Written by Kangkang Tong
It’s hard to believe that we have reached the end of our PIRE trip. The first day that we arrived in Beijing seems like it wasn’t that long ago, however there were a lot of things going on during the four weeks. We travelled and spent a lot of time together studying and living in China.
This week we moved from the beautiful small city of Yixing, to the medium-size city of Xiamen. We spent the whole week preparing for Friday’s workshop, because there was a lot of work that needed to be done.
One thing I noticed is that China’s cities are denser than the U.S. and there is an opinion about cities with higher density which is that they are more environmental friendly because of improved energy/resource efficiency. In the U.S. there are natural and cultural concerns on compacting cities, but in China, we do not have other choices. The challenge for us is how to design and build livable, environmentally-friendly, and sustainable cities, which is the focus of PIRE program. We visited Beijing, Qinhuangdao, Tianjin, Shanghai, Wuxi, Yixing, and Xiamen. Three of them are big cities, two are medium size, and the rest are small cities. The difference is not just population, but also the pattern of cities. While at the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum we discussed that although the population of Shanghai is larger than Beijing, Shanghai is more comfortable to live in.
It’s a pity that there were no pictures in my blog, since I forgot to bring my camera but I know that others will have plenty of pictures to attach in their blogs.