Following the successful implementation of two subway lines and one arterial road streetscape improvement, the City of Ningbo is looking for a comprehensive strategy to revitalize its thousand year old historical downtown and to create a vibrant, pedestrian friendly, attractive core of the city. Urban Strategies was selected as strategic planner and urban designer to lead the process, in close collaboration with PFS (landscape design) and local transportation engineers from Shanghai Urban Construction Design Institute.
The fast urbanization and urban expansion in Ningbo in the past 20 years has led to two major issues that’s challenging its historical downtown:
1. The city has been adopting an auto-oriented development approach which led to a massive increase of private car ownership in the city. The historical fabric of downtown being disrupted by several arterial roads. Local streets are congested by legal or illegal on-street parking. How to reinstall a more balanced transportation modes and to create continuous pedestrian network is a key issue to address
2. In order to accommodate the growth, the city has created several new centres outside of its historical downtown. Some of the major civic functions are relocated from its historical downtown to the new centres. The remaining uses are primarily retail and residential. With existing aging housing stock and lack of redevelopment opportunities, the historical downtown neighborhoods is not attractive to young professional residences. There is a lack of energy to bring life back into its rich historical culture.