Plan­ning has a ma­jor im­pact on Shang­hai

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By LI YANG in Shang­hai liyang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Shang­hai has a lot of work to do be­fore it can be­come a global city.

Land use, plan­ning for nat­u­ral dis­as­ters and eco­nomic com­pet­i­tive­ness are some of the is­sues fac­ing the city.

“The city is a con­tainer of the uncer­tain­ties of econ­omy, and nat­u­ral, so­cial and po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ments,” Zhang Ting­wei, a pro­fes­sor of city plan­ning with the Univer­sity of Illi­nois, said in a fo­rum on Shang­hai’s city plan­ning last week.

“City plan­ners must ad­dress th­ese uncer­tain­ties in their work.”

Land needs to be pre­served to give ci­ties such as Shang­hai the abil­ity to cope with nat­u­ral dis­as­ters and se­cu­rity con­cerns,

Zhang pro­posed a list of prin­ci­ples to make a city re­silient:

The econ­omy, so­ci­ety, in­fra­struc­ture, land use and biosys­tem of a city must be mul­ti­fac­eted. In­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tions should serve mul­ti­ple pur­poses. The vi­tal­ity of in­no­va­tion and so­cial cap­i­tals must be main­tained. The city’s econ­omy should be mod­u­lar­ized to re­duce the in­flu­ence of crises. The city should have ef­fi­cient in­for­ma­tion-feed­back sys­tems. And the city should have spe­cial sys­tems serv­ing the eco­log­i­cal sys­tem.

A heavy rain can eas­ily kill dozens of res­i­dents in large ci­ties in China through drown­ing or elec­tri­cal shocks. Ex­plo­sions or pol­lu­tion caused by nat­u­ral gas and oil pipe­lines that were im­prop­erly main­tained or buried decades ago have caused havoc in sev­eral ci­ties in China. Shang­hai can draw lessons from those dis­as­ters.

“We need to use new the­o­ries and meth­ods in city plan­ning to­day to make bet­ter use of the limited space and pro­mote sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of the city,” agreed Zhuang Shao­qin, di­rec­tor of Shang­hai’s City Plan­ning Bureau. “The space gives the city po­ten­tial to cope with the uncer­tain­ties in its de­vel­op­ment. We will pay more at­ten­tion to re­serve more land for fu­ture emer­gency use.”

The ex­perts also dis­cussed Shang­hai’s de­vel­op­ment and how it af­fects city plan­ning. The mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment wants to build Shang­hai into a global city.

Wang Zhan, a so­ci­ol­o­gist with the Shang­hai Academy of So­cial Sciences, said: “Shang­hai will first be­come a world-class city be­fore a global city.”

Shang­hai is the in­ter­sec­tion city of the three na­tional eco­nomic and trade de­vel­op­ment strate­gies: the Yangtze River eco­nomic zone, the Mar­itime Silk Road con­nect­ing South­east Asia, and the Silk Road eco­nomic belt across the Eurasian con­ti­nent.

“Th­ese strate­gies and China’s fast eco­nomic growth lay a foun­da­tion for Shang­hai, a na­tional eco­nomic hub, to be­come a global city,” Wang said. “But China is an ori­en­tal coun­try. The lan­guage, cul­ture and civ­i­liza­tion are all dif­fer­ent from the West, who is still the dom­i­nant power in the globe. Shang­hai should ac­quire enough cul­tural soft power to win recog­ni­tion of the world.”

Shang­hai is an ex­pen­sive city in terms of business costs, apart­ment rents, salaries, taxes and gov­er­nance, which can make it less at­trac­tive to man­u­fac­tur­ing, and re­search and de­vel­op­ment de­part­ments of global en­ter­prises.

Shang­hai also is gen­er­ally iso­lated from the other dozens of ci­ties and towns in south Jiangsu and north Zhe­jiang prov­inces in the Yangtze River delta re­gion.

“The de­vel­op­ment of in­ter­city rail tran­sit and high-speed rail­way should pro­mote the bal­anced al­lo­ca­tion of pro­duc­tive fac­tors in the delta re­gion,” Wang said. “The gov­ern­ment is in fact a key for the re­gional co­or­di­na­tion.”

GAO ERQIANG / CHINA DAILY

A 6-square-kilo­me­ter man-made lake was com­pleted in 2003 in Shang­hai’s sub­urbs to meet emer­gent needs for fresh wa­ter.

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