East Asia & Pacific » China

Beijing-Hebei-Tianjin Megapolitan Metro-Matrix
  Pedro B. Ortiz Beijing Hebei Tianjin Metropolitan Megalopolis Urban Metro Matrix
  The 216,000 square kilometre region surrounding the capital is home to more than 100 million people and has a combined gross domestic product of more than 6 trillion yuan (HK$7.6 trillion), making it the country's third main economic engine after the Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta.
Urbanisation of the Jing-Jin-Ji region has been a goal since the 1980s, but conflicting interests have stalled progress. Just why Xi is pushing the plan now is the subject of much analysis and conjecture. The first reason put forward by analysts is that the new leadership had to find a solution to the "urban diseases" afflicting Beijing and Tianjin - hellish traffic jams and chronic air pollution arising from their rapid population growth.
The metropolises, two of the country's four most important cities directly under central government control, realised they could not tackle these problems without the cooperation of Hebei. Another reason is that the central government is trying to restructure the economy away from its decades-old growth model that is heavily dependent on capital investment and export-oriented manufacturing. That model is increasingly unstable, and the economy is in desperate need of new momentum. Finally, it is also possible that it is a tactic to end the inefficiency of neighboring localities as they compete for similar businesses. (Additional reporting by Victoria Ruan)
Metro-Matrix provides the answer
Tongzhou as part of the Beijing Metro-Matrix
  Pedro B. Ortiz China Metro Matrix metropolitan plan beijing tongzhou urban transport
  East city of 1.5 million inhabitants east of Beijing within the metropolitan area.
This is how the huge Beijing Metro-Matrix (250 million inhabitants) works wehn we zoom into one specific area. In this case Tongzhou.
China Challenge resolution: Chengdu example
  Pedro B. Ortiz Ian Johnson New York Times China Chengdu Metro Matrix metropolitan structure
  China confronts a huge challenge. In the next 20 years, 250 million people will move into towns. That's a rate of 1 million people a month, 30,000 each day. China needs to build a city of 30,000 inhabitants, 12,000 homes, each and every day for the next 20 years, or even longer.

Is China doing it right? It doesn't look that way. They are simply copying western mistakes in urban planning and expanding them.

Ian Johnson's article in the New York Times (November 9, 2013) is a good example of these mistakes. China is reproducing the post war Euro-American banlieus from which came a specific social-neurosis disease: The ‘Sarcellite’ (Paris suburban new-town Sarcelles)

A radically different approach is required: an approach of their own; Sowed from their past and projected into the future. Chengdu is a good example of the Metro-Matrix approach to a China city and to its explosive development: It's a way to have economic efficiency, social equality and environmentally sustainable development for the future.

Just out of The Art of Shaping the Metropolis, McGraw Hill. China Authorities could make good use of it.
Nanjing dialogue of scales
  Pedro B. Ortiz Nanjing Shanghai China Brainshop Metropolitan Discipline Metro Matrix Structural Strategic Planning
  Nanjing, as all China, is making a relevant effort to join the modern world of economic development. This economic thrust is based on infrastructure building. While in most countries the message has to be that there is a need to invest to improve economic output, in China the message is different: You have to prepare for when infrastructure investment and traditional heavy industries will not be a priority for development due to negative rates of return. Nanjing has to invest in metropolitan software (innovation and research) rather than metropolitan hardware. That turning point will definitively arrive in 20 years. But you have to start turning your wheel before to avoid running out of the sharp curve.

Nanjing is part of Shanghai Mega Metropolis. Has to find its role and play it well. The strategic location, on the Yangtze passage in the road to Beijing, is an asset that has worked for a thousand years and still plays. The bend of the Yangtze articulates de metropolis into two directionalities. Built infrastructures reflect that duality sometimes disconnected an unarticulated. The message is clear: Building is good, bravo. But intermodality is essential. Inarticulation is very inefficient and costly. Innovation flourishes in urban centralities: Connect your existing metropolitan hardware, feed your future metropolitan software.

China is proud, and for a reason. I hope that these humble guidelines will be assumed, not necessarily in the open, and will help China becoming the first national GDP in the world in the next 17 years.
  Shenzhen Pearl River Delta Metro Matrix strategic Plan Lang Tian
  160609 MSLab, Lang Tian
within Alessandro Frigerio and Pedro B. Ortiz,
Access to Urbanity: Designing the City as a Resource
Wuhan National-Metropolitan integration (snapshot)
  Pedro B. Ortiz Wuhan China Metropolitan Metro Matrix Structural Strategic Planning
  Wuhan is part of the Middle Yangtze central megalopolis of China. Its role in national structuring cannot be denied nor avoided. It is the national responsibility of the local authorities. China is an NS and EW reticula. National authorities have well understood that and have established a pattern of infrastructure locations and investments in accordance with this correct understanding of the national integration.

The metropolis, however, is structured in an SW-NE diagonal axis imposed by the river and its sharp bend to the SE. The metropolis is not circular and pretending imposing such an orbital pattern will incur in multiple mistakes and responsibilities. It will not integrate with the national axes, it will not uncork the full development potential of the metropolis. This will have environmental and social implications that can limit, if not jeopardize in the long-term, the equilibrate evolution of the metropolis to position itself with a leading global role.

We present here just a snapshot. The full metropolitan analysis and subsequent prioritization of strategic projects have to be developed form this first analytical approach. We wish Wuhan capable authorities and planning staff members all the best in this pursuit of excellence.
Mac Shanghai
  Shanghai Metro Matrix metropolitan strategic structural urban plan
  Will Shanghai be a world capital? Only 5 metropolises are world capitals. New York, London, Paris, Frankfurt and Tokyo.

Tokyo is loosing ground and the prospects of Japan are doomed. China will take over. Already has. But is takes time to shift power markets and neither Beijing nor Shanghai have yet overpassed Tokyo. They will.

The issue is which of the two Chinese cities will be the economic leading capital. Shanghai looks like the economic force but we must not forget that China is a centralized country and not only within the single-party communist regime, but throughout history. The Imperial system, based on Lao-Tzu and Kong-Fu philosophical approaches are rather more into the Roman Law Neo-Platonism system than the Common Law Empirical one. In that philosophical/Governance system political and economic power are territorially linked rather than delocated.

This feature will concentrate in Beijing political and economic power.
Never the less Shanghai has to play its cards, and Shanghai cannot play its cards if it doesn't’t have a good hand. A decongested metropolis is a must, and a Metro-Matrix approach the requirement fro Shanghai to perform and meet its future.