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China signals a ‘new era’ for architecture with a ban on supertall skyscrapers and imitation buildings

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China signals a 'new era' for architecture with a ban on supertall skyscrapers and imitation buildings

Written by Oscar Holland, CNN

The end of the “copycat” building and the prohibition of skyscrapers more than 500 meters (1,640 ft) high are among the Chinese government’s new guidelines for architects, property developers and urban planners.
Describe what he calls “the new era” for Chinese cities, a round issued by the country’s housing ministry and the National Development and Reform Commission earlier this year also proposed other steps to ensure buildings “embody the spirit” of their environment and “accentuate Chinese characteristics.”
With height restrictions already in place in places like Beijing, and 2016 government directives calling for an end to the “big, xenosentric, strange” buildings, the guidelines seem to formalize the changes that are already taking place.

The Ping An Finance Center Shenzhen is currently the fourth tallest building in the world. Credit: ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP / Getty Images

But according to Chinese architectural experts, some less interesting suggestions – such as requests for protection of inheritance, a credit system for designers and the appointment of major architects – might signal finer evolution in the way Chinese cities are planned.

“The document is really not just about height,” Li Shiqiao, an Asian architecture professor at the University of Virginia, said in a telephone interview. “It’s about Chinese culture, city context, city spirit and the appearance of modernity.”

“This has been a lot in academic discussions, but somehow it hasn’t been in government documents until now.”

Cut to size

Of the 10 complete buildings measuring above 500 meters worldwide, half are found in mainland China.

Among them are the second tallest skyscraper on the planet, the twisted Shanghai Tower 632 meters (2,073 feet) high, and the Ping An Financial Center in Shenzhen, which is 599 meters (1,965 feet) from the base to the tip.

In the past two years, they have joined the Beijing Citic Tower and the Tianjin CTF Financial Center, each of the seventh and ninth tallest buildings in the world. But the surge against the surging skyscraper has changed for some time.
The number of new buildings measuring 200 meters (656 ft) or more in China fell by almost 40% last year, according to construction data from the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). In downtown Beijing’s Central Business District, height restrictions have already been applied to the new proposal – hats are only 180 meters (591 feet) according report 2018 by property company Jones Lang LaSalle.
Elsewhere in the country, the Wuhan Greenland Center is projected to cut the height from 636 meters (2,087 feet) to under 500 – a decision made in 2018, after construction began, requires significant redesign – with local media citing airspace regulations. The Suzhou Hungnam Center has planned cuts from 729 meters (2,392 feet) to 499 meters (1,637 feet), with upcoming skyscrapers in the cities of Chengdu and Shenyang also “suffering the same fate,” according to the government-run tabloid. Global Times.

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Fei Chen, a senior architecture professor at Liverpool University in England, described the 500-meter boundary as “very arbitrary,” adding that the 499-meter skyscraper was “a building that is still very, very high.” But the new document confirms increasing intolerance towards buildings that are “out of scale or out of context,” he said.

Chen also expressed official concern about the use of “reckless” tall buildings, where expensive and unprofitable towers were used by real estate companies to mark their development – or by local governments to put their cities on the map.

“(The guideline) responds to an identity crisis that we have all noticed since the 1980s, when cities began to borrow standards and types of buildings from an international context,” he said in a telephone interview. “And since the 1990s, cities have been promoted as competitive in the market through the construction of landmarks and large public buildings.”

As such, these new restrictions concern economics and design. Above a certain height, the cost of building a skyscraper increases exponentially with each additional floor. The Chinese ceiling is now filled with unfinished towers due to slowing economic growth and developers facing credit pressure.

Workers at the top of the Wuhan Greenland Center, which are still not completed eight years after construction began.

Workers at the top of the Wuhan Greenland Center, which are still not completed eight years after construction began. Credit: STR / AFP / Getty Images

Based on CTBUH data, some 70 Chinese buildings that were supposed to stand over 200 meters are currently “detained,” after starting construction. Three of them are estimated to be more than 500 meters in size, including surging Goldin Finance 117, which erupted more than a decade ago. The Greenland Center previously mentioned in Wuhan has stood unresolved and has largely been untouched since 2017, despite the planned height being reduced.
In Li’s view, the government’s new steps symbolize a “new paradigm” for Chinese cities – which are less dependent on marketable skyscrapers and speculative financing. To illustrate this change, he compared the Pudong district of Shanghai, the soaring financial district that has risen almost from zero in the last two decades, to Xiongan, a new city being built 100 kilometers southwest of Beijing. Not like Pudong, the new one 2.5 million people are satellite cities will be relatively low, with the property market tightly controlled by the state.

“If you consider Pudong as the paradigm of Chinese urbanization from 2000 to today, then you see Xiongan – which is not dominated by real estate speculation or iconic buildings – as a new paradigm … then that is a very amazing change we are witnessing.”

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New framework

But Li stated that limiting the height of 500 meters was, from an academic point of view, “perhaps the least interesting” from the new government guidelines.

Elsewhere, the circular contains a number of other steps, including a ban on “plagiarism, imitation and imitation behavior.” The Chinese-owned Eiffel Tower and London-inspired Thames Town outside Shanghai are two more extreme – and ridiculed – examples of how imitation architecture developed rapidly in the 2000s.

The Eiffel Tower replica in Tianducheng, a luxury real estate development in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

The Eiffel Tower replica in Tianducheng, a luxury real estate development in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. Credit: JOHANNES EISELE / AFP / Getty Images

This official shift, once again, might only reflect changes in design culture in China. But explicit bans on plagiarism continue to prove useful in countries where “the level of quality varies greatly,” Chen said.

“There is already recognition in the architecture industry that (copying) is not accepted,” he said. “But China is very big, and some cities are better than others.

“In the east coast cities, or more developed areas, architects have better design skills, so they produce better buildings. But in rural cities you still see buildings that mimic other people’s styles or architectural languages, and it does not produce very good design. “

Government documents also propose a credit system – and, conversely, a blacklist – for architects, to encourage compliance with planning laws and regulations. This warns against the destruction of historic buildings, traditional architecture or even old trees to make way for new developments, a step in line with the increasing emphasis on preserving heritage in China. (Two Shanghai art museums, which were made from unused industrial oil tanks and old power plants, are among the recent high-profile renovation projects in a country that was once known to indiscriminately knock down old buildings).

But one of the new suggestions the government proposed was something completely new in China: the chief architect for each city.

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Moscow and Barcelona are among the cities that have appointed an individual to approve or veto new proposals. Li welcomed the idea as a way to ensure the design was appropriate for the overall urban context.

“The doubt is whether ensuring uniformity means that a city can be predictable and unattractive, or whether you really maintain a certain level of creativity,” he added. “But we have a new generation (Chinese designers) who are great at maintaining urban structures and creating very interesting architecture. The key is to institutionalize a system that guarantees that process.”

The city skyline of Chongqing, in southwest China.

The city skyline of Chongqing, in southwest China. Credit: Wang Zhao / AFP / Getty Images

How – or even whether – more exploratory government advice begins to produce results remains to be seen. The new guidelines provide a broad framework for cities, but better details must be completed at the local level, said Chen, whose research focuses on urban planning in China.

Characterizing a circle as a series of red lines that must not be crossed (more “no” than “dos”), he also suggested that work was still needed to positively articulate what constituted good design.

“There are policies and documents that talk about what you are should not do … which is a good thing, but they never say what you are Should do, “he explained.” Urban architects and designers might benefit from fairly specific guidelines about what design is good.

“But this needs to be linked to the local context, so I would not expect national governments to produce guidelines like this. What works in one context might not work in another context.”

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FESTin returns to distribute Portuguese-language cinema worldwide | Cinema

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FESTin returns to distribute Portuguese-language cinema worldwide |  Cinema

For the 13th edition, FESTin’s mission remains the same: “Bring cinema in Portuguese to the whole world.” So says co-director Adriana Niemeyer by phone with PÚBLICO on the eve of the start of the film festival, which starts this Friday and runs until next week, ending on Wednesday the 14th at LX Factory at 7:00 pm, in Espaço Talante, inside the bookstore Ler Devagar , with a screening of four Brazilian short films chosen by Antonio Grassi, the actor in charge of the space, followed by a toast.

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VARIOUS. Portuguese project that wears a shirt for mental health

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VARIOUS.  Portuguese project that wears a shirt for mental health

Little phrases with big meaning sometimes fit into T-shirtright now in bag da Ivory, a project that began in the year of the pandemic and has been interventionally warning about mental health issues ever since.

Francisco Soares Ganzo, the founder, first suffered a panic attack when he was in 10th grade, but ended up not paying much attention to signs that something was wrong. Then the mental health problem reappeared later, at a different stage in life and with different symptoms.

“Four years ago, I started experiencing constant anxiety, to the point that I couldn’t sleep,” says 25-year-old Francisco Versa. “Basically, I put a lot of pressure on myself from the women with whom I had relationships. It was Wednesday masculinity, competition,” he continues.

Early adulthood began with this “almost obsession to be with women” and get the best. performanceto the point where he became very anxious whenever he had sexual relations with a woman.

“The peak was when I couldn’t sleep. My brain was always on and I started taking pills to help me sleep,” says Francisco.

In 2019, he decided to see a therapist rather than a psychologist because he thought it was only “for wimps”, but it wasn’t, and Francisco later figured it out.

Today, he wants to convey the same message, and to do so, he created the Ivory project in 2020, consisting of clothes and accessories with special messages that form a bridge to the necessary incentive for those in need of help.

“When I finally worked up the courage to ask for help, I was like, ‘Wow, I wish I had started sooner. That’s why I started this project. I lacked something that would motivate me to go to therapy earlier. clothes are meant to spread information,” he says.

But Ivory goes far beyond what is written in sweatshirts and accessories.

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Help that comes in order

“Everyone you know is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

This is one of the messages recorded in t-shirts e sweats from ivory. It’s simple and affects everyone in their own way, but the focus of the Ivory team – also with a past or present marked by mental health issues – is not the phrases on the T-shirts, but what follows them.

“To say that mental health is talked about a lot is a lie. What I mean? When I hear the news that companies are very concerned about mental health or that it has become fashionable with COVID-19, it is all a lie. What people say is vague. Nobody tells stories. A person who is really bad, like I was, does not need to hear that he should go to the gym or eat well. He needs to hear a story like this.” .

Ivory’s next step is to create a space for sharing testimonies through Appendixjust to address this shortcoming. Until then, the project intends to function as anxiety And further to support in the field of mental health.

“For every order we have, a person receives Email mail to make an appointment. Because our goal is to really open doors, to do something that I didn’t have, ”says Francisco. “I feel like a lot of people buy ivory because they’re in bad condition, but they don’t want to take the next step to take care of themselves.”

If encouragement is not enough, an ivory sweater will be cozy and Email mail gives you the push you need to make an appointment with one of Ivory’s psychologists. All it takes is an Instagram post or an email.

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Sweaters and bags 100% organic cotton and mobile phone cases with phrases coined by Francisco Soares Ganzo and designs created by the whole team can be ordered at website.

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Portuguese government creates support lines for travel companies

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Portuguese government creates support lines for travel companies

From the newsroom with Lusa

Secretary of State for Tourism, Trade and Services Nuno Fazenda announced on the 8th in the Azores two lines of support for companies with a global allocation of 100 million euros, measures that he believes meet the requirements of the sector.

“The Government will provide in the first days of January a new line – Consolidate + Tourism Line, with an allocation of 30 million euros, managed by Turismo de Portugal and dedicated to micro and small companies in the sector, which have difficulties in managing debts that have arisen, in particular, during pandemic,” he said.

The official spoke at the opening ceremony of the 47th National Congress of the Portuguese Association of Travel and Travel Agencies (APAVT) in Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, in the Azores.

According to Nuno Fazenda, with this line, companies will be able to “finance themselves with Turismo de Portugal without interest to repay part of the refunds due to banks during 2023, with a grace period of two years and a full repayment period of six years.”

This, he added, will allow companies to “soften and expand their capital needs over time.”

A line that, he emphasizes, “meets the demands of the industry.”

“This is a need for companies and we have the answer,” he also emphasized in front of an audience of businessmen and after listening to the addresses of the presidents of the Portuguese Tourism Confederation (CTP) and the Portuguese Association of Travel and Travel Agencies (APTA) in his speeches.

“The Government will also ensure this year the implementation of the measure to strengthen the support program agreed with the Portuguese Tourism Confederation last October in the context of the Income, Wage and Competitiveness Improvement Agreement. This is the grant of 70 million euros to companies in the sector on a non-refundable basis, which reinforces the amounts already received under the Apoiar program,” Nuno Fazenda later said, adding that it was “another response – very important – for the companies.”

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These two measures represent 100 million euros for companies worldwide.

“It’s called doing. And do it with a sense of urgency. When confronted with difficulties, the government must respond with action. Do. And this is a verb that we are already conjugating,” he said, continuing the theme of the 47th APAVT Congress: “Fazer”.

The Secretary of State also recalled that companies are “the engine of the economy”, given that the country “has leading companies” and that it is necessary to “continue to support companies and investments.”

Nuno Fazenda also mentioned that the government is already working on securing other areas of support for companies, which should be announced in the first quarter of next year.

“In European funds, companies and tourism are a priority. Company funding increases by 90% from Portugal 2020 to the total amount provided for in Portugal 2030 and PRR. [Plano de Recuperação e Resiliência]🇧🇷 I repeat, this is a 90% increase in support for companies within the next cycle of European funds. At PRR, we expect to sign a contract very soon to accelerate and transform the tourism agenda. This is an investment of 151 million euros with investments of a business nature, which are very important for the climate and the transition to digital technologies,” he listed.

The official said simplification is also a priority.

“Without losing rigor and transparency, we must continue our efforts to reduce bureaucracy in order to make the state’s actions with companies and citizens more flexible and faster,” he concluded.

About 750 congressmen are participating in the APAVT convention, which will last until Sunday.

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