Friday, January 16, 2009

Why Are There So Many Six-Story Apartment Buildings?

You've got your facts learned real good by now...We live on the top floor at Yan Bei Yuan, 85 steps up in the sky. And we are not alone in living this way. All around Beijing, and beyond, this style of housing is ubiquitous. Sure, there are plenty of skyscrapers in cities like Shanghai and Guangzhou, but the dominant form remains the humble and functional (some would say ugly) block-style apartment.

"Why such persistence?" you might ask. The answer is actually quite simple...There is a law here stating that any building over six stories in height must come equipped with elevators.

So even though eight is a lucky number in China, you're not going to see any eight-story buildings go up any time soon. When it comes to city planning, public policy trumps traditional belief.

~Steve

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