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New Articles About Zhengzhou in the South China Morning Post

A collection of articles that I wrote for a print supplement about the Chinese city of Zhengzhou in the South China Morning Post.

I wrote the following articles for a print supplement about the Chinese city of Zhengzhou for the South China Morning Post. As it was originally in print there were some rather strict word count limits — 500 or 300 words each — which posed some creative challenges for this journalist who’s been spoiled by the far looser length restrictions of online publishing.

Banishing the ghosts

Zhengdong New District

This is a story about how Zhengzhou’s Zhengdong New District developed from being little more than 150 sq kilometers of an old airport and fallow construction land to a thriving new area with over a million people in less than 12 years.

Strategy lets campuses transform city

China university
How universities are used to stimulate growth in newly created urban areas. When China builds a large new city or district a “chicken or an egg” scenario sets in where people won’t move into an area that doesn’t have any businesses while businesses won’t move into a place without people. One of the ways that China breaks this inertia is to move in university campuses. Oftentimes, colossal university towns are the result which can bring hundreds of thousands of students and staff into a new area that was once deserted.

Economy booms with consumers

Chinese shopping mall
This is a story about how malls have become the center of commercial and civic life in China as well as how they’re used to stimulate growth in newly developed urban areas.

Business district flourishes at strategic crossroads

Zhengdong CBD
Zhengzhou sits at a major crossroads of China. It is where major north to south rail lines intersect with major rail lines that go east to west. This has always made this city in central China a hub of logistics and activity. This is an article about how Zhengdong New Districts’s CBD has benefited from the city’s geographic position to become the banking capital of Zhengzhou province.

Filed under: China

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3544 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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  • Lawrence Hamilton May 27, 2015, 1:00 am

    Good one. I always have fond memories of Zhengzhou.

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    • VagabondJourney May 27, 2015, 1:28 am

      Haha, yes, you had an incredible adventure there!

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