Over the past few weeks, a flurry of activity beautifying Shanghai seems to be underway. Perhaps this is just limited to my small piece of this vast city, or maybe spring has brought with it an enlightened sense of cosmetic importance. I’m of the view that there is something more strategic taking place.
I first noticed this in poster-sized announcements, prominently placed at eye level in my building’s elevators, for the national “Beautiful Corridors” Project. The signs asked residents to ensure clear common spaces and encouraged telling friends and neighbors the same. Sure, a bit of shared-area awareness might be commonplace elsewhere. In Communist China, however, every space belongs to everybody. This mentality has led to the overuse of space – stuffing every conceivable nook and cranny with all manner of effects. The Beautiful Corridors Project not only alludes to a shift in mentality, but an outright tackling of this tragedy of the commons.
Why the diatribe about shared space? Once I learned about the Project I noticed an uptick in sustainability news coming from China. In a break from the usual post, I wanted to bring everyone up to speed with some of the major news items emerging in Chinese social responsibility space over the last several weeks.
On the more comical side, it looks like some people are really taking Gates’ words to heart.
Do you have news to share from your neck of the woods? I’d love to hear what great things you’ve come across.