Can Beijing Become a 'Livable City' by 2008?

Explosive growth, legacy of poor planning decisions, hamper Beijing's efforts to prepare for the 2008 Olympics.
August 30, 2005, 1pm PDT | Michael Dudley
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"Beijing must build or renovate 72 sports stadiums and training facilities, lay asphalt for 59 new roads and complete three new bridges by the opening ceremony...Far more difficult will be fulfilling Beijing's promise of playing host to a "green" Olympics as well as meeting a new goal in the city's revised master plan - to become 'a city suitable for living.'

"It is uncertain whether Beijing's theoretical embrace of "livability" can be translated into real improvements in quality of life in a city that often feels like one enormous construction zone...Critics are skeptical. They attribute Beijing's current predicament to previous failed planning policies and blame the government for the rampant development that has destroyed much of the historic old city while making a mess of the emerging new one."

Thanks to Michael Dudley

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Published on Sunday, August 28, 2005 in The New York Times
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