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Sustainable urban design 8 principles

Sustainable urban design 8 principles

The new semester begins with the investigation of the riverside at project, which aims to provide high-quality affordable housing and develop sustainable new affordable housing near the riverside in Gateshead in the UK context. Sustainable urban design began to come into my field of vision, which aroused my great interest.


The current market-led architectural innovation still impacts and affects the local ecological environment and cultural habits. These cities continue to expand, and there are limited methods for protecting green infrastructure and biodiversity. Population growth, traffic congestion and unreasonable use of energy materials have made people’s living burdens continue to increase. And China is experiencing the largest urban population explosion in human history. Provides guidance for cities seeking to reduce their carbon footprint, improve resident mobility, and foster strong economic growth. Through decades of research in China, a set of common foundations for building sustainable cities has been developed. Sustainable urban design principles are beginning to emerge. These concepts are known as the 8 principles[1]:


Proportion of city spending                 Sustainability focus



  1. Develop neighborhoods that promote walking

Promoting walkable streets and neighborhoods is fundamental to great cities. Walking can reduce car dependence, support public transit, improve health, and foster community growth. Simple measures—such as limiting road widths, block lengths, and setbacks between buildings and sidewalks—encourage walking. Sidewalk features such as shade trees, benches and street lights also encourage walking. Designing safe streets that provide comfortable and fun places to walk should be a top priority for livable, low-carbon cities.


  1. Prioritize bicycle networks

In the 1980s, bicycles were the primary means of transportation for the Chinese people, as a simple, cheap and low-carbon way of traveling between destinations. Today, cycling on city roads is no longer safe or convenient. To change this situation, Chinese city governments are once again encouraging residents to use bicycles and providing infrastructure such as a safe driving environment and bicycle parking lots. With the rise of the modern sharing economy, shared bicycle transfer stations have spread all over the city, which is effective for relieving traffic congestion and reducing the use of fossil energy.


China shared bicycles



  1. Create dense networks of streets and paths

A common misconception is that wider streets are more efficient and improve traffic flow. In fact wide roads, divided gates and superblocks contribute to China’s traffic congestion. A dense network of narrow streets can better optimize traffic flow, create more direct routes and improve pedestrian safety. Road design should maximize human mobility, not vehicle throughput. Reasonable and localized lane arrangements will greatly reduce urban congestion and fuel use.


Road analysis


  1. Support high-quality transit

Hong Kong, New York City, Singapore and other wealthy cities have some of the densest public transport networks in the world[2]. While subways can be an integral part of transit networks, more and more cities are turning to BRT because of its low cost, quick implementation, and flexible routes. Each Chinese city needs to determine the appropriate mix of bus solutions according to its own situation, providing frequent, fast and direct services to ensure the overall success of traffic.


5.Zone for mixed-use neighborhoods

Traditional Chinese neighborhoods have lively streets. But it’s this combination of lively shops and services close to home and work that give these areas their unique charm and identity. Urbanized modern apartments are impacting the unique sense of place and efficiency of compact communities. China’s cities need to combine the advantages of modern housing with the best qualities of traditional housing, and this is China’s future city.


6.Match density to transit capacity

High density is the key to low-carbon cities. But to avoid congestion, housing needs to be close to public transport and jobs, taking into account the capacity of nearby transport modes. If roads feature bicycle and pedestrian-friendly corridors, traffic priority lanes on major arterials, and one-way arterials, it is easier to concentrate walking, cycling, and mass transit than driving a private car. This will shorten commuting times and develop millions of square kilometers of arableland.

High-density urban agglomeration

[4] Create compact regions with short commutes

Community location has long-term implications for sustainability. New urban centers are inconvenient if spaced too far apart, and rarely thrive. Urban sub-centers need to be located within or adjacent to existing cities. In addition to protecting arable land, this strategy can greatly reduce the cost of transportation, public facilities and services. At the same time, it reduces the daily commuting expenses of most residents.




8.Increase mobility by regulating parking and road use

Avoiding traffic congestion requires limiting vehicle use to levels that the road network can support. Car travel during rush hour is often unnecessary and should be discouraged. There are many ways to discourage driving, with cities like London, Hamburg and Zurich restricting parking to popular locations served by public transport and having public transport services in place. Road user fees have already been implemented in Singapore and Stockholm. Chinese cities should consider these strategies.


These principles should be refined and adjusted according to China’s national conditions, and they will help ensure that Chinese cities grow into some of the most prosperous and energy-efficient cities in the world. And for the recent projects I have carried out, I will use some of them to practice and design.







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Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
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