Urban planning and spaces creation of Overseas Chinese Town from the perspective of humanism

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At the beginning of China's Reform and Opening Up, in order to promote the development and construction of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, the central government sent several central enterprises to support, and thus formed several relatively independent development zones in Shenzhen. As a zone developed under the leadership of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, Overseas Chinese Town (OCT) is different from the general industrial zones such as Shekou and Nanyou. OCT has determined the construction policy of "industry oriented, comprehensive, beautiful environment and characteristic" from the very beginning, and gradually developed into a comprehensive urban area. In the development and construction of OCT for more than 30 years, the concept of "human centric" has been embodied in both urban plan and public space design, and various spaces have been created, making it a unique and representative characteristic urban area in Shenzhen. This paper reviews the embodiment of humanism in the planning and various spaces creation of OCT in different periods and the existing shortcomings, and analyzes the influence of OCT's experience on Shenzhen and other cities in China. In 1985, the master plan of OCT put forward the basic concept of "relying on nature and people-oriented", which was continuously implemented in the planning revision every ten years. Under the human centric planning concept, OCT has distinctive characteristics in the following four types of urban space: (1) Residential space—represented by the residential area of Portofino, learning from an Italian small town to organize architectural layout with square and waterfront as the center, advocate a simple and romantic lifestyle and pay attention to people's life experience;(2) Industrial space—represented by OCT Creative Culture Park, the park planning provided a foundation, the designers encouraged the owners to transform and design independently, respected the wishes of each owner, which makes the park spaces appear rich and individual;(3) Leisure space—represented by the Ecological Square, it was designed on the basis of investigating the needs of the crowd, focusing on the spatial hierarchy and plant diversity, forming a public leisure space with vitality and a sense of community belonging;(4) Traffic space—planning road network according to local conditions, adopting "Y" intersection without traffic lights, realizing traffic self-diversion, considering the combination of bicycle lane and pedestrian lane, and paying attention to people's slow travel experience. The lack of consideration for people in the actual development and construction of OCT lies in the fact that the free road network based on the landform easily leads to the lack of sense of direction; The new residential buildings in the north of OCT are too high, causing pressure on pedestrians; The walking links between the north and south sides of Shennan Avenue are inconvenient. In the planning and the creation of spaces of OCT, enough emphasis have been laid on the consideration of spatial scale, convenience, spatial quality and interest, etc and the promotion of people’s perception and experience, so as to make the residents, businesses and tourists in OCT have a strong sense of satisfaction and identity. The formation and persistence of "human centric" concept is not only related to the corporate culture of OCT, but also benefited from the exchanges and discussions of designers at home and abroad.
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5: Uniqueness and connectivity. Al-Baraha: unlocking urban futures
Shanghai Tongji Urban Planning & Design Institute Co. Ltd.

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