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Title:Old Beijing disappearing under the steamroller of modernization

绚丽绯凡
Topic Poster
绚丽绯凡 10-10-18 17:26

Beijing, China (CNN) -- Chairman Mao had a dream. A few years after he led the Communist Party to victory, Mao stood on the Tiananmen rostrum and, talking to his comrades, expressed his wish to one day see Beijing's skyline dotted by chimneys -- his idea of a modern socialist China. Now his dream has come true. Beijing's sky is lined, not just by chimneys, but by skyscrapers too.

      Beijing, China (CNN) -- 毛主席有一个梦想。他带领共产党取得胜利之后,站在天安门的神坛上,对他的同志们表达了自己的愿望。他希望有一天能够看到北京的地平线上可以点缀着一些烟囱——这是他脑海中的现代化社会主义中国。现在,他的梦想实现了。点缀北京地平线的不仅仅是烟囱,还有摩天大厦。

      不久之前,很多中国人认为,在中国实现现代化的唯一方式就是“破旧立新”。90年代,邓小平的改革方案进展得如火如荼,北京的老城区在现代化的推土机面前遭到空前的破坏。

Not long ago, many Chinese thought the only way to modernize China was to "destroy the old and build the new." In the 1990s, when Deng Xiaoping's reform program was in full swing, Beijing's old city came under attack from the big wrecking ball of modernization.


      大约在这个时候,作家王军从家乡贵州省来到北京,开始了他在新华社记者的职业生涯。他写的两本有关中国城市历史和规划的书极为畅销。据他回忆,在1993年,北京城市规划办公室规定,出于保护城市历史的考虑,所有紫禁城周边的新建筑物高度都要受到限制。在王看来,这个规定强调了保护老北京的重要性,因此他决定也要为此做出自己的贡献。
That was around the time when Wang Jun, author of two best-selling books on urban history and planning in China, moved from his hometown of Guizhou to Beijing to start his career as a Xinhua News Agency reporter. His beat was city planning and development. In 1993, he remembers, Beijing's city planning office decreed that all new buildings near the Forbidden City would be subject to height restrictions in the interests of the historical city. For Wang, this regulation highlighted the importance of protecting old Beijing and made him want to do his part.

      从那时开始,王就成为了一个致力于挽救旧城区、旧文化和建筑遗产的全身心倡导者。对于那些房屋遭到拆迁威胁,以及被迫搬家为房地产开发商让路的北京居民来说,王是一个草莽英雄;对于研究传统建筑物的学者来说,他是一个无畏的战士;但是对于那些希望通过房地产开发来哄抬GDP的官员们来说,他算是一个惹是生非的家伙。

Since then, Wang has become an outspoken advocate of saving old cities and their cultural and architectural legacies. To Beijing residents, whose houses are threatened with demolition or who have been forced to relocate to make way for real estate developers, Wang Jun is a kind of folk hero. To scholars of traditional architecture, he is a fearless fighter. But to officials who wish to boost GDP figures through property development, he is a troublemaker.


      王军花了10年的时间来为其第一本书《城记》收集资料,该书于2003年出版。他说:“写一本书就像是盖一所房子,你无法偷工减料。”他的第二本书《采访本上的城市》在2008年出版。

Wang Jun spent ten years collecting materials for "Beijing Records," his first book published in 2003. "Writing a book is like building a house," he says. "You cannot cheat and cut corners in labor and materials." His second best-seller, "Cities in the Reporter's Notebook" was published in 2008.

      在他位于北京郊区的公寓里,王军与CNN记者Jaime FlorCruz和Chen Xiaoni边喝茶,边谈起北京在这些年的改变。
Over a cup of tea in his apartment in suburban Beijing, Wang Jun talked with CNN's Jaime FlorCruz and Chen Xiaoni about how Beijing has changed over the years.


一些人在读过《城记》之后,说他们很怀念50年代和60年代的北京。而在读过《采访本上的城市》之后,他们对今天的北京感到遗憾。这是你试图在书中传达的信息吗?

Some people say they felt nostalgic about the Beijing of the 1950's and 60's after reading "Beijing's Records." But after reading "Cities in the Reporter's Notebook" they felt sorrow for today's Beijing. Is that the message you wished to convey?

      作为一个记者,我无意引发任何负面的情绪。《城》的内容是关于北京在50年代和60年代的历史。我在书中试图回答的一个问题是:北京这样一个拥有3000多年历史的老城,是如何在20世纪后半段的几年里被迅速毁掉的?《采》是有关中国城市的现状描述,包括北京。我试图回答:究竟是什么推动了人类历史上最大规模的城市化进程?这是如何发生的?这两本书中讨论的很多问题都不仅仅在中国存在。北京是个人口密度极高的城市,本应鼓励步行交通。但是现在,越来越多的道路、封闭性社区和巨型购物中心无处不在,人们不得不驾车出行。我只不过想让读者了解,他们的生活是如何发生改变的,无论他们喜欢还是不喜欢。

As a journalist, I have no intention to provoke negative feelings. "Beijing's Records" was about Beijing's history in the 50's and 60's. I wanted to answer one question: How was the old town of Beijing, a city with more than 3,000 years of history, destroyed in a few years during the second half of the 20th century? "Cities in the Reporter's Notebook" is about the current situation in Chinese cities, including Beijing. In it, I tried to answer what is pushing the biggest urbanization in human history? How did it happen? Many problems mentioned in these two books are not unique to China. Beijing was a densely populated city that was suitable for walking. And yet more roads, gated communities and giant shopping centers are being built. People have to drive around to get things done. I'm just trying to show the readers how their lives have been changed, like it or not.

 

那么你对当代北京的状况的态度是高兴还是悲伤呢?

So are you happy or sad about the state of contemporary Beijing?

      所有的城市都在面临自身的一系列问题,北京也不例外。从50年代开始,北京政府在旧城基础上兴建了一个新的城市,以老城区为市中心,用环路来向外扩张。大部分人的工作地点还在市中心,所以郊区实质上变成了数十万人的“宿舍区”,从家到办公室的交通导致了严重的堵塞。新中国刚成立的时候(1949年),一些中国学者预见到了未来发展会导致这些严重的问题,因此建议把老城区和新城区分开,以平衡就业和居住的需求。令人遗憾的是,中国的决策者没有听从他们的建议。

All cities are facing and dealing with their own set of problems. Beijing is no different. Since the 1950s, Beijing's government has built a new town over the old one, using the same city center, surrounded by ring roads and expanding it concentrically. Most of the jobs are in the city center so the suburbs have virtually become "dormitory towns" for hundreds of thousands of people. Commuting between job and home causes tremendous traffic congestion. When the new China was founded [in 1949], some Chinese scholars foresaw these serious problems due to development. They suggested separating the old city and the new city in order to balance employment and residential needs. Regretfully, Chinese decision-makers didn't heed their advice.


      在北京筹备2008年奥运会的时候,包括社区居民、中央和市政府官员在内的多方人士都意识到,北京的很多问题都是其中心单一的结构所引起的。他们决定调整市区规划方案,区分新老城区,以保护老北京的原貌。三个规划中的新城区是通州、亦庄和顺义,市政府已经批准将其放在北京2020年的规划蓝图中。如果实现了这个目标,包括交通堵塞和发展与保护之间的矛盾等问题都可以迎刃而解。

When Beijing began preparations for the 2008 Olympics, various sectors -- the community, the central and city government officials -- finally realized that many of Beijing's problems are caused by its single-centered city structure. They decided to make an urban planning adjustment by separating the new and old cities to protect Beijing's old town, focusing on developing three new towns in the east -- Tongzhou, Yizhuang and Shunyi. The State Council approved it and it's included in Beijing's 2020 master plan. If the goal is realized, many problems like traffic and conflict between development and protection can be solved.


你对北京城市的规划者有什么建议吗?
Do you have any suggestions for Beijing's urban planners?

      问题在于如何实现新的城市发展方案,这需要普通大众的参与,这个方案的方向是好的。近年来,北京的城市发展过程越来越多地借鉴了公众的意见,尽管这其中还是有一些问题存在。
The problem is how to achieve the new city master plan, which now emphasizes public involvement. This is a good approach. In recent years, public opinion has increasingly been taken into consideration in Beijing's city development, although there are still problems.

在你的第一本书里,你似乎是说北京的胡同已经逐渐消失了。但是,北京市的人口在近几年剧增,你认为如果不拆掉胡同来建造高层住宅,如何能解决人们的住房问题呢?
In your first book, you seem to say Beijing's hutongs (traditional neighborhoods) are dead and gone. But since the population in Beijing has increased so dramatically in recent years, how do you expect people to be housed if the hutongs are not torn down to make way for high-rises?

      我并没有说北京的胡同已经消失了,它们还在苟延残喘。我的确有想写一本书《胡同之死》,来回答这些问题:在社会和平和经济持续发展的时期,北京传统的胡同和四合院为何会如此迅速地消失?剩下的四合院为何残破不堪?为什么没有人维护它们?以及城市结构是如何发生变化的?

      人口增长并不是让胡同消失的必要条件。北京的老城区仅占市区总面积的6%,更多的人可以住在老城区之外,所以并不需要拆掉四合院来盖起高层建筑。四合院是有保存价值的,它们是东方建筑文化的重要实例。尽管都是平房,它的密度设计和平面布局依然可以舒适地容纳大量居民。例如,1949年的北京,有超过2万人居住在一平方公里的范围内,而且秩序井然。

I didn't say Beijing's hutong has died. It's still panting. I do want to write a book called "The Death of the Hutong" and answer these questions: Why have Beijing's traditional hutongs and courtyards disappeared so rapidly during the peacetime and economic development period? Why are the left-over courtyards so dilapidated? Why is nobody taking care of them? And how has the urban fabric changed?

 

你怎么看北京的新地标建筑物,比如中央电视台新址、国家大剧院和“鸟巢”?你对当代的北京有什么看法?

How do you find Beijing's new landmark architecture, such as the new CCTV tower, the National Opera Theater and the "Bird's Nest"? What do they say of contemporary Beijing?


      这些所谓的新地标都是中国的重点建设项目,而且全都是西方人设计的,这展示了中国开放的态度。在中国历史上,只有俄罗斯式的建筑在50年代享受过这样的待遇。这些新地标在中国社会中引发了空前的讨论,它们同时也标志着中国社会变得更加多元化、更加开放。作为一个发展中的城市,北京当然需要现代化的建筑物,我很难讲北京真的是否需要中央电视台新址、国家大剧院和鸟巢这种奇形怪状的建筑物。它们已经站在那里,成为了北京的一部分。很多人并不喜欢。

Those so-called new landmarks are all important Chinese projects and they are all designed by Westerners. This demonstrates China's openness. In Chinese history, only Russian architects enjoyed such an opportunity in the 1950s. These new landmarks have provoked widespread discussion in Chinese society to a degree never seen before. This also shows that Chinese society has become more diversified and open. As a developing city, of course Beijing needs modern architecture. It's difficult for me to say whether or not Beijing needs buildings with interesting shapes like the New CCTV tower, National Opera Theater and the Bird's Nest. They are already completed and have become part of Beijing. Many people don't like them.

 

像北京这样的古老城市,怎样才能让新旧建筑物融合在一起?

How do old cities like Beijing balance and blend the styles of the old buildings with new architecture?

      保护老城区的同时开发新城区是非常重要的。市政府在2005年批准的北京规划方案中明确提出:停止破坏老城区,集中发展新城区。
It's important that we protect the old city while developing a new town. Let's stop destroying the old town and concentrate on developing new cities. Beijing's new master plan, approved by the State Council in 2005, says so.

去年,一些人在反抗强制拆迁时试图自杀,抢地行为已经造成了社会的不和谐。解决这类问题的关键在哪里?
Last year, some people tried to self-immolate to protest against forced relocation from their homes. Land grabbing is causing social disharmony. What is the key to solving this problem?

      关键在于改变地方政府的财政和税收体系。1998年中国开始住房改革,公共房屋被私有化,成立了房地产交易市场。但是直到今天,也没有征收不动产税。市政府在公共设施上的投入催高了地价,但是政府的无法从这些投资中获益。1982年颁布的中国宪法规定土地的所有权归政府,1988年颁布的修正法规定土地的使用权可以转让。从那时开始,市政府收入的一大块就来源于重新安置人们之后的卖地所得。这或许是收回公共设施投资的唯一方式,但其引发了严重的社会问题。土地归政府所有的前提下,你如何征收房地产税?这是具有中国特色的城市规划问题。
The key is to change local governments' financial and taxation systems. In 1998, China started housing reform. Public housing was privatized. Real estate exchange markets were established, but still today, there's no property tax. City governments invest in public services that drive up land prices, but the city governments cannot benefit from such investment. China's constitution, promulgated in 1982, says the government owns land. An amendment in 1988 says the rights to use land may be transferred. From then on, a big chunk of the city governments' revenue came from selling land after relocating people. It's the only way to return the cost of investing in public services, but it causes serious social problems. How do you impose property tax when land belongs to the State? That's an urban planning issue with Chinese characteristics.


你曾经说:“中国的城市规划应当与中国的民主进程同步。”可以解释一下吗?
You say: "China's city planning should go side by side with China's democratic process." Can you explain?

      中国社会发生了巨变,80%的房屋已经私有化,房产已经成为中国人最重要的私有财产。自从1998年房屋私有化以来,房主保护自身权利就成为了这个时代最重要的声音。这促使政府在2007年颁布了有重大意义的“物权法”,以保护房主的合法权利。城市规划必须考虑公众的意见,并允许社区自治,以便推动中国的民主发展进一步前进。

The Chinese society has gone through profound changes. Some 80 percent of Chinese housing is privatized. Housing has become the Chinese people's most important property. Since the privatization of housing in 1998, a common theme has been home owners protecting their rights. This has prompted the government to pass in 2007 a landmark "Property Law" protecting legal rights of property owners. City planning must consider public opinion and allow the community to self-manage in order to push China's democratic development forward.

 

 

From: CNN  Jaime FlorCruz / Chen Xiaoni
         http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/04/26/china.beijing.old.city/index.html?iref=allsearch


Last edited on10-10-18 17:32