By Jun Wang
Beijing checklist, the results of ten years of analysis at the city transformation of Beijing within the final fifty years, brings to a longer Western viewers the interior tale at the key judgements that ended in Beijing's current city fragmentation and its lack of reminiscence and heritage within the type of bulldozing its architectural background. Wang's e-book offers a survey of the most advancements and government-level (both principal and municipal) judgements, devoting loads of cognizance to the Fifties and Nineteen Sixties, while Beijing skilled a severe wave of transformative events.
Shortly after its unique chinese language bestseller variation was once released by means of SDX joint Publishing corporation condominium in October 2003, it ignited a firestorm of dialogue and dialogue in a rustic the place public interplay over this sort of delicate topic infrequently surfaces. The chinese language version is in its eleventh print run and used to be translated into eastern in 2008. This newly-translated English model has the newest replace at the author's findings within the zone. because the simply variation revealed in complete colour with approximately three hundred illustrations, the English model powerfully showcases the lovely structure, tradition, and heritage of China's Dynamic Capital, Beijing.
Home to greater than 15 million humans, this old capital urban - no longer strangely - has a arguable, advanced historical past of making plans and politics, improvement and demolition. The booklet increases a couple of unsettling questions: Why have a invaluable historic architectural history reminiscent of urban ramparts, gateways, outdated temples, memorial archways and the city cloth of hutongs (traditional alleyways) and siheyuan (courtyard homes) been visibly disappearing for many years? Why are such a lot of homes being demolished at a time of monetary progress? is not any one ready to face up for the maintenance of the city?
For his learn, Wang went via innumerable files, learn diaries and picked up an exceptional volume of information, gaining access to firsthand fabrics and unearthing pictures that sincerely record the city's relentless, unheard of actual makeover. moreover, he performed greater than 50 in-person interviews with officers, planners, students and different specialists. Many illustrations are released right here for the 1st time, compiled within the Nineties while archival public entry used to be reformulated.
"One decade into the city century, with over 1/2 the world's inhabitants residing in towns, Wang Jun's masterful account of the fashionable heritage of making plans in Beijing has given us a sensible and cautionary story for planners, coverage makers and someone drawn to place-making. in contrast to the other account, Wang combines his wisdom of the proof of previous efforts to steer Beijing with the little-known political panorama at the back of the selections. Wang Jun's Beijing checklist sharply defines the alternatives twenty first century towns all face -- balancing tradition, historical past and improvement -- in an attractive and sobering account of this historical city's final failure in remarkable that balance." ---- Jeffrey Soule, Fellow of the yankee Institute of qualified Planners (FAICP); Director, Outreach and overseas courses, American making plans organization
"Wang Jun is an extraordinary breed between modern chinese language reporters. whilst he seizes upon an issue which he cares approximately profoundly, he delves tirelessly into it till he gathers all of the evidence and allows them to communicate incisively for themselves. As a person who lives in a courtyard apartment in the back of the Forbidden urban for the earlier ten years, i'm a witness to the nation of this protection of previous Beijing which Wang Jun writes approximately with a robust experience of urgency. He writes passionately with out letting the examine and evidence triumph over his feel of non-public committment. this can be a must-read for a person who's drawn to chinese language tradition, heritage and environment." -- --Liu Heung Shing, Pulitzer prize-winning photographer, writer of China After Mao; China, Portrait of a Country
"Beijing list is handsomely illustrated with infrequent photographs of Beijing in the course of its destruction within the 1950s."-- --The long island evaluate of Books
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Extra resources for Beijing Record: A Physical and Political History of Planning Modern Beijing
The municipal authorities are building a residential area called Wangjing lying nine kilometers from Tiananmen, which is expected to be home to somewhere between 250,000 and 300,000 people. Also being built is the Huilongguan residential area 19 kilometers from Tiananmen for up to 300,000 residents. Both are large enough to be full-fledged cities in terms of population, but few jobs are available there and day after day, residents have to spend long hours in chokingly jammed buses and subway cars commuting between their homes and old Beijing where they are employed.
In the old city of Beijing, virtually all structures of cultural value have been demolished and numerous ancient trees have been felled to make room for construction projects that are meant for maximum profits from exploitation of the limited land space, and gone are so many sites of historical interest. Beijing’s value as a world-renowned cultural and historical city has been ignored and, as a result, the city is being used merely as a construction site. indb 11 10/15/2010 4:49:49 PM 12 BEIJING RECORD paper pulp, or smashing bronze vessels thousands of years old into bits of scrap metal?
Their attempt and its failure constitute the theme of this book. Today, half a century after the dream of Liang Sicheng and Chen Zhanxiang was shattered, Wu Liangyong was defying all difficulties to revive and realize it. But Beijing right now is no longer a well-preserved ancient capital as it was half a century ago. indb 14 10/15/2010 4:49:55 PM FA Reading Preservation vs. Demolition 15 During the meeting, a reporter put this question to Wu Liangyong: “Are you sure that plans for ‘Greater Beijing’ will succeed?