A new quarter for Beijing

James Forryan
Monday 07 Sep 2009

JAO Design International unveil proposals for new Tongzhou city

The City of Tongzhou lies in the northeast section of Beijing. The project site covers an area of 13.5 sq km. It consists of farmland and gently sloping grasslands and contains a small village, Songzhuang with a population of approximately 7,000. There is also an artist community of lofts and galleries with a population of approximately 3000.

The planning and development of this site is very important to the local residents as well as to the creative community as a whole within China. The existing artist’s galleries, studios and exhibition areas as well as portions of the hutongs will be preserved for their cultural value. The plan will foster creativity while affording the local residents a higher standard of living. At present the living conditions are substandard, whereas, many residences lack running water, electricity and lavatories. The children will also benefit from the new schools that will be built including a University for Art and Animation. The entire area will benefit from the influx of fresh ideas and talent and the development will also give the area a huge economic boost.

The projects goals are to build a self contained city where leisure and the environment will play vital roles. The buildings were modelled on LEED standards for 'green buildings' to conserve energy and reduce pollution. Extensive pedestrian paths will encourage residents and visitors alike to cut down on the use of vehicles. A light rail station will encourage use of mass transit. We hope that by making the housing Eco-friendly and affordable that we can stir the central government to enact regulations to control future development and its impact on the environment.

The hutongs and artist community has already been renovated and is thriving as a destination for art lovers across China. The project was completed in March 2008 and it has already been heralded and garnered esteem by being awarded the 'UN-HABITAT Dubai International Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment' in 2008.

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Urban design

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