Shanghai Caught In Web Of Technology

An excess of telephone, fiber-optic and electrical wires criss-crossing the city is just one of the problems related to the city's recent explosion of technological advancements.
December 6, 2003, 7am PST | David Gest
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The wires "are everywhere, and they're gumming up the works...[the government is] mounting a campaign, asking the masses for help -- and unrepentantly yanking down wayward wires as it goes...as of earlier this year, Shanghai had some 7,850 miles of above-ground wires within its outer-ring road...The wire jungle is also partially responsible for a ban on kites in Shanghai's 125 parks; too much tangling...[the city's plans to bury the wires] are four times more expensive than they should be...because they require costly efforts to protect historical sites...The progress is no accident, but rather the result of policy. No other Chinese city can match the investment -- human, financial and educational -- in Shanghai's tech ascendance...Shanghai's recent urban development, like China's itself, is nevertheless characterized by a sometimes astonishing lack of planning -- a problem hardly surprising for a land whose east-coast cities have done a century's worth of modernization in barely two decades...the municipal government is considering limits on new skyscrapers; tall buildings, it seems, have helped make the city sink an inch every year."

Thanks to David Gest

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Published on Wednesday, December 3, 2003 in Star Tribune
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