moving 150,000 people?

April 3rd, 2008

Well, last night I said I’d do this, and now that I’m breakfasted and have a reasonable amount of Longjing in me (oops, need a refill…), I’ll get stuck in.

Trouble with finding an interesting-looking article at 7:15 is that lzh and I go to a colleague’s place for a study-session at 7:30. lzh tutors him, I do my own study (usually HSK practice tests, but last night it was a page and a half from 《活着》). Anyway, as promised, here it is, from 新京报/The Beijing News’ Li Liqiang:


150,000 Dongcheng residents plan to move out to Chaoyang District


 To protect the old city and improve residential conditions; 3D carparks will be built outside the hutongs.


Yesterday, Dongcheng District Vice District Mayor Yue Peng, while a guest of Beijing Public Service Radio, revealed that Dongcheng would this year strive to achieve a breakthrough in the relocation of residents in the transformation of the Old City. At present, a preliminary decision has been made to build a new city in Chaoyang District to settle poor residents of old courtyard houses. It is estimated roughly 150,000 residents would be moved out. Also, a carpark would be built outside Dongcheng’s hutongs to relieve the car parking problems.


Yuan Dynasty canal will not be flooded

岳鹏在访谈中介绍,东城区正在恢复古运河遗迹,整个运河的项目占地14.08公顷,项目主要恢复元朝运河的河道遗 迹,把两边的危旧房进行改造,保护历史风貌。曾有市民建议东城增加有水的景观,对此,岳鹏表示,古运河不会注水,而只会将河道的遗迹展现给市民,这也是专 家的意见。

During the interview, Yue Peng said Dongcheng District was in the process of restoring the remains of an ancient canal and the entire canal project covered an area of 14.08 hectares. The main points of the project was the restoration of the remains of a course of a Yuan Dynasty canal, the renovation of the endangered old houses on both banks, and the protection of the historic scene. Some residents have proposed adding landscapes with water to Dongcheng, but to this Yue Peng said the ancient canal would not be flooded, only the remains of the water course would be opened up to show the residents, and this was expert opinion.


Underground carparks to be built at hutong entrances


Parking is difficult in the Old City’s hutongs, and traffic circulation is a long-standing problem, Yue Peng stated that relevant standards for the supervision of hutong parking would be adopted, and underground or 3D carparks built at hutong entrances meeting the right conditions, for example, in hutongs where parking was originally allowed on both sides, parking will be limited to one side of the road, and at hutong entrances meeting the right conditions, 3D or underground carparks will be built to ease traffic congestion in the hutongs.


He stated that “big destruction, big building” would not be allowed in the building of new carparks, the principle was suiting measures to local conditions, the convenience of the citizens, and convenient management. As for how residents would pay parking fees, Yue Peng said, regardless of whether government subsidy or market rate systems would be adopted, the fees would be very low.


150,000 residents of the Old City could be moved out


At this year’s Dongcheng District Two Meetings [People’s Congress and People’s Political Consultative Congress], the district mayor Yang Yiwen revealed that Dongcheng was planning to move residents out of the Old City in order to protect the Old City and improve residents’ housing conditions. Yesterday Yue Peng also revealed that around 150,000 people would be moved, Chaoyang District had been chosen as the destination, but the specifics of the location still needed to be confirmed by the planning and municipal administration departments.


Regarding the number of houses in the resettlement area, Yue Peng stated that that was currently being planned. The houses built in the new city would include affordable housing, low-cost housing, subsidised-rental housing, and other kinds of guaranteed housing, and residents would enjoy the appropriate level of care in accordance with the appropriate standards and their own specific circumstances. Currently construction and planning are being started, capital is actively being sought, and this year substantive steps towards moving out are being striven towards.

Done, but this one was not easy, as you can see from the number of links I felt needed to be added to my translation:

  1. Just what is a “3D carpark” (立体停车场) and how is that more correctly described in English? The strongest thread in the google and baidu image searches seems to be various methods for stacking cars.
  2. And those three different kinds of housing (经适房、两限房、廉租房)? Sorry, had to make up my own English names for them. The names, translated more literally, are “economically suitable housing”; “two limits housing” and “limited rental housing”, aimed at middle- to low-income families; low-income families
    (the “two limits” are limits on the price of the house and the price of the land) and families so destitute they’re one short step from sleeping on the street.
  3. I decided to check whether 北京城市服务管理广播 had an official English name instead of just giving it my own translation, and I had to squint really hard (I really could’ve used a magnifying glass), but there on the logo was “Beijing Public Service Radio”.

Oh, and I’m not at all surprised, but still irritated, that I have to use Explorer to listen to Beijing radio online. When will China end its ridiculous Microsoft addiction? Anyway, call me all the names you want (masochist would be the first that springs to mind), but while I’ve been doing this translation, I’ve been happily listening to their 戏曲曲艺 (Chinese opera and folk arts) channel. They were playing various kinds of opera and similar tunes before, but now they’ve changed to story-telling, which is really difficult to enjoy while you’re writing and reading other stuff, and besides, we’re charged by data transferred, not by time, and listening to the radio is going to burn through my internet money pretty quick, so I guess I better stop it now.


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