A civilized guangzhou, part II

During our year in Guangzhou in this blog post I noted the public service announcements calling for the local citizenry to help and bring about a more “civilized guangzhou.” In preparation for the Asian Olympic Games which occurred this past November, the city undertook a great many projects designed to improve the image of the city – the smog reduction project mentioned in previous posts, Engligh language training and a dress code for cab drivers, a massive facelift of the building on the old British and French concession Shamian Island, new street signs, roadside gardens, 2 new subway lines, countless athletic venues, iridescent lighting on the skyscrapers, bridges and riverfront, and a public education campaign for civilized behavior in place of spitting, shoving, line-cutting, yelling, smoking in restaurants, speeding, running red lights, honking and jay-walking.

I would say that all of these changes were noticeable on our trip to Guangzhou. I noticed the decreased honking and improved driving ability of the cab drivers and was particularly pleased by the fact that there were fewer people smoking in the restaurants. For what it’s worth, definitely more “civilized.”

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