Category Archives: Beijing

Strict crowd limits set for Beijing Lunar New Year celebrations in wake of Shanghai crush

Beijing authorities have set precise mathematical limits on allowable crowd densities for events during the Lunar New Year holiday after the government ordered increased safety precautions across the country in the wake of the deadly New Year’s Eve stampede in Shanghai.

Read more on The South China Morning Post 2015-02-12

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Food waste research in China

Cheng, Shengkui (2014). Special session: Food waste research in China : motivation field study, and preliminary results. The Last Food Mile Conference, December 8, 2014, Philadelphia, USA. http://repository.upenn.edu/thelastfoodmile/sessions/session/21.

Food Waste Away-From-Home in the Beijing Urban Area—An Estimate Based on First-Hand Data

Reducing food waste is attracting growing public attention in China, and is widely acknowledged to contribute to abating interlinked sustainability challenges such as food security, climate change, and water shortages. However, the pattern and scale of food waste throughout the consumer stage is poorly understood in China, despite growing media coverage and public concerns in recent years. This paper aims to the estimate food waste away-from-home in the Beijing urban area, mainly based on first-hand surveys.

During the first-hand surveys in the catering sector in the Beijing urban area in 2013, 187 restaurants were investigated, which can be divided into large, middle, small, canteen and fast food categories. Finally, 3833 samples were been collected, and each sample included two parts: a consumer questionnaire, and the weight of food waste generated.

The main conclusions are as follows: (1) It is estimated that about 79.69 g food waste were generated per capita and per meal away-from-home in the Beijing urban area. Obviously, the food waste varied greatly depending on the type of restaurant. For example, the generation in large restaurants was more severe, up to 3 times that in fast food restaurants. (2) The food waste generated comprises many different food groups; the most prominent by weight were cereals (25%), vegetables (41%), meats( 13%), seafood products (11%), poultry (7%), legumes (1%), eggs (2%), and dairy products (less than 1%). (3) According to different purposes and motivations of the meals, the estimate of food waste is: friends meeting (109 g), public events (95 g),family parties (62 g), working meals(63 g) (4) Causes of food waste away-from-home identified in urban China predominantly involve: lack of awareness, portion sizes, individual food preferences, income, and age of the diner. (5) On this basis, the study estimates annual food waste generation away-from-home in the Beijing urban area at approximately 298×103 tonnes, requiring the inputs of about 93441 hm2 arable land, 774020 hm2 grassland, 2461 hm2 water area and 829×103 m3 water wasted without benefit to the consumer.

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Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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Beijing life in a shipping container

Shi Jian, Beijing life in a shipping container, China Dialogue, 27.01.2015 .https://www.chinadialogue.net/

On the outskirts of Beijing, a gardener has built a home out of shipping containers in the hope of creating a green community in the polluted city

 

Main_2
In the summer of 2014 Niu Jian and his family moved from the bustling Beijing district of Haidian to the village of Niuhe in Shunyi, on the outskirts of the capital. Their new home consists of a single-storey arrangement of six 20-foot shipping containers. A 600 watt solar panel hangs on one wall and 300 watt wind turbine spins on the roof.
 

Niu had the containers made to order, with doors and windows, a power supply and insulation. The 150 square metre-space cost him about 300,000 yuan to have built and fitted out and he describes this as a laboratory for sustainable living. Asked why he wanted to spend so much money for a tougher life on the outskirts of Beijing, Niu explains that he wants to spread the idea of a ‘shared community’ – people who want to find a more sustainable life in the smog ridden city.

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Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Measuring eco cities, comparing European and Asian experiences: Rotterdam versus Beijing

Meine Pieter van Dijk (2015). Measuring eco cities, comparing European and Asian experiences: Rotterdam versus Beijing. Asia Europe Journal. 20 p. Published online: 4 January 2015. URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10308-014-0405-7

Many cities have taken initiatives to achieve more sustainable development or to become ecological cities. In this paper, ten dimensions are suggested for defining ecological cities and an effort has been made to provide indicators to measure them. Many cities claim to be ecological cities, but there are no non-ambiguous definitions of ecological cities and few efforts have been made to measure to what extent the cities have achieved their goal. This paper considers the efforts of Beijing and Rotterdam to become more eco cities, using these dimensions. What can we learn from these experiences for developing the city of the future? In an illustrative effort to apply the suggested criteria, Rotterdam scored slightly better than Beijing. The latter city is facing more serious environmental problems and is willing to try more innovative solutions, while Rotterdam spends more money on prevention and CO2 reduction.

Read full text online (free access)

 

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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Neighborhood politics in urban China

Tomba, Luigi (2014). The government next door : neighborhood politics in urban China. Ithaca : Cornell university press. 240 p. ISBN : 978-0-8014-5282-6.

80140100835180MChinese residential communities are places of intense governing and an arena of active political engagement between state and society. In The Government Next Door, Luigi Tomba investigates how the goals of a government consolidated in a distant authority materialize in citizens’ everyday lives. Chinese neighborhoods reveal much about the changing nature of governing practices in the country. Government action is driven by the need to preserve social and political stability, but such priorities must adapt to the progressive privatization of urban residential space and an increasingly complex set of societal forces. Tomba’s vivid ethnographic accounts of neighborhood life and politics in Beijing, Shenyang, and Chengdu depict how such local “translation” of government priorities takes place.

Tomba reveals how different clusters of residential space are governed more or less intensely depending on the residents’ social status; how disgruntled communities with high unemployment are still managed with the pastoral strategies typical of the socialist tradition, while high-income neighbors are allowed greater autonomy in exchange for a greater concern for social order. Conflicts are contained by the gated structures of the neighborhoods to prevent systemic challenges to the government, and middle-class lifestyles have become exemplars of a new, responsible form of citizenship. At times of conflict and in daily interactions, the penetration of the state discourse about social stability becomes clear.

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Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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A simple scan gives Beijing metro users access to a mini library

Beijing’s first underground library “M Subway•Library” is open. [Photo/mtr.bj.cn]

China’s capital city launched its first underground library, “M Subway•Library” on Jan 12. The theme of its first activity is “Our Characters”.

Citizens riding the special train on subway Line 4 now can read e-books provided by the National Library by scanning the QR code in the carriage.

“M Subway•Library” is a public welfare program initiated by the Beijing MTR and the National Library to provide qualified book resources to the public through the platform of public transportation. The library will organize different themed activities regularly and recommend a dozen free books to the public each year in the long term.

Read on China Daily

Beijing launches ‘Subway Library’

With 10 million passengers every day, the Beijing subway system has huge potential as a place for promotion or even a new lifestyle. The “Subway Library,” which has just opened on Line 4 of the underground, encourages people to take advantage of their time on the trains to read more books.

Read more and see the videos on Chin.org.cn

China: Beijing metro users access free e-books

Finding something to read on the underground just got a bit easier in Beijing, where travellers can now access a free electronic library.

Carriages on Line 4 of the city’s metro feature barcodes which people can scan with their tablets or smartphones, China’s BTV News channel reports. They’ll be able to choose from a selection of ten books, which will change every couple of months. The first books available are about historical Chinese texts. “I think we have found a great, effective and handy tool to make traditional culture popular,” says Rong Jun, a spokesman from the city government, which is supporting the initiative along with the National Library.

Read more on BBC.News.com

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Street art in Beijing

Robbbb has only been working as a street artist for three years but identifies his role as helping to document the rapidly changing urban and social environment in Beijing. It is among the cities crumbling ruins that he feels his work belongs – “Ruins are temporary [and] so are my works but I hope they’ll leave some mark in Beijing’s history”.

At present there is no specific law against street art in China but he believes this will change in the near future as people, and the authorities, begin to understand the subversive element of the movement.

To see more of the artist’s work, visit his website HERE.


http://www.crane.tv/robbbb-among-the-ruins

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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The elites’ former houses in Beijing’s South Luogu Lane

Zhifen Cheng, Hangyi Zhou, and Stephen Young,  The elites’ former houses in Beijing’s South Luogu Lane, Sustainability 2015, 7(1), 398-421; doi:10.3390/su7010398

Abstract

Place is seen as a process whereby social and cultural forms are reproduced. This process is closely linked to capital flows, which are, in turn, shaped by changing property regimes. However, relatively little attention has been paid to the relationship between property regimes, capital flows and place-making. The goal of this paper is to highlight the role of changing property regimes in the production of place. Our research area is South Luogu Lane (SLL) in Central Beijing. We take elites’ former houses in SLL as the main unit of analysis in this study. From studying this changing landscape, we draw four main conclusions. First, the location of SSL was critical in enabling it to emerge as a high-status residential community near the imperial city. Second, historical patterns of capital accumulation influenced subsequent rounds of private investment into particular areas of SLL. Third, as laws relating to the ownership of land and real estate changed fundamentally in the early 1950s and again in the 1980s, the target and intensity of capital flows into housing in SLL changed too. Fourth, these changes in capital flow are linked to ongoing changes in the place image of SLL.

Read the full text :  http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/7/1/398/htm#sthash.mR60mj6C.dpuf

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Invisible migrant enclaves in Chinese cities

Huang, Youqin, Yi Chengdong. (2014) Invisible migrant enclaves in Chinese cities : Underground living in Beijing, China. Urban Studies. Pre-published online, December 22, 2014. DOI: 10.1177/0042098014564535

China is experiencing an urban revolution, powered in part by hundreds of millions of migrant workers. Faced with institutionalised discrimination in the housing system and the lack of housing affordability, migrants have turned to virtually uninhabitable spaces such as basements and civil air defence shelters for housing. With hundreds of thousands of people living in crowded and dark basements, an invisible migrant enclave exists underneath the modern city of Beijing. We argue that in Chinese cities, housing has been adopted as an institution to exclude and marginalise migrants, through: (a) defining migrants as an inferior social class through the Hukou system and denying their rights to entitlements including housing; (b) abnormalising migrants through various derogatory naming and categorisations to legitimise exclusion; and (c) purifying and controlling migrant spaces to achieve exclusion and marginalisation. The forced popularity of basement renting reflects the reality that housing has become an institution of exclusion and marginalisation. It embodies vertical spatial marginalisation, with exacerbated contrasts between basement tenants and urban residents, heightened fear of the ‘other’, even more derogatory naming, and the government’s more aggressive clean-up of their spaces. We call for reforms and policy changes to ensure decent and affordable housing for basement tenants and migrants in general.

Read full text online (restricted access)

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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No more begging in Beijing’s subway

Last month, Beijing’s municipality has decided to ban begging in the subway. This regulation will come into effect in May 2015.

Beijing subway beggars face fine of up to 1,000 yuan (2014). China Daily November, 28). Retrieved December 14 from  http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2014-11/28/content_18995305.htm.

The regulation ruled out 17 dangerous acts that would undermine subway security, including entering the rail or the tunnel, and placing or abandoning barriers along the rail line.

In a subway station or train, people will not be allowed to beg, perform for money or dispense advertising pamphlets. The regulation also disallowed walking in the opposite direction of a moving escalator, running for fun, skateboarding, roller-skating or cycling.

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE – Nottingham Trent University)

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Smoking and risk perceptions in China

chinese-no-smokingLast month, the authorities of Beijing adopted a law banning smoking in indoor public spaces. Smoking is a big issue in China and officials take this problem seriously.

But according to a recent article published in the “Nicotine and Tobacco research” journal1, more policies need to be adopted to reduce tobacco consumption in China. In this article, authors noted that:

Smokers in China did not recognize their heightened personal risk of cancer, possibly reflecting ineffective warning labels on cigarette packs, a positive affective climate associated with smoking in China.

The article shows that Chines smokers seem not to be aware of the real dangers of tobacco.

 

  1. Alexander Persoskie et al(2014).’Absolute and comparative cancer risk perceptions among smokers in two cities in China’. Nicotine and Tobacco research, 16(6), pp.899-903 []

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE – Nottingham Trent University)

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The new megacities

As reported by the SCMP, last week, China’ State Council launched a new megacity category to urban planning.

Beijng, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Shenzhen and Chongqing will fall into this category. Special policies may regulate these megacities. Will this new satus limit migrants’integration into megacities?

Full article available here.

 

 

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE – Nottingham Trent University)

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Fresh air for the APEC

For the APEC summit, Beijing authorities made their best to reduce pollution and improve the Capital’s image.

Barclay Bram Shoemaker (2014). China Pollution: Blue Skies Over Beijing. The Diplomat, November 10, 2014.

To clear the skies and allow Beijing a breath of fresh air, the government forced factories to close from November 1, a repeat of the closures ahead of the 2008 Olympics. It has forced cars off the road, and announced a holiday from November 7 to 12 for most government employees.

Article available here.

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE – Nottingham Trent University)

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A Horse Dragon flying from Nantes to Beijing

For the celebration of the 50th anniversary of France-China diplomatic relations, a Horse Dragon (龙马) automaton was sent to Beijing, where it took part in a performance with a giant mechanical spider near the Olympic site.

These robots were designed and operated by a French production company based in Nantes.

Longma (horse dragon) is not the first automaton to originate from Nantes. This French city has become the home of similar projects since 1989, when the association Royal de Luxe launched “Le Géant” (the Giant). The Giant’s family has since extended with the creation of a Giant’s daughter and a Giant’s grandma (in 2014). More automatons, including an elephant and some spiders, were born on Nantes’ piers. These structures have become symbols of Nantes and are also city ambassadors traveling to Liverpool, Yokohama, and now Beijing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKVjdOAasF0

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE – Nottingham Trent University)

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Beijing©, Shanghai ®

megacitiesCan Chinese cities be branded?

City authorities can no longer aim solely for improving their residents’ living standards, they also need to become attractive to visitors and investors, and so they create their own brands. This branding is necessary because of the increasing competition among cities.
Earlier this year, Per Olof Berg and Emma Björner edited a book on the branding of Chinese mega-cities. This book proposes different perspectives on this phenomenon by comparing Chinese mega-cities (that is to say Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Shenzhen) and other international mega-cities. It studies several aspects of China’s mega-cities, from promotional films (chapter by Marina Svennson) to the emergence of green cities (chapter by Jorgen Delman).
For Berg and Björner, city branding is more complex than corporate branding, because, firstly, cities may have more images than companies; and secondly, unlike companies, the ownership structure is not clear. Who actually owns the city? Who decides on a city brand? This question is clearly linked to governance.
This interesting book is divided into three parts. After looking at the development of mega-cities in China, the contributors offer several case studies of city branding in China, and then analyse Chinese mega-cities’ global competitiveness.
In Chapter 16, Can-Seng Ooi notes that some Chinese cities copy other cities and construct similar brands, but the author also argues that this trend is adopted not only by Chinese cities, but most international mega-cities as well. Although they pretend to offer a unique experience to visitors and investors, most mega-cities are emulating each other. They simply do not want to risk being too different, because they want to be recognisable as world-class mega-cities, so they adopt similar policies.

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE – Nottingham Trent University)

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