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Title:An urbanism theory for Chengdu: criteria towards advancing an alternative urban development model for central Chinese cities
Author(s):Liu, Changchang
Advisor(s):Sears, Stephen M.
Department / Program:Landscape Architecture
Discipline:Landscape Architecture
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):urban development model
central Chinese cities
Abstract:This project advances an alternative urban development model for central Chinese cities. Urbanization of Chinese cities occurred within a relatively short time compared to western cities. The related urban theories, as a consequence, are less developed. Most Chinese cities apply western urban theories directly to an eastern setting, which causes underused and unsuccessful urban space. Currently, both Chinese citizens and theorists are looking for an urban development model that can perfectly fit in the specific context. In this thesis, the Kuanzhai district is the main study model. Kuanzhai, a historical commercial district in Chengdu, holds great popularity and contributes to the conservation of the local culture. Chengdu is the largest and oldest city in central China. Other central Chinese cities look to Chengdu as a model of a good balance between modernization and cultural heritage in its built environment. In order to establish a unique urban theory for central Chinese cities, this thesis presents a study of western urban theories since 1960, conducts an intensive analysis of Chengdu's Kuanzhai district, and makes a comparison of these theories to the Kuanzhai district. The analysis of Kuanzhai focuses on five components of urban space; these are identified as people, time, programs, space/scale and materiality. The outcome reveals the discrepancies between western urban design theories and the situation of Chengdu, and establishes unique criteria for the development of central Chinese cities. To test the generality, rationality and applicability of the criteria, two other places in the city of Chengdu--Wenshu and Kejia, are also examined. The goal of this thesis is to use those criteria to advance a development model specific to central Chinese cities that underscores a unique cultural and physical composition within the built environment.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Changchang Liu
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
Date Deposited:2014-05

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