By Erik Crouch
Image credit: Marty Halpern.
As of February, Beijing was the ninth most polluted city in China. Now, the fog is closing in, and the nation’s capital has lept up to #2 in a new study released by SCMP.
The capital’s bad air quality has been pushed out of the headlines over the past few weeks (due mainly to 16,000 dead pigs and flumageddon) but it hasn’t been improving. Residents aren’t exactly enthusiastic about the whole “PM2.5 makes the city less healthy than an airport smoke lounge” thing.
The South China Morning Post reports:
Liu Jianqiang , chief editor of the report, said that he could understand why some foreigners had reportedly left Beijing for better air. “They made a wise decision because I don’t think Beijing’s air quality will improve any time soon,” he said. “Many locals, in fact, have the same idea. But we have nowhere to go.”
Lanzhou, in the northwestern province of Gansu, finished 31st, below Beijing. […]
Chengdu residents blamed the serious decline in air quality to an infrastructure boom. The local government last year launched an unprecedented road-renovation project downtown to build a flyover above the Second Ring Road.
“The construction is all over the city and it not only generates a lot of dust, but big traffic jams almost every day,” said a resident. Officials are desperate to finish it before June to welcome the visit of President Xi Jinping to the Fortune Global Forum [to be held by Fortune magazine from June 6-8].”
Chengdu’s plan sounds excellent! President Xi will surely appreciate being met by a thick cloud of construction pollution and sick, angry residents. Oh, and this guy who kisses mannequins. Yeah, Xi will love it.