Photographer Xu Peiwu has used his camera to record the development of Guangzhou since 1977. There are no more complete records of the brand-new CBD in the Pearl River New Town than his photos. During the past decade, Guangzhou, once thought of as a large, less-developed southern city, has given birth to a brand-new Manhattan-like town, Pearl River New Town. In terms of planning, construction and supporting facilities, this new town is full of controversy, however, there is no doubt that it really is a typical microcosm of the Chinese Urbanization Movement. Especially with the coming Asian Games, the speed of its development has proved to be staggering.
Gathering place of new landmarks
In Xu Peiwu's photos, as in most Guangdong people's memories, the CBD's main thoroughfare, named "Huacheng" ("Flower City"), was once a monotonous road. Huacheng Road has now developed into a super busy road with numerous skyscrapers, including many new landmarks of Guangzhou.
The West Tower of Pearl River New Town, facing the Canton Tower across the Pearl River, was the first new landmark to be built. The West Tower was designed by Wilson Eyre Architects Associates. It appears like two thin crystals stabbing the sky, its peak submerged in the mist in foggy weather. The East Tower, 100 meters higher than the West Tower, was designed by USA KPF. Its construction began in September 2009 and is expected to be finished in 2016.
Going eastward from the West Tower, the only park in Pearl River New Town, Pearl River Park, comes into sight. As the density and height of the Pearl River New City has been denounced, the Pearl River Park is all the more precious in the steel jungle. Completed in 2001, the park was undoubtedly built to ease the tension brought by the dense skyscrapers.
The migration of top hotel
In "Manhattan," luxury top hotels are a must. Guangzhou's top hotels were gathered around the railway station in the past before they were moved to Huanshi East Road. They are to move to the Pearl River New Town in the near future. Furthermore, the coming hotels are all international top luxury hotels, such as the Ritz Carlton, W Hotel, St. Regis, Grand Hyatt and Jumeirah Hotel. The Four Seasons Hotel has even rented the 67th to 100th floors of the West Tower, and will become one of the highest hotels in the world.
From sports ground of Asian Games to open-air theatre
The opening and closing ceremony of the Asian Games will be held on Haixinsha Island, which is located in the south of the Pearl River New Town. The island's sports facilities will be rebuilt into the biggest open-air theatre in Guangzhou as planned. The island will also add top restaurants and bars. Haixinsha Island, which was less popular in the past, will become a cultural center with music halls, galleries and many other casual sites.