A Physical and Political History of Planning Modern BeijingeBook - 2011
In 2003, the Chinese Xinhua News Agency journalist Wang Jun published the bestseller Beijing Record, the result of ten years of research on the urban transformation of Beijing in the last fifty years. Home to more than 15 million people, this ancient capital city - not surprisingly - has a controversial, complicated history of planning and politics, development and demolition. The publication raises a number of unsettling questions: Why has a valuable historical architecture such as city ramparts, gateways, old temples, memorial archways and the urban fabric of hutongs (traditional alleyways) and siheyuan (courtyard houses) been visibly disappearing for decades? Why are so many houses being demolished at a time of economic growth? Is no one prepared to stand up for the preservation of the city? For his research, Wang went through innumerable archives, read diaries and collected an unprecedented quantity of data, accessing first-hand materials and unearthing photographs that clearly document the city''s relentless, unprecedented physical makeover. In addition, he conducted more than 50 in-person interviews with officials, planners, scholars and other experts.Wang''s publication presents a survey of the main developments and government-level (both central and municipal) decisions, devoting a lot of attention to the 1950s and 1960s, when Beijing experienced a critical wave of transformative events. Shortly after its publication by SDX joint Publishing Company House in October 2003, Beijing Records ignited a firestorm of debate and discussion in a country where public interaction over such a sensitive subject rarely surfaces.
Publisher: Hackensack, N.J. : World Scientific, 2011.
Branch Call Number: ELECTRONIC BOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xxii, 512 p.) : ill. (some col.), ports.