Tag Archives: urban planning

Big project financing requires creative approach

The creation of the Greater Bay Area requires a new way of thinking about how to finance its development going forward, and China Daily (Hong Kong) has produced a timely and insightful report on the subject. As the state-run news outlet explains, the construction of a rapid intercity transportation network is becoming “too large in scale to rely solely on local governments. Private enterprises should also gain many opportunities to participate in the Bay Area construction.”

But what should the financing model be? Build-Operate-Transfer? That didn’t suit the HZMB, the region’s single biggest project to date. Asset-backed securitization? Government-subsidized private projects? Perhaps there are creative ways to structure public-private partnerships (PPPs) that “meet project needs while conforming to the regulatory structures of various governments”, the media group opines. This will require some changes in government regulation, which, it seems, the article is suggesting are under consideration.

The article quotes Wallace Yu Ka-hung, at the Beijing-based sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp, as saying private capital could flow into the Bay Area via PPP financing.

“As a modern city cluster development plan, some more innovative financing solutions should be introduced in the Bay Area,” Yu said.

Read more.

Henning Larsen to design Shenzhen Bay HQ City

Danish firm Henning Larsen, along with two Chinese firms, has won the international competition to design the Shenzhen Bay Headquarters City in Houhai. Selected from 15 participants, the team will collaborate on the 5.5 million square meter district that is touted as being the future of Shenzhen’s modern development. 

Henning Larsen envisioned a masterplan that “shifts paradigms of Chinese urban planning and sets the standard for a green, sustainable and livable city of the future,” according to an official statement. 

The firm’s design aims to create a pedestrian urban realm where cars are relegated to an extensive underground network of highways, roads and parking. In lieu of the massive shopping malls traditionally sitting beneath the tall buildings, Henning Larsenproposes a porous urban fabric composed of smaller buildings sitting in between the towers. At eye level, this urban typology offers a human scale with narrow alleys and small piazzas. 

Large-scale art installations seek to attract attention from afar, while the seafront will house larger cultural venues for performing arts and exhibitions. Furthermore, an ambitious plan to impose public and cultural venues at the pinnacle of the tallest towers will create a ‘skyline of art’ — defining the overall image of the entire district.

Read more.

Shenzhen #1 in China

Here is one of those only-in-China accolades: the density of the road network within Shenzhen’s three administrative districts of Futian, Luohu and Nanshan is ranked top in the country, according to a road network report released by China Academy of Urban Planning & Design. It has reached 9.50 – which means there are 9.50 km of roads for every square kilometer of land available.

It is not what springs immediately to mind – of concrete jungles – however, as anyone who has visited Shenzhen can attest. Higher density also suggests higher walkability of a city, allowing people to “more intimately feel the community life”, apparently. 

The report looked at 36 major Chinese cities and concluded that the average road density of these cities stands at 5.96 km per square kilometer. Shenzhen’s road density level is way ahead, followed by Fujian’s Xiamen (8.49) and Sichuan’s Chengdu (8.07). All three cities have achieved the national target of 8. 

Among the country’s three other Tier One cities, Shanghai has 7.15, Guangzhou 7.06 and Beijing 5.65. 

Read more (in Chinese).