Expert meetings

Shenzhen is a city that has been raising eyebrows for years, because of its fast development and exceptional position. However, its urbanization process also causes many problems. In Shenzhen, the New New Towns research project will focus on the city’s urban renewal in relation to the existing landscape, industry and population. New New Towns will research three sites in order to propose alternative design strategies in regard to the ecological, economic and social sustainable future of these specific areas and Shenzhen as a whole: ecological sustainability is related to Guangming New Town (a new Low Carbon City in Bao’an District), economic sustainability is related to Luohu District (the first district within the Special Economic Zone) and social sustainability is related to Da Lang District.

Each site is connected to a collective of universities or knowledge institutes. INTI collaborates locally with the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University, China Development Institute, Shenzhen Center for Design and architecture offices Urbanus and NODE.

In order to define the research and design agenda for Dutch and Chinese students, INTI organized a three-day expert meeting (September 22-25, 2012). The participants included:
Linda Vlassenrood (Program Director INTI),
Stephen Read (Associate Professor, Chair of Spatial Planning and Strategy – Delft University of Technology),
Diego Sepulveda Carmona (Assistant Professor, Chair of Spatial Planning and Strategy – Delft University of Technology),
Qu Lei (Researcher, Chair of Spatial Planning and Strategy – Delft University of Technology),
Arnold Reijndorp (Professor of Social-economic and Spatial Development of New Urban Areas, Centre for Urban Studies – University of Amsterdam),
Henk Meijer (Project Director Sustainable Spatial Planning – Municipality of Almere),
Harry Zondag (Strategic Advisor Spatial Planning – Municipality of Almere),
Ronald Wall (Economic Geographer – Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies),
Gaston Remmers (Chair Eco-effective Entrepreneurship in Urban Environments – CAH Almere University of Applied Sciences),
Juan Du (Director of Master of Architecture Program and Assistant Professor – Hong Kong University),
Huang Weiwen (Director Shenzhen Center for Design and Deputy Chief Planner, Urban Planning and Land Resource Commission of Shenzhen Municipality),
Tat Lam (Chinese University of Hong Kong – Director Urbanus Research Bureau),
Travis Bunt (Chinese University of Hong Kong – Director Urbanus Hong Kong),
Doreen Liu (Chinese University of Hong Kong – Principal NODE Architecture & Urbanism),
Li Jinkui (Professor Institute of Urbanization – China Development Institute).

The expert meeting was made possible with support from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in China.



Launch of research program New New Towns in Shenzhen with expert meeting, (...)
Launch of research program New New Towns in Shenzhen with expert meeting, 22-25 September 2012. Participants from left to right: Marco Bontje (University of Amsterdam), Gaston Remmers (CAH), Harry Zondag (Almere), Eric Yuen (Urbanus), Ronald Wall (IHS), Diego Sepulveda (TU Delft), Tat Lam (Urbanus), Stephen Read (TU Delft), Linda Vlassenrood (INTI), Henk Meijer (Almere), Li Jinkui (China Development Institute), Qu Lei (TU Delft), Arnold Reijndorp (University of Amsterdam).


The first 3-day design workshop for the development of Guangming New Town in Shenzhen took place between January 14 - January 16, 2013 in collaboration with the Shenzhen Center for Design. The workshop brought together eight Dutch and nine Chinese designers and academic scholars who are specialized in strategic planning, ecology, green architecture, economics, sociology, and landscape development.

Other participants included representatives from the Guangming Urban Planning Bureau and domestic well-known enterprises such as Zhaoshang, Huaqiang and Xunteng.
Guangming New Town is positioned to become a showcase low-carbon city in Shenzhen. The design workshop was focused on the Gateway Area of the New Town, where the station for the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong express train is located. The design workshop concentrated on analyzing the potential of existing conditions of the area, identifying the unique selling point for future development and defining the implementation strategies for the urban planning. The workshop produced a series of strategy suggestions and design proposals. The results have been synthesized into “seven points of agreement”. Each point includes a critical review of the current urban plan and future recommendations for connecting local qualities with global opportunities, economic development potentials, landscape development models, new modes of transportation and implementation tools.
The experts emphasized that Guangming New Town should position itself more ambitiously in the global viewpoint by further exploring its local qualities and potentials through experimentation. Research and design proposals were done on intensifying knowledge-intensive economic sectors and industrial activities in ICT, medical science, business services and transportation services. Furthermore, recommendations were made about how to integrate the industry and further develop the HUB area in regard to infrastructure, mixed-use program, public space and green development. Finally, it was suggested that the development of the Gateway Area needs a shared ambition by public and private stakeholders and a strategic plan with urban development guidelines to phase, monitor and evaluate the quality of the development of this area on a high level.
The workshop was moderated by Linda Vlassenrood (INTI) and Huang Weiwen (director Shenzhen Center for Design). Students from the Shenzhen University and Delft University of Technology supported the experts.

DUTCH PARTICIPANTS:
1. Ronald Wall (Economic Geographer – Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies)
2. Gaston Remmers (Chair Eco-effective Entrepreneurship in Urban Environments – CAH, Almere University of Applied Sciences)
3. Ivonne de Nood (Landscape Architect - City of Almere)
4. Harry Zondag (Strategic Advisor Spatial Planning - City of Almere)
5. Wiebe Oosterhof (Advisor Strategic Urban Planning - City of Almere)
6. Arnold Reijndorp (Professor of Social-economic and Spatial Development of New Urban Areas, Centre for Urban Studies – University of Amsterdam)
7. Leo Versteijlen (Director, co-owner and co-founder of SITE urban development)
8. Michelle Provoost (Director of International New Town Institute, co-founder of Crimson Architectural Historians)

CHINESE PARTICIPANTS:
1. Huang Weiwen (Director Shenzhen Center for Design)
2. Tat Lam (Chinese University of Hong Kong – Director Urbanus Research Bureau)
3. Su Yunsheng (Professor, Shanghai Tongji University Urban Planning & Design Institute)
4. Yang Xiaochun (Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shenzhen University)
5. Yang Hui (Head of Guangming Bureau of Transportation, Traffic Management Division)
6. Huang Gu (Director - Northwest Municipal Engineering Design Institute Co., Ltd, China)
7. Lin Wusheng (Senior engineer - China Merchants Property Development Planning Design Center)
8. Liu Sheng (Doreen) (Founder of NODE architectural office)
9. Peng Shuiqing (Director of Urban Planning Bureau – Guangming New Town)
10. James Hong (Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shenzhen University)

This event was made possible through contributions from The City of Almere and Guangming New Town.



Current conditions (topography, water system and landscape) have suffered heavily from the preparation and construction of new infrastructure



Group sessions on the second day of the design workshop



Group photo after the final presentation to the local government of Guangming New Town on the third day of the design workshop





A group of 25 students and 6 tutors of the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and Urban Design meet in Shenzhen from May 7 until May 10. They participated in a three-day design workshop on the Gateway Area of Guangming New Town on May 7, 8 and 9 organized by INTI in close collaboration with the Shenzhen Center for Design and the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and Urban Design.

In the Gateway Area, a major elevated train station has already been executed, but lies isolated in the area. Furthermore, the current master plan of the Gateway Area is totally car-driven. In order to avoid private car dependency and to reduce the environmental impact of road infrastructure construction, alternative proposals are necessary in the early development phase of this area:
1. Creating good connections from the train station to the neighborhoods with public transport, bicycle lanes and pedestrian areas;
2. Creating small-scale street patterns and smaller blocks within the Gateway Area;
3. Creating connections with the green landscape of the Ecological Control Line right next to the train station.

Students worked in sub-groups on one or more of the above themes, supervised by staff members of the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and Urban Design. The groups presented the results to the Guangming Urban Planning Bureau and the Shenzhen Center for Design on the final day.















A second three-day design workshop with Dutch and Chinese professionals in mobility, strategic urban planning, economics and landscape development will take place in Guangming New Town on June 18-20. Other participants will be representatives from the Guangming New Town Office and domestic well-known enterprises such as China Merchants Group, Zhaoshang, Huaqiang and Xunteng. The workshop will consist of an extensive site visit, small group sessions according to the themes of the workshop, plenary presentations and a final presentation to the local government and Annemarie Jorritsma, Mayor of Almere. The workshop is organized by INTI and the Shenzhen Center for Design and generously supported by the City of Almere.

OBJECTIVE

Low carbon is supposed to be the common factor of the urban development in Guangming New Town. However, the current plan of the Gateway Area is totally car-driven instead. We all know that intensive private car dependency has resulted in traffic congestion, air pollution and segregated cities worldwide. It means the current urban plan weakens a sustainable development and it therefore doesn’t support the full economic potential of the location. What is needed instead, in order to attract future business and inhabitants, is a new and ambitious design strategy for further developing the Gateway Area into a showcase for sustainable concepts.

Cities are shifting from ‘grey to green’ approaches to developing and renewing their infrastructure. Green infrastructure involves the use of living systems such as green roofs and walls, urban forests, wetlands, porous paving systems and rain gardens as well as supportive technologies such as engineered soils and water storage and transportation systems. Green infrastructure is often cheaper and more durable than traditional civil engineering solutions.

In order to avoid private car dependency and to reduce the environmental impact of road infrastructure construction, alternative or new proposals are necessary in the early development phase of the Gateway Area. We should therefore think about implementing an integrated green system for transportation, landscape and water. This new vision will be further explored in two specific sites in the area, which automatically will become showcases of new sustainable concepts:

1. Further development of the railway station and direct surroundings
2. Further development of the site of Huaqiang enterprise

DUTCH PARTICIPANTS





The University of Amsterdam is organizing a second Amsterdam Urban China Studies Seminar entitled ’Neoliberism and State Capitalism in Chinese Urban Development’.

The University of Amsterdam is organizing a second Amsterdam Urban China Studies Seminar entitled ’Neoliberism and State Capitalism in Chinese Urban Development’. One of the sessions is dedicated to New Town development. Arnold Reijndorp (Professor of Socio-economic and Spatial Developments of New Urban Areas - University of Amsterdam), Stephen Read (Associate Professor - Delft University of Technology) and Linda Vlassenrood (Program Director - International New Town Institute) will present the first results of New New Towns in Shenzhen within the framework of the seminar.