I couldn't help but notice all the "Civilized Kunming" posters everywhere... as well as my favorite wet market being taken off the street.
A friend said that Kunming was one of three capital cities that is still ranked as uncivilized and that inspectors were coming during this month to see if the rating needs to be changed to "civilized".
Does anyone know exactly what the inspectors are looking for to rate Kunming as being civilized or not?
I'm just curious what they consider "civilized" to be.
I commented elsewhere on this site, that I spotted a group of people in our neighbourhood who seemed to be inspecting stuff.
They went to such details as looking in rubbish bins outside our house, checking if waste gets sorted to correct bins or not.
I'm not sure if they were these inspectors from Beijing, but even if not, their task certainly related to implementing the instructions from there.
If you look at older photos of posters and banners, you find same themes for decades. Same projects too. But taking away the markets is fairly new thing. And taking away street markets allover Asia - I dont know - its like cutting away Eiffel Tower in France, or targeting the pizzerias of Italy. All those small markets, market streets etc. Kunming had only some 15 years ago, were making Kunming to "Kunming": alive, colorful, happy and vibrant. Now what the h*ll were they changed to: parking lots. You have to applaud the brilliancy.
Ahead of Beijing inspections this month, the red bicycle dock stations installed everywhere in inner city these past few weeks, feels like smokescreen attempt by local/provincial officials to show central accounting what they've done with their allocated budgets all these years, which in reality were probably back pocketed and not put to use for the good denizens of Spring City. Maybe i'm just being overly cynical.
There was an article on here a month or so back on the upcoming inspections. It is possible that they did not get a clear pass, and were pulled up on a few things.
I did notice on local TV, last week, that they were having a purge on garbage and rats in the urban area.
I don't think it is fair to say, "ranked as uncivilized". It is just the award 'civilized city' has not been given yet.
Information on the text of the National Civilized City evaluation system can be found here, books.google.co.uk/[...]
The categories are mostly socio-political.
Apparently civilisation depends on the amount of fences at street corners and the invisibility of street vendors. Kunming is making great progress in that.
I think the translation of the word 'wenming', almost always translated as 'civilization' or 'civilized' in English, is close, but not really a perfect fit.
Lately we have been outing regularly with baby stroller, and a measure of civilized city for us has been accessibility with it.
It starts from individuals with their e-bikes and shared bikes blocking walkways, but much is missing from the infrastructural considerations as well.
The other day we went by subway and got off at BaiYun Lu stop. Took the elevator up to the street, where the exit from elevator is (for some reason?) up on a platform instead of street level.
Sure enough that in addition to two stairs, there is an accessible walkway down from that platform. However, some street work was apparenly taking place, and that accessible walkway was blocked.
So we carried the stroller and the baby down stairs (just a few steps), only to discover that cars had been parked there so that it was no go as well.
So back up the platform and finally the second set of stairs got us to the street level and on our way.
At that time, we were returning from visiting friends at a newish development called Junfa City in the north, and no surprise the entrance to the front gate of the block was with stairs, without walkway or elevator. The only "accessible" way in seemed to be the entryway for cars to the underground parking lot.
Though I understand how Chinese parents traditionally have prefered to use different kinds of baby wraps when going out with infants, I see more and more families with light strollers, and what about the disabled and the increasing number of elderly...
They must be making a killing who ever is selling those white metal fences. Cha-ching!
@janjal imagine being a wheelchair user; based on your experience it must be frustrating