Heading to China, where big cities are getting bigger

March 11, 2011
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

People always say Indianapolis seems like a small town. I suspect that when my trip to China wraps up on March 19, I’ll have a new appreciation for how true that is.

I’m heading on Friday to southeast China as part of a contingent of Indiana University faculty, business executives and journalists (more on the trip in later posts). We’ll be visiting Indianapolis’ sister city of Hangzhou (population 7 million) as well as Shanghai (19 million).

China, of course, is the world’s biggest country—its population of 1.3 billion is roughly four times that of the United States. Sheer size helps explain why China might surpass the United States as the world’s largest economy in the 2020s. Just recently, it passed Japan to move into the No. 2 spot.

In measures of wealth, however, China isn’t nipping at our heels yet. Per-capita gross domestic product in the United States is about $47,000—more than 10 times that of China. The gap is narrowing, but by 2015 U.S. GDP per capita still will be more than seven times China’s, the International Monetary Fund estimates.

But China certainly has the bragging rights for big cities. The population of China’s 10 largest cities alone equates to roughly one-third of the U.S. population.

“Particularly for Chinese visitors who stay here for a while, being in the Midwest can feel sort of lonely because when they are walking down the streets there are few people around,” said Mohan Tatikonda, a faculty member at the Kelley School of Business in Indianapolis who is going on the trip. “They are so accustomed to abundant humanity all around them wherever they may be.”

On a previous trip to China, Tatikonda visited Wuxi, which doesn’t even show up as a major city on Chinese maps but has a population of about 5 million—three times the number of people living in the Indianapolis area.

Wuxi and other big cities in China are growing at rates unheard of in the United States—thanks to the developing country’s rapid economic growth, which has led to mass migration from the countryside.

By 2025, China likely will have 219 cities with more than one million residents and 24 with more than 5 million, according to a 2009 report from McKinsey & Co., a New York-based consulting firm.

 

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Fascinating...
    I find this whole concept very interesting and can't wait to hear more. Specifically, I would love to get an opinion about how China's cities are developing and how we might use that here in Indianapolis. We will never be Shanghai, but with an additional 100 million Americans predicted by 2050, Indianapolis should position itself to grow and develop at a higher rate than the average. Chinese cities may be a great example for us to use as a blueprint.
  • I miss the metro
    I leave Thursday for my 3rd trip to China in 13 months. Its a cheap place to vaction and has tons of stuff to see and do. Beijing is a little more low key than Shanghai or Hong Kong which suits me just fine. I love to take the subway in China (and NYC and DC too). I've decide that you can't be a world class city without a subway. So Indy lets going! So my fellow Hoosiers get $3,000 together and so spend a week in Beijing or Hong Kong, its so much more fun than Orlando!

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Angela IS the best RD

  2. We are a nation of speed. All of our younger lives are filled with deadlines, quotas and bottom lines. We start to ease out of the pressured rat-race when we finally see "retirement." The most enjoyable travel on the planet is passenger rail service. Indy to Chicago does not beat Megabus or Southwest Airlines in speed. Passenger rail however has the best seating, mammoth legroon, seat backs that recline to more than 45 degrees and employers that really want you to return as a customer. Indiana municipalities need to maintain subsidies to support this transportation mode. Losing it is loss for all of us.

  3. Good day! I just want to testify how i got my loan from Mr. Eric Lefkofsky after i applied several times from various loan lenders who claimed to also testify right in this forum,i thought the testimonies where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan. Until a friend of mine introduce me to this popular Mr. Eric Lefkofsky who promised to help me and indeed he did as he promised without any form of delay. I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr. Eric lefkofsky who indeed helped me with the loan and changed my belief. I promised to share this testimony after I got my loan. I don't know if you are in any way in need of a genuine and urgent loan,free feel to contact Mr. Eric Lefkofsky via their email{grouponfunding@hotmail.com}

  4. Its a THUG issue. Bleecker Street and NYX are thug bars. They attract thugs of all races. Places that attract thugs need to be kicked out of Broad Ripple. Ain't nobody got time for that!

  5. Hello everyone, My name is Marian Gareth, I am from the Texas, United State, am here to testify of how i got my loan from Mr Andre Frank {frankloancompany@yahoo.com} after i applied Two times from various loan lenders who claimed to be lenders right in this forum,i thought their lending where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan.Until a friend of mine introduce me to Mr Andre Frank the C.E.O of Andre Frank Loan Company who promised to help me with a loan of my desire and he really did as he promised without any form of delay, I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr Andre Frank, who really help me with my loan and changed my lief for better. I don't know if you are in need of an urgent loan, free feel to contact Mr Andre Frank on his email{ Frankloancompany@yahoo.com} for help

ADVERTISEMENT