The iconic image most people have of Tiananmen Square in Beijing is of the lone man standing before a line of tanks at the end of the 1989 democracy protests. But before that the paved expanse of a parade ground was the site of massive rallies during the Communist cultural revolution. In recent years the square has been used infrequently and may now become a symbol of the increasing awareness of China's environmental problems.

Urban planner Ma Yansong want's to transform the concrete expanse into a park and forest. However, the government has not yet bought into the idea and so far has barred the media from publishing any images of the models. The history of the place makes some in the establishment reluctant to make such a radical change. The official urban planning department is more inclined to build some smaller parks in other areas of the city. If the Chinese government is serious about making changes they should follow through on this plan and make Tiananmen a symbol of environmental recovery.

[Source: The Gaurdian]

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