Excellent/fascinating/incisive analysis of why Seoul is constantly becoming a “nicer” city and why Shanghai and Beijing are not. Whatever the explanation (the writer attributes it to politics), I think he (Guy Sorman) has nailed it in this City Journal article, entitled, “Asian Megacities: How politics has shaped the growth of Shanghai, Beijing, and Seoul.” I have spent considerable time in all three cities every year for more than a decade and I see where he is coming from with his assessments of all three. Every year Seoul gets more vibrant, more accessible, and less polluted. It is difficult to say all three of those things about either Shanghai or Beijing.
If you are interested in any of the three cities or in urban development in Asia or in general, I recommend you read this article. And then let us know what you think.
UPDATE: The Financial Times just today (4-14-2013) did a story, entitled, “China must take care of its city-dwellers.”
UPDATE: Agenda Beijing did a riff on our post and Sorman’s article in its own post, entitled, A World Class City? Not Beijing – And Here’s Why.