Shenzhen, China - INTI - International New Town Institute

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Shenzhen, China
photo: Lard Buurman

Lying adjacent to Hong Kong in the Pearl River Delta, Shenzhen used to be an area filled with small fishing villages. It became a New Town when in 1980 the central Chinese government gave it the status of Special Economic Zone and planned a city on the location. In only thirty years, the number of inhabitants has grown from 30,000 to an unofficial count of almost fifteen million, of which 82% are immigrants. This rapid expansion has led to a thriving economy, but also to many problems such as a massive floating population and deterioration of the environment; the ecological system and land- and water resources.
Therefore, though only 30 years young, Shenzhen is already rethinking its economic and urban future and therefore its identity – shifting from an industrial city with a manufacturing industry to a creative city which thrives on the service- and knowledge-industry. On top of this all, the city aims to become the first Chinese low-carbon eco-demonstration city.

- It still is questionable how the industrial urban structure of Shenzhen can accommodate the creative environment the city longs for.
- Lack of policies, housing and facilities for the people which are expected to keep the new creative economy going.
- The natural surroundings can barely maintain the ease and speed of urban expansion

- Extremely high ambitions, which function as a catalyst for future development
- In cooperation with INTI Shenzhen has initiated research to social, economic and environmental factors need to be improved to strengthen the city’s potential.

- Songming Xu

source: Google Earth

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