While the low-level homes are packed tightly together, says Garst, they'll never reach the density of tall apartment buildings. The result is a sprawling metropolis, and Beijing residents spend a lot of time commuting.
Garst's solution? Get out of town:
"One solution is to channel growth to Beijing's satellite cities. This is, in fact, already starting to happen because many of those who are able to, voting with their feet and choosing to live in places like Shunyi for better air and easier access to outdoor recreational activities."