Lijiang old town to get the Atkins treatment

Trip Start Jan 30, 2007
Trip End Dec 31, 2011

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Flag of China  ,
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lijiang old town is getting an Atkins treatment. The old town government and some other outfits including Atkins architects are planning a 48-ha extension to the old town, built in the old style.

IN a story about the 10 most spectacular buildings in China in website,
it lists Lijiang as one place where the British have been influential in the design:

Far away from the headlong rush to throw up ever higher skyscrapers, Atkins is helping conserve Lijiang, which has been billed as China's last "living" ancient town. The centuries-old town centre is suffering from indiscriminate modern development, earthquakes and mass tourism. Unesco, the Global Heritage Fund and the town council have between them restored more than 174 timber-framed homes, demolished 240 modern buildings and preserved the town's canals and waterways. Most recently, Atkins has won a masterplan proposal for a 48ha extension to the old town based on traditional narrow streets and squares.

For anyone who has been to Lijiang - or if you haven't - what we have seen over the last years is more damage and destruction of fine houses, to be converted in guesthouses, bars and restaurants. The canals and waterways - well, they are dirtier than before and not clear running anymore.

And as for Atkins coming in and adding to the old town - it's already been done at both the north and south entrances to the old town and it is a total distaster. No one goes there! Empty, crappy buildings. Wastelands.
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