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Author Topic: Is urban China repeating the building mistakes of the past?  (Read 1534 times)

Offline cheryl j

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I was listening to a segment on the CBC about urbanization in China. 350 million people are expected to migrate from rural areas to cities, a daunting number considering the population of Canada is 35 million. China is where the US was in 1920, with about a 50-50 split between rural and urban population. The Chinese want more people to move to smaller cities instead of  the mega-cities, and build those up. On the CBC program it was said that this presents China with a good opportunity to learn from past mistakes of urban planners (or lack of planning) in other countries. And yet they seem to  be making the exact same mistakes - building huge, isolated, apartment high rises out side of cities ringed by express ways. They suggested that they should build vertically, with housing integrated with shops and restaurants, etc. and connected by mass transit systems.
« Last Edit: 02/02/2014 22:38:41 by chris »


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Building cities
« Reply #1 on: 01/02/2014 20:04:32 »
I've been in high rise buildings that were essentially a city in a building.
Schools, Child Care, Businesses, Stores, Housing, etc, all within a single building. 

One of the issues that all countries will have to deal with is urban sprawl.  Some people are content with an apartment, and if it is an owner occupied apartment, they can be built up to be very nice.  However, with the accumulation of wealth, people often also want their car, garage, a little lawn, and etc. 

I wonder if the urbanization of rural people sometimes leads them to move to the suburbs rather than the city centers.

Road design is "interesting".  It is often a lot easier to find things if one has roads laid out on a grid, however, it can also be pleasant to live in a community with meandering roads.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Building cities
« Reply #2 on: 02/02/2014 00:47:50 »
I've been in high rise buildings that were essentially a city in a building.
Schools, Child Care, Businesses, Stores, Housing, etc, all within a single building. 

One of the issues that all countries will have to deal with is urban sprawl.  Some people are content with an apartment, and if it is an owner occupied apartment, they can be built up to be very nice.  However, with the accumulation of wealth, people often also want their car, garage, a little lawn, and etc. 

I wonder if the urbanization of rural people sometimes leads them to move to the suburbs rather than the city centers.

Road design is "interesting".  It is often a lot easier to find things if one has roads laid out on a grid, however, it can also be pleasant to live in a community with meandering roads.

Well, that is another option that occurred to me - making those high rise buildings neighborhoods that do provide many social needs, kind of like cruise ships.  That has been tried in the States and I remember one in Columbus, Ohio that had apartments, businesses, shops, bars  a movie theater,  a town square with a fountain, etc. But it wasn't connected to anything else and had a weird planned, Disney-like feel to it.

If you've got lots of land, urban sprawl, or extending vertically, isn't necessarily bad. It depends on the type of sprawl.When I was in my 20s I lived just outside of Cleveland. I really liked living in a building on the lake where I could walk to a grocery store or a book store or a Greek restaurant. I could take the train to the down town to shop or see a ball game. Now I live in the woods of Canada, and I like being able to cross country ski or kayak outside my door. But stores are quite a distance and I have to buy everything I need in a single trip.

What I hated growing up, at least when I was a teenager, was the suburbs - the worst of both worlds - not really out in the wilderness, but not close to anything interesting either. And I don't understand why suburbs are so popular. It's a compromise, I guess, having privacy, a bit of nature, but also easy access to amenities. It's a place made for 35 year olds with cars.

Is there a science to building cities, that takes into consideration efficiency, traffic,  and human desire for privacy, greenery, and personal space?
 

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Re: Building cities
« Reply #2 on: 02/02/2014 00:47:50 »

 

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