[Video Essay] Management City


Title: Management city — The blood vessel of Beijing

Site: Sidewalks(Beijing, China)

Facing a problematic COVID situation, Beijing is taking strict COVID control. Several spaces are locked down. People lost access to buildings and sites they used to. However, the demand for entertainment, communication, living even medical treatment remains. Hence, a place always ignored, sidewalks become a vital role for the city management under COVID.

  1. Research background and Analysis


Being the capital of China, Beijing has become one of the largest metropolises worldwide. With a population of more than 20,000,000, proper use of sidewalks is a must in city management. As ROCHA(2019) pointed out, the quality of sidewalks has a noticeable impact on life quality and mobility in a city. It is an unreplaceable connection and platform in towns. There are uncountable sidewalks in Beijing. They connect different communities and infrastructures. Famous for its “Hutong culture,” sidewalks are also a vital part of the city culture. The vast and straight sidewalks are part of their city memories for Beijing citizens.

Recently, the COVID situation has become quite severe in Beijing. In the context of COVID in the metropolis, transportation and supply chain are the most critical aspects of city management. Due to the lockdown, the importance of community and non-vehicular traffic arises. Consequently, sidewalks have been a feature for control in the pandemic, which is the main focus of this video.

Setting background as COVID, I conduct research from the perspective of how to manage a city in COVID. I realize that the pace of the town has decreased mainly in COVID. Hence, a platform instead of transportation is more noticeable for sidewalks. I first researched its use in COVID treatment, which is closely related to the topic of COVID. It inspires me that the need for treatment is just a physiological need, according to Maslow(1942). I continued to figure out whether sidewalks could satisfy other high needs. The safety need can be translated as merchandise and delicious food, part of the sidewalks’ service in the pandemic. As for the higher demand, sidewalks cannot express as directly as the COVID test. According to Opstoel(2020), sports are significant in social development. Thus, sports and their relative social interactions can reflect social needs. In conclusion, I divide the theme “Use sidewalks to manage city under COVID” into three parts: manage physiological conditions, manage safety, and manage social interactions.

To provide a convincing and truthful description of urban management during COVID, I choose my community as the leading site for the research. As a pretty large community, it has several wide, clean sidewalks. Also, there are more than eight thousand residents in the community. As one of the largest cities, many populations in the community can represent the task, Beijing is facing. The residents range of all ages avoids the unnatural population structure problem.


2.Video making

The primary technique in the video is the montage. As mentioned above, the research is mainly of three parts. Hence the video will also be conducted in the corresponding three parts. City management is a complex task, even just one of the needs. Montage can combine different people’s reactions to the same need and various functions in one need. Montage makes the description of urban management detailed and dynamic.
Instead of listing cold numbers and government documents, I focus on ordinary people’s life. As Rwals(1999) pointed out, justice should be reflected in ordinary people’s life. Visualizing people’s life makes the video more convincing and livelier than explaining complex theories.
The scenes are taken in the daytime. Since the settings are taken to illustrate the management, they should be straightforward. Enough light is required for a clear illustration. The sidewalks in Beijing benefit citizens under the threat of COVID, so a warm glow is adopted. To make the image close to real life, I usually include the main character’s environment instead of a close-up.


After receiving the topic, I kept wondering what can sidewalks imply. It is so common and ordinary. Even cities two thousand years ago had sidewalks. Pascal(1962) said that human beings are unique because we have our will. This reminds me that what differs between sidewalks today as the one in Byzantium is the citizens instead of the bricks or width. Also facing a great pandemic, people in Byzantium fell into despair, but people in Beijing had a comfortable life. Making people live peacefully under significant outer threats is the charm of good city management and the main feature of my research.-Long Kehan   3035771323 Background music: Snow dreams Sites: Xinfeng NO.1 Yard, Xicheng District, Beijing.

Reference list:

  1. 北京5月14日新增33例本土确诊病例、8例本土无症状感染者和1例境外输入无症状感染者 治愈出院55例. Beijing Municipal Health Commission. (2022). Retrieved May 15, 2022, from 北京5月14日新增33例本土确诊病例、8例本土无症状感染者和1例境外输入无症状感染者 治愈出院55例 (beijing.gov.cn)
  2. Imber‐Black, Evan. “Rituals in the Time of COVID‐19: Imagination, Responsiveness, and the Human Spirit.” Family Process 59, no. 3 (2020): 912-21.
  3. ROCHA, Vanessa Tibola Da, Luciana Londero BRANDLI, Rosa Maria Locatelli KALIL, Amanda Lange SALVIA, and Pedro Domingos Marques PRIETTO. “QUALITY OF SIDEWALKS IN A BRAZILIAN CITY: A BROAD VISION.” Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management 14, no. 2 (2019): 41-58.
  4. Truitt, Allison. “Vietnam. Sidewalk City: Remapping Public Space in Ho Chi Minh City By Annette Miae Kim Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2015. Pp. 252. Figures, Endnotes, Bibliography, Index.” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 48, no. 1 (2017): 172-74.
  5. Maslow, Abraham Harold. “A theory of human motivation.” Psychological review 50, no. 4 (1943): 370.
  6. Opstoel, K., Laurent Chapelle, F.J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/170392104 Prins, An De Meester, Leen Haerens, J.W.F.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/112629385 Van Tartwijk, K. De Martelaer, Leerstoel Van Tartwijk, Leerstoel Van Gog, and Education Learning: Development in Interaction. “Personal and Social Development in Physical Education and Sports: A Review Study.” European Physical Education Review 26, no. 4 (2020): 797-813.
  7. Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice. Rev. ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1999.
  8. Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 3rd ed. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1996.
  9. Pascal, Blaise, Honor. Levi, and Levi, Anthony. Pensées and Other Writings. The World’s Classics. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
  10. Davey, Kenneth Jackson., Urban Management Program, and World Bank. Elements of Urban Management. Urban Management Program (Series) ; 11. Washington, D.C.: Published for the Urban Management Programme by the World Bank, 1993.

2 thoughts on “[Video Essay] Management City

  1. ZhiqianLi  says:

    The whole video is well logical and has a perfect design content. I get to know the current situation in Beijing under the Covid, it’s practical and inserting both. Also, the script and voice are clear, introducing me to the different functions of the sidewalks. I am quite impressed by the family who is playing badminton, this picture shows me the warmth of normal people in daily life. I want to visit the city again whenever it’s possible. Lovely city and everything is in order. I am in belief of quick recovery from the pandemic!

  2. Jen Lam says:

    Comprehensive documentation of the lives of citizens under the covid situation. Yet I wonder how you define sidewalk, as it seems to me that some sites are actually seatings in parks and free lanes in the car park. You have defined management in several ways to organize your work. Yet due to the time limit, the documentation seems rather broad and general at the moment. Next time, you are advised to narrow your research down to 1 statement/ question to allow yourself to further your observation and analysis.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.