Audio: Telling the story of the waterways

Bruce is back along the recently restored stretch of the Jade River, the 'yuhe' between Kuanjie Church near Dianmen and Beiheyan. At one time this was a leading waterway in historic Beijing, its origins going back to around the Yuan Dynasty.The Grand Canal connected Hangzhou and Suzhou with Tongzhou in today's eastern Beijing. Smaller canals connected it with walled Beijing. The Jade River allowed smaller barges from Qianhai (Shichahai’s ‘Front Lake’) to reach the Forbidden City.

Bruce is walking with historian Jeremiah Jenne as they swap stories and information about the canals.

Jeremiah and Bruce also discuss the new construction going on either side of the canal and to what extent gentrified recreations of hutongs and courtyards can have the same effect as the vibrant living communities that once populated the area.