Beijing Has Literally Quadrupled in Size Over Just the Last Decade

A group of researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Stanford University used NASA’s satellite images to chart the growth of the Chinese capital city, and one of their more interesting findings was the astounding rate at which Beijing has grown during the last 10 years.


The study, which also looked at some of the environmental effects (including changes in wind patterns and warmer temperatures) the city experienced because of its growth, made another fascinating discovery: See those large red and orange-y splotches surrounding the city in 2000, but that by 2009 had been overtaken entirely by the city’s spread? That’s no coincidence; those were areas that had been or were in the process of being cleared out so that new construction could spread to the area.

That same ring of red and yellow is surrounding the newly re-sized Beijing of 2009, which means that, for as much of the city has grown in this decade, its expansion may only be getting started.


Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech,

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