八卦城市 Bagua Town (Eight Trigrams Town)
Located in 特克斯 Tekes County, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, 新疆 Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of Western China, the town is a marvel of urban planning.
It is one of the only towns in the world constructed according to the shape of the Eight Trigrams, a concept which originated from the Book of Changes, or 易经 Yi Jing, a famous Chinese book written in the Zhou Dynasty.
Founded in 1937, the layout of the town was designed by Qiu Zongjun, the then administrator of Ili. The eight-trigram pattern construction is supposed to lead to harmony and prosperity. Eight roads (each with a width of 24 meters and a length of 1400 meters) stretch from the center, Bagua Park, into eight different directions until the edge of the town. From a bird’s eye view, it is possible to see that the eight roads indicate the eight directions of 乾Qian, 坤Kun, 震Zhen, 巽Xun, 坎Kan, 離Li, 艮Gen, 兌Dui.
Besides its bagua arrangement, the town has another amazing feature: It does not have a single traffic light. Although they existed when the town was first established, they were abolished in 1996 when people realized they weren’t necessary. Due to the arrangement of the roads, the county doesn’t suffer from traffic jams. Vehicles and foot passengers will arrive at their destinations no matter which way they choose to go.