Beijing the most Beautiful City? Um, no?
I read on a few China-focused blogs this morning about a report put out by the “China Institute of City Competitiveness”. First of all, why would there be such an organization? Any way.. Some of the blog postings are:
- China Law Blog’s post entitled Beautiful China Cities. I Know It When I See It.
- bezdomny expatria’s post relevantly entitled make sure you’re sitting down…
The report mentioned above was covered by the China Daily, China’s English “Newspaper”, if you could call it that. Read the article here. Hmm, sorry. Their evaluation criteria is simply bogus. And the scoreing against the criteria is rediculous - of course they don’t give the detailed results, so… Take this whole thing with a grain of salt. Preservation of historical monuments - Ok, this is pretty good… but they did destroy the city walls back in the 60’s (?) to make way for the disaster they call 2nd Ring Road. .. That was just shameful. Forest coverage - Um, no. “Forests”? They have small patches of trees here and there, and trees lining the streets in many places, but I wouldn’t call them forests. Translation error? Air quality - Need I say anything about this?! You know what, as I write this, have a look what it looks like outside, and you can be the judge of that: The transportation network - Sucks! Plain sucks! Subway is a joke (and will be a joke until the new lines are finished in like 10 years - too little too late). Buses are horrible. Impossible to get cabs on rainy days… Traffic is a monumental pain in the rear.. City life - What does this mean? Bars? Ok, they’re good. You can still find cheap food and drinks around town… But I am not sure that is what they meant… Public space - Parks? Yes, there are parks… And I don’t have the statistics of park size compared with other cities, but my idea of parks are large areas of lush grass with trees, running tracks, etc. They don’t have that here. Oh, and be sure to stay off the grass! Only for looking! GDP - Good I guess…. I don’t know the numbers. Any way, I think this is a ploy to prop up Beijing’s appeal ahead of the Olympics. But any 5-year old could figure that out. I think the usage of the word “Beautiful” is a bit lost in the translation. Why would Beautiful have anything to do with GDP or transportation? Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Beijing. Seriously. It’s a great place to live, if you can ignore the negatives for a moment. But I know a farce when I see one.