two things

March 14th, 2009

You’ll have to forgive the long periods of silence. Work has been busy, busy to the point of eating into my weekends, even.

Anyway, sifting through the 新京报/The Beijing News’ Beijing news this morning I came across two interesting little tidbits. One piece of good news with potentially bad news appended and one curious little item involving changing the colour of Beijing’s rooves. I’ll start with the good news, but only in summary:

Beijing’s municipal government, in accordance with the spirit of the notice from the central government, they say, has set this year’s Qingming holiday for Saturday 4 April to Monday 6 April. 4 April is the day of Qingming itself.

The potentially bad news appended is that Beijing’s six month trial of traffic restrictions is set to end on April 10, and so far there’s been no word as to whether the traffic restrictions will continue.

Rooves changing colour? That one’s a curious piece:

屋顶绿化将成城市新景观

Roof greening to become city sight

屋顶绿化要从环保项目转变为城市新景观,让市民看得见摸得着。昨天下午,记者从2008年北京屋顶绿化总结表彰大会上获悉,屋顶绿化将如同地面绿化一样,纳入新建建筑设计范畴。

Roof greening will be transformed from an environmental protection project into a new sight of the city citizens will be able to see and touch. This reporter learned at yesterday afternoon’s meeting to summarise and commend Beijing’s 2008 roof greening that roof greening will become the same as the greening of the land and be incorparted as a category of the design of new construction.

“屋顶绿化最早是作为环保项目出现的,不属于城市景观。”北京市园林绿化局绿地管理处处长杨志华介绍目前北京屋顶绿化面积达到100多万平米。

“Roof greening first emerged as an environmental protection project and did not belong to the city’s scenery.” Head of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Landscape and Forestry [Seems they can’t decide on one single English name] Division of Green Land Management Yang Zhihua said that currently Beijing’s area of greened roof has reached over 1 million square metres.

杨志华说,目前屋顶绿化还以简单草坪为主,有花有草有树的花园式比较少,原因是楼盖完后才考虑屋顶绿化,已建成楼的承重问题、防水问题、安全问题都是制约因素。

Yang Zhihua said that currently roof greening is still mainly simple lawns, and gardens with flowers, grass and trees are relatively rare. The reason is that roof greening is considered after the roof has been put on the building, the ability of already-constructed buildings to carry weight, water-proofing and safety are all restricting factors.

北京市园林绿化局副局长强健认为,下一步将协调相关部门,逐步将屋顶绿化纳入新建建筑设计范畴。

The assistant head of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Landscape and Forestry strongly believes that the next step will be to coordinate with related departments to progressively incorporate roof greening as a category of the design of new construction.

Hmm….. perhaps I should not attempt to translate anything before breakfast….

I have to say I like the idea of rooftop gardens. There’s something fundamentally cool about putting a garden on the roof of a building. And if they do start designing buildings so they can put gardens including trees on rooftops, even cooler.

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