Counter-Revolution in the Car Park – The Economist

The Economist reports on another issue that has emerged, in addition to excessive tolls, as Chinese citizens take to the road:

Car owners the world over fret about parking, but in China the competition for spaces can be especially fierce. Within just a few years urban China has undergone a transformation. Streets that teemed once with bicycles are clogged now with cars. New housing complexes have sprung up in the suburbs for the fast-growing middle classes. Rows frequently erupt over control of parking spaces within them. These and other local confrontations signify a huge change in the balance of power in Chinese cities.

Until the 1990s the state owned almost all urban housing. Most residents lived close to their state-assigned workplaces. They had no bargaining power. Neighbourhood committees were controlled by Communist Party appointees. If residents had complaints, they usually kept quiet about them. [Full Text]

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