Masterplanning the Future
As a Western architect, there are four things that strike me the most in China: the breakneck speed of the construction industry; the immense scale of urban development; the underlying confidence to make big plans; and the ambition to build new cities. It is the last of these that sets China apart and makes it such an exciting place to live. Where else can you watch a modern city grow and change before your very eyes?
To attempt such a huge project of social transformation, elevating millions out of poverty through a process of urban expansion is notable precisely because of its absence in much of the Western hemisphere. Indeed, the sad decline of urban scale master planning in the UK and the US, where no significant urban settlement has been built in the last two generations, simply makes China more interesting by default.
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