Culture shift

Thursday 30 Aug 2012

Master plan for the National Creative Cluster encourages innovation and entrepreneurship in China

The National Creative Cluster (NCC) is envisioned as the country’s preeminent knowledge hub. Taking advantage of new transit lines, connections to the airport and better access to open space, NCC is a desirable aspect of the city’s forward-looking economy as a global centre for new possibilities. To help transition the city’s economy from 'made in China' to a more holistic 'designed in China' approach, the master plan for NCC exemplifies this philosophy by encouraging a diversity of complementary uses together to help spark new ideas.

With an overarching goal of creating compact and highly interactive communities that foster innovation and collaboration and promote an environmentally conscious life style, multi-functional landscapes are highly integrated with the urban forms. It not only provides valuable environmental amenities and habitat for wildlife but also undertakes the stormwater management tasks.

Five structuring principles guide both the urban design and landscape framework for NCC. First, the design responds to the desire to integrate the urban form with the surrounding landscape. A series of green wedges interspersed within the urban clusters and interweave with a number of internal community parks designed as 'gardens within gardens'. The second principle created a high efficiency transit loop to establish a strong connection to the surrounding context, especially the adjacent Songzhaung Artists Village. A series of concentrated hubs and specialty centres that punctuate the loop is the third structuring idea.

The fourth guiding design principle ensures that the design is ecologically responsible by incorporating innovative storm water management solutions and by establishing well connected habitat. Storm water is harvested for no-potable uses and filtered through filtration gardens and bioswales. The site is divided into 14 inter-connected stormwater catchments designed to prevent flooding and enhance water quality on site. The parks are planted with native species that respond to seasonal changes in habitat composition.

The fifth principle identifies a full spectrum of landscape types, ranging from the regional highway scale to the intimate backyard garden. Innovation and creativity are fueled by the ability to walk along a generous trail system, grow vegetables on your own rooftop terrace, or socialise with others in a neighbourhood park. Taken together, these guiding principles structure a plan that encourages creativity and innovation alongside nature.

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