Urban Arteries

Tianhu Yuan

2019 - Ongoing

Chongqing Shi, China

With rapid economic development in recent years, Chongqing, the largest municipality in China, has rapidly expanded its urban area, and with it has come an explosion of rail transit. In 10 years, it has increased from 19.15 km to 327.5 km. There are mountains and rivers in the city, and some areas are inaccessible. These rail transit lines extend from the city's hinterland to the city's far-flung suburbs to be developed.

About 9 years ago, I lived in the new airport district in the north of city and my girlfriend lived in Huxi Town in the west of city. It would take me 3.5 hours to meet her. And now, that time has been reduced to about 2 hours by rail. In those days, there were still many villages, towns, farmlands and barren hills nearby where we lived. Nowadays, most of them have become part of the city.

In the years I lived in Chongqing, the rail transit has changed the city and transportation. I captured scenes along rail lines, intends to explore the tremendous impact of urban development on the urban landscape, people's lives, environment and economic development.

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  • This is the northern terminus of Line 3, which is also a suburb of the city. Due to the subway, a large number of buildings are rising out of the wasteland.

  • The new building meets the old terrain under the bridge here.

  • This is a burgeoning community. A snack stall is under the huge railway pillars but it seems no customers.

  • Subway made the suburbs easily accessible. Many young people buy houses in the neighbourhood and take their pets on weekend holidays to the new parks.

  • The escalator connects the station at the foot of the hill with the residential area on the hill for the convenience of residents.

  • It is Chongqing Jiahua Bridge, next to the rail line 9 which is under construction. It is expected that the traffic pressure on the Jiahua Bridge will be relieved when Line 9 open.

  • This is the heart of the city. In the distance you can see Chongqing's landmark Raffles City and Qiansimen Bridge. Nearby is a huge construction site where new buildings are about to go up. People quickly and repeatedly change the land until the center of the city becomes more and more prosperous.

  • Niujiaotuo Station, built on the bank of Jialing River, is a transfer station between Line 2 and Line 3. Huge piers propped up the station. On the day of photo, Chongqing was hit by severe floods, and some people went under the bridge to watch the flood.

  • Paradise Lost. With the opening of the commercial area named Back Street of Ciqikou, the commercial area of Shacixiang, which is a little far away from the rail transit, has become even more decayed. The abandoned game arcade in the riverside park are covered in dust. As the city continues to develop, these commercial areas have their own ups and downs, even if they are located in the same area.

  • Crews. Lightbox advertisement in the station depicts the crews of railway. They change the way of travels in the city.

  • Concrete Forest. A distant view of the skyscrapers across the river from station. This is a densely populated residential area in the heart of the city, where two subways intersect.

  • This is a very popular new urban area in Chongqing with many parks and schools nearby. House prices in this area are rising fast. Outside the station, there are many real estate salesmen. A motorcycle driver is waiting for customers.

  • Nightfall. It's near Wulidian Station. It is a mature area with a new subway line coming soon. New office building reflects the sunset's afterglow.