Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A glimpse of Beijing

9 images totalling to 529 kb. Please exercise patience.

Experimental format: photo essay

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Cities need electricity. Some cities hide their power plants in remote corners; others scatter their coal fired plants throughout the suburbs, smokestacks billowing continuous clouds of steam and particulate emissions.

Modern apartment blocks sprout among decades-old residential areas.

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The cost of buying a flat can be quite staggering. Compared to the average price of housing of RMB 6776 per square metre (source), the average income is only RMB 1878 per month (source).

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Due to increasing population densities, new buildings are mostly skyscrapers.

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Feeding the city’s energy requirements is a serious business.

Public transport consists of an underground train network, buses, electric buses and taxis. Pictured above is an articulated electric bus powered by two overhead terminals. The long power couplings allow the bus to change lanes while maintaining contact with the overhead cables. Buses can travel short distances without overhead power supply.

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Powered tricycles are a common way of ferrying small amounts of goods. Fundamentally a modified motorcycle, it offers the manoeuvrability and low maintenance cost of a motorcycle while protecting its occupant from the cold.

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While bicycles remain a popular form of personal transport, images of ‘hoardes of cyclists thronging the roadways” do not apply in central Beijing.

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12.19am, 宣武门外大道
Partly due to the bitter winter cold, there is not much night traffic outside the city centre and commercial areas.

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