Julliard Improves Tone of China's Urbanisation

Agenda-Setting Financial Insight.
June 29 2012 3:37 PM

Julliard Improves Tone of China's Urbanisation

52958350
The Juilliard School, one of the best known U.S. music and fine arts colleges, has picked the city of Tianjin for a new institute.

Photo by STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

The tone of China’s frantic urbanisation may be changing for the better. The Juilliard School, one of the best known U.S. music and fine arts colleges, has picked the city of Tianjin for a new institute. The host city is unlikely to be motivated only by a love of the performing arts, but it matters little so long as China’s urban jungle gets more liveable.

It’s not hard to see why Juilliard picked Tianjin. The city will offer the U.S. school a brand new campus rent free, according to a person familiar with the situation. At present the new site, in the wannabe financial centre of Yujiapu, is an hour’s drive from Tianjin. But high-speed railway lines should cut that leg to mere minutes, making Beijing also accessible within an hour or so.

Advertisement

Financially, that could make it a big win. The campus should be in easy reach of a formidable population of rising middle classes. Greater China already supplies around a tenth of Juilliard’s U.S. music students. Classical music is hot: a fraught Juilliard audition even makes an appearance in Amy Chua’s controversial parental memoir “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”.

Tianjin’s motives may not be purely artistic either. Big cities are clamouring for Western trophies to show their global credentials. Think NYU’s Shanghai campus, due to open next year - or the signings of international soccer players Dario Conca and Dider Drogba to Chinese teams.

While there’s room for discord - Chinese President Hu Jintao has complained Western influences are too prevalent in the media - it should be minor. By avoiding theatre and dance, Juilliard shouldn’t fall foul of China’s censors, and by not offering formal degrees, it also won’t need to worry about the equivalence of qualifications. The school is sticking to what it knows too - there’ll be violin lessons, but no-one will be studying the erhu any time soon.

China is building cities at an alarming rate, around 20 a year, and should account for 38 percent of the global increase in urban floor space between 2010 and 2015, according to McKinsey. That’s a lot of sprawl. Any idea for making city living more harmonious deserves an audience.

Read more at Reuters Breakingviews.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Altered State
Sept. 17 2014 11:51 PM The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 18 2014 6:00 AM All Shook Up My 11-year-old has been exploring herself with my “back massager.” Should I stop her?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 9:00 PM Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 18 2014 7:30 AM Red and Green Ghosts Haunt the Stormy Night
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?