Escape. Tranquility. Clean air. These desires drive a growing exodus amongst China’s youth, abandoning crowded metropoles for serene country living.
Urban Fatigue Sets In
After decades of rapid urbanization, China’s major cities are bursting at the seams. Layers of concrete and steel crowd the skies. Gridlocked traffic and air pollution choke the streets. Workweeks stretch brutally long.
Stress, noise and contamination overwhelm citizens, especially younger generations. Seeking reprieve, more urban dwellers like 30-something banker Lao Hu opt to construct modern, minimalist homes deep in the countryside.
Spacious living areas, floor-to-ceiling windows, wraparound decks – rural properties allow breathing room and closeness to nature impossible in urban environments.
New Countryside, New Lifestyle
Over 80% of new single-family homes now build in rural areas to meet demand. “Young people today desire meaningfully different lives from past generations,” explains architect Xiong Yongkang.
His firm fields dozens of commissions annually from urban escapees. “They want the tranquility of the countryside with all the conveniences of modern city living.”
Eco-friendly construction, smart home technology, and modish interior design attract cosmopolitan aesthetics to unlikely settings. Solar power and geothermal heat enable low-environmental impact.
Youths disillusioned with cities require “an oasis where nature surrounds the home,” Xiong states. [H2] Why Countryside Over City?
Multiple motivations propel China’s rural shift:
- Pollution: Smog, traffic, noise, and construction make cities inhospitable. Rural areas offer clean air and serenity.
- Stress: Hectic commutes, long work hours, and congestion tax mental health. The countryside promises relaxation.
- Affordability: Despite higher property costs, rural homes remain cheaper than urban equivalents. Mortgages are accessible for middle-class citizens.
- Technology: Remote work enables location flexibility. High-speed broadband reaches farther, facilitating the move.
- Wellness: Nature contact and organic food appeal after city living. Rural settings promise healthier lifestyles.
The Allure Endures
Despite challenges like social isolation or limited amenities, China’s rural resettlement trend persists. The desire for tranquility continues driving urban youths countryside-bound.
Homebuilders oblige demand for modern, eco-friendly rural living. “Urban refugees” may someday outnumber city dwellers as populations decentralize.
For now, China’s concrete jungles witness the continuing exodus chasing cleaner air, open skies and the elusive pastoral idyll.