China is planning to create the world’s biggest mega city by merging nine cities to create a metropolis twice the size of Wales with a population of 42 million.
City planners in south China have laid out an ambitious plan to merge together the nine cities that lie around the Pearl River Delta.
The “Turn The Pearl River Delta Into One” scheme will create a 16,000 sq mile urban area that is 26 times larger geographically than Greater London, or twice the size of Wales.
The new mega-city will cover a large part of China’s manufacturing heartland, stretching from Guangzhou to Shenzhen and including Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Zhuhai, Jiangmen, Huizhou and Zhaoqing. Together, they account for nearly a tenth of the Chinese economy.
Over the next six years, around 150 major infrastructure projects will mesh the transport, energy, water and telecommunications networks of the nine cities together, at a cost of some 2 trillion yuan (£190 billion). An express rail line will also connect the hub with nearby Hong Kong.
“The idea is that when the cities are integrated, the residents can travel around freely and use the health care and other facilities in the different areas,” said Ma Xiangming, the chief planner at the Guangdong Rural and Urban Planning Institute and a senior consultant on the project.
However, he said no name had been chosen for the area. “It will not be like Greater London or Greater Tokyo because there is no one city at the heart of this megalopolis,” he said. “We cannot just name it after one of the existing cities.”
“It will help spread industry and jobs more evenly across the region and public services will also be distributed more fairly,” he added.
Mr Ma said that residents would be able to use universal rail cards and buy annual tickets to allow them to commute around the mega-city.
Twenty-nine rail lines, totalling 3,100 miles, will be added, cutting rail journeys around the urban area to a maximum of one hour between different city centres. According to planners, phone bills could also fall by 85 per cent and hospitals and schools will be improved.
“Residents will be able to choose where to get their services and will use the internet to find out which hospital, for example, is less busy,” said Mr Ma.
Pollution, a key problem in the Pearl River Delta because of its industrialisation, will also be addressed with a united policy, and the price of petrol and electricity could also be unified.
The southern conglomeration is intended to wrestle back a competitive advantage from the growing urban areas around Beijing and Shanghai.
By the end of the decade, China plans to move ever greater numbers into its cities, creating some city zones with 50 million to 100 million people and “small” city clusters of 10 million to 25 million.
In the north, the area around Beijing and Tianjin, two of China’s most important cities, is being ringed with a network of high-speed railways that will create a super-urban area known as the Bohai Economic Rim. Its population could be as high as 260 million.
The process of merging the Bohai region has already begun with the connection of Beijing to Tianjing by a high speed railway that completes the 75 mile journey in less than half an hour, providing an axis around which to create a network of feeder cities.
As the process gathers pace, total investment in urban infrastructure over the next five years is expected to hit £685 billion, according to an estimate by the British Chamber of Commerce, with an additional £300 billion spend on high speed rail and £70 billion on urban transport.
Hat tip to the Telegraph
architecture, Engineering, new buildings
China, Dongguan, Foshan, Guangzhou, Huizhou, Jiangmen, mega-city, Shenzhen, Zhaoqing, Zhongshan, Zhuhai
The architect Rem Koolhaas and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) are the forces behind some of the most striking structures built in recent years, including the Seattle Central Library and the CCTV headquarters, in Beijing.
The new MOCA (www.mocacleveland.org)
But dozens of architects who were trained at or otherwise passed through Koolhaas’s firm are now spread across the world and beginning to make their mark, observes Metropolis. The magazine dubs them Baby Rems.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, for example, is moving ahead with construction of a striking new building, which features triangular facades that, from certain angles, allow luminescent peeks at the museum’s interior. It’s the handiwork of Foreign Office Architects (FOA), an OMA offshoot.
The Balancing Barn, which has been feted in England (and lives up to its name, cantilevering off into space), is a project of MVRDV, which also traces its roots back to Koolhaas’s office.
Metropolis’s generational schema confuses me—who counts as Generation One, again, and who as Generation Two?—but Work A.C., evidently part of the second wave, has gotten the nod to revitalize the Hua Qiang Bei Road, in Shenzhen, China; the renderings look pretty wild, and also impressive.
All this amounts to another reminder that even architecture, long considered the redoubt of the lone genius (see: Ayn Rand), is in fact better viewed as a shifting network of creative minds with personal, professional, and intellectual ties: a Kaleidoscopic Discovery Engine.
Hat tip to Christopher Shea, WSJ
architects, architecture, modern architecture, modern buildings, new buildings
Ayn Rand, China, Christopher Shea, Cleveland, Hua Qiang Bei Road, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), Shenzhen, The Museum of Contemporary Art, WSJ
Amid the real estate and construction doldrums here in the US, it’s nice to see that exciting buildings are still being planned in other countries.
Copenhagen-based BIG, in collaboration with ARUP and Transsolar, was awarded the first prize in the international competition to design Shenzhen International Energy Mansion, the regional headquarters for the Shenzhen Energy Company.
Located in the center of Shenzhen, China the 96,000 square meter project will be integrated with the surrounding environment and designed to withstand the tropical climate of the city. BIG’s winning proposal was selected by the jury experts from Shenzhen Municipal Planning Bureau chaired by Alejandro Zaera-Polo and client representatives.
The headquarters rises 200 meters creating a new landmark visible from the highway in the cultural, political and business center of Shenzhen. BIG envisions combining a practical and efficient floor plan layout with a sustainable façade that both, passively and actively reduce the energy consumption of the building. The façade is conceived as a folded skin that shades the office complex from direct sunlight and integrates solar thermal panels, reducing the overall energy consumption of the building.
BIG explaining the project:
The tropical climate of Shenzhen calls for a new approach to designing office buildings. How can we create comfortable working spaces in a tropical climate while reducing our energy consumption? The construction principle of the typical modern office tower is replicated all over the world. It has the advantage of a practical floor plan, and economical structural system. But in tropical conditions the glazed curtain wall facades normally result in high energy consumption for air conditioning and poor views through coated windows. To achieve a comfortable working environment in these conditions an office building would especially need two things: Shading from direct exposure to sunlight, and dehumidification of interior air.
We are proposing a tower based on an efficient and well-proven floor plan, enclosed in a skin specifically modified and optimized for the local climate. We propose to enhance the sustainable performance of the building drastically by only focusing on its envelope, the facade.
architect, architecture, buildings, green building
Alejandro Zaera-Polo, ARUP, BIG, China, RADDblog, Shenzhen, Shenzhen Energy Company, Shenzhen International Energy Mansion, Shenzhen Municipal Planning Bureau, Transsolar