We're considering moving to Chengdu. Is the pollution as bad as rumored? no sunshine? How's the weather?If you could choose between living in Suzhou, Nanjing, or Chengdu, which would be the best for a family with young children? Thanks.
well i don't know what the rumors are so i don't know if the actual pollution is as bad ... but, it's noticeable, and more so on some days than on others. the lack of sunshine is definitely true (i think we've had one sunny day in the past three weeks or so), but that's due to natural cloud cover settling in over the sichuan basin more than pollution as far as i understand. i spent a year in suzhou but have never been to nanjing. however, chengdu, suzhou, and nanjing are all roughly along the same latitude and chengdu and suzhou have similar climates, and i'd guess nanjing does as well. i'd describe that climate as very humid year-round, with temperatures between 0 and 10 celsius in the winter and mid-30s to low 40s in the summer. the springs and autumns are nice but unfortunately don't last very long—usually two months. it doesn't snow every winter in either chengdu or suzhou, and when it does, it's a light coating of white at most—usually the flakes melt as soon as they hit a surface. winters tend to feel cold and damp as most buildings do not have central heating. there are summer monsoons in suzhou, and heavy rainstorms in both chengdu and suzhou during summers.
as to which would be preferable to live in with a family, hard to say. i'd say suzhou is pretty and nice to visit but rather boring to live in (though there are lots of bigger cities, like shanghai, within an hour or two via train) whereas chengdu seems to have a little more going on culturally—i've stayed here six years compared to my one in suzhou. but that was all living the single life while i was in my 20s. i guess suzhou seems a bit more modernized than chengdu in many ways. or at least it did in 2004.
the one major thing that really makes me think about leaving chengdu is its huge traffic problem. this is a fairly recent development and it only seems to be getting worse. there are simply too many cars on the roads, which makes it stressful to get from point a to b, no matter your mode of transit. i guess the same thing is happening all over china's cities, but i do think it's particularly bad in chengdu.
If you check the "from the web" section on the homepage their is a link on there explaining how to read a Chinese website which gives hourly updates on the pollution in all areas of China.
"Chengdu also has one of the lowest sunshine totals in China (less sunshine annually than London), and most days are cloudy and overcast even if without rain. This is especially so in the winter months, when it is typically interminably grey and dreary, compounding the poor air quality."
So much for the sunshine. Yes the last two decades saw factories moving out of the 2nd and 3rd ring road, but their exhaust fumes output is well compensated by the increasing traffic. I often have headaches and some times especially in summer I can feel the pollution in summer extremely effecting my well being. Thank you Sichuan Basin for collecting the haze.
In that regard Nanjing should show similar profiles like Chengdu.
I could imagine Suzhou air being a bit better since it's closer to the sea. But then again you could be breathing Shanghai's worst, which seems to be the case most of the time. So much for that theory, I wouldn't take the published stats for granted though....
Just saw report that shows that a 4.15% prevalence rate for children (under 16 y.o.) to develop asthma in Chengdu, more than double than the national "standard" 1.97%.
Well it could also just mean, that in Chengdu more parents can afford to spend time & money to take care of their children's health.
I still find Chengdu winters to be brutal, so much so that i've escaped for the past 5 years. I have friends from Boston and NY and they tell me that Chengdu winters are much worse. I think, as mentioned above, its the lack of insulation and central heating in the buildings that makes it seem so cold and damp. My little dump always feels chilly! The pollution? Man, you kinda get used to it, but every time i come back from o/s i'm shocked by it. What can I say? It ain't Bangkok bad, but on the other hand it ain't Lhasa either!
Yesterday the pollution hit a record high thanks to peasants that are burning the fields all at the same time!
It was impossible to keep the window open!
I live/work outside Chengdu. More specifically, Pengshan. So seeing even sunshine or "clear blue skies" is completely out of the question! And yes, even the farmers burning the fields (with I don't know what?!?!) is also making me miss the wonders of NYC. :)
I see that none of the posters have ever tried to walk out on the streets of London, some years back, when the autumn "smog" was so thick you couldn't see your hand in front of your face ???? and your handkerchief in front of your mouth turned black from the pollution ??? China will get there, as did most places... what you need to worry about is how the US can "buy" a lesser countries "Pollution quota" so that they can continue polluting the globe at a higher rate than that agreed by the anti-pollution summit.... ha haaa, very laughable, and completely ridiculous ?? If you are moving from US, then you will move from the world's BIGGEST polluter, with the world's BIGGEST mouth on other countries slow pollution controls... I see blue skies and much sunshine in the appropriate seasons, and I live in Hongguang 红光 just out of Chengsu... what bitches me MOST is the NOISE POLLUTION.. something that I had to work hard on to get used to... China will cure all these pollutions allbeit slowly, as there seems to be more pressing things to spend the trillions of Yuan on, such as infrastructure and new homes and office blocks, but progress in some areas will need to take a back seat for some time to come
If you are really in Hongguang you may want to comment on the explosion in the foxconn factory, sure the place doesn't make it into world news every day
Yes I'm in Hongguang, but just moved here from Dafeng 大丰 so only just settled in... haven't heard or seen much yet... there are many educational complexes as well as manufacturing ( not to mention the building boom that's here as well !!) The high speed train puts about 5 minutes from Chengdu North, so very convenient...
get your facts straight tho, America is not the biggest polluter in the world, its China for over 3/4 years already and its polluting faster than the US does. Also China pollutes more Co2 per capita than the USA does. Also the emission trading your talking about is not in order for the USA as they did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol so they can pollute as much as they want (theoretically). I feel like we are talking with an Englishman,
greetings from Holland.
Yeming... Greetings from Hongguang... Thanx for the update on my facts... I studied much some time past, but finally gave up when I could no longer stand the stupidity of these "summits"... you are actually talking to a Scot who HATES to be called an "Englishman" but has accepted that in China Scotland isn't too well known, so settles for the "English" title, in prefference to "American"...
this evening there has been massive smoke on the streets ( in the west around second ring road and swufe), is it the above mentioned farmers burning the fields? i couldn't figure out the reason and as i read here, last year it happened the same days. any news about this?
You were right.
it affects the flight schedule in Mianyang
China as a country does produce the most CO2 but is a long way from being the worst polluter per person (per capita).
From Guardian Newspapers 31st January 2011:
• The US is still number one in terms of per capita emissions among the big economies - with 18 tonnes emitted per person
• China, by contrast, emits under six tonnes per person, India only 1.38
• For comparison, the whole world emits 4.49 tonnes per person"
@invisible: thanks for the confirmation.
@merior: China's population is about 5 times larger than the US's, so naturally per capita numbers are lower for China. China and US occupy the first two places regarding CO2 emission, so I would say, both should decrease emission. I don't think more populated places have right to emit more since the resulting climate change is global ("global" warming:) Another question is that China's emission partly comes from it's role as a global factory, so other countries also benefit from the goods produced here at low costs.
Well said ggggg. We all should be accountable. Screw the blame game.
My family and I visited Chengdu in November, 2012 and we were blown away by the heavy pollution there this time around. In October 2010, the skies were mostly clear - I think it is due to the massive construction development going on there now that has built up to the point where the particulates in the lower atmosphere above Chengdu are heavy duty - excuse the expression. My allergies were bad news while we were in Chengdu, and a little better in my wife's hometown of Chongqing this time.
In 2004, Chongqing choked the heck out of me, but now it is much better. I guess Chengdu is merely suffering from the side effects of building and building, and more building.
I do love the City though, and it is not a bad place to bring up kids when you can breath okay.
I have almost no problems with allergies in China unlike back home where it's a major health issue for me.
There are oinly few very hot days days in summer in Chengdu when the pollution gets heavy with the traffic jams.
Actually moving the factories out of the city helped to ease a heavy pollution, as a consequence the city even got colder! There are def more blue sky days these days. But yes some areas of the city a really stinky because of the constructions and traffic (jams).
Chengdu was ranked third polluted city 2012 in China
This one says Chengdu is no.9
at the moment it's really bad in Chengdu, hopefully we see artificial rain soon
Chengdu at times is the dirtiest and most polluted city in China. Just depends when you look at the statistics. I think the report about Chengdu being number 9 is very very generous and seems there are very little numbers and facts to back up why its number 9. I would put Chengdu in the top 5 and not just in China but..... in the world based on the statistics below
@ynwa actually that link showed some other cities that were even dirtier than chengdu that day. the top10 reporting seems credible. there are much more polluted cities in china and the world. the dirtiest of course are not even reported. just check a coal areas in north china, i for one still remember the stinky day i spent in taiyuan.
that said the air is really bad at the moment and in any case too bad for humans. i spend a lot of time outside the past week and my nose is totally blocked and my eyes are red and i had severe headaches.
You can also check this link for air pollution in Chengdu.
Invisible... fully agree mate. Me and my family have been suffering from this pollution with coghs, sore throats and red eyes. I also had breathing issues and had to use my ventolin inhaler for the first time in around 6 years!!! A number of my wifes customers have children and 3 of them have been admitted to hospital with respiratory problems. Lets hope all this smog and dirt can disappear asap as its clearly not healthy and doesnt start my day well when I open the curtains and I can only see 20 metres ahead due to the s"@t in the air!
looks like Beijing will see a mass exodus of expats in the summer, at least that's how i read the recent articles
Pollution gives expats a chance to air their concerns http://english.people.com.cn/102774/8126731.html
I wonder how many expats leave Chengdu because of pollution.
Chengdu considers Car Buying Limits
However i doubt it will ease pollution much if it all as "gasoline automobile emissions contribution to current PM2.5 readings is under 10%" according to the article.
came across this Chinese article about pollution and there is a graphic of pollution in Sichuan, am i reading this wrong or does the PM2.5 chart there go up to 2171 for Chengdu???
Didn't they change the measuring system earlier in the year going from pm10 to pm2.5? I think they must have the info wrong because everywhere else have been reporting around the 300 mark.
I haven't read all the replies, but Nanjing, is a great city, quite manageable. Great old city scenes, but he summers are brutal. When i was there i was taking 3 showers a day, and hard to get your clothes dry so you smell fosty, but so does everybody else.
As for pollution, most of China is just degrees of bad, buy masks and air filters for your apartment.
Chengdu's air quality will only get worse as the city develops and the people get more cars. Car buying limits pah ! The problem is the cheap gas they burn, not really the amount of cars.
Chinese gov't listen up! instead of buying your cadres gas guzzling Audis, buy them Chinese made electric cars, support your domestic companies and show willing.
Comparions with London/LA are not valid, London's problem was cheap coal, LA, cars, in China both, after one particularly deadly winter in London, the problem was addressed, here how many people day of pollution ? No one knows, It's a secret. I'm a cynical old sod, i think it's a method of population control.
Well, we are going back to Chongqing in early July to early August, which will be very hot and humid - usually we go in Fall or Spring. Now I'm worrying that Chengdu may not be a stop this time even though I like the place, but Dazu, 70 kilometers outside Chongqing City toward Chengdu, and Xian will be on the trip calendar. We'll see about Chengdu by keeping tags on it's pollution count while we're down Sichuan in the City of Fog.
it's nice to say that the city is finally doing something about the pollution
To me it just looks like a hospital is selling people false hope.
why i'm confident that the pollution problem will soon be fixed
Security fears in China as smog disrupts surveillance cameras
State-run Insurance Company of China, Ping An Insurance announced on 20 March 2014 to offer Smog Insurance to tourists in six heavily polluted Chinese cities. These cities Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xian, Chengdu and Harbin. For this, the Company has partnered with the online travel agency Ctrip International.
wow today levels dropped to 93
and in the People's Park it's only 37.
yes, due to last night's rain.
yes, due to last night's rain.—And why does the rain bring down the pollution Levels? Mostly pollution levels are measured by suspended particle which could be as simple as dust in the air. The suspended particle is reduced by rain. Chengdu hasn't much wind and is situated in a basin so the suspended particle doesn't get blown out very easily. SO IT'S NOT AS BAD AS YOU THINK—WHAAAATT???
Premier Li Keqiang said battled against pollution cannot depend on temperature drops.
interesting to see the difference between the numbers released by the city
there is a DIY air filter workshop workshop at the Bookworm.
MB200 (includes air filter). RSVP at www.smartairfilters.com/#workshops
May 11th 4 -5.30 p.m.
446! today WTF!
Peasants burn their straw irregardless of legal boundaries
Highest local pollution level reported 7 a.m. was a PM10 of 821!
today pollution in Chengdu on historical low: 17
I lived with my family in Chengdu from July of 2012 to 2013. We loved so much about Chengdu, Sichuan and China, but the air pollution really was the reason we left. You can track the PM10 numbers all day long, and install expensive air filters in your home and office, but the sad fact is, that at the end of the day, you and especially your children, are still being exposed to enormous amounts of unknown pollutants that are sure to have some impact on yours and their long term lung health. There really aren't many urban cities in China where this isn't a problem, though Chengdu is pretty severe among them. Kunming is doing much better, but that may change in coming months/years.
What is shocking is that pollution now just stays around and above 150 even during holidays, when no cars are driving around and factories are closed, which indicates that the bulk of pollution stems from old dirty coal power stations.
Take a deep breath: 1.6 milllion deaths are attributed to air pollution in China in 2013 according to study by University of British Columbia in Canada researchers
I've been here long enough and don't see it getting fundamentally better.
Chengdu's air is one of the worst in China Check this link http://aqicn.org/city/chengdu/ air is always unhealthy, seldom good, I wear pm3 mask ( it looks like a gas mask, kinda scary ) when I am out, and my air purifier is always on when I am at home, I should leave this city within few weeks. I always have headache, and most of the time I feel dizzy. About the blue sky believe me, I have not seen it for a long time . It's a good place for making money if you know what to do, but it's not worth it if you keep working for others, as you can get the same salary in another city east/south/south east China with good air quality.
I have been offered a two-month assignment in Chengdu late this Fall - what should I expect about the air pollution that time of year?
In reading the previous posts I'm not sure I even want to take the assignment.
Unless you're already sick or have chronicle breathing problems, two months should be no big deal. Get a mask for if you spend lots of time outside on bad days and an air filter for your home.
PM10 levels today above 400 and Pm2.5 at almost 300, did anything happen?
I woke up coughing and nose bleeding as my air filter is temporarily out of service. Awful