The largest city in China is Shanghai while Beijing is the capital city. Besides being the capital, Beijing is among the most populated capital city in the world. The national government of China rules the city directly through the municipal government. The name Beijing was chosen in 1403 and means northern capital, a reference to the city's location in the North of China. Beijing will have the distinction of being the only city in the world so far to host both the Summer Olympics, which Beijing hosted in 2008 and the Winter Olympics which it will host in 2022.
The History Of Beijing
The city's history dates back more than 200,000 years ago to the prehistoric era. This has been determined by the fossils of Homo erectus that have been discovered within the area. In 1045 BC a town named Jicheng was constructed in the location of modern-day Guang'anmen area. At the time it was the capital city of the nation of Ji which was the first of six times that the city would be the capital of a state. The Xianbei kingdom also selected Jicheng as their capital for a brief period after Wu Hu had subjugated the area. During the reign of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Di chose Beijing as his capital replacing Yingtian.
It was during the Ming Dynasty rule that some of Beijing's most iconic buildings such as the Forbidden City were constructed. In 1644 an army of peasants put an end to the Ming Dynasty by capturing their capital. In 1949 Chairman Mao Zedong proclaimed Beijing as the capital of the newly formed People's Republic of China. Due to the city's long history, UNESCO has listed seven of the city's most iconic structures as World Heritage Sites.
Urban Development In Beijing
Beijing is one of the most developed cities in the world with factories, skyscrapers, and large corporations coexisting in the city. The government has invested in transport, particularly road transport, by constructing several ring roads. The city has several shopping districts that have developed over the years and are quite popular with tourists. The urban development has had some negative effects such as the destruction of cultural centres to make space for new buildings, and the heavy traffic caused by a large number of vehicles on the roads.
Pollution In Beijing
The city has gained notoriety for poor air quality because of a large number of industries in the Hebei region that borders Beijing. The industries' main source of energy is coal which produces noxious fumes after burning. Many homes in Beijing have air filters to ensure that the residents are breathing good quality air. The Chinese government has undertaken various projects to reduce the pollution and improve the city's air quality.
The Growth Of Cities In China
The Chinese government estimates that more than 300 million people will migrate from rural areas to urban areas by 2025. The people will move mainly in search for jobs that are more available in urban areas. Modern amenities in cities also attract large numbers of migrants. To ensure sustainable development, the Chinese government has undertaken various initiatives, for example, constructing new towns in rural areas to stem the flow of migrants.