"The traditional physical form of Beijing, China which evolved over severalcenturies, has undergone drastic change since the 1950's. Changes duringthe 1950's were influenced by Russian architectural and Planning practice;since the 1970's, western style architecture and planning have prevailed.This paper will explore the impact of these changes on the image of the city.The image of Beijing is examined from the perspective of both the publicand the "image makers" or design professionals (i.e., architects and cityplanners). Image, although largely influenced by the visual quality of keyelements which make up the city, is also a function of the cultural and his-torical singificance of these elements and the degree to which they are usedby the public. The paper is based on research conducted between 1986 and 1988. The re-search methodolgy included:1. A survey using questionnaires administered to residents in three types ofresidential environments: traditional courtyard housing, low-rise apart-ments (circa 1950s), and high-rise apartments (circa 1970s and 1980$);2. A survey of architects an planners from Beijing;3. lndepth interviews with a sample of residents and the design profession-als;4. An examination of reconstruction documents and newspapers covering the30-year period; and5. Observations of activity patterns in residential areas and in public plac-es.Key findings from the study include the following:1. Despite dramatic physical change in urban form since the 1950s, theimage of Beijing among residents and design professionals is still that of ahistoric city. This is due, in part, to the well preserved elements of the city(buildings, walls, spaces) and the historical and culdural significance ofthese elements to both groups.2. The public image of Beijing prior to 1950 was largely structured by thethree walls which enclose the Forbidden City, the Imperial City, and the In-ner City. The pattern of new streets influcences the image of Beijing today.The visual dominance and the use of both the walls and streets contributesingificantly to their rote in establishing the public image.3. Despite urban growth, the image of Beijing as a central city has notchanged. Centrally located, Tan-An-Men Square and the Forbidden City areimportant nodes in the public's image of Beijing today. The prominence ofTian-An-Men Square and the Forbidden City in the minds of the public isInfluenced by the significant visual quality of their buildings, and the social,cultural and political meanings attached to them. 4. The well-preserved and renovated buildings and public places in the oldcity and those new buildings which adopt a traditional architectural vocabu-lary are most liked by the public. They are preferred over new buildingsrelecting a modern western style becase of their visual quality and the cul-tural and historical meaning they convey. The historical elements of the cityare becoming more important to city residents, and their preservation andrenovation are more favored today by both residents and renovation aremore favored today by both residents and design professionals than theywere in the 1950s.The paper concludes that, although there has been dramatic change in thephysical form of Beijing, its image as a historic city is still strong in themids of both residents and design professionals. However, it is suggested thatcontinued change along lines of post-1970 design and planning will signfi-cantly impact the city's image in the future."