The Big Picture

The Big Picture – Beijing, China

by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

From the Great Wall to a renowned art district, Beijing is a global epicenter for intelligence.

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Catering to 22 million residents requires ingenuity, and Beijing has set its sights on being a global innovator across all industries — from art and architecture to science, technology and infrastructure.

A peek at the 5,500-mile-long Great Wall of China reveals the city’s centuries-old commitment to boundary breaking, while innovative stadiums, such as Bird’s Nest and Water Cube at Olympic Park, thread its historic relics with modern intelligent design.

It’s easy to see how this smart city, designated a UNESCO Creative City of Design in 2012, is pushing the boundaries of creativity and technology while deeply revering its 3,000-year-old history.

A day in Beijing could consist of any of the following: tracing early astronomers at Beijing Ancient Observatory; meeting contemporary artists at the 798 Art Zone — a decommissioned military factory and surrounding galleries that host exhibitions from around the world; exploring artificial intelligence (AI) at the Beijing City Planning Exhibition Hall; or marveling at cutting-edge architecture in SOHO Modern City.

Expand your notions of intelligence as we travel to Beijing in our next issue.

Beijing skyline with China World Center

Beijing Marriott Hotel Northeast

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Beijing Marriott Hotel Northeast