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Five new towns in Shanghai: Present situation and future perspectives
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.
2014 (English)Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

In China it is predicted that during the next 40 years, no fewer than 300 million people will leave the countryside and move to urban regions. One way of meeting this challenge is to establish new cities and new towns and in Shanghai many efforts in this direction have been made. One example is the One City Nine Towns Plan launched in 2001. As part of this urban experiment, each town within the plan features urban design and architectural features from countries in Europe and also from the US. I was involved in the planning of the Swedish New Town between 2001-2004 as chief architect at Sweco and have since then been interested in the outcome of planning on the ground.

Due to a grant from FFNS foundation at Sweco, I had the opportunity to make a study trip to five of the new towns within this plan in the autumn of 2013. The main criteria for selecting new towns for field studies is their accessibility from the new metro system. It would not have been possible to cover all the ten or eleven towns within the plan as the scope of the study also has certain limitations as for time and resources. The chosen topics for this overall study has been the following aspects:

• The urban structure including the development of the thematic urban centers in the new towns, specifically reflecting urban design and architectural features from the different countries outside China

• Transportation with a specific focus on public transportation, bicycling and walking,

• Public space in relation to the Chinese culture of developing gated communities,

• Green and water space and to what extent environmental measures have been taken.

This field study of five new towns within the One City Nine Towns plan in Shanghai is limited in scope and covers some of the relevant aspects when analyzing the new town phenomenon. I am convinced that there is a need for continuous studies of both different aspects and the entire picture in depth. It is of course not sufficient to confine the studies to field observations as an approach even if this is necessary. There is a need to compile a database consisting of facts regarding spatial, economic, social and ecological aspects.

As it takes a very long time for implementation before you can discern the real intentions behind planning of new towns, it is important to perform evaluations continuously over many years. Different tools should be applied to get a more comprehensive picture of the performance of and changes in the new towns over time regarding economic, socio-cultural, ecological and spatial aspects.

One proposal for the future would be to start up a sustainability review and renovation process of the new towns with regard to environmental sustainability, also related to socio-cultural and economic sustainability. As an example, in the thematic urban center of the Swedish New Town, a pilot block (or a group of blocks) should be selected for an investigation of options to achieve building performance comparable with passive or plus building standard.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Kungliga Tekniska högskolan, 2014. , 40 p.
Series
TRITA-SOM, ISSN 1653-6126 ; 201-04
Keyword [en]
new town, urban planning, urban development, urban design, urban environment, built environment, China, Shanghai
National Category
Other Civil Engineering
Research subject
Planning and Decision Analysis
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-206161ISBN: 978-91-7595-068-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-206161DiVA: diva2:1091458
Note

QC 20170502

Available from: 2017-04-26 Created: 2017-04-26 Last updated: 2017-05-02Bibliographically approved

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