She insisted on giving me an embroidered bag, and so Jinan Vacations I gave^her my umbrella as a gesture of thanks for making my stay so enjoyable Jinan Vacations . THE BURMA ROAD TO DALI The bus journey from Kunming to Dali used to take two days, but nowadays the drivers try to make it in one, which means they drive like demons for eleven hours around zigzagging mountain bends.
This is the Burma Road, built during the Second World War, based on the mule track which has existed since antiquity. When Marco Polo came along the track it took him nearly two weeks from Kunming to Dali. We saw the remains of several accidents and traffic was surprisingly heavy, much of it being army convoys from the Burmese borderlands. It was a sunny day.
Architecture is both the process and product of the design and construction of cities, buildings and spaces. Architecture is also a profession which has a venerable history that predates many other professions and stretches back to the Egyptian pyramid-builder Imhotep in the twenty-seventh century BCE. And yet the architecture profession lacks the ability to predict the success of its urban work; there are many examples of successful urban designs by architects throughout the centuries and there are many examples of failures as well. As the growth of our global cities leads to new levels of complexity, architects increasingly risk being emasculated through the loss of ownership of city design to those who claim to know better: planners, politicians, transport engineers and other technocratic disciplines. But the problem of achieving good urban design is not just down to the ability of architects to predict outcomes. Alexander argued that in contemporary urban design the sense of city wholeness’ is lost because all of the professionals involved – including architects – focus on their individual preoccupations (Alexander et al. 1986). However, it would be wrong for architects to lose ownership of city design when there is little evidence to show that other more technical disciplines can do it better and more reliably.
Against the backdrop of the known complexities of undertaking urban design for cities, there is an opportunity for architecture to embrace the notion, through design, of facilitating enterprise with the domain of the creative economy and to act as a catalyst for our future cities. In effect, offering architecture the opportunity to deliver urban transformation in terms of social, cultural and economic capital by becoming the new alchemy for creative enterprise and catalysing our cities by creating the conditions for cultural meaning and value.