Friday, August 29:MIT's MindRider helmet draws mental maps as you bike: The prototype is currently being used to create a mental-map and guidebook for NYC, and an upcoming Kickstarter campaign will attempt to fund the project for commercial sale.In Beirut, a grassroots push for more grass...
In use since September 1, 2014, an elementary school in Tiantai, Zhejiang province, built a 200-meter running track on the roof of its school building. In "School puts running track on its roof" Chinese architect Ruan Hao [LYCS Architecture], chief architect of the teaching building, said "that...
State-owned news outlets reported this month that the government would ban the use of coal in Beijing and other urban areas by 2020 in an effort to reduce the noxious air pollution that chokes many cities. [...]
But [President Xi Jinping] and other officials have provided few details — and, indeed, have sent conflicting, even disturbing, signals about their plans. Some measures China is considering could actually exacerbate climate change. — nytimes.com
In the wake of economic reforms in the 1990s that helped set off the largest urban migration in history, China had the rare opportunity to embrace cutting-edge city-building approaches as it expanded its skyline. It could have avoided the mistakes that made Los Angeles into the land of gridlock, or bypassed the errors that turned the banlieues of Paris into what one American planner calls “festering urban sores”.
But China looked back instead of forward. — theguardian.com
It is not rare for a civilisation to abruptly falter, give way and fold into a new one. This insight seems obvious in the territories of the former Soviet Union — a universe transformed into a memory overnight. [...] that a city turned ruin continues to be inhabited, that the collapsing buildings and boulevards stained by a thousand footsteps, after the apocalypse, host new forms of human life, new memories. Harbin, in the far north-east of China, used to be a very Russian metropolis. — calvertjournal.com
China’s visible impact on urban development in Africa is substantial. One need only take a virtual bird’s-eye tour on Google Earth to catch a glimpse of some of the most impressive changes brought to Africa by Chinese constructors, developers and designers. Not far from the Angolan capital of Luanda lies arguably one of the most impressive examples: Kilamba New City. A massive housing development designed to accommodate 500,000 people [...]. — gowestproject.com
The Chinese government issued proposals on Wednesday to break down barriers that a nationwide household registration system has long imposed between rural and urban residents and among regions, reinforcing inequality, breeding discontent and hampering economic growth.
Yet even as officials promoted easier urbanization [...], they said changes to the system [...] must be gradual and must protect big cities like Beijing. — nytimes.com
China has announced plans to ban the use of coal in its smog-plagued capital by the end of 2020, as the country fights deadly levels of pollution, especially in major cities.
Beijing's Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau posted the plan on its website on Monday, saying the city would instead prioritize electricity and natural gas for heating.
The Chinese central government recently listed environmental protection as one of the top criteria by which leaders will be judged. — Al Jazeera
Heavy rains on Monday complicated rescue efforts in south China’s mountainous Yunnan province, where a major earthquake Sunday killed at least 398 people and injured more than 2,000 others [...] The magnitude 6.1 quake flattened or damaged more than 10,000 homes and other structures, again raising questions about China’s building standards and ability to respond to natural disasters. — Miami Herald
The tragic news from the Yunnan province is bringing back memories of the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, as well as the public scandal that emerged over allegedly faulty construction of schools by corrupt officials.
In celebratory June-July 2014 issue of Mark magazine #50, MovingCities published ‘Reality Check Shanghai‘ revisiting three Shanghainese buildings previously published and applauded in Mark: the Himalayas Centre by Arata Isozaki, the 2010 Shanghai World Expo site and the Giant Interactive...
China plans to extend by 2020 a railroad on the high trans-Himalayan plateau of Tibet to the borders of India, Bhutan and Nepal, according to a report in People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party [...]
The planned lengthening was criticized by Tibet advocates who said it would bring too many ethnic Han migrants to Lhasa and other Tibetan areas. — NY Times
As money has piled up in recent decades, Chinese are turning to culture and the country is in a museum-building boom. Last year one museum was built every day on average, though the rush has since “slowed” to about one every three days, says Cathy Giangrande, co-author with Miriam Clifford and Antony White of the “Chinese Museums Association Guide,” an updated version of their 2009 book “China: Museums.” — NY Times
“Our Chinese clients have their sights set on London, and they know what they want,” says Keith Griffiths, the Welsh-born chairman of Aedas, who presides over the 1,400-strong practice from its Hong Kong headquarters. “They are used to high rise, high density, truly mixed-use developments – having everything on one site, so you can live, work and play without ever leaving the building. We think that's the way London needs to densify.” — theguardian.com
The skyline of Yujiapu in the Chinese city of Tianjin looks more like an expensive, abandoned movie set than it does “China’s new Manhattan,” as the financial district was once billed. A patina of dust covers the glass doors of the 47 office buildings and hotels that still sit empty, and in come cases unfinished. — qz.com
Chinese diplomats on Wednesday said Congress’ decision to rename the street in front of Beijing’s embassy in the U.S. capital after a Chinese dissident is "really absurd" [...] On Tuesday the House Appropriations Committee voted to rename the street outside the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., to “Liu Xiaobo Plaza” — after a Chinese dissident who received the Nobel Peace Prize in absentia and is currently serving an 11-year prison term for subverting the government’s authority. — Al Jazeera
This is not the first time that place-naming – or toponymy – has provoked a political dispute. Actually, it's pretty likely that as long as people have been naming places, other people have been getting upset about it. For example, as immortalized by Jimmy Kennedy in the classic song, Istanbul...
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