Universiade is done, but legacy will live on in Shenzhen…

The Universiade was arguably the biggest event that Shenzhen has hosted in its very short history, and by all accounts it was pulled off successfully, as many expected.

The downside of the games having ended last week is this.  We received a number of emails from readers in Shenzhen noting that air quality plummeted a mere few hours after the closing ceremonies concluded.  But such is life in China (the same thing happened after the Beijing Olympics and Shanghai Expo, despite promises the air would be cleaned up for good).

If you didn’t get a chance to visit any of the venues, they are now open for tours.  But to ensure nobody forgets about the Universiade over the long term, the flame tower is going to be turned into a public space, according to the Shenzhen Daily.

The Shenzhen Universiade flame tower will be permanently preserved with a memorial square to be built around it after the Games closes, Chinese newspapers reported yesterday.

The flame tower will become one of the landmark urban sculptures in Shenzhen.

The 26-meter flame tower is on the shores of Shenzhen Bay. The tower comprises irregular boxes representing books, with each one bearing the details of previous Universiades.

Shenzhen Executive Vice Mayor Lu Ruifeng, along with other officials of city bureaus of urban planning and land resources, construction works, and urban management, recently inspected the tower and studied the feasibility of building a memorial square.

One would think building any kind of ‘square’ in China could be dangerous (why give the angry masses a place to congregate?) but the thinking behind it is a good one.  The Universiade marked a coming of age of sorts for Shenzhen, so it makes sense to build a memorial square.  One figures Shenzhen will probably have the opportunity to host many other large-scale events in the future, based on the success of the Universiade.


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