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In the zone : What do the big policy announcements on Qianhai and Hengqin mean?

Sometimes it’s easier to breathe new life into a city by rebuilding it from scratch or moving it to an entirely new area. These scenarios can give metropolitan planners more freedom of manoeuvre. Resistance from vested interests can be less intense as well.

Brazil went for a change of capital city in the 1950s by relocating to Brasilia from overcrowded Rio de Janeiro, for instance. Egypt is doing something similar at the moment, building a yet-to-be-named ‘New Administrative Capital’ about 45km outside Cairo. Similar thinking has inspired the creation of the Xiongan New Area, established in 2017 to absorb the administrative overspill from Beijing, China’s centre of government (see WiC361).

Investors have also been watching the planning process for two of the cities in China’s most international – and most affluent – region. For decades Hong Kong and Macau have been ...


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