Our scope of work included two aspects. On the content level, we collected maps of old Beijing from as early as 1300. Also, we found stories about old Beijing, especially stories related with transportation. In conjunction with the current situation in Beijing, we tried to bring to life how people lived in Beijing in the past and today. On the technical side, we created an interactive website which displays all our content in a vivid way and also allows users to add their own narratives.


We wanted to trace the development of the Beijing City and dig out stories of the city’s residents with the infrastructure. This rich collection of maps and narratives could lay a solid foundation for future research on urban planning, especially in a sustainable way, of Beijing. We consider this especially important as Beijing is suffering various problems, in terms of traffic, housing, air, etc., which call for huge efforts to bring the city back to an inviting place.


We are students from Stanford University and Tsinghua University and met on a class about urbanization in the United States and China. We spent two weeks together in Beijing before the regular class began, so as to better understand the context for further discussion.