Travel: China – 2008 (Beijing); 2010 (Xi’an, Shanghai)
My second trip to China was in June 2010 when I was an invited member of National Science Foundation (NSF) to participate in NSF-China NSF international workshop on sustainable pavements (6-8 June 2010) in the ancient capital of X’ian. This city is also famous for the archeological site of terracotta army.
After visiting Xi’an, I went to Shanghai, which is the iconic symbol of economic power and prosperity of modern China. I traveled by Shanghai Maglev Train (SMT) at 350 km per hour from the international airport of Shanghai to downtown Shanghai and visited the 2010 Expo.
I visited modern China first time with my wife in April 2008 when I participated in an international conference on sustainable transport infrastructure in Beijing. The conference was organized by Chinese Academy of Transport Sciences who hosted our stay in Beijing. We landed at the newly built Beijing International Airport, which had “sustainable green” features everywhere. The following photo shows the primary parking structure with a sustainable green roof filled with brushes to reduce heat-island effects.
We also visited Great Wall of China and Tiananmen Square. Beijing has a large network of roads and cars, public transport buses, subway metro, and small parks on roadside. You can imagine huge amount of toxic emissions and GHG production daily from these fossil-fueled mechanized transport modes. It was a great contrast to the pictures of the Beijing of 1970’s with 10 million bicycles used as the primary transport mode. Being was certainly a “clean and sustainable” city from ancient era til early 1970. Not anymore, smog most of the time due to emissions from transport vehicles, industries, and energy consumption in this modern metropolis.
This trip was just before 2008 summer Olympic Games in Beijing. The whole city was getting a makeover with high walls being erected to enclose and hide old neighborhood slums. We walked around the area leading to the Temple of Heaven and were able to see these communities.
More photos from these travel memories of China will be added later.