Just imagine people of a city in Kerala residing in a single building! In fact, Hangzhou, the Chinese city hosting the 19th Asian Games, has such a residential building which has a capacity of 30,000 people. The Regent international Apartment in Hangzhou currently houses 22,000 people - meaning its residents alone make up the population of a small city in Kerala!
There are hardly any independent houses in Hangzhou. As I was wondering where all the city dwellers live, I came across this mammoth structure. Hangzhou has a population of 8,00,000, and 2.5 per cent of them live in this single building!
Located in Qianjiang Century City, Hangzhou’s central business district, the Regent international Apartment is spread over 2.6 lakh square metres. The 206-metre-tall 39-storey structure was originally designed as a luxury hotel, but was subsequently converted into a colossal apartment building.
It features a variety of amenities and businesses, including supermarkets, restaurants, clinics, movie halls, barber shops etc. As they can find anything they need in the building, the inhabitants of the Regent international Apartment can lead a comfortable life away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The average monthly rent of a single apartment is around 4,000 Chinese Yuan (approximately Rs 45,500).
There are similar residential buildings in Hangzhou that accommodate thousands of people. The Asian Games Village in Hangzhou, where athletes and mediapersons from across the continent are staying, has several apartment complexes with 25 to 35 floors.
The highly dense Hangzhou, however, is devoid of chaotic crowds and traffic jams. The city administration has instructed the local residents to avoid using private vehicles during the Games and switch to public transport systems including the city's metro rail service. If you want to get a feel of the bustling Hangzhou, you will have to go to the underground metro stations that are crowded to the brim during peak hours.