All too often, in the West, we sit in our own comfort zones, basking in a complacent sense of superiority. I have just arrived in Shanghai, China. It’s my first time in this massive metropolis – but first impressions are extremely positive.
Contrast the horribly overcrowded shopping mall that is Heathrow airport with the magnificent open concourses of Pu Dong (admittedly, I have only seen the arrivals side at Pu Dong). Terminal 5 at LHR might be a showcase, but the rest of the airport is certainly not, and is hamstrung by only having two runways. In Britain, we argue and prevaricate over a new high speed rail route. Pu Dong has the 430km/h Maglev train, not to mention loads of brand new freeways.
Of course, I have only taken one small glimpse of this massive country and I know that rural life is not the same as in the cities. I do think it’s time for us to look at what some of the Asian countries are doing right and see how we might apply it to our crumbling infrastructure.