Mark Byrnes is a senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design and architecture.
China’s capital looked a lot emptier than usual on Sunday.
With a population over 21 million, tranquility is hard to find in Beijing. Except, as it turns out, on the eve of the Lunar New Year.
An estimated 15 million people, mostly migrant workers, left China’s capital city over the past two weeks to go back to their hometowns in time to celebrate the holiday with family.
The annual migration, regarded as the world’s largest, makes for intense crowding and an overwhelmed transit network all over the country. This year, 2.9 billion people were expected to make the journey. The six million or so who stuck around Beijing, meanwhile, were treated to the rare sight of empty roads and buildings all over the megacity.