Some people say Shenzhen, China, is unrecognizable to those who lived there 30 years ago, and that its current state will help to push aside their preconceptions about the city. Now, keep reading if you want to find out how the city had changed greatly, just within a few decades.
Shenzhen is situated in Southeastern China, specifically in the province of Guangdong. The local dialect of Guangdong is Cantonese, while Mandarin is the official spoken language in Shenzhen. It is like having a city in Thailand, where Lao, Burmese or other languages from its neighboring countries are officially spoken. Don’t you find that situation interesting, and makes you want to know why and how? Well, it used to be a Cantonese-speaking village, but shifts and developments were made to form this outcome.
Talking about the past, which was more than 30 years ago, Shenzhen was just a small fishing village called the Bao’an Country. Yet, China’s leader, Deng Xiaoping, turned the town into a city in 1979, specified as the first “Special Economic Zone” of China. It was reformed with the purpose of serving a testing ground for the rest of China. This circumstance has caused people from all parts of China to move into Shenzhen, resulting in Mandarin to be the common language there. In addition, the city is now known for its rapid economic growth and people visit Shenzhen to find employment, ensuing in the city to be increasingly crowded each year.
Times have changed in the sense that Shenzhen is now home to over 10 million people. Moreover, it has the youngest average age of residents in China. With its reputation for prosperity, there are ambitious people from all over China who are below 30 years old on average. This condition has contributed to the development of the city in a way such that most people consider Shenzhen as a “symbol of a China careering towards modernity at full speed”. The most recognizable names of brands in China are mainly from Shenzhen, the great number of entrepreneurial success stories are often mentioned, and the number of amazing architecture is growing month on month.
You might doubt that environmental improvements are made because of issues like overpopulation and technological innovations. However, the amazing part is that about 50% of the city is filled with green spaces. Almost every street corner is covered with a variety of plants, and there are lots of parks with numerous types of trees. Shenzhen was the first city to roll out an all-electric public bus fleet, allowing blue skies to appear across all over the city, and the decent air quality to be maintained. After all, the city was even awarded the Garden City Award in 2000.
The astonishing aspect, however, is the speed at which Shenzhen has transformed into China’s most densely populated, affluent, rapidly growing, richest, modern and popular place even though it is a very young city with about 40 years of history. You can even imagine and perceive Shenzhen as a utopian society or the future state after a few decades from now.