Conceptual Planning Design of Jiading New Town
The Jiading Green Ring competition was part of a series of responses to how each of 5 new towns orbiting Shanghai would establish their identity locally in order to complement the historic, super-cultural capital of the main city. How to plan the periphery of cities is a long-running issue worldwide – how to keep it from turning into cheap, low-density sprawl? How to preserve the rich nature and culture found there in the face of development pressure?
TLS proposes that the entire 70 square kilometers surrounding Jiading be dedicated to a new university campus that will create a unified and purpose and program to all the land. The campus would be dedicated to research supporting sustainable approaches in agriculture, urban forestry, hydrology and wetlands, as well as land-based humanities, arts, and lifestyle practices. The research is founded on the land and its resources, honoring their heritage and moving forward into highly practical services for the future region.
The campus has 12 departments – in ecological practice, science, and arts / humanities, each with a specific territory and network of research facilities. The classrooms are formed by the land itself with just enough buildings to support this work. Much of the labs, workshops, and meeting spaces can be quickly established by modular and pre-fab systems that are easily adjustable and expandable. On site housing allows both students to live close to the work and also allows visiting ecotourists to appreciate the work and create revenue for the campus. All the departments are linked by a land loop of trails and bridges and also by a water loop allowing circumnavigation of the campus.
The Campus Center is a substantial first phase facility for administration and management as well as orienting visitors, leaders, and future donors. It is housed in pavilions on a large lake linked by a great circular Ring Bridge spanning both highway and canal to unite areas. The lake is also home a student union center with amphitheater, visiting faculty housing, small boat marina, and a public beach. Water quality for the lake is enhanced by an active filtration system attached to the façade of the Center. Come on in, the water’s fine!