This post was edited by heroodle at 2015-10-23 17:26|
The Disorientation of Cities
The straight line from Yuanhui (Heilongjiang Province) to Tengchong (Yunnan Province) is an imaginary one discovered and named by Professor Hu Huanyong in 1935. It’s recognized as the geographical dividing line of demography, nature and history (between the southeast and northwest) of China. Along this line it can be seen that since the development of long-distance trade, the penetration and dispersion of power and interests have fundamentally changed the state of cities: cities are expanding around, while people drifting apart. To this day, the words of French theologian Alain de Lille sound as enlightening and illuminating as ever: “Caesar is not omnipotent, money is!”
In ancient Rome, columns are designed and categorized according to the proportions of human figures. Ever since the Renaissance, human has become the most ideal yardstick under heaven. In the cities of today’s China, winding river courses are being straightened, transportation spreading in all directions, and squares and buildings mushrooming for more commercial behavior, all of which proclaim to the public that the aesthetic standards are none other than the power and capital behind the construction. Not until we look back and find our children standing on traffic-oriented, dust-coated streets, will it dawn on us that big as the city is, it offers no room for a smile to light up children’s faces.
The malady of city planning and designing lies not in the inherent pursuit of interests, but in the maniac obsession with them, throwing all other needs of mankind to the wind. Cities are growing in number and in size and the dual structure of city and countryside is collapsing, but the essence and purpose of urbanization are consigned to oblivion: the wisest have been left behind by social lifestyle, the development of which has been, however, left on the hand of the most ignorant.