World Master Gives Tips for SIP Planning
Invited to attend the 2nd session of SIP Development Consultative Conference, Liu Thai Ker, an international maestro of planning and "father of Singapore planning", brought to the session his unique insight of planning for SIP, covering issues of the handling of relationship between SIP and the ancient city proper, and the landscaping techniques for SIP, etc., showing his love for the newly emerged urban district under Sino-Singapore cooperation.
SIP Planning to Aim for 50 Years
Liu Thai Ker holds that planning should be aimed at future periods in building the new urban district and CBD, and the long-term planning should cover at least 50 years. Planning in Singapore normally takes 80 or 90 years into account, and had there been no ordered planning, Singapore would have been squeezed into the sea.
"A misconception prevails in many Chinese cities that CBD is tantamount to high-density residential district," Liu pointed out, and he called SIP to be alert in building CBD in SIP. He said that the most important factors in a CBD are functions of malls, hotels, office buildings, and government offices. That is to say, a CBD should contain deluxe hotels, the best office buildings, and the presence of government departments relevant to business activities.
Good Handling of Relationship Between SIP and Old City Proper
" A special feature of Suzhou is that the New District on the west, SIP on the east, and an old city proper in the middle for a belt, and the future development should also be planned as such. The ancient city has contributed a lot to the present growth of Suzhou, and therefore expects a high return in the future. The planning should be started at early stages, and the handling will become more difficult in the future." Liu emphasized the importance to well handle the relationship between SIP and the old city proper in the course of SIP development.
Liu Thai Ker , who has made frequent visits to Suzhou, is deeply impressed by Pingjiang District and the ancient town of Tongli, where streets and lanes, canals, houses have generally kept the original spatial and architectural forms as a microcosm of the ancient Suzhou. He said that the sense of culture and history is vital to an ancient city, and great attention must be paid to the ancient city in SIP planning, and to the alleviation of pressure on the ancient city in the new development. He recommended the experience of France, where planning proceeded in an ordered way without damaging the ancient elements.
Sustainable Molding of SIP Landscape
In Liu's view, a city impresses the residents and investors primarily with its landscape, but a misconception in many places in China is to regard buildings as landscape, and consequently tall, large, new, and novel buildings appeared to take the place of landscape. "In fact, the beauty of landscape lies in the neatness and order." He said that there are few attractive buildings in Singapore, but the city as whole looks very beautiful because the attraction arises to a larger degree out of its green environment.
Liu pointed out that CBD in SIP should conform to international standards, and its landscape should be molded in a sustainable way. The key to successful CBDs in other countries is that they have preserved their culture in landscape designing. The landscape designing of SIP should never depart from the sustained value of environment, cultivated cultural and artistic taste, and above all, planning technique based on long-term visions.
Nov. 18, 2005