The August/September 2013 issue of Planning magazine includes a feature by Alan Mountjoy, a planning and urban design principal in NBBJ’s Boston office, about recent advances in urban design in China. His article, “Lessons from China’s New Waterfronts,” highlights the ways in which cross-cultural exchanges can benefit everyone in a global economy.
In the article, Alan describes several important Chinese urban design trends that could also be a benefit to, and easily implemented in, Western cities — trends such as using urban parks as flood storage, enabling flood protection infrastructure to double as functional space, protecting against sea-level rise, preserving industrial heritage, and fostering agriculture and agri-tourism.
“An increasing number of Chinese practitioners who have trained internationally are transforming the way Chinese cities are designed,” Alan writes. “The resulting spaces, while inspired by international ideas, inevitably fit the Chinese context, and yet practitioners in both the developing and developed worlds can draw insight from them.”