Linfen (临汾 - Línfén), Shanxi Province

Rem Sapozhnikov / April 2014
The city of Linfen is one of the protocapitals of ancient China, environmental anti-record of our time of turning of the garden city into one of the dirtiest places in the world and, since recently, the best starting point for a trip to the Hukou waterfall.

The city of Linfen is located on the east bank of the river Fenhe. The same one that runs through almost the entire province of Shanxi, and on the banks of which there are many large cities, including Taiyuan. Recently, on the west bank of the river Fenhe, a new railway station for high-speed trains was built. Following the example of Luoyang and Handan cities, we can say that the new railway line becomes a zone of attraction, which specifies the vector of construction and development of territories. In Linfen the construction in this direction has already begun.

If you google the information about the city, it turns out that the vast majority of pages are all possible ratings of the most polluted places on the planet, where Linfen necessarily occupies one of the lines. Even some 35 years ago it was called "The modern city of fruits and flowers", but the change in the economic policy of China demanded an increase in energy resources. Rapid development of coal chemical industry has started. This led to the fact that for two decades the ancient garden city of Linfen has become a center of the coal industry of China. The glory of pure springs, quality and efficient agriculture that remained for 40 centuries became a thing of the past.

Nowadays, a typical description Linfen begins with the fact that it is among the ten most polluted cities of the Earth, it is called a Chinese Chernobyl, gives a list of a number of harmful chemicals, contained in air and water, as well as diseases that are the consequence of a bad environment. These pages are accompanied by photographs of people in masks on the face, a gray "silhouette" of the city or the grimy faces of children and adults. Sometimes they add a spooky story about Black Rain, which, in principle, every reader can easily compose himself, as the name implies.

The Chinese authorities are aware of the environmental problems. In recent years at least a dozen coal-fired thermal power plants stopped operation. Hundreds of mines, including illegal ones, were closed. In villages they introduce a system for water heating using solar energy, and implement measures to reduce the use of coal. A lot of attention is paid to landscaping the city, which is very noticeable.

Naturally I did not make a chemical analysis of air, but the smog here was not visually different from the smog that hangs over Taiyuan or Beijing. I believe that the Chinese will do it, and once again Linfen will become a garden city with blue sky, where it is easy to breathe.

Pingyang Square (平阳广场 - Píngyáng guǎngchǎng).

Pingyang – is the name of the ancient capital, which was in place of Linfen during the time of Emperor Yao (尧 - Yáo).
(XXIV century BC.)

Continuation :
Hukou Waterfall

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