7/28/08

Will Beijing's Pretty New Buildings Be Enough?

Every day there's a new catastrophe in China that we don't hear about. There was the huge earthquake that killed 60,000 because of China's poor building regulations. Then came millions of tons of algae that turned the rivers to green. Then came the locusts. Now just ten days before the start of the Olympics the air quality is three times higher than what is unhealthy. And a massive Typhoon is heading their way. There's bus bombings. On top of all this, there's the massive outrage for China's genocide against the Tibetans and Muslims, and their inhuman crackdown on free speech. It looks like it will be a dismall Olympics.

Most Olympic sponsers are losing money. But what really convinced me that China's Olympic ambitions are blowing up in their face is the news that manufacturers are leaving China because they are denying so many visas. Beijing's stock market has been plummeting the last ten months.

The architecture world is in such a frenzy over these expensive new buildings, these monuments to China's greatness. It's time to look at the societal implications, and at the entire economic situation.

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