That’s Beijing 2014 January/February cover story Land, Theft, Autos: Beijing, 1949–2014 > Things Fall Apart – Plagued by poor planning for decades, Beijing now faces an imperfect future – article by Yuan Ren, quotes MovingCities.
Keywords: urban development, sprawl, land reclamation, private property…
(…) But while the first decade of this millennium saw some attempts at the preservation of vestiges of Peking’s glory days, over the last few years, the focus has shifted, as Bert de Muynck of Shanghai-based think tank Moving Cities characterizes it, from “disappearance” to “what is appearing, happening and emerging.”
(…) What will become of Beijing’s traditional architecture, and the vibrant culture that has evolved within it, remains in question. “In the future, living in the hutongs will be a luxury,” predicts de Muynck, who says that the old city will provide solace and peace for artists and entrepreneurs alike “wishing to escape the city surrounding them.”
(…) For some, the idea of the capital as a vast expanse reaching into new territories, while retaining a historical heart, is mind-boggling. But in de Muynck’s view, Beijing’s old core will always be the constant in the abyss: “Beijing is going to – if it does not already – look and feel like a city without an end. But it will always have a center – while beyond this center, it will feel infinite and incomprehensible.”