Urban Revitalization in my Hometown
I’ve been going to Newcastle University since September of this year, and I’m just now starting to take classes that are about urban design. Even though I’ve only been studying urban design for ten days, I’d like to use my first blog post to talk about how my hometown has changed over the years from an urban design perspective. Even though it’s only been ten days, I’ve only just started to get a very basic understanding of urban design.
My hometown, Deqing, is in the north of the province of Zhejiang, which is in the southeast of China and near Shanghai. It has a rich history, which makes learning about it very interesting. It also has a beautiful landscape and a pleasant climate, which make it a great place to live. I grew up in Deqing, and in the twelve years I’ve lived there, I’ve seen it change from a small county to the big city it is now. This change happened right in front of my eyes. I think urban planning and design have played a big role in this situation.
New Town and Old Town
Due to a lack of space, the new city centre was moved southeast of the abandoned old town. Ten years have passed. As a child, I used to wonder why buildings for different things were so far apart. I was a kid. Now, I think about Edward Howard’s idea, which I just read about a few days ago, to build new cities outside of the crowded central city. It’s amazing to me how this much information relates to things that happened in the past. Many good things come with new communities. When a new city is built, rural land is turned into city land. This speeds up the growth of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) because the value of residential and commercial real estate goes up and more building materials and steel are needed and made. This gives jobs to migrant workers. Second, the creation of a new city protects and improves the urban environment by moving people and businesses out of the city centre and into the new city. This helps to avoid or reduce a number of problems and conflicts caused by having too many people and businesses in a large city’s core area.
In the past two years, one historic building at a time, my hometown has been slowly starting to fix up its old buildings. On the one hand, it has started the process of tearing down some buildings from the last century, analysing the plots and re-planning and designing them. On the other hand, some important buildings have been fixed up to make them more useful and to make the area around them more lively.
Health and well-being
Also, my community’s urban planning gives a lot of thought to the physical and mental health of its residents. As an example, take the “Civic Square,” which was built about four years ago and is now done. The new Civic Square in the middle of the city is quite big and was made to look more like a park than a typical square. A lot of the people who live there walk around at night every single day to get some exercise. A project to improve the city has led to the creation of an ecological corridor in the north-eastern part of the city. The ecological corridor protects wildlife, filters out pollution, stops soil erosion, controls floods, and stops wind and sand erosion. It gives people a place to relax and get some exercise, and it also does a lot to protect nature in cities.
Both the way cities are built and the way my home is built are interesting to me. I’m hoping that during this year of school, not only will my community continue to grow, but I’ll also learn more about how to design cities. I also think that blogging is a good way to learn because it lets us think about the weekly lectures we go to and say what we think about them. Even better, of course, is that we can see what students from different cultures think about the same topic and hear what they have to say about each other.