BBC Learning Zone Clips

CLIP 3614

Urban planning in Shanghai - Professor Ruan Yisan (pt 2/3)

Urban planning in Shanghai - Professor Ruan Yisan (pt 2/3)
Key Info
  • Urban planning in Shanghai - Professor Ruan Yisan (pt 2/3)
  • Duration: 02:50
  • Shanghai has a burgeoning 16 million residents, making it the most densely populated city in the world. Unable to hold any more, the local government is having to force people to relocate to outlying suburbs and build flyovers to prevent congestion. In Pudong, the financial centre, buildings are already touching the sky. The greatest challenge of all, though, is creating green, open spaces for people to relax in, especially in a city that's already short of space. Here, it's more expensive to green an area than it is to put up a building. Professor Ruan Yisan takes us to Chenghuangmiao, built over 500 years ago in the Ming Dynasty and one of the oldest districts of Shanghai, to show us a case of restoration gone horribly wrong. He had originally advocated giving the buildings a makeover - in his words, 'a good scrub and new dentures'. Instead, designers virtually rebuilt it, making the buildings taller and wider. Although this is now a highly popular tourist attraction, it has lost its authenticity and original charm. So Professor Ruan now spends much of his time spreading the message about sensible restoration and regularly gives lectures to government officials from all over China to preserve what they have before it's too late.
  • Subject:



    Current Affairs and Social Issues

  • Keywords: Pudong, architecture, innovation, population, congestion, relocation, greening, Chenghuangmiao, Ming Dynasty
Ideas for use in class
  • Research on the architecture of the Ming Dynasty. Discussion on the importance of greening a huge metropolis such as Shanghai. Discussion on restoration for the sake of tourism and the risk of losing authenticity in the process.
Background details
  • Clip language : Chinese
  • Aspect ratio : 16x9

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