I’ll admit, it’s been a while since I got excited about something going on in Beijing. But I think this is a good idea, full stop. I wish I got to say that more often. Here’s the skinny:
The Beijing municipal government has already announced plans to improve the quality of the city’s air by covering 100,000 sq m of roofs with greenery by the end of this year. “Plants and water have been proven to be one of the most effective measures to degrade and dilute PM2.5,” says Tan Tianying, president of Beijing Green Roof Association.
Plus, as you can see from the image I stole from the China Daily, it also looks good. And if the government is serious about it, it certainly has the resources to implement it on a scale and with a speed that could make green roofs a new trademark of Beijing. It could clear up the air and make many sections of our fair city look a bit less oppressively Soviet. It’s win-win. In fact, about the only thing I dislike about this plan is that green is not a verb.
But, alas, there are some issues with this plan that are not grammatical:
— Jim Gourley (@rudenoon) April 3, 2012
Alas, he’s not wrong. Seemingly by most accounts, China (and the rest of the world) are heading towards serious water shortages and Beijing is such a dry city that an awful lot of water would have to be pumped up to the roofs to maintain gardens for any period of time.
Still, there’s got to be a way to do this. Personally, I’d be willing to cut down on my water consumption by doing things like washing clothes less if the tradeoff was a cooler Beijing with cleaner air and more trees to look at. So here’s hoping this goes well and the government can find some way to expand it without destroying Hebei or making the consumption of water illegal.
My apologies for the lack of updates of late. I’ve been quite busy with work and the film, and most of what’s been going on in Chinese politics has been covered so well and so quickly elsewhere that I haven’t much to add, anyway. Most of my Chinese internet-type reporting is now going to Tech in Asia. That said, I will try to keep this site updated more frequently!