Shanghai World Expo 2010>My View
UPDATED: April 29, 2010 Web Exclusive
'A Livable City Means a Mix of Nature and Culture'

Interviewee: Chen Xiaoyan, female, 27, public relations supervisor

Place of birth: Nanping City in south China's Fujian Province

Current residence: Beijing

Cities visited: Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Darwin, and Cairns (in Australia); Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Hong Kong, Qinhuangdao, Tianjin, Xiamen, Ningbo, Qingdao, and Fuzhou (in China)

Understanding of "Better City, Better Life": Having both a sound natural environment and a livable place

Oral history:

My birth place is home to the Wuyishan Mountain scenic spot, with mountains and creeks. I yearned from my childhood to leave Fujian to study and live in a larger city, since I felt the small city where I lived was too simple, without a large population or high-rise buildings.

After finishing my college study in Beijing, I began to fly domestically and internationally for work. In my opinion, a city with sound social security is a basic requirement for a good work-life balance, enabling people to fully enjoy their lives.

My favorite city is Melbourne in Australia, where I have been many times. Although I stayed there only a few days each time, the city always impressed me with new surprises and fresh perceptions.

Apart from ancient buildings that have existed for 200 years, there are many modern buildings in the city, making the former look like antiques surrounded by modern works of art, quiet and graceful.

The more than 20 charming restaurants, cafés and pubs at the Federation Square imbue the city with a rich modern and artistic tone. The pace of life in Melbourne is very interesting, unlike a metropolis that is always in a hurry. People there focus more on balancing work and entertainment. They are sometimes busy and sometimes idle.

Daylesford, a town about 115 km northwest of Melbourne, is a place I am fond of visiting often. Romantic and tranquil, the town attracted aristocrats and artists from Europe in its early days.

The town is also beautiful because of its exquisite restaurants and unique inns, as well as its art museums, arts and crafts shops, magnificent early constructions, and plain but graceful houses. Many new couples choose to hold their weddings here and receive blessings from their relatives and friends.

Another feature that makes Melbourne attractive is its artistic atmosphere. Rather than catering to the latest artistic trends, most artists in Melbourne are keen to tap into local sources of inspiration.

I had an unforgettable travel experience in the city upon my first arrival. A well-known local guide named Fiona showed me almost every street and lane and took me to all the local designers and boutiques.

My understanding of a better life is having both a sound natural environment and a livable place. Meanwhile, the city should not put great pressure on people's lives. In addition, a better city should have a strong cultural heritage, charming scenery and a rich entertainment and artistic atmosphere, which create a better life for residents.

Because of my work I choose to live in Beijing. It's not a bad city, but it lacks natural scenery. One day I hope to live in a place with abundant water, which cities in north China lack.

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