industries, and renewable energy technologies throughout the region.

According to Wu Delin, Deputy Secretary General of the Shenzhen Municipal Government, Shenzhen is the first city in China to commit to the development of low-carbon emitting industry and public transportation: “Low-carbon development in industry, transportation, travel, etc., is a lot of work… [however] Shenzhen has become the largest city in China, and the world to promote the use of low-emission busses and taxis.”

While Wu admits the process hasn’t been easy, he credits the deepening SAR integration of districts such as Guangming New Town, Ping Shan New Town, Longhua New Town and Dayun Metro with contributing to an increased awareness of urban planning. According to Wu, this broader, regional approach to creating infrastructure and industrial development is a crucial step forward in the long-term growth of Shenzhen.

Next on the agenda for Wu: “The promotion of new energy in the public service, and public service vehicles.”

Source: The Nanfang Daily


Shenzhen beats Beijing to place second on traffic misery index

Posted: 09/19/2011 4:07 pm

Shenzhen is generally considered to be one of the more well-planned, modern cities in China, but you wouldn’t know it from the increasing traffic gridlock that is affecting our city. But is it really worse than Beijing’s notorious traffic snarls? Nanfang Reporter Katei Wang recently translated a story that appeared in the Southern Metropolis Daily that says Shenzhen’s traffic isn’t only worse than the capital’s, it’s among the worst in the world:

IBM Corporation recently published the Global Traffic Misery Index, which measures traffic in different cities all over the world. Beijing and Shenzhen are both on the list. However, people are surprised that Shenzhen outstrips Beijing and other cities, ranking number two on the list behind Mexico City.

Needless to say, the fact Shenzhen’s traffic ranks poorly hasn’t surprised local residents. But the fact it’s rated even worse than Beijing? That has raised a few eyebrows:

“Impossible. Beijing is more congested than Shenzhen.”

“I don’t think this is credible. Based on the data, Shenzhen actually has the highest density of motor vehicles in China, when in fact Beijing is more crowded than Shenzhen.”

“Shenzhen’s traffic is not worse than Beijing’s. People who live in Beijing face half an hour or an hour’s traffic jam which rarely happens in Shenzhen.”

The story says Shenzhen traffic police bureau secretary Liu Fengjun pointed out that Beijing needs two to three hours to ease it’s traffic pressure during the peak in the evening, but Shenzhen just needs less than an hour. Liu said traffic in Shenzhen is “crowded, but controlled”.

So what are the top 5 worst cities in the world for traffic? Without further adieu…

  1. Mexico City

  2. Shenzhen

  3. Beijing

  4. Nairobi

  5. Johannesburg


Keep in Touch

What's happening this week in Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou? Sign up to be notified when we launch the This Week @ Nanfang newsletter.

sign up for our newsletter

Nanfang TV