China to Ban Ugly Buildings, Gated Communities to Help Solve Traffic Problems

The Chinese government will ban ugly, weird-looking buildings and architectures. But more than just being an eye-sore, the directive of the State Council also aims to protect the public from air pollution, and to lessen traffic jams. With this, gated communities will not also be allowed. This upcoming law shall also address the concerns of growing population in China.

“These buildings do not have much value in terms of use, and cost a lot to operate and maintain. Quite a few were torn down soon after completion. The [new] policy is heading in a good direction.” Liu Shilin, head of the Institute of Urban Science at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, was quoted at South China Morning Post this Monday, February 22, 2016.

The criteria of an ‘ugly and weird-looking’ building has not yet been defined. But for now, it is being described as an architecture that are over-sized, impractical and xenocentric, or does not represent the cultural heritage of China. Nevertheless, Shilin emphasized that huge amount of money from taxpayers are used to build these structures, but do not meet the public’s needs.

One of the most controversial buildings in China is the People’s Daily newspaper headquarters in Beijing. Erected in 2013, the 150m-tall building was designed by architect Zhou Qi, a professor at Jiangsu’s Southeast University. It was inspired by the traditional Chinese philosophy of “round sky and square earth.” However, it resembles a male member in some angles.

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China ugly buildings

People’s Daily Headquarters (left); CCTV Headquarters (right); Image Credit:

Another structure that received a lot of mockery is the headquarters of China Central Television (CCTV), also in Beijing. Erected near the People’s Daily newspaper headquarters, the 44-storey skyscraper consists of two L-shaped structures that are connected to each other at the top and bottom. Completed in May 2012, the building looks like a huge pair of shorts.

Although Chinese people agree with the ban of odd-looking buildings, many of them are not in favor of not allowing gated communities. Netizens suggest that this policy might pose a safety risk in the neighborhood. According to them, leaving the gates open may cause residents to be prone to noise and air pollution. It is also believed to be dangerous especially at night.



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