This blog follows the founding and development of the Pujiang Institute, a new university modeled on other highly successful technical institutions in the US and Europe. I am fortunate to be included in this exciting and unique venture, and will be designing and implementing a music curriculum for the school.
The Pujiang Institute will be located outside of the city of Nanjing, the ancient capital of China. While the new campus is being constructed, the Institute will temporarily be located in the newly renovated International School on the outskirts of the city.
The new university will be about a 45 minute drive from Nanjing, and we were able to pay a visit to the site on the fourth day of the conference. The land where the new campus will be built is in an area that currently has relatively little development, consisting of swampy land, stretches of grassy fields, and some heavily wooded areas. There is a general plan to eventually build four universities in this region, which will also necessitate the construction of roads, as well as infrastructure for public transportation. I was told that a subway is already being built that will run just past the campus.
Future access road
As I looked at the land, I realized that there is an enormous amount of work that will need to be done just to make the ground suitable for building. There is a lot of standing water that will need to be drained, as well as the remains of buildings that will have to be removed. The topography is relatively flat, however, there are a number of rises that will need to be leveled in order to collect the water into areas away from any structures. There is the potential for having an excellent feeling of feng shui if the land and water can be utilized in a way that promotes a peaceful and sustainable natural environment, a stated goal of the proposed plan.
Lone scooter on a path through the property
The general lay of the land is quite beautiful, but it is hard to believe, with only one road currently nearby, that there will be enough infrastructure to support the many buildings, including dorms, that are to be built in the next few years. I was told that the schedule from ground breaking to the laying of the first foundations is planned for October of this year, particularly as crews often work around the clock, which is quite often the case with large projects in China.
Shells of buildings litter the landscape
As we drove the mostly dirt paths, we saw a number of people who were living in some of the less damaged and more viable buildings on the property, and there were many small gardens on both sides of the tiny road that wound among the dilapidated structures. I was informed that anyone currently living on the land will be compensated and relocated by the government, China’s version of “eminent domain.”
A “not so old” ruin
I just returned from attending an exciting conference in Nanjing, China, where I was with a group of foreign experts invited by the CP Corporation, one of the largest conglomerates in Asia. The purpose of the meetings was to learn … Continue reading