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# 2010-2020 LOOKING BACK AT




this week
10 Years
City !
Beijing 2020: a safe haven for your investment!
see it.
is the central business district of
Beijing how we at Checkmate Real-estate
like an eagle over the towers of our great capital the shrewd business
sense of our venerated corporation becomes most apparent. In the playing field of the
like to

expanding city we are the undisputed winners. In the last five years Checkmate Real-
estate has built the tallest and toughest towers in town. Not one company has realized
more, faster. With our efforts we have secured an unprecedented stronghold in
China `s aggressive real-estate market. From this position we observe the city as it
grows. We seize every opportunity to build and we annihilate the mediocre projects of
past and current competitors. Join our team of winning investors now and view the city
as it really is: a towering landscape of power and potential.

Friendly affiliated with the Carlyle Group


Checkmate Real-estate
CC, October 14, 2020 Mayor He Xin Cheng (何新城 ) day and night. Behold its arteries throbbing in the dark.
Today for the first time we look back and take pride in our achievements.
opening statement at the Cunning City’s (诡异之城 ) Onlookers, local and foreign were curious — critical sometimes.

10th anniversary celebrations Policy makers have often tried to deprive us. But the Cunning City was
strong from its conception. It is not an instant city, but an urban
nucleus unfolding rapidly. Its success formula is widely imitated. The
Cunning City has unleashed a social revolution. Too many cities were
merely thrown up by well-connected businessmen and over-zealous
Welcome citizens! Welcome visitors! Ten years ago this land under our officials. Their vitality perished with the first cracks in the paint. Their
feet was farm land. Ten years ago the sky was gray with dust and soot, concrete shells, now empty, lie scattered around the landscape. We have
and our hands blistered from spades and rusty shovels. Today we are invested together, avoiding opportunism and state squander. Many of
here to look around us at what we have created. We have created a you gathered here today left the fields or abandoned the factories and
dream. A dream of glass and concrete, of parks and avenues, schools construction sites to build your own home, your own city. Now we all
and office towers. benefit from the prosperity of the Cunning City Corporation.
In this our beautiful city has excelled where so many have Those days the world around us was in turmoil, occupied by greed and
failed. Far from the glare of Shanghai, the prowess of religious extremism. All we believed in was progress! Mass migration
Guangzhou, and the splendor of Beijing, we was our exodus. The new city was our promised land. Our faith:
have blossomed. Without hesitation
we have developed beyond a Progress, Performance and Prosperity
mere production
With this belief, you, the citizens have designed a city in the likeness
of your own desires. You have packed

to become
a powerful trade hub,
an educational center, a tourist
destination, a shopper’s paradise, a city of
the masses. Today this city is a metropolis, and one of the most
competitive on the globe. the center
To get here we have walked new and uncertain roads. We have built to its full commercial potential,
with blind courage and persistence. We have abandoned the existing and sculpted suburbs to fit effortlessly into your comfortable
and relinquished tradition. We have denied the permanent and embraced consumer lifestyle. Who wanted walls or gates, when shopping
the dynamic, and evolved even beyond ourselves. could be so seamless? Who wanted to wait, when you could
Today this city is all cities. Every morning it reveals itself in unseen instead always be moving? Today we can add two more Ps – those
ways. It’s like a forest — its roots digging deep in the hard soil, its of perfection and play. What’s left for us is to enjoy the ride.
branches our dense roads and bridges, its canopy of green like our
terraced estates. Today the Cunning City no longer is a city. It is a
world. A world where we live, produce and consume. You will all agree This presentation was brought to you by Omnigroup, your friendly affiliate!
when I say, this brave new world we have built together: its structures so
extravagant they make other cities redundant; its artificial landscapes
so subtle they can rival Mother Nature herself.
Who can resist such glorious temptations when it nurtures us, serves
our desires, and our pleasures? The Cunning City always knows what
we want. It’s a friend with a mind of its own, and a body at work for us

burb 0agazine: CONTENTS
concept and artwork: neville mars POLITBURB
texts: adrian hornsby, neville mars
layout: neville mars, adrian hornsby Brain-Melt-Eurotrash 14
graphical contributions: xiong yi fei, jeffrey ludlow, vanessa lee, Still spilling off ships and into trouble
alexis martin reyna, jeff gompertz & yoko taketani, Wang zi
Hot From The Dragon’s Mouth 18
contributing authors: louis coulomb, erich schienke, elena simons, Dark stuff afoot in the north west
jeremy mercer, beatrice ferrari, Wei Wei shannon
Cunnning City Facts & Figures 28
This page )5((]H + +XPDQV7R2FHDQV Catch the latest via r exclusive datastream
team: neville mars, hou xiu, li xin lu
From Ming to Bling! 16
Check out ancient China 2020-style
Wanna Haves! 30
R latest wish list
Carving Out Neighborhoods 40
Blast of light for the Cunning City
The Rise of the Phoenix Panda 22
Who said genebenders can’t be cute?
My Home — My Network 42
Find out how Apple never needs to go outside
Marriage 4 a Moment 44
He’s blue — she’s pink …
Fat Cat Trampled in Cat Crazed Stampede! 48
Whoa, but how did that happen?
What a Podd Question! 49
Kooky celebs get their spy pods
Ghost in the Sponge 52
Strange things afoot in r favorite mall-chine
Urban Growth 66
A story of er-road-ed dreams and new high-deas!
Yoko Where Are You? / Unidentified Youth 60
Odd disappearances and haunting scenes
Shanghai Shehui’s Silver Signing 24
The Puds net another big name
High Art for the Faint at Heart 64
Fancy a spot of culture? Well just look around you!
The Cunning City 26
10 years on and more alluring than ever
Freeze 72
Dreamers get busy with Humans 2 Oceans
$QLPDWHGOLJKW installation

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“The dynamic city is the
Chinese Dream!”
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This month another dilapidated number of Europeans are arriving
European freighter, ironically in China through regular channels,
dubbed the MS Bright Future, ran and showing every indication that
aground coming into China — this they intend to stay.
time quite literally under the nose T r a d i t i o n a l l y EU m i g r a t i o n t o
of Pudong’s celebrated Golden China has come from Turkey and
Mao. It’s hard to imagine what the the Balkan areas, but a gathering
father of the CCP would have had wave is now observable from
to say, but it seems unlikely he regions further north. This is largely
would have felt much sympathy for attributable to the “melted brain”
the 286 illegal European immigrants syndrome, where burnt out creative
on board. As individuals they may sectors and bad loans have led
have been dirty, malnourished, and to economic instability and rising
sick, but as part of a growing trend, unemployment.
they represent further administrative But the migration is not all job-
headaches and international orientated. Learning-migration
embarrassment. also has a significant role to play,
This is the last in a string of with a substantial growth in the
such incidents, including illicit number of students traveling to
migrant vessels caught docking China. Figures from 2019 show a
near Shenzhen, Qingdao, and on 36% increase on the previous year,
Chongming Dao island, as well making Europeans by far the largest
as European stowaways found in single group in the class of foreign
numerous freight containers up and students enrolled in institutions of
down the coast. No estimates have higher learning in China.
been released for how many may Early indicators show that having
have slipped through the net. completed their studies Europeans
The risks associated with EU-China do not return home. According to
people trafficking are considerable. the OECD, the return rate over the
The smugglers themselves are period 2008-2019 was only 14.1%.
notoriously brutal, and to avoid While this is all indicative of
suspicion, will devise complicated continuing Chinese economic
and lengthy travel routes. It is strength, questions hang over the
suggested that illegal migrants are issue of urban integration. European
often subject to abuse en route, communities tend to be segregated
and held for many years in debt- within the city, and internal violence
bondage upon arrival. between different ethnic factions
This form of migration is however worries the PSB, who increasingly
no more than a dark tributary to are being forced to view the influx
the much wider flow. An increasing as a threat to urban security.

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Sick of pics of the drab old wall in

decline? “No more!” says Guo Pu,
the construction magnate who has
taken on the task of bringing it up to
You can’t doubt the man’s en-
thusiasm, and, with the whopping
800 billion RMB he’s bringing to the
project, his power to make things
happen. The proposals include:
• an automated anti-vandal taser
protection system

• speakers every 50m play-

ing mood music and nature
‘I’m not just talking about a wall sounds
face-lift here,’ says Mr Guo. ‘I’m • replacement of damaged
talking about the whole thing: im- stones with neon-pink kevlar Much of the original wall was
plants, bigger lips, smaller nose, bricks built during the Ming dynasty in the
cheekbones, ass — the works! That 14th and 15th centuries. Now at last
wall is old, but we’re going to make • full end-to-end coating of the it looks like Ming’s gonna get his
it sizzle!’ wall with high gloss teflon bling on!

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from the Dragon’s
Fragmented reports have been cir-
culating this week that US military
forces made an incursion into Xin-
jiang province in north western Chi-
na. According to one source, this is cally integrated and highly efficient
part of a covert operation aimed at economic powerhouse, with a thriv-
‘backing Muslim separatists in their ing internal market, and strong eco-
struggles against repression and in- nomic ties with populous Brazil and
timidation at the hands of the Chi- India. What’s more, until recently,
nese military.’ At an international China’s foreign reserves were bulg-
press conference Chinese officials ing with US dollars and treasury bills
vociferously denied any attack, even while China no longer de-
while at the same time condemning pended nearly as much on exports
the idea as ‘unlawful aggression.’ to grow.
The suggestion of humanitarian Economists seem to agree on only
concerns was deemed a ‘human one thing these days: when the oil
rights smokescreen [being used] to price broke the mythical $300 a
influence developments in the great barrel in 2017, the global economy
Yugsar basin.’ The area has been suffered a deadly blow. Since then,
thrust onto the international stage the lights have virtually gone out in
ever since deep NMR mapping re- Africa, and much of South America
vealed a 400 billion barrel oil field is down to a flicker. The smaller, less
beneath its dusty plains. Satellite resilient – mostly European – com-
images suggest Russia has begun panies have either collapsed or
to mobilize troops on its Kazakhstan been taken-over by larger ones, fur-
and Mongolian borders, signalling ther consolidating global corporate
an intention to respond if the puta- structures. Mergers and acquisitions
tive conflict threatens to spill-over have brought together the most
into its territory. unlikely of couples. Last week saw
Since global oil production peak- the hostile take-over of Ballistika,
ed in 2013 the US has focussed all of Russia’s largest military hardware
its military might on securing energy manufacturer, by the mammoth
supplies and maintaining transporta- Exxon-GE-Pfizer Group (EGPG).
tion routes. This has been the source Most of Ballistika’s dozen or so plants
of significant tension between the US are situated in North Eastern China
and China. It now looks as though — plants which have for the last 6
ten years of economic tit-for-tat years been China’s foremost sup-
between these two countries may plier of advanced missile technol-
have finally come to a head. The ogy. But with the suggestion of US
zero-sum interdependencies of the troops trickling into Xinjiang prov-
Wal-Mart era are a quaint memory ince, some things may be about to
of a gentle early millennium. China change.
has shifted from being the US’s dis- As many commentators have
count overseas factory to a verti- pointed out, the most important

18 bURB bURB 19
cont. from page 18
developments in recent years all ther burned on site or transported to
seem to be hinged on whether or power plants around the country.
not adequate supplies of energy The amount of CO2 released into
can be secured. There isn’t a ma- the atmosphere by China has dou-
jor multinational in the world that bled in the last five years. Perversely,
doesn’t have a stake in the oil and
gas supply chain, be it upstream
some might claim this is an indica-
tion of how well things are going. Af- Feeling
or downstream; be it in shipment or ter all, the true scale of global warm-
commercialization. Many alliances ing cotinues to be hotly debated.
have been built around political ob- The quintupling of freak hurricanes
jectives. One of these has been to since the beginning of the century is
squeeze China out. Facing chronic suggestive, but climatologists from
widespread power outages and oil the Hadley Center predicted a wa-
price spikes, China has been forced terlogged Benelux by 2020, and this
to step up coal production dramati- appears not to be the case. And so,
cally over the last few years. Calls until it is, to some there is no global
by Beijing to reopen at once hun- warming. This seems to be the mind-
dreds of derelict and ill-equipped set predominating in boardrooms,
coal mines grimly echoes the Great and up and down the global strip
Leap ventures that brought so much mall.
hardship and environmental degra- Here in the Cunning City, the man
dation. About one third of the coal on the street is little concerned with
is currently being converted to liq- the world’s conflicts and upheavals.
uid, synthetic fuel to make-up the He’s worked hard to be able to con-
two million barrels a day shortfall sume hard, and no border skirmish is
from conventional oil. The rest is ei- likely to upset that.


Wherever you’re from …

Fidel Castro Colonel Sanders Colonel Castro

Kim Il Sung Colonel Sanders Colonel Il

Uncle Ho Colonel Sanders Colonel Ho
20 bURB * advertisement * bURB 21

The Rise
of the Phoenix Panda
This month saw the final goodbye ceeding years a number of bloated rent embryos date from this period,’
to the giant panda as scientists fi- panda corpses were found on vil- Dr Zhu notes. ‘That means our entire
nally admitted defeat, and agreed lage garbage heaps, where, rum- genetic stock is 51 bummed out
to scrap their stock of frozen pan- maging for sustenance, they had panda bears. We’re not even deal-
da embryos. Attempts over the last confusedly ingested batteries, plas- ing with a full deck.’
few years to culture the embryos, tics, and various heavy metals. But while Dr Zhu and his team
either in artificial environments or In the meantime pandas in cap- were determined to drive down to
in the wombs of closely related tivity continued to feast on “panda the very bottom of this dead end al-
species, have led to one failure af- powerbars”. However, the concern ley, a splinter research group calling
ter another. There has been grow- for scientists was maintaining a suf- themselves Pandas For Tomorrow
ing criticism of what has become ficient genetic pool to ensure the (PFT) decided to explore a different
known as the “panda pit”, and the overall health and diversity of the route. ‘We had always been inter-
oversized global “panda pocket” species. In 2008 an initiative was ested in the possibility of cloning,’ Dr
when it comes to funding. brought in to map the genome of Xu, spokesman for PFT, has told us,
‘It’s not a technology issue,’ Dr every remaining panda individual: ‘but the directors at Wolong were
Zhu, head scientist at the Wolong at that time 75 in all. too attached to some dated idea of
breeding center insists. ‘We have The task was completed in 2011, “natural generation.” The challenge
very advanced fake wombs, and but increasingly pandas born from was always to persuade very con-
with the right drugs you could this tiny base were showing reces- servative board members to allow
make a crocodile give birth to a sive traits, including brownish fur us to harvest their precious panda
panda bear. The wall we’ve come and distinct behavioral oddities. stem cells. That’s why the Clonotron A
up against is simply an exhausted Fears around Asperger’s syndrome was such a breakthrough.’
genetic stock. Ultimately it’s the pandas seemed to be confirmed by Panda stem cell harvesting was
quality of the embryos you have low levels of social behavior, and generally regarded as a threat to
to deal with, and frankly, they’re a reluctance to engage in mating. potential fetuses, and therefore re-
junk.’ Centers exposed pandas to massive jected out of hand. But just as things
This argument is no revelation, quantities of video footage of repro- looked to be deadlocked, a paral-
but rather confirms what skeptics duction in the wild, but while this lel technology came to the rescue.
have been saying for years: that did provoke an outrage about pub- The Clonotron, developed in South
when it comes to the giant panda, lic expenditure on “panda porn”, Korea, allowed a new genetic map
we left it too late. as well as widespread sales of pi- to be imprinted or reprogrammed


Things started to look seriously rated dvds, the pandas themselves onto an existing stem cell cluster.

bad for the world’s favorite bam- weren’t getting hot. And while panda stem cells weren’t
boo-binger back in 2005. A mas- ‘It just didn’t seem to float their forthcoming, PFT, in a bold move,

sive simultaneous efflorescence boat,’ Dr Zhu comments, remember- decided to pursue a “phoenix pan-
of arrow and umbrella bamboo in ing sadly that period. da hack”. Using genetic information

the mountainous regions of both By 2014 the wild panda popula- from the 2011 census, Dr Xu came

Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces tion was officially zero, and center up with new “theoretical” pandas,

led to a wide-spread die-off of the workers were becoming increas- and then printed their genomes onto

two bamboo types most favored ingly pessimistic about the outlook stem cells garnered from American

by the panda bear. The already for the species in captivity. Numbers raccoons. Raccoons are closely re-

low wild panda population suf- had sunk to 51, and sexual activity lated to pandas, and with a little fine
fered high death rates. Over suc- was at an all time low. ‘All of our cur- tuning, Dr Xu was able to design ge-

22 bURB bURB 23
cont. from page 22
nomes that would take. backs of their vintage petrol-burn
The phoenix panda burst into the cars.
public sphere in 2017, when it am- But the practically limitless sup-
bled down the catwalk of Paris Fash- ply of raccoon stem cells has been
ion Week for top designers Prêt-à- bringing the availability and afford-
Porter, and had that infamous bowel ability of the phoenix panda to the
movement. Prêt’s dwindling global upper-middle classes. A cub now
popularity seemed to be confirmed retails at a cool 500,000 RMB, and
by the silent comment of this brand just about every chic district in the
new species, but while Prêt was out, city has its peppering of owners.
the phoenix panda was very very Analysts are expecting a sharp rise
in. in demand following the official ex-
Naturally docile, readily adapt- tinction of the phoenix panda’s un-
able to domestic food, and at only lucky forebears.
one third the size of a giant panda, Dr Xu taps the ash off the end of
the faintly striped phoenix panda his exquisite Cuban cigar. ‘Sure I la-
quickly became the luxury pet to ment the death of the giant panda,’
have on the end of your diamond he says, ‘and this admission from
leash. Stars were caught on cam- Wolong is something of a grave-
era with them, and city tycoons had stone. But nature moves on. And
them sitting conspicuously in the business is booming.’


Three million jerseys emblazoned
with the number 10 sold in the
first week alone. A guaranteed
full house for every game at the
newly-expanded Honhkou Stadium
months before the Jia A season signing the most coveted prospect Rudolfo was the target of a dozen
kicks off. The football demigods in history to the richest contract in top European sides, including
in Madrid, Manchester, and Milan history. Rudolfo, a fleet striker with Real Madrid who had offered a
weeping bitter tears of frustration. an assassin’s touch around the net, record transfer fee of 200 million
Thus far, Shanghai Shehui’s 1.8 scored an aneurysm-inducing 47 euros to lure him to San Bernabeu.
billion RMB gamble on the magical goals for Corinthians last season, But Shanghai’s director of player
touch of Rudolfo is paying off. leading the Brazilian club to victory operations, Sun Qi, flew to Parque
The reigning Chinese champions in both their domestic championship Sao Jorge to negotiate directly with
stunned the football world by and the Copa America. the player and the club, and won
GO TO page 61
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Rise & Shine: the great awakening

Like the gasses involved in the Big lissome fabric was able to move
Bang, huge clouds of people were and stir change, thus activating
compressed into the Cunning City. the full commercial potential of its
Superheated centripetal forces had own unique condition. Its ability to
amassed an indefinable amalgam process consumer urges fedback
of energies, materials and individu- into urge-generation, with an in-
als. Urban tissue swelled, but like evitable spiraling upwards.
those moments right before the National and ethnic identities
Bang, everything was ingeniously unwound in the context of vec-
packed together. tors of such extreme magnitude.
Vaulting the need for physical As people traversed the fluid
proximity, packets of light bolted up virtual and physical spaces of
and down optic fibers, drawing the the Cunning City, they became
scattered fragments of the world’s chameleons — translucent bod-
aspirant metropoli into a unified cun- ies refracting the urban con-
ning web. Global capitals merged text. Constantly shifting charac-
and demand-threads co-aligned ter, the first conclusion was that
in the continuous presence of the each person had become many
strong urban force. Global rivalries people. But in fact, the opposite
ceded the battleground to a unified was occurring. Just as the Cun-
structure for desire. The Cunning City ning City had collapsed distance,
was only too capable — too swift and substituted choice for will,
and supple — when responding. Its it was melding individualities …
GO TO page 36
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14 percent small settlements, 47 percent urban. Current population spread: 12 percent rural, 18 percent small settlements, 70 percent ur On October the 5th, the United
Nations announced that global population had reached the 10 billion mark, just 8 years after passing 9 billion. Population density now amounts to 19.6 inhabitants per
square kilometer. CUNNING CITY - FACTS & FIGURES Females burst into tears 29 times a year on average, beating males by 450 percent. Population spread in 2000: 39
percent rural, 14 percent small settlements, 47 percent urban. Current population spread: 12 percent rural, 18 percent small settlements, 70 percent urban. Urban area
totals 102014400 square kilometers. Rural area totals 408057600 square kilometers. Last year’s migration from rural to urban area x 1000: January 367, February 243,
March 156, April 156, May 278, June 293, July 368, August 271, September 255, October 199, November 133, December 250. Inhabitants by age 0-12: 16 percent, 13-18: 20
percent 19-45: 32 percent, 46-65: 9 percent 66-80: 13 percent 81-150: 10 percent. If all of this year’s Valentine’s cards were attached in a chain, they would span
the earth 1.8 times. ‘To do’ lists contain an average of 14 items. Within the built area of non-residential construction, shopping accounts for the majority- 33
percent- of the area, followed by 20 percent for living, 17 percent for offices, 10 percent for industry, and 9 percent for education, 6 percent for infrastructure
and 5 percent for recreation. Last year, 350 children were reported to the police for glass breakage resulting from snowball games. Median height of residential
construction in urban area is 45 floors. Median depth of residential construction is 9 floors. Those living above the 60th floor engage in sexual intercourse 1.3 times
more frequently than those living below the 15th floor. Champagne consumption is 3.1 times higher. Sewer capacity increased by 36% in the last twenty years. Inhabitants
of the park regions are three times more likely to develop caries before the age of 17 in relation to the average citizen. Females pay 5.4 visits to the bathroom,
males go to the little room 3.4 times a day. Migration from Less Developed Countries (LDC’s) to More Developed Countries (MDC’s) amounts to 132.000 per month. In city
centers households occupy an average of 31 square meters, while suburban residency averages 45 square meters and rural households enjoy 61 square meters. Suicide is
up by 5 percent in the last 5 years. Demographic indicators suggest a trend towards shrinking families in dense urban areas, countered by a strong increase in household
members for suburban areas. Household size for rural areas is expected to remain steady at 4.3 members. Single parent families: 44 percent, two- parent families: 39
percent, other: 17 percent. Families enjoy the following domestic dwellings: 23 percent apartments of which 34 percent owned and 66 percent rented, 17 percent lofts
of which 37 percent owned and 63 percent rented, 9 percent villas of which 73 percent owned and 27 percent rented, 12 percent farms of which 89 percent owned and 11
percent rented, 3 percent bungalows of which 79 percent owned and 21 percent rented, 6 percent mobile units of which 96 percent owned and 4 percent rented, 13 percent
homeless shelters of which 0 percent owned and 85 percent rented, 17 percent on the streets of which 0 percent owned and 0 percent rented. Per thousand inhabitants,
households keep 80 dogs, 154 cats, 39 hamsters, 390 goldfish, 21 parrots, 37 rabbits, 293 stick insects, 21 gerbils and 189 other. The world population travelled a
total of 64000 billion kilometers last year (6800 km per capita). Citizens in possession of a car are 2.1 times more likely to also own a monthly subway subscription.
Travel on foot takes an average of 14 minutes per trip, of which 6 minutes are spent in elevators, 4 minutes in semi-covered space, 3 minutes in open air and 1 minute
otherwise. Taxi rides are considered a ‘special treat’, an ‘emergency convenience’ or an ‘obsolete nuisance’. Subway- station employees spend 12% of their working
hours cleaning discarded fee tickets from the ground. National trips by pals 41 percent, aeroplanes 23 percent, public transport 22 percent, cars 10 percent and human
power 4 percent. International travel utilises aeroplanes 54 percent, pals 23 percent, public transport 19 percent, boats 2 percent and human power 2 percent. Air
travel increased by 67 percent in the last ten years. Within this period 872 new destinations were opened to air traffic. 76 serious crashes (>50 fatal victims) and
98 minor crashes (<50 fatal victims) occurred. Airline seat spacing has been increased on many commercial flights to accommodate for an increasingly obese populace.
Wallets contain 3 paper notes, 11 coins, 3 plastic cards and 17 gold tooth chippers. Private corporations account for 96 percent of GDP. Tax rate dropped by 7 percent
in the past two years. Tax income dropped by 9 percent. Governments filed 44 antitrust lawsuits against multinational corporations, of which 17 led to financial
settlements and 27 were pronounced unfounded. The ten largest corporations employed 800 million workers resulting in a total profit of $ 7466 billion. If commercial
enterprises were combined with countries and ordered according to annual revenue or gross domestic product depending, China would be the first nation state to appear
on the list in position 28. International goods trade totals a yearly 15,3 billion megatons, of which 30 percent transported by road, 28 percent by train, 27 percent
by air and 15 percent by sea/river. Last year 430550 patents were registered. ‘Lessons from the Little’ is becoming a major trend as adults discover how much essential
knowledge on computing children have to offer, and kids recognise a source of income. In the meanwhile toddlers have lost interest in last year‘s fad, the Down
Syndrobot. Hours of sleep by age: 0-1: 15.3, 2-5: 10.0, 6-12: 9.6, 13-18: 7.0, 19-45: 6.5, 46-65: 5.7 66-80: 9.3 81-150: 9.6. Starting 9th of February performance
artist Alicia Saunders will be showing her 4 meters of purple toe and fingernails after a successful aesthetic nano-treatment. Average jobholders get 12 days of
vacation a year, which they prefer to spend ‘by the seaside with my family’ 28 percent, ‘at meditation camp’ 22 percent, ‘refurbishing my home’ 14 percent, ‘playing
Pester the Poor’ 7 percent, ‘looking for a new relationship’ 6 percent, ‘other’ 21 percent. Long distances are crossed in an effort to enjoy these activities in exotic
places: 63 percent of respondents visit another continent, 22 percent go to another country and 15 percent stay home. Sharp competition has driven many small hotels
out of business, but the major chains have more locations on offer than ever, especially by the coast. Civil wars rage in 38 backward nations where liberation movements
battle democratic government. Shi’ites continue to dominate 78 sober, peaceful nations. In the 34 More Developed Countries Libertarianism and Empowerment are reigning
ideologies, though strains of Sunnism and Back to Body movements can sometimes threaten the status quo. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) reported last
year that the world’s 225 richest people now have a combined wealth of $3.4 trillion. That’s equal to the combined annual income of the world’s 4.5 billion poorest
people. Seventy countries were worse off than 15 years ago. At present, 6 billion people live on less than $2 per day while 1.3 billion get by on less than $1 per
day. Seventy percent of those living on less than $1 per day are women. With global population expanding by 120 million per year, World Bank President Marshall J.
Bush cautions that, unless we address “the challenge of inclusion” 30 years hence we will have 7 billion people living on less than $2 per day. Median width of
pavements: 1.7 meters. Since World War II the public has come to see terrorism, not war, as most disturbing experience. After some minor Left Wing and Palestine-
related attacks in the seventies, the world was virtually free of terrorism for three decades. A modest hijacking incident in New York at the beginning of the millennium
sparked a new surge of attacks. Al Qaeda has since inspired Sunni and atheist anti-civilization militia to carry out a plethora of terrorist acts, of which the
annihilation of Israel is most memorable. Methods used successfully in the last decade: 54 common explosives, 19 hijackings, 13 biological weapons, 7 neurobombs, 3
dirty bombs. All directed at major MDC cities or sites of tourism. The relatively new neurobombing is expected to occur with increasing intensity in the coming years
with Saudi Arabian arms industry going steady. 23 percent of citizens sleep in multi-protection tents, 54 percent own and often carry protective garments, 31 percent
live in the moment and 13 percent would purchase protection if only they could afford it. Thanks to sustainable manipulation, pigs yield 245 meat consumptions, up
from 230 five years ago. Bacon is 20 percent leaner. The median package of sausages contains 8 sausages. Aroma Lard is becoming increasingly popular as a sandwich
spread amongst the lower classes. Children prefer strawberry, banana, coconut flavours. Adults prefer andouilette, aubergine and coconut flavours. Worldwide energy
consumption: 31 percent petroleum, 28 percent renewables, 15 percent natural gas, 16 percent nuclear, 7 percent coal and 3 percent incineration. In the LDCs, 80 percent
28 bURB
of illnesses are water-related. Worldwide water withdrawals from water bodies have risen from 700 m3/person/year in 2000 to over 1300 m3 today. Freshwater bURBlakes,

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Thinking of turning that derelict
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30 bURB bURB 31
next issue:
Cities to
the moon

# Moon Metropolis mushrooms with a ring of

brand new satellite stations. Efforts to curb
moonsprawl are initiated, but inhabitants
argue there is no shortage of space.
# Luxury hotels open on Moon Metropolis,
only how are the mohitas?
# Moon relocation: fine for some, but does it
help us down here? Get the C.C. perspective.

A Burb.moon exclusive reveals all ...

32 bURB bURB 33
1 Paris 2000, Koolhaas according to Mars:
“Urbanism is nothing more than the strategic
injection of inhabitants, directly followed by
the meticulous planning of a red light district
to ensure a twenty-four hour economy”


Great Great

34 bURB bURB 35
Britney’s house see p.49

cont. from page 26

Through the collective gratification of its citizens, the Cunning City has developed a mind of its own.
36 bURB lucid commercialism ==
= fast fluid change bURB 37

R O N G ★

★ ★ EM

38 bURB bURB 39

Do you feel your street has become ple will be affected by the urban
too compact, your neighborhood renewal of the Light for Life project.
too full and you don’t see the sun Concerns have been raised by
enough? Do not despair. The City’s home-owner groups about possible
planners have not abandoned you. evictions related to the project.
A new solution engineered to revi- ‘The demolition of residential
talize the most dense districts of our space has been a serious concern
Metropolis has been successfully during the design process. We want-
implemented in two overdeveloped ed to avoid forced evictions at all
quarters. cost and I personally can assure the
Head of design of the Light for Life residents the current relocation is
project Jun Wu explains: ‘The easi- only temporary. We have solved this
est way to understand the urban op- problem by creating a much more
eration we have developed is if you efficient layout of the apartments
think of it removing the core from an around the atriums and a slightly
apple. With this procedure we liter- smaller surface area per dwelling.
ally carve out neighborhoods from In return you can enjoy the luxury
the urban tissue and return day- of a glass elevator that takes you
light. At all strategic crossings vast right from the underground parking
atriums will be cut from the existing through the atrium straight to your
building-mass to allow a stream of apartment or even to the rooftop.
sun to penetrate the inner parts of These two minutes should be a daz-
our City. Light will trickle down and zling experience. From the top of the
be dispersed by multi-faceted glass atrium the daunting scale and bus-
domes covering the shafts. Finally tling activity of our City can be fully
the intricate inner spaces of our appreciated. You will see crowds
City will be experienced in their full of people plummet down in the el-
splendor. The smooth tube-shaped evators around you and soar by
walls we have created will take on escalators crisscrossing through
over the role of the exterior facade. space. It is my belief that in this pre-
With the buildings turned inside out, dominantly interior world we live in,
it will be the job of the voids to con- some bestowal of authentic daylight
vey the feel of the different areas in will be the strategic supplement we
which they are nestled. Inside, for need to ensure a bright future for our
those in possession of the valid pass City.’
of course, easy access to the neigh- How will these tubes be carved
borhood is granted, and a system out and where will the debris go? An
of closed-circuit cameras ensures inside perspective on the technical
safety.’ challenges of the Light for Life project
The homes of nearly 3 million peo- continues in our next issue.

40 bURB bURB 41
in the home

‘Hi! I’m Apple. I

moved into the my-home-my-net-
work development last Spring when my vil-
lage got swallowed. At first I thought, “Oh no! Re-
form housing — NO WAY!!”, but I couldn’t have missed
the mark by more! Here you can really feel the aura of
Apple is another happy newcomer continuous improvement our City is achieving — and on
to the Cunning City! every level of scale! My apartment may be small, but
links directly with the grocery store, the mall, the cin-
ema … Just about everywhere I ever want to go
feels like a part of my bedroom! I’m re-
ally living in the network!’

42 bURB bURB 43

V.D.U. Prometheus meets Lolita
in Heels at the …

Okay so you’re a total SCREENIE,

but you’re always stuck in front
of the WRONG screen. You’re al-
ways either pushing DATA or stuff-
ing FILES or bent over STATS about
OTHER PEOPLE. They’re out there
GOOD TIME, while you’re pinned
in an office like an OX under a
YOKE, or a BEAR in a TRAP, or may-
be like the thing you resemble
most, which is a SHRIMP IN FRONT
every week your boss comes in
and piles on MORE PRESSURE and
What’s left of your day in terms
you shuffle back to catch the D-
rail home. And maybe, you think
to yourself, MAYBE, I’ll catch a
few ZZZs on the train, somewhere
in between SPONGEMALL and the
need them, coz you’re not going
to bed — OH NO — you’re not
even going home …

Okay so you’re YOUNG, you’re

CUTE, you’re out of SCHOOL but
sometimes you still wear the UNI-
FORM just coz it makes you feel
DIRTY. You don’t WORK coz it’s
BORING and you don’t WORK
OUT coz you’re still skinny as a
KID and twice as BAD. And any-
way you don’t EAT ANYTHING you
suck the SUGAR off of the rim of
the glass. OKAY, so SOMEtimes
you eat SOMEthing — like a RE-
and HONEY and a pair of PIG’S

44 bURB bURB 45

cont. from page 44

EARS on top — YUH-HU-HUMM!!!! on the personalized TURKISH SOAP
Or maybe, you think to yourself, OPERAS they’re churning out about
MAYBE, some RICH GUY is gonna you — about your ROMANCE in the
take me out tonight to some FAN- CALDERA with a fictional HOTELIER. It
CY RESTAURANT and buy me a follows you EVERYWHERE. It’s playing
and on the ADVERTISCREENS in the
Okay, so you’re not even gonna SHOPS you go in. It comes with you
get any sleep on the D-rail, coz as you ride the D-RAIL and wander
the SCREEN is in there too, and in the PARK, passing from SCREEN
you can’t not CHECK the STOCK, to SCREEN to SCREEN as you walk.
and what about that VMAIL you You COLLECT OBSESSIVELY to have
were waiting on? and while you’re the SAME THINGS as her — as you.
here you might as well take a look You haven’t seen your OWN FACE
at what there’re playing on U-TV for months; only the DIM REFLEC-
(DAMN Cindy is looking HOT! HOT! TION of it behind the IMAGE you are
HOT! these days). You know you watching. You’ve been TAKEN OVER.
can’t just be doing ONE thing at You’ve become an expression of
ONE time — it has to be MULTIPLE DATASTREAMS. In this CITY, you have
things ALL THE TIME. If every cell in NOTHING YOU HAVE TO DO and yet
your body isn’t feeling SQUEEZED your LIFE IS SO PRECIOUS. You’re
then you’re not MAXIMIZING, and FLOATING. You’re like a FRAGRANT
if you’re not doing that …. So you DREAM. The only thing that remem-
figure, OKOKOKOK, I’ll let ONE bers where you’ve been is the TRAIL
side of my brain go to sleep while OF COMMERCE — the OMNICOM
I keep up with the SCREEN with slips which SOMEBODY ELSE is pick-
the other. Then after 2 minutes I’ll ing up …
SWAP OVER and rest the other side
for 2 minutes and work with the … Okay so the 2 of you FIND EACH
and then I’ll SWAP BACK … and so OTHER because YOU ARE BOTH LOST.
on like that until I get home maybe You are STRAY PARTICLES in the city,
36% REFRESHED! The truth is you’re but there is an URBAN GRAVITY
one of those guys who’s always which sucks you TOGETHER. It hap-
half SLUMPED and half FRENETIC pens in the SKYWALKS or somewhere
the middle of a half EMPTY car, CIAL CORRIDOR. Maybe in the ICE-
with a bit of old MAGAZINE blow- CREAM PARLOR, where SCREEN-
ing about your shoe. And that’s FACADES have turned the building
when you feel it: that STRESS to inside-out. You see EACH OTHER,
you’re looking for — SOMEBODY SIRES turns into MOMENT IN SPACE,
— only you don’t know WHERE TO and an ACT OF CONSUMPTION. The
GO. You’re always in the RIGHT environment has MEDIATED LACK
place but at the WRONG time, or by SUPPLYING TOUCH. One of you
in the WRONG place at the … NEEDS the KISS of AIR and FREE-
Okay, so you’re SEXY, but you in THE REAL WORLD. It is an oppor-
know you’re a total SCREENIE too. tunity to BUY THINGS TOGETHER, and
You go to the RESTAURANT, but maybe RENT A ROOM. It is a MAR-
only if they’ve got U-TV on the RIAGE 4 A MOMENT — a FLEETING
MALL, but you spend the whole For an hour, or even perhaps a lit-
day driving SOFTPODS through tle less, neither of you are looking at
POSTREALITY, or sunbathing under screens, or even conscious of them.
loaded your V-LIFE profile into U- WORK — TO PLAY. GAME OVER. IN-
WORLD, and now you’re hooked SERT COIN.

46 bURB bURB 47

PO !
‘I just don’t know why it had to happen to Cindy,’ sobs Lu Qian. We are stand-
ing in the CBD, right in the very spot where less than a week ago Lu Qian’s pre-
cious pet met her fate. It was in this foreboding Beijing canyon, between sheet walls C.C.ers have been wondering for
of reflective glass, that Cindy — a ginger tabby weighing in at a massive 15lbs — was months what the deal can
trampled to death. be with the crop of odd
‘I’d been telling her she had to lose some of that catty fat, and we really had to get out pods turning up on
more,’ Qian tells me. ‘Now I only wish we’d stayed at home.’ the tops of our sky-
Since its official inception back in 2016, arguments around “equality day” have been rag- scrapers. A bURB
ing. There are those who say it’s an admirable form of charity, and why shouldn’t the givers exclusive reveals
have a little fun? Others insist that “fat cat” executives tossing great wads of RMB from the ex- that these these
clusive heights of their skyscrapers is just another sick expression of the wealth gap. are being used
It all started with two CEOs bragging in a skywalk about how their bonuses had gotten so big as luxury look-
they could throw half out the window and not even notice. After a dash of daring, and with out posts by full picture page 36
a lick of that competitive spirit, the pair were stuffing all the dosh they could find through an EX-CELEBS, who
air vent to the outside world. What neither of them had expected was how elated this would sit watching the swell to hell,’ Sin ment, but sources have led us to
make them feel. Word got out among the board rooms, and pretty soon top floors millions that once remarks. ‘They’ll believe that her pod is sitauted atop
across the CBD were crammed with businessmen with serious cash. gazed up at them. hang out at tourist the Omnigroup tower in downtown
The notes were fluttering down. Reactions in the streets below hot spots just to get C.C.
were wild. into other people’s The pods themselves are relative-
Regulations ensued, with the product we all know today CREEPY holiday snaps. Some ly cheap and flexible, and, with the
as “equality day” — an annual moment of madness in the will even expose themselves right connections, you can set one
city, when rich executives throw money out the window, Fame, money, and glamour cer- to CCTV cameras in the hope that up just about anywhere. It seems
and flash crowds follow the wind to push and grab tainly do bring happiness, but can there’s a security guard somewhere that Spears, along with a host of oth-
HAVE at whatever they can get. The terrible tragedy for also be a dangerously addictive watching.’ ers, is cashing in old favors in ex-
YOU Lu Qian and her cat Cindy is that when the wind mix. Once hooked, stars let their change for a top spot to drop a pod,
EXPERIENCED changed suddenly, their innocent walk cravings race out of control, and and sit and city watch.
SOMETHING was overrun by a cash-crazed cold turkey leaves them looking PUZZLED No-one knows how far this trend
STRANGE? TELL US stampede. creepy and acting weird. will run, nor how many more pods
QUICK 10,000 RMB! ‘I managed to ‘It’s just like any other lethal emo- But this new pod development are likely to appear in the near fu-
jump ti-drug cocktail,’ says bURB celeb marks a buck in the trend. Former ture. But Hu Sin is certain of one
Send us your real life story – if expert Hu Sin. ‘You see the same attention seekers seem to be turn- thing: ‘As the Cunning City raises up
we print it, we’ll send you up patterns with people who load up ing a telescope of their own back and spits out celebs faster and faster
to 10,000 RMB! Don’t forget the on sexcess, compulsive partying, or on the world, and this has sent both year on year, the pool of potential
gory details, and any pictures
you might have snapped! massive noshnanza food binges. It’s experts and relatives spinning. city watchers out there is going to
Contact us through www. all “hello handsome” while you can ‘I don’t know what she does up keep on growing. The kinds of favors wit h your keep up supply, and “so long san- there all day,’ says Lynn Spears, you’ll need to have in hand for a re-
name, age, address ity” as soon as it starts to dry up.’ mother of former teen idol Britney. ally good pod location are going to
and mobile ‘Some of these celebs have be- ‘She used to be so outgoing. Now get bigger, and more extreme. What
come so dependent on media at- she tells me she’s surveying the city sorts of things? Well that’s a matter
tention that when they feel the lime- — well what does that mean?’ Brit- for the starlets, and the guys with re-
light fading, their whole lives go from ney Spears, 38, declined to com- ally big towers.’

48 bURB bURB 49
cont. from page 48
back and squeeze behind here,’
Qian explains, as she shows me a
marble pillar at the foot of the Jing
Hu Bank Tower. ‘But Cindy wasn’t so
fast — how could she be?’ At over
twice her recommended weight,
and living off a diet of king prawns
and KFC, it’s hardly surprising Cindy
didn’t make it. But who could have
anticipated the bitter irony: that the
generosity of her fat cat compatriots
up in the office towers would have
brought about her untimely death?
‘Those people were scary,’ Qian
tells me, as she describes the crowd
she watched rush past that day. ‘I
saw hunger in their eyes.’

50 bURB bURB 51

GHOST IN THE SPONGE pneumatic skin

Ever since our story last month about What’s more, because the mall is a
how clairvoyant Minnie See felt a co-op, owned collectively by repre-
presence in the new Spongemall, sentatives from the hundreds
our inbox has been literally bursting of different stores
with your responses. Thousands of within, there’s
BURB readers have visited the mall no sense you
with their spook-sensors pricked up, are intruding
and come back to us with sightings on a corporate
and strange tales. Who the ghost is sphere. ‘This is
or quite what they want is yet to be- very important,’
come clear, but one thing’s for cer- Minnie tells us,
tain: it loves retail! ‘because ghosts
‘The Spongemall’s a great place don’t like places
to hang out,’ explains Minnie, ‘and where they feel
so we shouldn’t be so surprised if they have no
someone from the spirit world thinks right to be.’
so too.’ But whether it’s the thou- A number of
sands of great bargains, the fantas- readers have
tic range of food, or the just the lively felt the soft tran-
atmosphere that draws the ghost sitions of the
there is anyone’s guess. Spongemall may cinema-escalator
have something
SPOOKY to do with it. ‘It’s
funny, you know,’
laughs Wang
‘Spirits have divested themselves Mi, 19, a stu-
of their earthly shell, and so they ac- dent who likes to
tually can’t eat normal food. I don’t spend lunchtimes in
think this presence has anything to the Spongemall. ‘When you
do with Yumsy Noodletopia,’ Minnie go there you don’t really feel like
insists. ‘It’s about something deeper, you’re going into anything, and then
which perhaps we can’t even per- before you know it you’re in the mid-
ceive.’ dle. One time — I was wearing this
But we spoke to Lin Kao, 44, of cute little tartan skirt — I was deep
Yumsy Noodletopia, who couldn’t in when I felt a wind on the backs
disagree more. ‘Personally I’m not of my knees. I knew immediately
all that superstitious,’ says Kao, ‘but the presence had come in with me, subway
I know our noodles are superlicious. probably accidentally, and had only
I don’t see why the ghost wouldn’t just realized it himself! Then I turned
make Noodletopia his top spot in the round and there was this old man
Spongemall. After all, he’s still got a blowing bubbles at me. The whole
nose — I mean ghosts can still smell, thing was incredibly exciting.’
right? Smell that! Mm mm mhmm!’
One thing the Sponge-Specter BRAZILIANS
may appreciate about his favorite
haunt is how easily you can glide transparent deck
in and out of the space, and with all But not everyone has such a great
the glass atria, it’s always full of light. experience. Career girls Wen Wa, 24,

52 bURB bURB 53
cont. from page 52
and Fun Li, 22, were traveling up Haier shampoo.’ Well I wasn’t going
double level
to the wax clinic on level 4 to get to mess around with a poltergeist or
Brazilians when they encountered whatever this thing is, so I did what
the phantom. ‘We were on the es- he said right there and then. Thank
calator,’ Wa starts to explain. ‘It’s God he’s left me alone ever since.
a double helix so you spin round That trip was scary.’
as you go up and there’s always
plenty to look at. But then some- MACABRE
where around two and a half there
was this awful eggy-cabbagey
smell.’ Li goes on: ‘We were stuck Of course, the man who has seen
behind these two businessmen so the most macabre mall moments of
we couldn’t start walking to get up all is Zhi Yu, the chief security guard.
out of it any quicker. The men were ‘I don’t think there’s a single part of
both really fat, and I think they’d this Mall that that ghost hasn’t been,’
public square
just been drinking at some busi- Yu informs us. ‘And I’ve been watch-
ness lunch or other. They seemed ing. He’s on all the levels, in the light
a bit wobbly. We just had to stand as it comes through the spongy
there and watch their backs, and panels, and he skulks around the
wait for the smell to go away.’ Hotel Without Operator — peeping
‘It was a bit gross at the time, but through keyholes I’ll bet!’ The retail
I’m glad at least to have met the program of the Spongemall is in-
ghost,’ Wa reflects. terspersed with hotel floors, offering
The mischief doesn’t stop there. people rooms for as short or long a
People have not only felt and period as they like (you just swipe
smelt the wraith, but some have a smartcard at the door). It’s filled
heard it too. Sun Hong, 32, was sit- with tourists, exhausted shoppers,
ting minding his own business on schoolgirls doing a spot of home-
the public square on top of the work between class and volleyball
Spongemall when he had a ff-ff- practice, sneaky couples stealing a
fvairy strange encounter. moment, and people just taking a
conference center art gallery
break. But there’s creepy company
HUGE! in there too these days it seems. A window shopping escalator atrium
number of guests have described
incidents of mysteriously losing
‘I was just sitting on a bench,’ small items, hearing ‘sounds’, see-
Hong says. ‘It was all pretty nor- ing ‘things’, and experiencing odd
mal. There were some oldsters or even ‘out of this world’ sensations
playing mah-jong, and a few while staying there.
kids rollerskating. Perched on a ‘There was even a crazy incident
under deck
wall were these two girls with big in the cinema-elevator, on the other
knockers 4 — and I mean HUGE! side of the building,’ Zhi Yu shares with
— andHaier, they a were wearing these us. ‘This guy spent almost a whole day
successful mainland Great
brand, lendsHaier +ownHaier
pieces of its logo t-shirts. You know just riding up and down, watching a
o western brands entering the
Asian Market. the
Its logologo?
is portionedSo they had that, with trailer for the new Shell & Motorola
ut to brands needing the hair, ice
the two
ream or underwear. Openinglittle
up mop-tops right over movie. It was like he was a man pos-
he way for Global brands to
align themselves withnipples.
an I was just staring at sessed.’ The movie is about a group
already iconic
them. And then there was this like
image. Great of polar bears, who use cell phones
deep voice in my head saying, to call each other and say goodbye helix of escalators internal passages

‘Go downstairs and buy a bottle of before their ice floes melt.

Haier, a
successful mainland Great
rand, lends pieces of its own logo
western brands entering the
n Market. Its logo is portioned
to brands needing the hair, ice
m or underwear. Opening up
way for Global brands to
ign themselves with an
already iconic ADVERTISEMENT
54 bURB Great
bURB 55
of r!
o n te
s s i ec
r e l sp
m p al
’ s i em
t i st ng
Ar Spo

56 bURB bURB 57
58 bURB bURB 59

cont. from page 24

the bidding by tripling Madrid’s
‘Our goal is to become the best
Unidentified Youth
club in the world,’ Sun said at
Rudolfo’s introduction ceremony. In the north-eastern waterway ted a ritualized group sui-
‘This is simply the first step.’ of the Tai Yang Gong district cide were high-ranking fol-
Last season, Shanghai proved of our City the body of a young lowers of the Urban Demons.
the strength of the Chinese football woman has been found. The body This religious sect was be-
league by advancing to the finals of emerged early Saturday morn- lieved to have been disman-
the FIFA Club World Championship, ing, floating downstream from tled after the arrest of
thrashing European stalwarts the sewage system towards the their leader Eric E. (better
Bayern Munich and Chelsea along Haidian student compounds. known as “The Architect”).
the way. With Shanghai’s signing The woman, estimated to be 23 The steadily decreasing speed
of Rudolfo, as well as recent high years old and of Korean de- of the expansion of our City
profile acquisitions such as Mark scent, is assumed to have com- is speculated to be a cause
van Broken by Hyundai Beijing and mitted suicide. Autopsy on for so-called Urban Demons
Omario Hernandez by Shenzen the body has revealed a high to take up their practices.
Jianlibao, some experts are concentration of the drug DBD Followers of “The Architect”
predicting this to be the beginning (a hallucinogenic found in believe the continuous suc-
of an era of Chinese football mind-mints). The drug howev- cess, particularly urban ex-
dominance. er is not likely to be the pansion, of our City is the
‘It’s true that Chinese clubs may primary cause of the woman’s result of their periodic
not have the tradition of great death. Casualties of the ge- sacrifice of young women.
European clubs like Juventus or netically engineered drug are Police have declined to
Olympique de Marseille,’ said highly uncommon. This shrouds comment, but the theory is
CCTV football commentator Xie the death of the woman, who substantiated by a tattoo
Donghug. ‘But at the moment, the remains unidentified, in mys- found on the body. The image
Chinese clubs have the wealth and tery. Found facing upward in on the left ankle depicts the
willingness to pay the top salaries. a pristine white dress, of- letters J and E intertwined,
In this sport that’s what will make ficials described the scene as surrounded by a red heart.
the difference.’ ’bizarre’. The CC metropolitan police
Questions have been raised have issued a statement urg-
about a possible link to the ing anyone with information
Spring Suicides of 2017. The regarding the identity of
seven young girls who commit- the woman to come forward.


60 bURB bURB 61
H2O armament
62 bURB bURB 63
* advertisement *

High Art for the Faint at Heart from our City it displays. The main
volume seems carefully draped like
a giant handkerchief or glove, hov-
ering amidst the patchwork of our
and tourists alike. On a travela-
tor one glides through the smooth
glass tube that will take you from
our City’s cultural center right down
able urban experience. A strong
tingling sense of a long lost urban
reality took hold of this reporter
entering the last stretch of the ride.
Art is on the rise. This weekend the than a large modern museum; most fers its audience a provocative, effi- infrastructural masterpieces, hous- to its historic ruins. Surrounded and It invigorates the art on display
mayor of the Cunning City will take prominently it features the greatest cient and intensely dynamic experi- ing estates and brain parks. protected by a safe and controlled with a layer of social sensibility not
center stage at the grand opening cultural achievement of this century: ence of mega-art with our City as its The innovative architecture of the environment the tour incorporates seen since art was still made by
ceremony of the largest museum to The Cunning City. This makes for an natural urban backdrop. 36 kilometer long tubular structure disregarded districts and will bring artists. Moreover it confirms even
date: The Modern Art Center for Bril- unprecedented urban experience. It is a fact tourists have always waves through the most diverse you face-to-face with the generally the darkest corners of our City
liant Urban Experiences or MACBUX. As a result of the impressive scale been drawn to the most precious, areas our City has to offer. The di- forgotten population of substance can and should be perceived as
The opening will take the mayor of contemporary art-installations and white and minimalist environments lapidated and chaotic areas, such abusers and prostitutes in the de- breathtakingly beautiful.
and her entourage on an audio tour sculptures (on average works have in town: museums. Here their long as the upcoming Chinatowns, can serted back streets and alleys. This
Open Tuesday to Sunday. Tickets available at all
across 9 different urban districts at a quadrupled in size over the last two journey is rewarded with the global be observed up close by citizens makes the MACBUX a truly remark- D-rail entry points or online at
comfortable 12 miles an hour. Along decades) art more and more oper- culture of internationally renowned
the entire two hour ride the museum ates solely at the level of our City. artists contained by a structure of in-
will feature a rich mix of contempo- The increasingly dense networks of ternationally renowned architecture.
rary art producers from all corners our City have been effectively spun The radically abstract shape of the
of the globe. But MACBUX is more together by a single building that of- MACBUX perfectly distances itself

64 bURB bURB 65

Urban Grow th
“I simply couldn’t believe what had happened. I
thought my life was about to come full circle and
my dreams would at last come true. But instead
this was turning into the worst day of my life …”
Yin Jun — better know as the King of Feet — is turning the gray spaghetti
roads around the Cunning City into fields of hope. His story, one of
remarkable dedication and love for both his City and his family, started at

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grew up in the village. To me still there was something holding by the time he was 5 he had read He loved to watch for spring blossom Desire with desire. One evening I stood
the Cunning City was always me back. It was like a voice in my more books than me, and spoke on the apple trees, and divine for on the veranda of our little house
the jewel on the horizon — a boyhood head. like a wise man. ‘Do not spend days underground water sources. He gazing at the Cunning City, growing
shimmering world of riches and As I grew older, the voice became on just eating.’ he would say to me, could be perfectly content with his But I didn’t have Hui’s pure soul. I felt brighter in the distance as night fell.
brilliance, but with a cold center. real. It was my little brother talking to quoting the ancients. books, a well, and a little land for the allure of the city even on my skin. ‘What should I do,’ I asked Hui. There
I was always drawn to the city, but me. Hui was 6 years my junior, but But Hui was also a very natural boy. rice and bee-keeping. At the age of 14 I was almost mad were tears in my eyes. ‘How can a

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cont. from page 69
sparrow know the will of a swan?’ he them are fake. No mausoleum, no practically never rot. In fact they
answered. problem! I said. I’m a real shine like tires! Finding clients was
The next day Hui fell ill. He was now — I move on, and I make things easy, and soon I was selling apples
shivering, and had a very high fever. happen. all over town.
Anything he ate or drank just ran The day I spent wandering around
right through him. Three days later forlornly looking for Hui’s grave, I Appletastic! But it
he was dead. I knew that somehow met a lot of new people. They all
the Cunning City had sucked up his live out there, in between the roads. doesn’t stop there …
life to draw me in. We buried Hui in When you get big infrastructure, you
the garden beneath the apple tree, also get a lot of offcuts and space There’s been a lot of talk about
and that night I set out. beneath flyovers. Families put up urban farms, but this was the first time
As I walked I made a promise: makeshift homes in the gaps and anyone had really made it work. The
‘Hui, I’ll never forget you. I’m going to run little workshops — you wouldn’t secret was to fragment the farm into
make it big in the Cunning City, and believe how busy those places lots of little pieces, and plant it out
then once I’m rich I’ll come back can be! And they’re not just sewing among the urban wastelands. Apple
here and plant a whole orchard of buttons. They’re doing some hi-tech trees are quite big and so you need
apple trees. And in the middle of the stuff too, like making the tiny solar a decent offcut, but you can keep
orchard I’ll build a mausoleum, with powered boom boxes which play going down in size according to
a statue of you 10m high, all plated birdsong throughout the Cunning what’s available. We fit 15 strawberry
in zinc and gold, with mermaids and City. plants on a scalene triangle of less
dolphins and horses.’ Our family was What I started to see was a big in than 0.2m2, and there are patches
poor, and could only afford a very situ labor force, and a lot of under- like that everywhere!
humble grave. used land. When you add up all But we’re thinking big too. I started
those little bits, there are fields and to wonder if there were some way
fields! I still hadn’t forgotten my of gathering together my scraps
Success orchard idea, and I began to see and stacking them. As we always
a possibility opening up. I was so say in the Cunning City, “Stack Up
excited I was scribbling ideas down or Crack Up!” I’ve got my labcoats
When I arrived in the Cunning on the cuff of my sleeve. working now on a high-rise farm
City I got a job giving women foot Yin Jun’s Cow-tel is set The first thing I did was hire a (pictured left). We’re calling it the
massage in an enormous mall. I bring the wonders of plastic surgery forever. The feeder roads were all to tell a whole new story team to plant apple trees. We hung Cow-tel because we’re integrating
have always harbored a curious exclusively to feet. vast but the traffic was still bad. At about urban growth. daylamps which shine just the right livestock, and using the methane
fascination for women’s feet, and the various points subway lines burst into 60m tall and powered color light, and so growth is really from the cows’ farts to power the
entirely by cow farts, it
work was something I both enjoyed The Homecoming the open and disrupted the roads. might seem like a milky
fast, and you can harvest every heat and electricity for the building.
and was good at. Clients liked the I got spun around several times, dream, but could be 4 months. Whatsmore, the run-off We might even have some surplus
way I made them feel, and would and as I didn’t recognize anywhere built as soon as 2023! rainwater from big roads is very power to sell back to the grid — on
ask specially for me. At the end of the fiscal year last anymore, I was soon horribly lost. tough, and so the apples we grow top of the milk!
When moving walkways were March I went through my entire It took me almost all day to find
introduced around the city, women estate. It’s true I wasn’t in the C.C. top where my home used to be. Now
suddenly found they had extra 100, but those guys are unbelievably it was nothing more than a knot of
freetime when they went to do their rich. I still had ten times the money I tarmac and concrete. The Cunning ADVERTISEMENT
shopping. I saw an opportunity, needed for what I said I’d do, and a City had been expanding ever since
and started my own foot massage lot more beyond. It was time to go I left, and swallowing up anything
company, with “pit-stop” booths back home, and find Hui’s grave. in its way. Giant infrastructure had
offering foot services to women as The morning I left I was so excited been run right over my parents’
they got on and off the travelators. I nearly peed myself. But I managed home, and over Hui’s grave too. I
It was a great success. Soon I had to hold it in somehow, and got into looked at the roads all jammed with
booths at all of the major transport the car to start driving west. It had buses and cars. It was one of the
nodes. But I didn’t stop there. been ten years. I thought my life was worst feelings in my life.
I opened a line in luxury about to come full circle, and at last
foot experiences for women. It I would realize my most precious A Real
reimagined KTV, sauna, bathing, dream.
and exclusive food and drink within But traveling outwards the city
an environment dedicated to the seemed to be coming with me. When your vision’s off, then you
pleasures of the foot. Next we Areas I remembered as little migrant should change your glasses, they
started to offer callipodian cosmetic villages were all built up. Fields had say in business, and it’s true in life
surgery. Now there are tens of been taken over by vast entertain- too. It wasn’t possible to build the
thousands of women with arch lifts ment complexes, and enormous mausoleum, but those kinds of
and toe implants, and hundreds of residential blocks followed one places are creepy anyway, and
different clinics. We were the first to after another for what seemed like nine times out of ten the corpses in

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FREEZE: H2O (Humans to Oceans)


Advocates call it the “Noah’s Ark of ideas” and “a city for an evolved
humanity”. It is a city they feel will offer the depoliticized free space
necessary at a time of increased global tension, apparent diminishing
democracy and intensified censorship. But how free are the FREEZE vessels?
And can they, amidst increasing pressure to territorialize international
waters, stay afloat? Pioneer and principle spokesman Hou Xiu reveals all in
our Interview with an Earthling …

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interview with an earthling
was born in 2012. Right to melt and the water levels rise we corners of the world. The fleet has it temporarily curbed pollution levels and vegetables and farm our pro- your home, your city, your religion,
after China and America remain calm and afloat. become an un-discriminatory ref- and silenced lingering wars. It was teins in cubicles of countless insects. your society are not predetermined.
had gloriously captured We are a people encapsulated uge; a hideout for hackers and a moment of inspiration for many; Nuclear energy propels us forever There exists a state void of local con-
all but one of the Olympic by freedom; living in bubbles void anarchists, a safe-haven for scien- its inventors are living anonymously forwards and incidentally protects cerns; a clear mental space that will
medals. Only the gold medal for ar- of politics or ambition, promises and tist and artists, for secret lovers and amidst our people. us from aggressors – it would simply allow you to flourish. A non-political
chery passed them by. It was won disillusions. Our thoughts flow freely, freedom fighters alike; a borderless Within this environment para- be too destructive for any terrorist space that can absorb the lives and
by my father; a monk from a small new ideas and inventions emerge nation confined to the international digm solutions for global problems state to attack and sink us. ideas of any spirited human being.
island in the south of Japan. and evolve unhindered. Born and waters. have emerged that we are trying But let me be clear. I am speak- Admittedly this will sound hard to
After that any international compe- raised in a state of suspension; con- Personally I have never touched to implement on the mainland. We ing to you here today not as a rep- comprehend at a time of increased
tition seemed fruitless. For my father it stantly in motion; adrift, we remain the shore. I am however like any- govern ourselves through simple resentative of any kind, but as a global tension, false democracy
was a clear demonstration of the two undetermined and undeterred. one here perfectly in touch with the open-source democracy; we have proud individual and a common hu- and fake freedoms. But a modern
superpowers dominating the world. Cities are no longer defined by world, and the reality of the main developed the formulas for a global man being that has the luxury of liv- Noah’s Ark of pure thought is roam-
Even the success of boom countries the roads that lead there. Our global land. As I understand it’s a mate- currency. We breathe the pure air ing a common life. As this message ing freely in your area. Take a mo-
like India, Brazil and Russia didn’t migration and modern technolo- rial world; money driven and power that we produce. We cultivate our reaches you, enjoy a short moment ment to envisage freedom …
prevent the cultural and political gies have collapsed geographi- hungry, dangerous and lonesome. own food in hanging gardens of fruit to let your mind go blank. Your life, we still have room for you.
dominance of the PRC and the USA. cal space, and remapped what But this might not be evident to the
was once a hierarchy of capitals rest of the global population. Unlike Hou Xiu
and mega-cities. All that is left is a the 7.5 billion souls left behind, we child of Freeze
floating plane of lines, across which have unlimited access to real infor-
points move in all directions, all at mation. The world’s 29,000 TV stations
once … and no two points are either paint a picture of contradictions and
closer together or more distant from fabrications. Our satellites receive
each other than from any others. uninterrupted and uncensored data
The confluences and intensities of from across the globe. Our hackers
these lines ignore existing territories, offer unfiltered web access.
With nowhere to hide the time was and indeed perform acts of deter- The network of H20-vessels is to-
ripe for drastic measures. He de- ritorialization. We proclaim today it day the central super-node of the
signed the first of the Xu Ni Shan; the has become inevitable to disown world wide web, a new HUB dis-
mother ship of a fleet of a thousand place, and instead imagine flows. rupting the stale arrangement of
H20-vessels (Humans to Oceans) Our mountains are the result of just mega-servers and mega-cities and
that now roam the world’s seas. Ever such an act of imagining. To be the lopsided access to information
since the launch we have been ma- floating is to be neither rising from they represent. We offer a plateau of
neuvering between the force fields anywhere, nor falling toward any- limitless connectivity. Now informa-
of these two insular, one party con- thing. Our hollow floes neither ad- tion is the true continuum of intensi-
tinents. here to nor transcend anything. ties. We have reconfigured the axes
I was born here; on the mother We offer no ideology, and we have of the global topology, of capital,
ship. Together with my peers I am no roots. We are neither leaving, nor creative sectors, ideas, identity, in-
the first generation of a new breed staying. We are decentered, and we fluence. The physical localities of
of floating population. We are a decenter everything around us. Civ- power are forced to come to terms “Nothing less than the most tantalizing worlds have been
created by the early Modernists. Their renderings of
strain of humanity evolved within a ilization up to now has focused on with our virtual space. And indeed relentlesly rational cities illustrate the ambition to maximize
neutral environment. Surrounded by the to and from, on destination and in the past the world has been con- the efficiency of the built environment. Space itself was
the endless horizon of the sea our vi- departure, the here and there. Con- fronted with this new reality, when altered. Like designers through the ages they set out to bring
to life the dream at the heart of every inspired architect: to
sion is unobstructed. Protected by stantly in motion we live in the now; the makers of the infamous V-virus create completely floating buildings on the scale of the city,
the impenetrable walls of the glass in the middle where things cross and brought the global economy to a simultaneously rejecting urbanism and gravity.”
architecture our bodies are uncon- change. standstill in a virtual pandemic. But
taminated. As the ice caps continue Today our people represent all this did not only affect the economy;

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FREEZE (H2O) — Humans to Oceans

FREEZE is a response to the rising need to achieve non-political space:

space that can absorb the lives and ideas of an evolved humanity.
FREEZE is highly utopian yet painfully necessary at a time of increased
global tension, diminished democracy and intensified censorship. It is
a space void of territorial concerns — a futuristic Noah’s Ark of ideas,
roaming as freely as the world’s sea levels are rising.

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domino installation, 5.2m x 3.7m
DCF / Neville Mars

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