The Langfang Eco-Smart City Master Plan was recently honored with the only 2010 Merit Award for Urban Design by the AIA Hong Kong chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The urban plan for Langfang was noted as a transformative model of ecological urban redevelopment that calls attention to the role of existing cities while forging a more sustainable future. Langfang grew as an agricultural hub with a population of 50,000 to a mid-20th century city of 800,000 and is located between Beijing and the Tianjin mega-region.
A collaboration between HOK and Woods Bagot’s San Francisco studio, the ‘Eco-Smart City Master Plan for Langfang’ proposes to intensify existing development patterns, preserve the surrounding agricultural land, and integrate ecological systems restoring and enriching the natural habitat. The program for the master plan creates an economically, culturally and environmentally vital metropolitan center in the region, serving future generations. Three key elements highlighted in the plan include: a city centre transportation hub, a northern gateway cultural corridor, and an extensive wetland and aquifer system.
The transportation hub will be located in the heart of the city and weave multiple modes of transportation together, including the projected high speed rail-line running between Shanghai and Beijing with Langfang’s own transportation system. The cultural corridor will mark the city’s northern gateway while creating a respite from the city’s denser urban core. Meanwhile the inner city aquifer system will be distributed throughout, a network of green corridors and ‘blueways’ – integrated landscape and water features, that serves the multi-functioning purpose of harvesting water, restoring biodiversity and enhancing the city’s identity.