In the late 1970s, the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen was a fishing village of about 20,000 people. Today, it is a booming metropolis of as many as 12 million. Selected in 1978 as the site of China's first post-1949 experiment with market liberalization, the special economic zone created in Shenzhen turned this largely agricultural swath of the Pearl River Delta into a hub of low-cost, export-oriented manufacturing. Our maps and animations demonstrate this city's profound economic and environmental transformations over the past 30 years, and show where and how Shenzhen's leaders and planners are trying to create more knowledge-driven, research-intensive industry in the region.
Explore how Shenzhen has changed by checking the desired layers and clicking the 'Change Layers' button. Click on the map points for more information about individual locations. Be patient -- depending on your browser, this may take a little while.