New City 4.0 – Shenshan


Our masterplan design proposal for Shenshan Cooperation Zone Central Area – in collaboration with LAB Shanghai and RSD.

Shenshan SCZ, the village of 76,500 inhabitants, will become the city of 1.5 million in the next 30 years with ‘one centre and four districts.’ The central area will accommodate 650.000 inhabitants within 50km2 area surrounded by three mountains and a river. The central area functionally divides into two zones; the southern part is centered at governmental administration function, and the north is combined with the transportation hub of Shenshao Station to build a high-end business district.

XO Projects and our collaborative team did the meticulous studies on the existing terrain, streets, villages, infrastructure as well as river and mountain edges. The research was done to utilize every current opportunity as the potential of making the city unique to this exact location. The governmental slogan – ‘people’s city for the people’ and five concepts of ‘innovation, coordination, greenness and sharing’ led us to our vision of the regenerative city, the city that allows the rapid growth while co-existing with nature and keeping the human scale.

The vision of Shenshan regenerative city starts with the self-correction of the current conditions established with the last decades of Shenzhen’s rapid urbanisation, which concluded in the exacerbating environmental disturbs, dismissal of inexpensive land and low-cost labour.  The urban design dwells on five fundamental planning principles, that supports the idea of a systematic and regenerative urban growth:

1. one city and four archipelagos
2. ‘half’ Shenzhen
3. eco-water environmental design
4. ‘jade spine’ – the longest car-free street in the world
5. people’s city 4.0

1. one city and four archipelagos
The ‘one city and four archipelagos’ is a result of the topographical analysis. The Northern part, where the transportation hub will be located, is largely a flat land while the mountains and the forest occupies more than half of the land in the South.  Therefore we allocated the grid plan around the Northern transportation hub that allows the rapid growth of the CBD area. In the South, on the other hand, we located four archipelagos in the forest, limiting the growth of the city within the given boundary. By taking the full advantages of the topographical features, each archipelago will have it’s own centre and characteristics.

2. ‘half’ Shenzhen
‘Half’ Shenzhen concept came from the idea to break down the scale of Shenzhen city centre block sizes that sometimes appears to be inhumanly large. The smaller grid system was superimposed into Shenzhen’s large-size urban grid so that the grid is big enough to cope with the rapid growth while allowing the flexibility to be broken down into the human scale in the future when city matures. The combination of super grid and smaller grid organize the street hierarchy that creates the rhythm of the city and balance of ‘front and back.’ The water and the mountain edges and some of the existing streets are kept to keep the organic elements in the city environment to break the rigidity of the newly implanted grid.

3. eco-water environmental design
‘eco-water environmental design’ consists of the flood control safety system, water environment quality, ecological waterfront, and sponge city construction. The river banks will be sculpted to retain the current natural river shape, to form a flood control system that meets the requirements of ecological aesthetics. In the process of implementing the decontamination project, target water quality is divided according to the functional requirements of urban planning. Ecological means are used to purify water quality and improve water environment quality. Apply widely and mature ecoengineering techniques originated and commonly employed in Europe, the eco-water environmental design formulates appropriate application strategies form flexible and ecological shoreline design, retain the riverbank ecology, and co-exist naturally with people.

Organizing the multiple layers of transport mode will help the city with diverse activity around public transport infrastructure. Shenzhen has pioneered TOD while using four techniques to achieve the maximum effect: innovative financing, integrated planning, flexible zoning, stakeholder dialogue.

The Regenerative Shenshan City will further improve and extend the planning principles of the Transport-Oriented city. The metro line that connects Shenshan Station, the Administrative centre and to the coast will run beneath the jade spine connecting various activities from the North to South. Two tram lines will loop within the CBD area that gives the comfort and convenience to the people living and working in the city.

The administrative centre will feature the sky rail that loops around 24 hours. It also works as the tourist attraction to overview the city. Major roads will have the RBT (Rapid Bus Transit) system that connects the city and the outskirts. In the long-term, RBT can be replaced by LRT with the green buffer in-between.

Five horizontal axis and two vertical corridors as the primary landscape structure, decentralized landscape nodes in the north and centralized green cluster in the south will become the main pattern of a landscape. The landscape is centered on the ecological concept. The flexible waterfront line is providing the unique landscape experience while wetland ecosystem effectively purifies water quality and enhance species diversity. The community parks are separately arranged in the urban fabric while jade spine will function as the main pedestrian corridor connecting all the essential landscape nodes. The sports park is located in the center of the site so that it’s accessible from both North and South with the perfect sports and fitness facilities indoor and outdoor with all kinds of competitions, training, and daily fitness activities for the public; people can exercise in the natural environment.

Based on the current eco-conditions and topographical features, the Natural Mountain Park creates a unique natural landscape, providing the public with good gaming experience and ecological environment education, so that people can cherish valuable natural resources, and at last, marina park offers cool outdoor recreation in the hot summer days.

There are said to be around 15 different colors exist for jade stone. Just as its color diversity, the Jade spine will have multiple squares and plazas, each of them with different pavement, trees, water arrangement, the functions and sizes. In combination with the metro underneath, the Jade spine and the jade squares will be the gathering spot for the residents and commuters.


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