Or rather, “What are they thinking!?”
Cars and more cars: In China, car ownership at present is about 20 million, but is projected to be 250 million in 2020 (an 820% increase in a decade!), subject to the availability of a fuel.
‘Bigger is better:’ An overwhelming sense of the development projects is that the bigger they are the better they are. In Nanchang, building setbacks are to be over 120 m in new plans, just about twice that of the Champs Elysée.
‘What context?’ Compared to North America, the approach to development has a disconnect in terms of both sense of scale and regard for the surrounding context. The primary objective is to create a superb standalone development, regardless of its context in terms of either use or scale.
‘Seven stories is cool’ In a number of areas buildings were universally seven stories high, since that was the height one could build without elevators. Their orientation was such that there was ventilation through single-loaded units. While most people owned air- conditioners, frequently there was not enough energy available to use them! Therefore, the natural ventilation achieved with building orientation was critical.
– Philip Weinstein, a senior partner of Toronto-based firm The Planning Partnership, at a Lambda Alpha meeting in Phoenix.
Hasn’t anyone in China calculated the amount of land 250 million cars would require to drive and park, not to mention the consequences with respect to energy security, greenhouse gases, local air and noise pollution, traffic deaths and urban design? It seems they are metaphoricallly going to drive off a cliff, and the only question is how fast can they do it.Read more »