Chongqing (1937-1946) / Post-Improvisation: Urbanization and Expansion based on Industrial Development around Bandao District
Within three years after the Millitary and Industrial Department of the Naional Government of China ordered the Millitary Industries all over the country to move west into the rear, thirteen major millitary factories and numerous private factories settled down along the banks of the Yangtze River and Jialing River, all within 30 kilometers distance to the old city center, Bandao district (Figure 1). The moving in of the industries during the Anti-Japanese War later triggered a series of events related to the urbanization of the city’s periphery and the expansion of the city boundaries.
The construction of factories, espesically large millitary factories, required large pieces of flat unused land with necessary basic transportaion and power infrastructures. In order to find the appropriate sites, the local engineers, land surveyors and the designated spicialists from the related industries formed a special land survey and mapping committee named as the Industrial and Mining Investigation Committee. During the process of looking for the sites for the factories, the committee actually, at the same time, implemented a thorough research for the ideal unused land for urban expansion.
After the site was chosen, the construction took place based on principles of practicality and simplicity (Figure 2). Together with the plants, dormitories, public canteens, hospitals and other welfare facilities were also built around the factories. Gradually, the factories developed into a small urban district. Take Da Du Kou district as an example, before the war there were only one small village and one port in the district. On March 1st, 1938, the Steel Factory Migration Committee of the National Government confiscated a piece of land with an area of 33.31 acres for the construction of the Chongqing Steel Factory, which later took place in May. From 1938 to 1946, the Migration Commitee built in total 6000m long railways, one bridge, one tunnel, ten dormitories within the area. Public facilities like the first primary school, the first middle school, post office and hospitals were also introduced to the site. The settlement of the steel factory became a trigger that facilited the urbanization process of the entire district (Figure 3, 4).
Similar developments also took place at other factories and districts. Accordring to the record of the Chongqing Construction Administration Department, the population of the industrial districts had increased more than 6 times during the anti-Japanese war. In fact, the expansion of the city boundaries was consistent with the development of the industrial areas around the Bandao district (Figure 5).
In this sense, the industrial development triggered by the moving in of the factories along the Yangtze River and Jialing River set up the framework for the urbanization and expansion during this period. Such influences remained in place even after the war. In 1958, in the “Preliminary Overall Urban Plan of Chongqing”, it war clearly stated that the urban development should be organized around the 11 industrial center emerged during wartime. The improvisation conducted during war later became the rationale for the urban planning.
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