Urban regeneration projects offer cities opportunities to define long-term development strategies that integrate the goals of more sustainable resource use and carbon emissions reduction. In Beijing, the relocation of a large pig iron plant originally founded in 1919 has left an area of 8.63km2 of prime city centre land ready for rehabilitation and regeneration. The collaboration between Arup, Shougang Group and Beijing Municipal Institute of City Planning & Design (BMICPD) since the early planning stages to develop a comprehensive low-carbon urban development and ecological plan has turned this Shougang Industry Services Park into China’s first C40 Climate Positive Development Project with an important climate change mission.
1st China project under C40 Climate Positive Development Programme
8.63km²former industrial area for sustainable urban development
Ambitious Climate Positive target
C40’s Climate Positive Development Programme supports the creation and implementation of large-scale urban communities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and serve as models for cities to grow in environmentally sustainable and economically viable ways. All projects endorsed under the programme seek to achieve a ‘climate positive’ emissions target of net-negative operational greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy, waste and transportation by reducing emissions on-site and offsetting emissions by reducing carbon in the neighbouring community.
Chance for urban regeneration
The Shougang steel mill was originally located to the west of Beijing and was one of the most important manufacturing bases in the city. Due to city government’s economic restructuring and pollution control initiatives, the whole operation was designated to be relocated. In 2005, using the Beijing Olympics as a catalyst, the entire production plant and company was relocated to Caofeidian in the adjoining Hebei Province, leaving an area of 8.63km2 of prime city centre land ready for rehabilitation and regeneration. In particular, a 340,000 m2 pilot site at the heart of the Park has been picked as the flagship feature of the development – home to 5,000 residents and 25,000 jobs, and to be planned in a sustainable way.
Planning in a sustainable way
Minimising the emissions generated during the development phase is key to the project’s Climate Positive status. To redevelop the pilot site, we have planned to experiment the idea of a low-carbon and sustainable urban development that includes elements like green buildings, clean energy, green transport, waste management, water resources, green spaces, heritage and rehabilitation of contaminated sites. By integrating post-industrial legacy rehabilitation together with the building of a liveable mixed-use community, we have also put our focus on demonstrating how to find a solution to the planning, building and management of the growth of a mega city like Beijing based on sustainable principles.
Sponge city strategy
We are also involved to support a multidisciplinary urban masterplanning team to implement sponge city strategy for the Shougang South Parcel with an area of 3,500,000m2. As over 80% of the site has been polluted, a great challenge to our engineering consultants is to achieve the high design standard via rainwater retention and detention, and ecological rehabilitation. Sustainable drainage solutions are restricted to the extent that it increases the cost of the soil remediation and increases the risk of ground water pollution. Therefore, we have taken prudent consideration on these two aspects from the outset of the design stage.
Well-recognised green and resilient city planning
Apart from being the first C40’s Climate Positive project in China, the Hong Kong Institute of Planners has awarded the project a Certificate of Merit for our eco-planning of the site and the Beijing city government has also named the site a ‘Green and Eco Demonstration Area’ for our efforts. It has also won the Grand Award in Research and Planning Category of Hong Kong’s Green Building Award 2016. Moreover, the findings of this pilot project will be used to inform a national policy framework for the regeneration of other industrial areas.
The Detailed Planning of North Parcel of Shougang Industry Services Park also won the First Prize of 2017 National Excellent Urban and Rural Planning and Design Award (Urban Planning)
As part of our mission to shape a better world, this award-winning project is another showcase of how we can help modern cities address sustainability and climate change issues.
The project will demonstrate that it is possible to turn areas that were once responsible for creating the most emissions into sustainable, low carbon communities for people to live and work in Beijing and across China.
- Jin Wei, Former Chairman of Shougang Group