‘A city of extremes’
By Julian Burkinshaw and Alvaro Guzman
Below is a collation of excerpts provided by ITS@WCTR 2016 attendees regarding their experiences of China, Shanghai and the conference itself. The quotes range from people experiencing China for the first time, to others who call Shanghai their hometown. This exercise was undertaken during the second afternoon of the conference.
‘I was expecting Shanghai to be busy, polluted and with crazy traffic. But I was pleasantly surprised that it was not this way’.
The first day in the city showed it was full of ‘Lots of colour, cartoons and characters. Illustrated by quiet parts and busy streets.’ The ‘Humid grey skies with warm, wet rain’ make it feel really ‘Hot, sticky, spicy, walled, yet friendly. It is still growing on us all.’ ‘Yes, I have to admit that the humid and hot weather is driving me crazy, but I kind of enjoy this feeling’. ‘It’s [definitely] hotter and wetter than Leeds’.
It has been ‘…fascinating. Coming together of old and new in architecture, with both chaos and order in transport.’ I am a little bit disturbed about the silent electric bikes riding the footpath.’ ‘I am very impressed with the public transport system, the maglev and the metro network’.
‘Heat. Noise. Great food. Rain. Busy streets. People, people, people, people. High buildings. Fun’. Shanghai is ‘a land of scrawny cats, little side streets and great food – but please people stop staring at me!’. ‘The express ways and the extent it imposes on the city and associated negative impacts on the city and environment’. ‘Too crowded, both in people and developments. Hot and humid. Not well planned urbanisation. Interesting new experience but not my idea of an appealing city’.
‘Back to my home country after 1 year in UK, the food tastes better than I remember’. The weather is so hot, I feel like I just go from winter to summer, like being in a sauna the whole day. Lots of people everywhere I love this place’. ‘The feeling of home and the feeling I’m used to. It’s a great joy to enjoy mother’s cooking and meet with my beloved friends. In a word I love Shanghai’.
‘WCTRS is always so exciting and having it in one of the most exciting cities in the world makes it extra special this year’. ‘Shanghai has been fun so far and I’m looking forward for the next 5 days. It’s really good to go with ITS. I feel proud and great!’
***Thanks to our colleagues for their quotes, thought and time***