Of anywhere in the world, China provides some of the most amazing urban development opportunities. The rate of change is exponential, the critical role of visionary planning is well understood, and the appetite for excellent, world class design is huge. These factors combined create an ideal scenario for global excellence in building cities and places for the future.
Once detailed plans and processes are clearly defined, things happen quickly in China. Unlike some parts of the world, there is organised bureaucracy; decisions are made with careful consideration, but without delay, and approvals are therefore expedited. The scale of projects is enormous and there is a sophisticated understanding of the need for high quality, innovative design.
Scott Carver is currently working on some of the country’s largest waterfront and tourism projects. These include a significant proportion of 1.3km waterfront development in the Pudong, Shanghai and the Qingdao Marina Precinct, due for completion in April 2018. Scott Carver won an international competition to design the marina precinct, set to be the biggest in the world by berths.
The company has been approached to work on a 488 square kilometre Aerotropolis City in Chengdu, which is envisaged to become the new international gateway from China to the world. The city will link eastern China up through Russia to Europe; with its own airport (with nine international runways), it is designed to service China’s Silk Road vision.
Scott Carver’s vast experience in projects of a similar scale, as well as a finely tuned and nuanced approach to working within the Chinese market, positions the company as a world leader in urban design.
Andrew Turnbull, Director at Scott Carver, has been working in Asia and China for more than two decades across a range of projects including planned communities, tourism, marina and waterfront developments. His knowledge of the market and ability to forge close relationships to realise grand visions is second to none.
According to Turnbull, Scott Carver has a mandate for place led design. “That really is about creating enduring solutions for place – founded in the fusion of natural and built systems, cultural exchange and heritage appreciation. You need a bit of everything to make places memorable, inclusive, relevant and sustainable. It’s very much about understanding the human dimension – how do people relate to their spaces and each other. That’s the difference that we provide.”
A holistic approach to design is part of why clients are drawn to Scott Carver, says Dajon Veldman, Principal of Urban Design at Scott Carver. With more than 15 years of work experience in China, Veldman says competitiveness between global cities is set to increase and must be factored in at the outset. Clients in the Chinese market are mindful of positioning themselves at the forefront of such lists; Australian city’s enviable status as one of the “world’s most liveable cities,” for example, is to be emulated.
He argues the sophistication of clients in China helps ensure outstanding results – it’s essential for both the designer and the client to have a shared vision for achieving the best possible outcome for end users and client alike.
Veldman talks about design led planning, whereby a site is assessed in terms of its best possible uses. That approach applies across the board, it’s about assessing who will live there, the open spaces and land uses, ensuring there is a lot of depth and layers, so that every area has its own character. “We want to create amazing outcomes and be focussed on that. In China, the initial phase is very much on design – the end use, how it will change over time, what are the elements you can build on,” he says. “People and businesses will start to choose where they set up based not only on whether it is a nice place, but whether it’s a brand, effectively, that people want to be associated with.”
As one of the world’s economic leaders for the 21st century, there is no sign of development slowing in China. Hand in hand with Scott Carver, the country is well placed to carve out an incredible and vibrant future.