Safari 4, A Self-Guided Tour Of Urban Wildlife, Is On Display On Beijing's No.4 Line


Columbia University’s Urban Landscape Lab, an experimental research lab of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), has launched Safari 4, a public art project installation on Beijing’s No. 4 subway line through which Beijing residents can explore urban animal life in the city. Safari 4 features installed videos and map brochures throughout Beijing’s newest subway line, offering riders a self-guided tour of Beijing’s most vibrant ecosystems. This project is the second installment of a series of global wildlife tours, which began in 2009 with Safari 7, a tour of New York City’s Number 7 line.

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 for self-guided exploration of the city are available online at http://www.safari4.org and for distribution in all Beijing No. 4 line train stations. 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.

Safari 4 is the second in a series of urban wildlife tours. The project began with Safari 7 (http://www.safari7.org), 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 GSAPP Studio-X locations throughout the world, including São Paulo, Mumbai, Amman, and Moscow.

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.

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