Beijing residents can now use the Number 4 subway line to explore urban animal life in the city. A public art project called Safari 4 has installed videos and map brochures throughout Beijing’s newest subway line, offering riders a self-guided tour of Beijing’s most vibrant ecosystems.
The 4 line is a physical, urban transect through Beijing’s most diverse range of ecosystems. The 4 line follows the former course of the Yongding He River, and runs across water networks linking the Summer Palace and the remnants of Beijing’s moat system. It connects historic civic spaces, hutong neighborhoods, and China’s “electronic avenue” before terminating beyond the Fifth Ring Road. Safari 4 circulates an ongoing series of video tours and maps that explore the complexity, biodiversity, conflicts and potentials of Beijing’s ecosystems. Tours and maps are available online and on the No. 4 line trains for self-guided exploration of the city.
Safari 4 is the second in a series of urban wildlife tours. The project began with Safari 7, a tour along New York City’s Number 7 line, in January 2009. Safari 7 collaborated with New York’s MTA to celebrate Earth Day 2010 and established the project throughout the New York City subway system. After Beijing, the project will travel to other Studio-X locations throughout the world, from Sao Paolo to Mumbai, Amman, and Moscow.
Safari 4 brochures containing maps and self-guided tours are available for distribution in all Beijing No. 4 line train stations, while supplies last. From January until May 31, 2012, Safari 4 posters will be on display in No. 4 line train stations and videos focusing on the YangShan Tunnel and Beijing’s water networks will be displayed on video screens inside of No. 4 line trains. All project images and content are available on the Safari 4 website.
Safari 4 is organized by the Urban Landscape Lab at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and the New York City-based graphic design firm MTWTF.
Safari 4 was supported in part by the Asian Cultural Council and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. The project was installed throughout the No. 4 line in collaboration with the Beijing Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTR) and Balintimes Advertising Co., Ltd.
For the latest images of SAFARI 4, please visit our Flickr page!
Credits: Janette Kim, Kate Orff and Glen Cummings of MTWTF; with Sydney Talcott, Peter Li-Yang Wu, Lily Saporta-Tagiuri, Helen Kongsgaard, Youngji Bae, Stephanie Tung, and Eliza Montgomery. Support by the Asian Cultural Council, Beijing Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTR) and Balintimes Advertising Co., Ltd.