Shenshan Special Cooperation Zone

October 31, 2018

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Urban Strategies Inc., is thrilled to announce that we have won the International Urban Design Competition for Central Area of Shenshan Special Cooperation Zone. leading a multi-disciplinary team including SHDT (Shenzhen) and JET Design (Toronto).

The Zone, 60 kilometres to the east of Shenzhen, is a cooperative project between Shenzhen and Shanwei government, aiming to grow into a mid-size city with a projected population of 1.5 million people and a concentration of high-tech industry including artificial intelligence, robotics and A.V within 15 years.

As a national demonstration project, the Shenshan Special Cooperation Zone sets the stage for a new era of city building in China, building on new planning policies set out in China’s 18th National Congress (2015) and articulating ambitious themes such as ‘Global Vision’, ‘International Standards’, ‘Chinese Characteristics’, ‘Strategic Positioning’, ‘Innovation’ and ‘Openness’. Shenshan is at an important strategic node for both Shenzhen and Hong Kong, expanding their economic reach, forming a bridgehead from economically stagnant Eastern Guangdong to the booming Pearl River Delta region (at 60 Million people, the world’s largest city-region) and resolving current imbalances in the region’s development.

Set within a 50 square kilometre rolling landscape of hills, valleys, streams and rivers which extend to the South China Sea, the site is currently occupied by farmland as well as a handful of villages which will be carefully integrated into the plan. Shenshan will be built at more relaxed densities than recent generations of Asian Cities, with a population of 650,000 extending over a land area similar in scale to the City of Toronto, in mostly mid-rise building forms typically associated with cities such as Copenhagen, Barcelona or Paris. It will be a functional, sustainable metropolis that celebrates its landscape and historic setting, creating a human-centred environment and a high quality of life that sets a new bar for community building in China.

The international competition, organized by the Shenzhen Planning Bureau, was structured into three stages: a few dozen international expressions of interest, leading to an initial selection of six juried entries, a shortlist of two second-stage competitors, and a final jury award.

Our proposal, “DiversCity”, stood out among the six international/local competitors, with a compelling vision that features “mix of places, mix of mobilities and mix of communities” and a robust spatial framework that carefully integrates the new city within its existing setting.

Moving forward, the master plan scope includes refining the overall urban design plan for the core city (projected population of 650,000 by 2035) as well as a detailed design and urban design