Foster + Partners image
The noted British architectural firm Foster + Partners has designed the new Beijing International Airport, which opened this month as prologue to the Olympics in July. As the images suggest, this is the biggest airport in the world. The firm is noted for designing some of the most sustainable buildings around, but this is a really gigantic structure. Not sure how to find the sustainable part here. Feels a bit like green-washing.
At any rate, the Chinese are trying to move as quickly as they can to construct contemporary infrastructure for their exploding economy, cities, and countrysides. I learned this week that they have 97 new airports in design and construction, set to open in the next 10 years, and they are opening a new coal fired power generating plant every 5 days.
With about 4 or 5 times our population, China is very close to outpacing the U.S. as chief air polluter in the world. (The U.S. generates something like 21% of all the carbon dioxide that is screwing up the earth’s climate. The Chinese: just below 20% of the CO2).
And they’re just getting warmed up, so to speak.