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Rebuilding Cities in China: The Debate over Urban Renewal versus Urban Revitalization

RENEWAL

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Noon-1:30pm
AIA East Bay, 1405 Clay Street, Oakland 94612
Free and open to all–please RSVP for room setup. Bring your lunch!

1.5 CES LUs

Massive economic growth in China since 1980 has increased the rate of urbanization. Growth has also increased the wealth of hundreds of millions of Chinese families. One of the few ways that households can invest their savings is in real estate. Urban governments have responded by facilitating investment in construction–especially the development of apartment towers.

However in coastal China, no land is “empty:” even farmland is densely settled. Therefore any new urban development must either acknowledge or erase existing settlements. There can be some overlap between these options, but usually the easiest option is “Urban Renewal:” the erasure of villages and historic landscapes and total replacement with new infrastructure and buildings.

Increasingly, Chinese planners are dissatisfied with the cookie-cutter effect of cities that look increasingly the same. Now that Chinese economic growth has dropped below 7% per year, some Chinese planners are calling for a reconsideration of the feasibility of the other option: Urban Revitalization, in which existing built and cultural landscapes are acknowledged, even as they are transformed.

Come to AIA East Bay at lunchtime to hear how Urban Revitalization may be the solution.

About the Presenter:

Dr. Pietro Calogero is a Lecturer in Urban Planning and Design at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou, China. He received his PhD in City & Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley in 2011.

His professional experience includes construction, architecture, and urban design. He oversaw the construction of 193 units of public housing in San Francisco from 1998 to 2003. He also worked on the University Avenue Specific Plan and the initial stages of the Sonoma-Marin Regional Transit (SMART) plan at Calthorpe Associates. In 1992, he assisted Allan Jacobs in completing Great Streets (1993).

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this presentation, attendees will:

  1. Be able to state two core aspects of the idea of Urban Revitalization.
  2. Be able to provide ways in which urban revitalization and urban renewal differ.
  3. Be able to describe negative impacts of China’s current regional planning structure.
  4. Be able to compare and contrast how China’s current growth struggles to Bay Area growth.

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