Huarong County Strategic Masterplan
Adapting Garden City principles to China’s rapid urbanisation has been one of the focuses of Wei Yang and Partners’ work. This does not only benefit China’s unprecedented urban-rural integration development, which is vital to global economy and stability, but also helps promote best practices of planning and design. The strategic masterplan for Huarong County demonstrates the firm’s passion and strength in creating vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities in the 21st century context.
A historic county in Central China, Huarong is renowned for its fascinating history, rich culture, vernacular architecture and natural beauty. Over the past two decades, its steady economic growth saw a significant increase of rural-urban migration and rapid expansion of the urban areas. While the breathtaking transition brought many benefits, it also had boarder impacts on infrastructure capacity, urban form, and eco-system, threatening the fragile natural landscape.
The vision of WYP’s masterplan was to create a fine example of sustainable urban-rural integrated development for Central China, with particular emphasis on high quality waterside design. Guided by the core principle of sustainability, the plan focused on three areas: first, reviewing the current plan and development status, consolidating development zones, and establishing a framework for the whole county; second, developing regeneration strategies for the existing city, in particular, its historic old town; finally, planning a concentrated development zone next to the existing city, the Lakeside New City, a mixed use, medium density, high quality urban district to accommodate future growth.
Inspired by the concept of man living in harmony with nature, the planned city organically merged with mountains, rivers, lakes and fields, fostering a healthy and prosperous community. Highlight of the project was a two-kilometre long waterside development filled with a fine-grained mix of uses, exquisite liveliness and unique identity. Centred around the Tianjia Lake, fragmented marshland was restored and protected as a wetland park, acting as an eco-buffer to benefit both humans and wildlife.
Following completion of the master plan, Wei Yang & Partners were commissioned to provide a Design Code for implementation.