If we are to celebrate famous women in Chinese history, I think it’s time we expanded the list beyond the standard starting five (Wu Zetian, the Pirate Queen Ching Shih/Zheng Yi Sao, Ban Zhao, Hua Mulan, and Pick-Your-Favorite Soong sister).
While “The Brickening” has so far mostly affected commercial properties, including wiping out many well-known and beloved food and beverage institutions, the next phase in Beijing’s ongoing urban rejuvenation will start to affect residents of areas designated as historical and cultural conservation zones. These areas are mostly located within the Second Ring Road north of the Forbidden City.
It sometimes seems like the dominant color in Beijing is “Socialist Taupe.” The streets. The bricks. The roads. Getting away from the gray and the beige is hard.
That wasn’t always the case. In imperial times, builders and architects relied on five colors to add life to their creations: red, yellow, blue, white, and (yes) gray
While some commuters will no doubt rejoice at the increased number of bike lanes and sidewalks, the true test of the municipal government's commitment to green transportation will come from whether restrictions on automobiles and other motorized vehicles using spaces set aside for cyclists and pedestrians are enforced.
The forced eviction of some of Beijing’s most vulnerable residents has sparked a backlash with even Chinese state media offering (albeit tepid) criticism of the city’s handling of this latest round of “urban renewal.”
But it’s not just Beijing’s poor and migrant communities which are being affected. Many international residents are feeling the pinch as well.