Freeman Report July/August 2008 - vol.6 no.7-8
August 8, 2008
The expectations of the Chinese government for the role of the Olympics have generated huge expenditures on high visibility public projects. The question is not whether the Olympics should or should not be part of China’s global emergence, but rather what the impact of these projects is, and how they express the notion of a modern China through urban form. As a planner, key questions for public investment are: “who pays?” and “who benefits?” The price tag for the major public buildings in anticipation of the Olympics represents a trade off for other less visible, yet in my opinion more important efforts to improve the quality of life in general. China has made this Olympics a national endeavor, whereas others have been a function of more modest city and private enterprises. Los Angeles, for instance, used mostly existing venues.