Site planning and guiding principles of hi-tech parks in China: Shenzhen as a case study

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Geography and Geology


Recent institutional changes, marketization, and globalization have combined to bring about rapid economic growth in contemporary China. One of the direct outcomes is the rapid expansion of large cities and the recurring birth of new cities from small towns and rural villages. Clustered construction cranes are popular scenes in many Chinese cities. One of the noticeable city landmarks is the specialized economic development district, such as a hi-tech park, industrial park, commerce park, high-standard apartment complex, and designated port district. Along with the development of these new types of urban blocks, the Chinese policies and practices of urban planning and city design have been dramatically reshaped. This paper, on the basis of our participatory observation of the planning process of the Shenzhen Silicon Peak Software Ecological Park, examines site planning and design of hi-tech parks in China. The paper discusses the seven principles guiding the development of hi-tech parks, and the four implementation strategies directing planning and design practices. It also illustrates the adoption of GIS techniques, the new eco-community planning approach, and the classic Chinese cosmology - harmonious wind and water (Jeng shui) - through the case study. The paper concludes with discussion of the changes of Chinese values and practices of urban planning in the context of hi-tech parks in the transitional period.

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