About the book

Twenty years ago Mr Sun was a simple Chinese farmer. 
Today he owns a block of flats in the centre of a city of millions.
And he didn’t move an inch.

China is creating the largest urban society the world has ever seen. Small towns in Central and Western China are transforming at breakneck pace into huge metropolises with many millions of inhabitants. In size they rival global cities like Rio de Janeiro, London and Moscow, but their names are unknown in the rest of the world.

How the City moved to Mr Sun lifts the veil from these unexplored megacities in the heart of China. It lays bare the ruthless logic behind this incredible growth, and presents in loving detail the mass of humanity washed up in this unstoppable process: farmers who demolish their homes and build their own high-rise apartment blocks, torn down again by city authorities in the name of progress. Architects, complaining that the cities grow faster than they can design them. Chinese officials, surprisingly frank about the darker sides to this story of success.

Highly readable, full of insightful analysis and deeply human stories of modern city life, this book challenges assumptions about the nature of Chinese society, and asks the question: can China transform its triumph of brick and concrete into a model that will conquer the world?

About the authors
Journalist Michiel Hulshof and architect Daan Roggeveen founded and coordinate the Go West Project, a multidisciplinary research lab focusing on the development of China’s emerging megacities. Michiel Hulshof is China correspondent for the Dutch weekly Vrij Nederland. Daan Roggeveen is an architect working on architectural and urban projects in China and Europe. As part of the Go West Project, they produced articles and photo essays for Chinese and international media, and organized events and exhibitions in Amsterdam, Beijing, London, Shanghai and Shenzhen. They lecture at Chinese universities on a regular basis.

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