- Development of an 80km2 site into a city of 400,000 people by 2025.
- Preparation of detailed masterplan and sustainability guidelines.
- Conservation of productive land and argricultural heritage.
Agricultural land is rapidly disappearing in China following rapid urbanisation and desertification. Wanzhuang provides a unique opportunity to explore eco-city development with a focus on agriculture as a starting point.
Located halfway between Beijing and the port city of Tianjin, the 80km2 site, the area has been selected by the Chinese Government for development into a city that will accommodate approximately 400,000 people by 2025.
Preserving, utilising and enhancing the local knowledge and farming skills of Wanzhuang’s residents is vital. The rural landscape promotes close contact with nature, a proven source of well-being.
Arup assembled a multidisciplinary design team to prepare the detailed masterplan and sustainability design guidelines. A best practice, evidence-based sustainability appraisal process was used to integrate the urban design, landscape, agricultural, economic development, cultural, sustainable resettlement, transport, logistics, energy, water, waste and resources, environmental, and commercial framework strategies.
The emerging concept of the proposal is a cluster of villages around a shared town centre, connected to the Beijing-Tianjin corridor. The compact, mixed-use development proposed around the existing villages allows for the conservation of important productive land and agricultural heritage, the existing urban fabrics of the villages and other elements of the existing natural landscape.
The successful development of Wanzhuang eco-city will help to explore a new way to solve China’s urban-rural gap and to achieve harmonious urbanisation.