Building sustainable, liveable, characterised and thriving towns has become a major topic in the new era of urbanization in China. Following the success of 2016 UK-China Ideal Town and Garden City Summit in London and the Hangzhou forum in October 2016, the China Design Centre is working with Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation (LGCHF), Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) and The Academy of Urbanism, to assist Chinese developers and town managers in learning from the UK’s experience and lessons.
The 24 Chinese delegates from China Greentown Group and its sister company Bluetown group, one of China’s top developers, are passionate at pioneering developing ideal towns, and interested in how to implement the right mechanism at the beginning to pull together all the elements for growing ideal towns. They are based in Hangzhou, a prosperous and scenic city south of Shanghai, and currently they are building more than over 30 towns in China. The towns they are developing often incorporates natural environment assets, agriculture, culture and creative industries, community, shops and facilities, and tourism.
Over 8th-17th May, the Chinese delegation had opportunities to exchange ideas about long-term stewardship model with LGCHF, about lessons and experiences from New Towns and New Garden Towns with TCPA, and about how private developers could actively engage the town development with Gascoyne Cecil. Led by Dr. Nicholas Falk, director of the Urbed Trust and Michael Vout, Chair of the West Midlands RTPI, the delegates visited Shrewsbury, Telford, Cirencester, Oxford and discussed rural economies and agriculture town with Royal Agriculture University.
Dr. Jiang Li, director of research with Greentown Ideal Town Development Group, commented: ‘It was an extraordinary experience for us the learn from the UK towns that has a repository of thoughts and knowledge of experimenting better towns. Even though UK and China have different planning systems and land policies, I believe there are lots for us to learn and I hope Greentown and Bluetown can closely engage with the UK to build exemplary towns in China’.