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    Beijing...

    A Center for Ants? Sep 15 '06 5

    Wow. Just got back from Beijing on Wednesday. I'm going to keep this architecturally relavent and comment on what I saw going on there. Incredible to see just the sheer amount of construction that they're doing. It's really unbelievable. Everyone is scrambling to finish all the construction before the olympics.


    This is from the hotel room, but was really a demonstrative view of what's going on throughout the entire city. Some of the stuff going up doesn't look so great, but some of it really is quite nice looking. To say the least, I was throroughly surprised by the architecture.

    Urbanistically, they've done a lot of things that are making the city really a nice place to navigate through. Though traffic is still pretty bad at rush hour, there are brand spanking new roads everywhere.

    Beijing's also banned the use (save a few exceptions) of motorscooters and motorcycles. Which is incredibly wonderful after coming from the scooter mayhem that is Taipei. Instead, they've allocated an entire lane of traffic to most roads that is bicycle only. Didn't measure, but they're probably around 6 or 7 feet wide. Even better, many of these bike lanes are separated from motorized traffic by a median!



    Planning wise it looks really good too. Lots of mixed use going in and activity seems to be pretty abundant night and day throughout the city. Lots of wide sidewalks for plenty of pedestrian use and a fairly decent amount of green. If this is a sign of things to come, Beijing is going to be a wonderful city by 2008.

    The question in my mind is, at what lengths and costs did they go to in order to achieve all of this by 2008...

    Back to LA next Friday and classes finally start on the 28th... getting really anxious to start now. 13 days and counting.

     

     
    • 5 Comments

    • Eduardo
      Sep 15, 06 9:11 pm

      hey dude, did you get to see the Olympic Stadium? I saw some pics, and
      tough I loved the renders, I must say that the actual thing looked terrible in pics....

      A Center for Ants?
      Sep 15, 06 10:47 pm

      Got to see it only from afar so unfortunately never got a good look at it...

      Luis Fraguada
      Sep 16, 06 8:46 am

      South East Beijing was crunchy at night, as in the air was so dusty that you could grind it in your teeth . . . some say it is all the construction, others say it is the desert encroaching. Are they mutually exclusive? Where was the picture below taken? Is it near China Architecture & Research Group building? Another thing Beijing is trying to ban is hocking a lougie (spelling of that?) I recently read they are trying to get people to curb their habit of spitting in order to provide an image of cleanliness to the city for the olympics . . .

      A Center for Ants?
      Sep 16, 06 12:08 pm

      They def. are trying to curb the spitting. In Tianamen they have loudspeakers placed near the line that forms to see Mao's body. In chinese it clearly states not to spit (in addition to not skipping in line, etc. and other basic etiquettes).

      Below picture was taken from the Kempinski Hotel where I stayed. Just outside the 3rd ring NE of center. (Chao Yang District)

      Weather actually was great for my visit. Strong winds the day of arrival blew all the dust/smog/gunk out of the area. Def started to turn greyer/browner with each passing day though and I'm still getting over a cough i've nursed for the past few days.

      garpike
      Sep 16, 06 3:48 pm

      Bike only streets? Excellent.

      Who's studio went to Beijing?

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