Thursday, February 09, 2006

Architecture of the Chinese dream

Visited a lecture on China's growth (esp. in cities).

What struck me was the positiveness and absence of fear about the future.
The young professionals (about 3,000,000 university graduates each year) are eager to "build" their country.

It could be seen as a post-communism wake of socialism and altruism, but the country's fairly rapid change to capitalism (and it's introduction to individual wealth) also shows it's effect on modern living.

Cities, mostly new, are booming.
Shenzen, next to Hong Kong, has grown from a little farming village to a megacity with 10,000,000 inhabitants. In 25 years. That's what I call growth.
City or town planning is something else too: mega cities are built from scratch.

During communism, cities were seen as a concentration of factories with their dormatories and services. These days cities are seen as centres of modernity: hi-tech, clean, fun, flourishing.

At least, that's what planners want them to be.
In reality, cities are modern from level 2 upwards. Street/surface level shows China's struggle to keep up with the fast modernization. Glass and steel skyscrapers have a ground floor occupied by dirty, small, self-made shops / workshops. The stairs leading from ground level to higher levels, lead from 3rd world to 1st world.

An interesting lecture by journalist / scientist Drs. M. de Waal.

Flickr has greatest potential in my view to show the latest on changing China.


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