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Thursday: SIP Status

Today we ventured into the Suzhou Industrial Park, otherwise known as SIP. This journey began early in the morning as we departed from our hotel around 6:30am. After a 3-hour bus ride, which most of us slept through, we finally arrived.

SIP is a 650,000 live-work industrial park, complete with factories, schools, restaurants, hospitals, and all kinds of residential choices. Our first stop at SIP was the Center for Science and Research where we were introduced to the ideas behind designing SIP. Renewable energy, green roofs and pervious surfaces were all a part of the plan. In fact all of the things we have discussed throughout our careers as students were present and have come to be in SIP, with one notable exception: integrated mixed use design. Multiple roads, few walking paths, separated uses, and far distances between things made apart the problems of urban sprawl. Despite this large snag SIP is a great start to many great ideas coming together.

Next, we visited the Science Culture and Arts Center. This building was designed by the same designer of the Bird's Nest for the Beijing Olympics. Inside there's an IMAX theatre, a performance hall, and an exhibit about SIP. The exhibit explained much of the history of SIP.

After a tour of the plans and seeing what has come of SIP we did not have a walk in the park but we had a great lunch.
The final stop in the day's tour was the Lion Forest Garden where amazing and unusual rock formations were carved into by monks to make walkways around a central pond. It was extraordinarily hot with many other tourists visiting and while there was no way to crank up the AC, the group did manage to get down at least 2 popsicles each. Luckily Gavin was the only one to unknowingly sample the saltwater popsicle.

Another 3-hour bus ride later we were back in Nanjing and ready to celebrate one of our final nights... Oh there will be celebrating!!! We are planning to check out the 1912 area of Nanjing, it is like an old town area with many bars and restaurants.