Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture announced that it has completed a master plan for Chengdu Tianfu District Great City, a self-sustaining, environmentally sensitive 1.3-square-kilometer satellite city. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall on an approximately 3-square-kilometer site outside Chengdu, China.
One of the first projects of its kind to be proposed or completed in China, Great City—developed by Beijing Vantone Real Estate Co., Ltd.—is envisioned as a prototype or model city to be replicated in other locations throughout the country. The development is intended to respond to the problem of overburdened infrastructure in many of China’s major urban centers without contributing to the high energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with suburban sprawl.
The Great City will take around eight years to complete, and will be home to about 30,000 families totaling 80,000 people, many of whom will also have opportunities to work within the development. The distance from any location in the city to any other location will be walkable within about 15 minutes, all but eliminating the need for most automobiles. The city will also be connected to Chengdu and surrounding areas via mass transit to be accessed at a regional transit hub at the Great City center.
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The project has been designed to achieve a remarkable series of sustainable benchmarks. Great City will use 48% less energy and 58% less water than a conventional development of similar population. It will also produce 89% less landfill waste and generate 60% less carbon dioxide.
“Great City resolves the relationship between high-density urban living and sustainable development,” says Adrian Smith, FAIA, who directed the design process along with AS+GG partner Gordon Gill, AIA. “This project will provide all basic services to its residents through a sustainable infrastructure that supports education, commerce, culture and an improved quality of life. It demonstrates how China can reduce its ecological footprint while creating economic conditions that are affordable for the majority of citizens and address contemporary social concerns.”
The project has been designed to conserve existing farmland, with more than 60% of the 800-acre site area preserved for agriculture and open space. The 320-acre urbanized area will be surrounded by a 480-acre buffer landscape, whose natural topography—including valleys and bodies of water—will be integrated into the city itself. Within the city, 15% of the land will be devoted to parks and landscaped space, while 60% will be parcelized for construction. The remaining 25% will be devoted to infrastructure, roads and pedestrian streets.