SOM design Tianjin’s new CBD

Conceived as a new, self-sustaining city, financial hub and regional centre, the Tianjin Binhai New Area CBD Urban Plan sets out to provide China with a new model for progressive, large-scale urban development.

The plan draws its energy from the city’s geographic proximity to the Beijing-Tianjin metropolitan area, broad access to transportation networks, and China’s decision to develop it – and its environs – into an economic engine that will serve the development of the Bohai Region, thus sharing similar strategic importance with Shenzhen in the Pearl River Delta and Pudong-Shanghai in the Yangtze River Delta.

The city’s urban design framework embraces physical, social and ecological sustainable development principles and focuses on creating pedestrian-orientated city spaces, diversified land uses, ample public amenities and a state-of-the-art transit network. By creating a new park system and introducing dense and distributed housing, business and cultural infrastructures, the plan sows a fertile landscape that will build new links between local and global financial, environmental, communication, and educational resource markets.

The 25.8 sq km plan was prepared in phases, initially as a regional planning framework addressing critical issues of access, land use and density distribution. At the heart of the new city, the Yujiapu Central Business District is designed in more detail with special attention to urban form, sustainable infrastructure systems, and the establishment of a continuous riverfront park system. Urban design guidelines – focused on landscape, streetscape, building massing and orientation – direct architectural design and development towards a common vision, yet offer flexibility for subsequent architects and designers to contribute to the ultimate image and character of the built environment.

Acting as catalysts for future development, phase 1 buildings and the high-speed rail station are currently under construction with occupancy expected by 2012. Full build-out of the CBD is expected by 2025.

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