A New Vision For Tiananmen Square: A Lush Park

<p>Could a 'green' makeover of one of China's most infamous public spaces help signal the country's shifting politics?</p>
May 4, 2007, 7am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"For the past 50 years Tiananmen Square has been the nearest thing the Chinese Communist party has had to holy ground. It is the plaza that Mao built, famed for its rallies during the Cultural Revolution, and it became notorious after the bloody crackdown on student protesters in 1989.

But in a sign of widening intellectual debate in China, one of the country's leading young architects has proposed a radical transformation of the square.

Ma Yansong, an award-winning urban planner, says the grey concrete symbol of China's red politics should be given a green makeover. To heighten awareness about the environment, he believes the Beijing square should be transformed into a park and forest. In his model, the vast expanse of paving slabs outside the Forbidden City are replaced by trees and grass. There are lush thickets around the mausoleum containing Mao Zedong's embalmed body and a verdant entrance to the Great Hall of the People."

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Published on Thursday, May 3, 2007 in The Guardian Unlimited
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