Songjiang eyes overseas urban planning designers for New Town

Yang Yang
Designers from renowned foreign and domestic design agencies gathered in Songjiang recently to discuss urban planning for Songjiang New Town.
Yang Yang

Designers from renowned foreign and domestic design agencies gathered in Songjiang recently to discuss urban planning for Songjiang New Town as this year’s Two Sessions in Shanghai called for hastening the steps in developing the city’s five suburban areas — Songjiang, Jiading, Qingpu, Fengxian and Nanhui — into future growth engines.

On January 28, representatives from leading agencies, including Germany’s SBA Architektur, Japan’s Nihon Sekkei, UK’s Atkins, Shanghai Tongji Urban Planning Design Research Institute, Shanghai Urban Planning Design Research Institute and the East China Architecture Design and Research Institute, attended a conference in the suburban district to offer solutions for Songjiang New Town’s urban planning.

Songjiang was the first in China to invite renowned designers from international agencies to take part in its urban planning. In 1996, France’s SCAU Architect was invited to plan a 12-square-kilometer area in the north of the district’s old town area.

The current urban planning schemes will enable Songjiang New Town to be further developed based on advanced urban planning concepts and standards.

“We will apply Germany’s smart city and digital city construction experiences into planning and designing for Songjiang New Town,” said Jin Yichun, vice president of SBA’s Shanghai branch.

SBA has more than 20 years’ experience in running projects in China. Its key projects in Shanghai include urban planning for the Hongqiao transport hub area and the Shanghai East Railway Station area.

Zhou Hui, vice president of Nihon Sekkei’s Shanghai branch, said: “We’ve participated many times in helping design Songjiang’s various science and technology parks and industrial parks. We interpret the Songjiang transport hub design project as a transit-oriented development project (TOD). With our rich experience in TOD projects, we will invite our Tokyo team members to participate in Songjiang New Town’s development.”

He Xinyao, an associate director at Atkins, said: “We will dispatch a design team with 20 years’ working experience in urban planning in China to join the Songjiang project.”

Atkins previously cooperated with Songjiang in designing its Thames Town and InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland.

The Shanghai Tongji Urban Planning Design Research Institute, whose previous experience includes the renovation of Shanghai Railway Station and Shanghai South Railway Station, will be in charge of the urban design of the Songjiang transport hub and the Songjiang old city historic and cultural zone.

The five “new cities” will be developed into conveniently accessed livable areas where urban life and industrial development is well integrated, with each being able to attract a population of one million people in the medium to long term.

They are being designed to have a radiation effect in driving integrated development within the city clusters of the Yangtze River Delta region, and have different positioning.

In Songjiang, clusters of emerging industries, such as electronic information, integrated circuits, artificial intelligence and biomedicine, will be expanded and consolidated.

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