Shanghai World Expo 2010>My View
UPDATED: April 28, 2010 Web Exclusive
'I Love Cities With Water!'


Interviewee: Jin Xiaoting, female, 27, project officer at the French Development Agency Beijing Office

Place of birth: Nantong, east China's Jiangsu Province

Current residence: Beijing

Cities visited: Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao, Nanjing, Wuhan, Chengdu, Hangzhou and Shenzhen (in China); Paris, Barcelona, Bordeaux, Geneva, Prague, Florence, Bruges, Venice, Vienna, Munich, Oslo, Stockholm and Amsterdam (in Europe)

Understanding of "Better City, Better Life": A small- or medium-sized and livable water city with profound cultural connotations

Oral history:

I love cities with lakes, rivers or by the sea. In my opinion, the best place to live is a city with water, which makes a city vivid, and offers a comfortable and peaceful life.

I also like cities with bridges, because bridges tell you the history of the city. During my study in France, I lingered along the Seine River, the Danube River, and the zigzagging rivers in Venice.

The city scale is also important. I prefer small- and medium-sized cities rather than big cities because smaller ones are more livable, whereas those so-called metropolises are full of emptiness and vanity.

The best city is one in which you can travel on foot instead of by car or subway. I love cities like Prague, Florence and Bruges. Bruges impressed me a lot with its clear canal running through the city, reflecting the sky, the clouds, the churches, and the castles. I unconsciously slowed down and began enjoying the scenery there. At sunset, the whole town relaxed in the dim lights of the cafés, which made me feel warm and attractive.

Most of the time, I like to experience cities from a visitor's perspective, exploring their brighter side. Aside from my hometown Nantong, Beijing and Paris are the only cities where I have lived for a long time. I had deep affection for Beijing during my four years of college there, regardless of its problems such as heavy traffic and air pollution.

Though Shanghai is not far from my hometown, I like Beijing more than Shanghai because of its grand style, tolerance, rich history and cultural connotations. Unfortunately, due to its size and rapid development, Beijing has somewhat lost its uniqueness and charm.

If it weren't for work, I wouldn't choose to live in Beijing. Maybe I would move to a smaller town along the southern Yangtze River, or a coastal city, like Qingdao, with a comfortable climate and fine landscaping.

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