Through ULI’s Advisory Services program, members advised the Chinese cities of Beijing and Wuhan in FY 2018 on redevelopment issues related to improving quality of life and creating cities for the future.
At the request of the city of Beijing and Hong Kong, an advisory panel focused on Qianmen East, a 56-hectare inner-city neighborhood just southeast of Tiananmen Square.
Qianmen East is a hutong neighborhood: neighborhoods consisting of interlinked communities of low-rise courtyard homes aligned in sequence along narrow hutong alleys. The panel’s overarching strategy was to create modern living and working facilities while retaining the vitality and feel of a centuries-old neighborhood. The panel advised on innovative adaptive use strategies for the older courtyard homes. Recommendations included:
– Encourage population density. Creation of a sustainable and thriving community will require a significant influx of new residents.
– Aim for a diverse mix of residents by adding younger middle-class professionals together with an arts-and-crafts component to the existing base of older working-class inhabitants.
– Create modern living and working facilities while retaining the vitality and feel of a centuries-old neighborhood, focusing in particular on repurposing the hutong’s bigger roads and ensuring a free flow of pedestrian traffic via its traditional narrow lanes.
– Subdivide Qianmen East into four quadrants, each featuring a particular theme serving as a catalyst for future development.
– Approach redevelopment as an organic process taking place over a period of years. Building a community takes time and should be seen as an ongoing activity.
At the request of Shui On Land and the city of Wuhan, a panel provided strategic advice about the development of Changjiang New Town, a 500-square-kilometer area located northeast of the central business district. The panel’s recommendations included physical, social, and organizational underpinnings that will allow the New Town to develop as a city for the future. Special attention was given to new technologies, transport systems, and a focus on achieving “net-zero” for energy, water, and waste.
– Put people first.
– Design and create a multimodal, green, and renewable transportation system.
– Conceive, design, build, and operate around the concept of “net zero” for energy, water, and waste.
– Design and implement a community-centric land use pattern rather than a transport-centric land use pattern.
– Design and implement districts that support diversity of uses in scale and identity.
– Create a location that can successfully attract and retain talent.
– Develop communities that act as an economic engine.
– Provide the civic leadership that will achieve the highest level of return for the New Town.
ULI’s advisory work in Asia Pacific is an excellent example of the Institute’s expanding global influence, which can be strengthened through member gifts to the ULI Foundation, noted ULI Global Chairman Thomas W. Toomey, chairman, chief executive officer and president of UDR, Inc., in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. “With greater philanthropic support, we will continue to expand Advisory Services and other mission-focused activities and grow our ability to measure ULI’s impact.”
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