China Bans Gated Communities, ‘Bizarre’ Architecture

Imaginechina via AP Images
Imaginechina via AP Images

The Chinese government has banned the construction of buildings it deems “bizarre” and “odd-shaped,” urging architects to develop more “green” models to help the environment.

The Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council stated that 50 percent of the Chinese population lives in cities, which has caused “pollution, severe traffic congestion and compromised public safety.” They decided to allow “greater oversight from city legislative bodies and harsher punishments.” They will not allow any buildings that do not qualify as “economical, functional, aesthetically pleasing or environmentally friendly.” Instead, builders must make buildings “that generate less waste and use fewer resources.”

The ban includes gated communities. Those that do exist will open to the public as soon as possible.

“Residents have all paid their share to use the roads in these communities,” said one resident. “How can you open them up just like that? Opening them up will bring in noise pollution, air pollution and security risks. How can residents’ safety and health be ensured?”

In 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared war on “bizarre” architecture. He told a literary symposium he wants China to build “morally-inspiring architecture” to “be like sunshine from the blue sky and the breeze in spring that will inspire minds, warm hearts, cultivate taste and clean up undesirable work styles.”

Zhou Qi designed the CCTV headquarters. From The Guardian:

“Our way of expression is kind of extreme,” Zhou told the Modern Express newspaper, “different from the culture of moderation that Chinese people are accustomed to.” He explained the design was inspired not by part of his anatomy, but by the traditional Chinese philosophy of “round sky and square earth” – the tower tapers from a square base to a cylindrical top. He claimed that the elongated spherical form was designed to recall the Chinese character for “people” from above. The fact it might look like a male member from below was clearly a secondary concern.

Workers demolished a huge golden statue of dictator Mao Zedong in the Henan province. The government demanded the action since they did not approve of the massive structure.

Media reported that local “[B]usinessmen and some rural communities chipped in nearly 3 million yuan ($459,00) to build the conspicuous tribute.” Workers built the statue out of steel and concrete and then painted it gold.

The famines in the 1950s and 1960s hit Henan province the hardest. Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” brought about massive famines through the “economic and social reforms.”


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