Tag Archives: Chongqing

Eats on the street

It doesn’t matter how many times you tell the cook not to add hot peppers, anything you order in Chongqing is going to be mouth-numbing and hotter than anything you’ve ever tasted before. It will be good, but it will be hot. From hotpot joints and street-corner barbecues to cold noodles served out of buckets dangling from a bamboo pole, Chongqing’s street vendors operate late into the night. You’ll be lucky to get a table at the restaurants on Tiyu Road, an area in Chongqing’s central Yuzhong district and ground zero for the city’s street food scene. But just about every little road throughout the city has a few cooks that set up shop on the street. In the morning, you can find savory fried dough, rice porridge, and pots of steaming hot “flower” tofu, ready to be garnished with an assortment of beans, nuts, herbs, and, of course, fiery peppers.
Read more and see more photos on ChinaFile

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

More Posts - Website

Chinese city opens ‘phone lane’ for texting pedestrians

City authorities in Chongqing have introduced a 30 metre ‘cellphone lane’ for pedestrians – is it a step too far in the name of public safety?

The mobile phone lane for pedestrians in Chongqing, China.
Mind your step: The mobile phone lane for pedestrians in Chongqing, China. Photograph: Internet

In Chongqing, China, with a degree of seriousness that has yet to be determined, the city authorities have designated a 30 metre (100ft) “cellphone lane” for people who use their phones while walking. “First mobile phone sidewalks in China,” declares a notice next to it.

Read the full text on The Guardian


Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

More Posts - Website

… And bridges

The Chongqing Municipality counts over 50 bridges, twenty or so in the urban centre. Aside from two exceptions, Baishatuo Railway Bridge and Shibanpo Bridge, all of these bridges were built and opened during the last 20 years.

One of the most recent projects in Chongqing is the creation of the “Liangjiang bridge”: two bridges and a tunnel which span the Liangjiang New Area, from the south bank of the Yangtze, crossing the Yuzhong district, to the north bank of the Jialing River. The twin bridges were designed by T. Y. Lin International. The Dongshuimen Yangtze River Bridge (above) has been complete since 31 March 2014. The Qianximen Jialing River Bridge (below) has yet to be finished, but should be opened in June 2014.


Photo by Lauri Väin (2013). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

Perhaps the most amazing part of this transition from past to modern infrastructure is, as usual for China, its speed.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

More Posts

Of cable cars…

Once upon a time, the main method of crossing the Yangtze and Jialing rivers was the cable cars, or ropeways, swinging high over the city from one hilltop to the other. Until 1960, there were no bridges crossing the Yangtze River around Chongqing.


Photo by Yeung Ming (2014). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

The picture above shows the remaining ropeway which crosses the Yangtze River, starting from the Yuzhong peninsula. It is still in use as transport, but mostly serves as a tourist attraction. In the top left corner, we can see the latest bridge of many which ousted the ropeways: the Dongshuimen Bridge. The Jialing cable cars (pictured below) ceased operating in December 2013, as they slowly fell out of use because of increasing alternative and easier routes, such as tunnels and, of course, bridges.

Tomorrow’s post will showcase some photos of the latest bridges being built in Chongqing.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

More Posts

Chongqing the biggest city?

Reno, Nevada claims to be “The Biggest Little City in the World”. Chongqing is simply known for being “the biggest city in the world”. For Chongqing, just like for Reno, this epithet may be slightly exaggerated.

Yes, on paper, Chongqing looks like a giant: 30 million people officially live in Chongqing and the city is as large as Austria. A city that big would be very hard to live in.

The reality is a bit different. The municipality of Chongqing should be considered only an administrative level, as it covers both rural and urban lands. The “urban city” is still huge compared to European ones, with central districts covering 1,400 km² and home to 4.5 million inhabitants.

Chongqing is still “big” in China for several other reasons. Firstly, Chongqing is considered a strategic hub for energy, water (with the three gorges reservoir) and river transportation.

Furthermore, Chongqing is one of the engines that will bring growth to Western China. Beijing is trying to reduce regional inequalities and rebalance development between eastern and western provinces and Chongqing has a role to play in this plan. Chongqing aims to attract more foreign investments with low labour costs.1

The city is more and more connected to the world, illustrated, for example, by Finnair operating a direct route from Europe to Chongqing since 2012.

Chongqing is also a laboratory for reform. It is in Chongqing where some of the most advanced policies regarding land reform have been implemented with, for example, the establishment of the first rural land exchange centre in 2008. It is for this reason Chongqing was chosen as one of the cities where UrbaChina members should conduct research on urbanisation in China.

  1. Luo Wangshu, Ji Jin (2014). Foreign investment eyes Chongqing’s connections. China Daily, 21 January 2014, accessed 19 May 2014 from http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2014-01/21/content_17247691.htm. []

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

More Posts

The Second Conference of Chinese Industrial Architectural Heritage, Chongqing

Bulletin n°55 (2012), The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCH)

Yiping Dong

Since the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) started to pay attention to Industrial Heritage officially in 2006, the academic dis- cussions have grown rapidly and reached some conclusions. The Industrial Architecture Heritage Academia Committee (IAHAC), which is the first organization about IH in China, was founded under the Architectural Society of China (ASC) in 2010’s first conference of Chinese Industrial Architectural Heritage in Beijing. During this first Conference, the IAHAC raised the “Beijing Proposal” about saving Chinese Industrial Heritage, under the Nizhny Tagil Charter in 2003 by TICCIH and Wuxi Proposal in 2006 by SACH, and planned to continue the conferences every year.

The Second Conference in November last year (2011) was held by two Universities, Tsinghua and Chongqing, with support by SACH and ICOMOS China.

There were five sessions: 1) IH with regional perspective; 2) IH Conservation and Urban Regeneration; 3) Case Study on local IH; 4) Space Pattern and Transformation of Industrial buildings; 5) Industrial landscape and Art. Along the meeting, there were two exhibitions, one of old industrial images in Chongqing, and another about conservation design throughout China. Twelve key speeches in the first day were mainly about the survey and conservation of urban industrial sites in Chongqing, Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai, which are now facing the rapid urban development, then the session discussion for the second day with 28 papers, following a great excursion about Chongqing’s IH. There were almost 2000 delegates and 75 papers, which doubled the 2010 meeting.

The high density speeches and session discussions show some trends in China’s IH research. Firstly, the geographical region of research has been enlarged, from the highly industrialized eastern coastal area and traditional industrial region to the mid-western such as Sichuan, Yunnan, Henan, Gansu, etc. Secondly, the time frame is no longer focused on the Westernization Movement (ca. 1860-1900) or before 1949, more papers discussing the first Five-year Plan (1953-1957) period and more closer period, the industrial construction aided by Soviet Union. Thirdly, some thematic topics emerged such as railways, including the Yunnan- Vietnam Railway (1889) and Chinese Eastern Railway (1896). Value analysis of IH, survey and recording techniques, and combining Creative Industries with IH, etc. The last but not least is the focus about relation of Reuse and Conservation. Sme argue for Reuse as the final destination, and others insist that conservation is the most important issue, and reuse is just a method. This divergence resulted from the concept misunderstanding. Industrial Heritage is still a vague term in the Chinese context, and needs more clarification, while the selection of IH sites is quite a subjective process, lacking overall technological assessment.

As the organizer and participants and are mostly in architecture and urban planning, the discussion paid more attention to space issues and regeneration, while the historical perspective, especially technological history and social history of industry, are nearly absent from the dis- course. The contamination problem of former industrial area hasn’t got enough attention. The next step should be getting more fields involved.

Other good news about IH in China: The Third National Monument Survey by SACH (2007-2012) is closing, having identified thousands of industrial sites, buildings and machines. The former Capital Steel Plant areas in Beijing, the Chinese Eastern Railway, are selected as the top 100 new discoveries from this Survey.

Oriane Pillet

Intern at the CNRS, UrbaChina project. M.A. in urban local development (IEDES, Paris); M.A. in international development studies (Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris - Utrecht University); B.A. in geography and law (Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris).

More Posts

Unauthorized use change of the industrial buildings

Li, T., Liao, H. P., Zhuang, W, Sun, H., Li, C. (2014). Unauthorized use change and control system of China’s industrial buildings : taking S district of Chongqing as an example. Canadian Social Science, 10 (4), 130-135. Available from: http://www.cscanada.net/index.php/css/article/view/4475.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/4475

This paper uses both theoretical research and empirical research in analyzing the changing scale and characteristics of spatial-temporal variations of the unauthorized change of the use of the industrial buildings in Chongqing’s S District. Through the in-depth exploration of the driving factors and mechanism of China’s unauthorized change of the use of the industrial buildings, this paper finally builds scientific and reasonable use change control mechanism for industrial buildings. It has been found through the empirical study that unauthorized use change causes great loss of state-owned land resources and serious impact on commercial real estate and leads to very baneful social consequences. Use change of industrial buildings includes five driving factors: economy, structure of land supply, laws, industry development and system. To avoid such use changes, we must improve the existing laws and regulations and vitalize the industrial building resources; optimize both land supply structure and the spatial arrangement of industrial buildings; explore to develop supervisory control system based on the building certification process and principle of rent-to-grant; construct multi-sector linked supervision system for the use change of industrial buildings; effectively use economic levers to squeeze the profit brought about by the use change of industrial buildings; and know clearly about the industry direction and settled businesses.

Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

More Posts

老舍笔下的重庆影像/The Image of Chongqing in Lao She’s Words

陈娟, 老舍笔下的重庆影像/The Image of Chongqing in Lao She’s Words, Thesis, 2013.


老舍来到重庆时正值民族危亡之际,他以一个流徙文人的身份介入了重庆的“都城化”过程。重庆在抗 战时期的特殊身份使其从西南边缘城市过渡到时代强音响彻的中心地,她在老舍笔下有一个独特的城市影像,不仅是城市外观上多山多水多雾的特点,还有城市内部 的经济发展状况以及市民生活状态。老舍是一位重视隐喻的作家,他对重庆气候环境的描摹暗示了重庆山民的精神状态,以流亡为契机,老舍用文字呈现出了20世 纪三四十年代重庆的自然景观和城市人文风貌。老舍与重庆的交集中有重庆由“山城”到“都市”蜕变的轨迹:“催熟”的临时都城先天不足,流徙难民是城市的市 民主体,畸形的经济繁荣背后隐藏着因贫富悬殊引发的社会分化。虽然日本的“重庆大轰炸”战略让这座城市满目疮痍,轰炸造成的恐慌和死亡成了陪都市民无法磨 灭的精神伤痕,但是重庆像凤凰涅槃般一次又一次在战火中重生。文化机构和文化名人纷纷入渝,以“文协”为中心形成了一个重庆作家群,他们建构和演绎了陪都 文学。 以新中国成立为界,老舍前后期的重庆叙事里出现了城市影像的错位,包括对重庆“雾都”意象、国民政府以及陪都市民的表现。错位影像的实质是老舍文艺思想的 大转变,造成这种转变的因素有三:一是变换的时代背景,二是政权更迭引发的政治气候的变幻莫测,三是老舍创作心理的变化。因此,探究老舍离渝前后的心理变 化是解答历史疑问的切入点。关于老舍与重庆的研究,学界集中在对老舍此阶段的生平资料的整理上,对重庆作为“陪都”的特殊身份,只是史书里平淡客观的文字 记录。老舍笔下的重庆影像,是老舍文学世界的重要组成部分,也是这座城市的历史记忆,具有超越作家传记和地方志的意义。

Lao She arrived in Chongqing just during the anti-Japanese war, to step in the urbanization process of Chongqing by using his identity of an exiled scholar. During the anti-Japanese war, from a poor southwest city to a central city, Chongqing became a special image in Lao She’s words, including the mountainous, water-rich and foggy characteristic of the natural landscape and the economics and civic life. Lao She was a writer who attached importance to metaphor, his depicting of Chongqing’s climate and environment hinted the citizens’ psychosis. Forced to leave his hometown, Lao She presented a special image of Chongqing in 1930s and 1940s. The overlaps of Lao She and Chongqing showed the trail how the “mountain city” became a modern city. The “wartime capital” which had been forced to ripe was congenitally deficient, and a majority of the citizens were refugees. What was behind the malformed economic prosperity was the serious social differentiation. Although the “atom bomb” threw Chongqing in a chaotic condition and made citizens panic, Chongqing revived again and again like Phoenix Nirvana. Many cultural institutions and culture celebrity moved to Chongqing one after another, so a Writers Group around “Cultural Association of China” in Chongqing formed, which constructed and deduced the culture of the wartime capital. With the bound of China’s liberation, narration of Chongqing in Lao She’s early and late periods appeared city image dislocation which included the performance to Chongqing “foggy city” imagery, National Government and Wartime Capital citizens. Essence of image dislocation was the big change that Lao She had made in his literary thought. This change contained three factors. The first one was the transform of the background of the times. The second was the treacherous political climate caused by political changes. The third factor was the change of Lao She’s creative psychology. So, the entry point of solving historical questions was to probe into Lao She’s psychological changes before and after leaving Chongqing. With regard to studies about Lao She and Chongqing, educational circles usually committed to arranging Lao She’s life documents at that stage. As to Chongqing’s special identity of “Wartime Capital”, there was only some flat and objective written records in history books. Image of Chongqing described by Lao She was not only an important part of Lao She’s literary world, but also historical memory of this city, which had a great meaning of exceeding authors biography and local chronicles.

Xiamen University Institutional Repository  Restricted access. All papers in this database can only be accessed by faculties and students of Xiamen University (Campus network should be used). Off-campus users are not allowed to get fulltext. CALIS users can innitiate ILL requests through CALIS ILL system.

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

More Posts - Website

Urban Farmers in Chongqing

Between a Rock and a Hard Place 

Credit:  Tim Franco1, ChinaFile.

It’s a feature of the landscape one sees throughout China. On the sides of roads, at the edges of construction sites, on the steep banks of rivers, and in pastures that wrap around the fat pylons of future highways, Chinese people are farming, tilling tiny jewel-like plots that may only last a season, or rushing a herd of goats or a flock of ducks through traffic.

  1. Tim Franco, a Shanghai-based photographer. []

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

More Posts - Website

Lixiang lake village in Chongqing

UrbaChina, coordinated by Professor Gipouloux, visited Chongqing Lixiang lake village, with the help of Professor Pu Yongjian (蒲勇健), deputy director at the Institute for sustainable development of Chongqing University. The mayor of Lixiang Lake Village, Yuan Gui-sheng (袁桂生), enthusiastically explained how farmers are gathered together and moved into Lixiang lake village by using the land ticket system. He also showed the current living conditions in the village to UrbaChina.

For more information about land ticket transactions: http://urbachina.hypotheses.org/2923

Chi-Han Ai

Ph.D. candidate of EHESS ( École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris) focusing on regional economic development in China and Taiwan.

More Posts

Is China about to introduce a national carbon price?

Arup, Tom. (2013) Where there’s smoke there’s China. The Age World, 8 May (accessed 7 June 2013).

As a former top diplomat in Beijing, and after three decades of professional and personal engagement with the country, Professor Ross Garnaut is no stranger to China.

In January, the respected economist and former Labor climate policy tsar found himself in Beijing again, this time to open a workshop hosted in part by China’s powerful National Development and Reform Commission.

Gathered were a group of international policy wonks, including many Australians and local government officials. They met to discuss options for what some in the public debate deny is happening – the introduction of a national carbon price in China.

In just over a month China will begin a massive experiment in emissions trading when the first of seven regional pilot schemes kicks off (and which one day may develop into a national scheme).

The stakes are high. China emits one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gases. It is easily the world’s largest consumer of coal. In 2011 it released an estimated 9.7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide – more than the US and India combined.

In his speech Garnaut painted a cautious, but encouraging, picture of where China stands on climate change.

Read more here


Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

More Posts