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Mark Leong Redux Pictures
"China's Instant Cities"

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The story "Instant Cities" covered Lishui, one of China's numerous industrial boomtowns, over a year of development. A town of a couple hundred thousand people several hours south of Shanghai in Zhejiang Province, Lishui aims to double both its metropolitan footprint and its population by the year 2020. The rural to urban transition of these lesser-known, second-tier cities is the key to China's epic growth, with huge infrastructure projects, mass migration, crazy markets for both wholesale export products and real estate -- and many, many changing lives.
"Migrant evacuation"
Uprooted by growth, families dismantle their homes and pack up their possessions to make way for a hydroelectric dam near Lishui. The government paid between $6,500 and $13,000 in compensation, insufficient to buy a place in the city, so most will go to new "migrant villages" of low-cost template homes being built along the expressway.


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