Brendan Ahern and Grant DePoyster

The sun was just rising when my colleague, Mark Schlarbaum, and I left our hotel to visit the outskirts of Beijing. We headed out on a three-hour drive from the Central Business District to an area that most Beijing natives would have historically never had reason to visit.
 
 Our destination is the site of China’s next megacity, the Xiong’an New Area, which was announced by the Chinese government on April 1, 20171. Xiong’an is located about 170 km (106 miles) southwest of Beijing by car. The area is being built to help stimulate economic growth in Northern China and combat overcrowding in Beijing2. It consists of mostly agricultural land today but is expected to eventually become a city covering more than 2000 square kilometers3. To put this in perspective, that’s almost three times the geographic size of New York City4.