Chinese check : City bans foreign bldg names
Names like Aladdin Gardens or White House Mini District are history for developments in the south western Chinese city of Kunming .The city is forcing developers to change the names of such properties and others seemed too foreign sounding saying they debase traditional Chinese culture ,officials said on Tuesday.
At least nine developments in Kunming ,the capital of Yunnan province ,have changed their names since officials began implementing the new guidelines last month .Paris of the East Plaza ,French Gardens and Ginza Office Tower were among others making the change.
Its not proper to name those communities with so many weird foreign titles said an official with the Kunming Urban Planning Bureau ,who like many Chinese bureaucrats would only be identified by his surname ,Xiao. We feel obligated to keep our local characteristics ,he said.
Foreign –sounding names are popular in China, lending a hint of exoticism to cookie-cutter housing developments and office buildings springing up in urban centers .Many are targeted at China rising middle class ,who are better educated and increasingly drawn to foreign travel ,culture and ideas.
Kunming first enacted rules against naming developments after foreign places, people ,brands or companies in 1997.Xiao said newer guidelines were issued in August to add emphasis following a denunciation of the practice by Kunming Communist Party secretary Yang Chongyong.
The fashion for foreign-sounding names on buildings is a loss to native culture and reflects poor taste ,Yang said in remarks reported by the official Xinhua News Agency. We must correct this practice immediately.
The August guidelines ordered authorities not to license new developments without name approval .Xiao ,the planning bureau official ,said officials from a number of government departments would issue recommendations as to whether or not to approve names.
If developers still continue to use foreign names ,their projects wont be allowed to start, Xiao said.
A spokeswoman for Kunming Zhujia Real Estate Co, developer of the White House Mini District ,said the company was following the new rules. The old name seemed to suit the project ,but I don’t think there will be any effect on sales said the woman ,who wouldn’t give her name.
She said the developments name had been changed to Zhujia Shangyu—roughly translated as Good Living Business Estates.,