Monday, September 19, 2005

SHANGHAI: Expansion and Sustainability?

1.) From Shanghaiist, it looks like the massive city is getting ready for another large-scale expansion. This time, Shanghaii is planning on expanding itself by constructing an eco-friendly city on Chongming, China's third-largest island and connect it to the mainland by the world's longest suspension bridge and tunnel. Quite an impressive feat.

And the city doesn't look all that bad either, with that full moon and clear skies? More on the project here.

2.) With this project, you have to wonder what's with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's glut of island-focused projects. The firm was selected back in May to craft a master plan for all of Bahrain, an island that's 3.5 times the size of the District of Columbia. It also has the Chongming project, for which it won an American Institute of Architects honor in January. (You must wonder if the rebuilding of New Orleans will attract the same kind of architectural drama that followed the destruction of the World Trade Center. Imagine this as Ground Zero for city and regional planners, all mixed in with Louisiana's history of vibrant personalities. Libeskind meets Huey Long (at left)?

3.) With all of what's happened with Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast, it's interesting to consider the massive scope of water-based disasters in China. In the 1930s, the Yangtze claimed 400,000 lives, and recently, 4,000 died in 1998 flooding. Many parts of the very populated Shanghaii region are are low-lying, making a Katrina-style disaster scenario there mind boggling. China has certainly had its low moments in the world of death and destruction.

4.) Shanghaiist also has noted the city's bad pollution and also recommends "The River Runs Black," a book by Elizabeth C. Economy on China's bad environmental record and dismal ecological future.

5.) In related Shanghaiist news, be sure to check out Dan Washburn's interview with Quasar Liang, Hooters Girl. She knows her name is "a television brand in the US." She doesn't like singing "I’m A Little Teapot" to customers. And thinks American customers are talkative because even before she started working at Hooters, she knew that "Americans are the most passionate and friendly. This may be because your country’s history," referring to the time since the landing of the Mayflower, as it started Americans' quest in "finding their freedom." (And she is forbidden to exchange phone numbers or e-mail addresses with Hooter's customers.) It is an eye-opening read.


At 10:19 AM, Blogger Mr. WD said...

I just got an e-mail directing me to the Hooters Employee Handbook, which The Smoking Gun has helpfully provided for the world's inspection. Did you know about the requirement that "Only approved Orange Hooters Girl Shorts are to be worn, sized to fit, and SHOULD NOT BE SO TIGHT THAT THE BUTTOCKS SHOW"? Neither did I.

At 10:48 PM, Blogger JJW said...

hey grass, i drove thru your old neighborhood yesterday. must have made me think of you. i like what you've been doing the Oculus.

the chongming island photos and description at, --while snazzy and in keeping with Prez Hu Jintao's general endorsements for the island--are not very accurate. Those designers didn't win.

The bridge is going from the pudong area (the last major gov't-led development initiative in Shanghai, on the north and) to zhuangbei shengtai island (the largest island between chongming and shanghai proper) then to the east side of the island, not the center, as indicated on that Stadbauatelier website (linked above).

If anyone is interested, I'm spearheading efforts to start a conservation and organic education center on the island. We have a yahoo group.

"Click here to join the chongming island ecology discussion group"

(I retain the right to block mean people)

At this time we're basically brainstorming and gathering interest, funding, knowledge and people. Plus we're waiting for the government's NGO investigations (possibly an anti-NGO campaign a brewin') to cool down. Anyone interested in organic foods, ecology, community work, China, or chongming in general is welcome to join and contribute to the forum.

Here are some useful links about chongming (sorry, no snazzy pics):
sustainable development:
wildlife reserve and migratory bird sanctuary:

Sorry for my minimal HTML. It's late.


At 11:09 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Good to hear from you, Josh. You would certainly know more than me. If I can find a cheap flight, maybe I can take a quick trip out to Shanghai to get out on the ground and do my own investigation.

At 10:34 PM, Blogger JJW said...

Hehe. Well, you should wait a few years. It's not much to see right now. Plus, you'd probably have me as a tour guide. Keep up the good work on this blog. It's impressive. And it shows that you're enjoying yourself.


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