Uprooting for Progress - A Discussion about Beijing's Greenbelt

Panel discussion at the Goethe-Institut China as part of Beijing22

Date: 2.11.2019
Location: Goethe-Institut China
Originality Square, 798 Art District, Jiuxianqiao Road 2, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Time: 1:30 – 3:30 pm
Language: Chinese/ English

A common problem that cities all around the world are sharing is the growing urban pollution problem. It influences the urban environment in which people live, the air city dwellers breathe, the water they drink and bathe in, the indoor and outdoor noise they hear, and the geological and climate conditions they experience. Air pollution and noise exposure in the world increased steadily as urbanization progressed. Enough provision of green space such as greenbelts within urban areas is regarded as an effective way to mitigate environmental deterioration, which is associated with rapid urbanization.
Beijing is also using greenbelts to develop towards an “Eco-City” and achieve the aim of “Green Olympic City”. This is going hand in hand with presidents Xi Jinping’s flagship foreign policy: “The Belt and Road Initiative pursues the vision of green development and a way of life and work that is green, low-carbon, circular and sustainable.”
The greenbelt should tackle a great number of issues Beijing is facing: The project is expected to improve air quality, hamper sandstorms, provide green space to local people, and subsequently promote sustainable development of Beijing. As the urban expansion of Beijing sped up towards the transition to Jing-Jin-Ji, the greenbelt implementations are under even greater pressure. While the new plan for Beijing looks impressive on paper, this “progress” affects the population of Beijing especially in the peripheries of the city profoundly, that get uprooted, but might never profit from these green policies. This panel wants to take a close look at what this large-scale transformation means for the lives of people in the city that the greenbelt intends to change for the better.

Moderation:
Sam Kay is a PhD candidate in geography at Ohio State University and is writing his dissertation about "Uprooting People, Planting Trees: Disentangling Beijing’s Poverty Belt and Greenbelt". His work focuses on the intersection of urbanization and politics of the environment. He has taught at Tsinghua University, and is the recipient of Fulbright and Blakemore fellowships.

Panelists:
Dr Yimin Zhao, Assistant Professor in Urban Planning and Management, Renmin University of China. Dr Zhao's research focuses on the socio-spatial processes of urban change, attending particularly to the role of the state in politico-economic dynamics of urban land and environment. Trained in Human Geography and Urban Studies at the London School of Economics, he has successfully finished his previous project on Beijing’s green belts and is now further developing his research expertise on the urban and the state by investigating the nexus of urban infrastructure, land and the everyday life – both in and beyond East Asia.

Song Yi is a curator, writer and film maker. He was a founder of the Migrant Workers Video Collective, artistic director of art space “Institute for Provocation”, founder of “Bloom绽” curating collective for contemporary and urban planning. He was senior editor of LEAP magazine (2013-2017), former Head of Exhibition at Long March Space (2008-2012), coordinated “Ho Chi Minh trail” project.

合作夥伴:Beijing22,I: Project Space
日期:2019年11月2日,13:30 - 15:30
嘉賓:宋軼(策展人,藝術家,影像作者),趙益民(中國人民大學城市規劃與管理系助理教授)
主持:薩繆爾·凱
地點:北京德國文化中心·歌德學院(中國)
語言:中英
免費入場

日趨嚴重的都市污染,是全球各都市共同面臨的問題。它影響著都市居民生活的環境、呼吸的空氣、飲用和洗浴用水以及其所處的地質和氣候條件,也給他們帶去了諸多室內外譟音。隨著城市化的推進,世界範圍內的空氣和雜訊污染日趨嚴重。在都市區域中設定足够多的綠地(如綠化帶),被認為是緩解都市迅猛發展所帶來的環境惡化的有效途徑。

北京正在利用綠化帶打造“生態城市”,進而實現建設“綠色奧運都市”的目標。人們指望綠化帶解决北京面臨的諸多問題,靠它改善空氣品質,遏制沙塵暴,為當地居民提供生活綠地,繼而促進北京的可持續發展。隨著北京在京津冀一體化發展的背景下不斷擴張,都市綠化帶建設也面臨更大的壓力。雖然北京的新規劃看上去十分完美,但這一“進步”將對北京人、尤其是住在城市邊緣的人群產生深遠的影響:他們被迫離開家園,卻可能永遠無法從環保政策中受益。設定綠化帶的初衷,是朝著更好的方向發展。

本次季會將深入探討這場大規模變革對居民生活的意義。

趙益民博士現為中國人民大學城市規劃與管理系助理教授。他的研究側重於都市變化的社會空間過程,尤其關注國家在都市土地和環境的政治經濟動態變化中所起的作用。他畢業於倫敦政治經濟學院人文地理與都市研究專業,成功完成了與北京綠化帶相關的研究專案,目前正在進一步發揮自己在都市與國家方面的專長,研究東亞和東亞以外區域城市基礎設施、土地和日常生活之間的關係。

宋軼是策展人、藝術家兼影像作者。他是“新工人影像小組”的發起人之一,也是藝術空間“激發研究所”藝術總監和現代城市規劃集體策展團隊“BLOOM綻”聯合發起人。此前,他曾任《藝術界LEAP》雜誌資深編輯(2013-2017年)和長征空間展覽負責人(2008-2012年),並參與“胡志明小道”項目的協調工作。

薩繆爾·凱正在攻讀俄亥俄州立大學地理學博士學位,目前正在撰寫博士論文《遷移人口、植樹造林:解密北京的貧困帶和綠化帶》。他的研究主要關注城市化和環境政策的交叉領域。他曾在清華大學任教,並榮獲富布萊特獎學金和布萊克莫爾獎學金。

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