As many people have heard, a 7.8 magnitude eqarthquake rumbled through Chengdu, China yesterday, killing more than 9,000 people. Full coverage from the New York Times can be found here. Chengdu is a city of 10 million people–larger than New York City–and a logistical hub for the interior of China. It is also a center of development for the entire nation (and the “gateway” to Tibet). Fortunately, Chengdu is likely to recover faster because the Chinese government has embraced an outward approach to economic development. If this had happened 20 years ago, the death toll would likely have been much higher and the recover much longer. Adrian Moore and I had the distinct pleasure of visiting Chengdu when we visited China last year to study transportatin and infrastructure issues. Chengdu is also a tourist destinatin in its own right as the capital of the Sichuan Province (and home of the Panda), a haven for amazing food, and the home of an incredibly friendly and open people. You will be able to read more about Chengdu and its transportation challenges in our forthcoming book (October 2008) from Rowman & Littlefiled, “Mobiltiy First: A New Vision for Transportation in a Globally Competitive Economy”
Samuel R. Staley, Ph.D. is a senior research fellow at Reason Foundation and managing director of the DeVoe L. Moore Center at Florida State University in Tallahassee where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in urban planning, regulation, and urban economics. Prior to joining Florida State, Staley was director of urban growth and land-use policy for Reason Foundation where he helped establish its urban policy program in 1997.