From Meadows to Megacities: Creating Urban Density in the Pearl River Region

Travis Soberg
Goettsch Partners, Chicago

The Greater Pearl River Delta region emerged as a result of China's 1979 reform policies. Within the last 20 years, the GPRD has grown from a population of less than 10 million people on 4500 sq km of land to over 42 million people on 7000 sq km of land; in the process becoming the world's largest urbanized region on the planet.

For designers of vertical tall buildings, how do we create instant urbanized cities from what was recently meadows or reclaimed land? What are the considerations for creating vibrant, healthy, sustainable environments which have historically developed over decades and complete them within a decade? How do these newly formed urban centers then connect regionally with other newly formed urban centers into a modern mega-region? This presentation used case studies from the GPRD region to understand planning methodologies and considerations used in turning rural farmland into dense urban centers.

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