中国城市还是“城市实验室”吗 Why ‘Urban Labs’ Hold the Future for Chinese Cities



[Photo by Urban Language]

随着经济飞速增长与快速城镇化发展齐头并进,改革与创新也会层出不穷。当代中国城市满足开展建筑风格与建造技术实验的全部条件:经济繁荣,劳动力资源庞大且廉价,接受过良好教育的中产阶层正在崛起,财力雄厚的政府,而且从法律意义上而言,全部土地都属政府所有。
当代城市规划师的口头禅之一是“城市实验室”,这个词汇把城市视为创新场所,而体量及数量均堪称庞大的中国城市则成为了世界各地设计师们的实验小白鼠。
当然,中国的新城也受到不少批评,大部分批评的锋芒都对准了这个国家尘土飞扬的施工现场,以及不断崛起的面貌大同小异的混凝土高楼。我们总是听说,摩天大楼就这样乱七八糟被随心所欲的建造出来,根本没有为真正的创新留出时间和精力。但是我认为,现实要远比我们所看到的复杂。鉴于中国当前海量的在建项目,城市无可避免地成为实验场所。
从崭新的交通系统--诸如高铁及共享单车--到通过在地铁站建设高密度混合用途的综合体来优化土地利用,中国也探索出令人惊叹的大量前卫的城市规划方法。事实上,这个国家因为千城一面而饱受诟病的主要原因之一,在于包括我在内的观察者们,总是基于最终能否成功实施来对实验性城市规划思想加以评判。这也是可以理解的。但是,实验性的本质,是要求我们去尝试新事物,评价其结果,并在必要的情况下重复实验。如果仅仅关注结果,就会忽略一个重要的事实,即实验精神本身也是值得鼓励与赞美的。
在中国,相当多建筑实验并不如人意,但与此同时,成功的案例也不胜枚举,尤其是广受赞誉的城市大运量公交系统。实际上看,建筑和城市规划领域的近期项目,与中国20世纪社会经济实验的传统一脉相承。不过,我们面对一个亟待回答的关键问题:新思想到底应被视为探索新可能性的途径,还是仅仅作为临场即兴与限定时间情境下的产物?
当我们点检中国的可持续建筑差强人意的发展记录时,就会察觉到新问题的出现。中国住建部寄望于把建筑及城市建设作为刺激经济的手段,提高人们居住标准的工具,但这一目标乃是双刃剑。遍布全国的旧住宅被推平并被现代化的高楼取而代之,同时夷平的还有众多城市的特征与个性。尽管数以百万计的人们改善了生活品质,但往往是以牺牲环境为代价。
城市的首要功能是作为人们的生活空间而存在。如果把城市作为实验场所对待,那会毫无忌惮地进行大刀阔斧的创新,同时带来令人堪忧的后果。 诸多可持续住区项目成为创新实验泛滥的证据,比如河北曹妃甸生态城,向其居民兜售了可持续的健康城市生活方式的图景,但很快就被发现这些都是无法实现的虚假承诺。众多此类项目,宣扬鼓吹它们所谓的生态理念,仅仅是为了大肆抬升房地产价格,却对环境无任何改善,这样的做法被称为 “漂绿”( greenwashing)(译者注:宣称保护环境,实际上却反其道而行,本质上是一种虚假的环保宣传--来自于百度)。
国外建筑师曾经把中国视为试验场,在其本国绝无可能批建的项目却可在这里落成。不断变化的中国国内市场已经在精简项目,并转而关注小规模项目,这就使得中国客户们对全国各地的建筑现状产生颇多批评。比如,北京方面呼吁“不再建设奇奇怪怪的建筑”。
在过去20年里,中国转型的尺度与速度,与大胆创新及勇于改变的做法密不可分。与西方相对小规模的城市试验场有所不同,中国的方式更为引人注目。日益加重的气候变化与国家经济不确定性,都要求建筑师和城市规划师转变思维模式。 我们需要就如何调整我们的生活环境达成共识,而且要越快越好。我相信,中国拥有充足的资源与丰富的经验,可成功实现这一转变。
而且,变革的迹象已经崭露。中央政府2016年初发布的城市建设指导思路,重点关注的是生活品质与能效,包含了多项提议,比如拆除居住小区周边的围墙,目标在于创建更适宜步行的开放城市。还提出了建设新型海绵城市,设计收集雨水并在城市之中重新利用。
尽管以上所列指导思路并非强制性,但却展示出对原有城市建设方法及思路的重大变革。这也提示我们,中国对于实验性建筑所持的态度,摒弃了(建筑与城市规划方案的)临场即兴创作,而是朝向了寻求未来城市生活深思熟虑的解决方案之目标。希望这样的思想理念未来会在突破性设计之中展现出来,从而使中国转变为居于世界前列的可持续建筑及城市革新的实验室。

Periods of rapid economic growth and urbanization frequently go hand in hand with innovation. Contemporary Chinese cities fulfill all the conditions for experimenting with new architectural styles and building technologies: economic prosperity, a vast and relatively cheap labor force, a growing educated middle class, and a financially strong government that legally owns all the land. If one of the buzzwords of contemporary city planners is “urban lab” — a term that casts cities as sites of innovation — then China’s vast conurbations are their guinea pigs.

Of course, China’s new cities have also been subjected to their fair share of criticism, much of which has taken aim at the supposedly generic-looking concrete towers emerging from the country’s dust-filled construction sites. Skyscrapers are thrown together willy-nilly without spending time on or paying attention to real innovation, we are told. Yet to me, nothing could be further from the truth. Given China’s massive ongoing construction projects, experimentation is practically unavoidable.

From new transportation systems — such as high-speed trains and bike sharing — to optimizing land use by building high-density, mixed-use complexes over metro stations, China is home to a surprising amount of avant-garde urban planning. In fact, one of the main reasons behind the country’s reputation for having “a thousand cities with a single face” is that observers — myself included — understandably judge experimental ideas on the eventual success of their execution. Yet the nature of experimentation requires us to try something new, evaluate the results, and repeat the experiment if necessary. Focusing only on the result goes against the spirit of experimentation, which should instead be celebrated.

China is home to its fair share of failed architectural experiments, but it has also played host to many successful ones, especially its well-regarded urban mass transit systems. Indeed, recent projects in the fields of architecture and urban planning have largely been in line with China’s 20th-century tradition of social and economic experimentation. A key question that remains unanswered, however, is whether new ideas are conceived as a means to test new possibilities, or whether they are merely the products of on-the-spot improvisation and time constraints.

A further issue arises when we consider China’s patchy record on stimulating sustainable architecture. China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development aspires to use architecture and the construction of urban areas as tools to stimulate the economy and raise the standard of living, but this goal is a double-edged sword. Old houses across the country have been flattened and replaced by modern high-rises, eradicating the individual character of many cities. While millions of people’s quality of life has improved, it frequently comes at an environmental cost.

Cities are primarily spaces for living. Approaching them as “labs” can lead to real innovation, but also to less desirable consequences. Numerous sustainable-living projects are a testament to the abuse of new experiments, such as northern Hebei province’s Caofeidian Eco-City — in which residents were sold a vision of a sustainable and healthy urban lifestyle but soon found such claims to be practically bogus. Many such projects flaunt their supposed ecological credentials as a means to boost real estate values without committing to environmental conservation — a tactic known as “greenwashing.”

While foreign architects once saw China as a playground where they could try out projects that would never get the green light back home, the changing domestic market has brought about reduced construction and a shift in focus to smaller-scale projects. At the same time, Chinese clients have become critical of the state of architecture nationwide — as evidenced by Beijing’s call for “no more weird-looking buildings.” These two forces present us with an opportunity to ponder a more consistent vision for the future of China’s cities.

The scale and speed of China’s transformation in the last two decades could not have happened without embracing innovation and change. Unlike the West’s relatively small-scale urban labs, the Chinese approach has been much more pronounced. Increasing uncertainty about climate change and the national economy calls for architects and urban planners to shift their mindsets. We need to articulate a coherent vision of how we must adjust our living environments — sooner rather than later. I truly believe China possesses the resources and experience to successfully make this transition.

There are already signs of change. The recently released urban guidelines from China’s central government, which focus on quality of life and energy efficiency, include suggestions such as the removal of barriers around residential areas, aimed at creating more pedestrian-friendly, open cities. A more off-the-wall idea is the construction of new “sponge cities” designed to capture and recycle rainwater for urban use.

While the above guidelines are not yet binding, they represent a radical departure from established means of building cities. This encouragingly demonstrates that China’s attitude toward experimental architecture is moving beyond on-site improvisation and toward well-thought-out solutions for future urban living. Hopefully, this spirit will manifest itself in groundbreaking designs that will transform China into a pioneering laboratory for sustainable building and urban innovation.


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January 2017
Copyright: Urban Language

Research & Consult


 

Research & Consult at Vanke

February 2017
Since February 2017 Harry den Hartog works as researcher and consultant on new town planning and design issues at Vanke.
 

Research on residential high-rise

Since January 2015 (ongoing)
Research with Tongji University on carbon emissions and sustainable development of residential high-rise complexes in the Yangtze Delta.
 

Living on Water

2015
Urban Language performed preliminary research on possibilities for floating neighborhoods in China, commissioned by DeltaSync
 

Salon and excursion on urban villages

November 2014
Organizing a salon and visits to Shanghai-based non-profit groups for the World Banks main economic expert and specialist on climate change, with as central theme the role of urban villages, the position of migrants and gentrification.
 

Resilient Port Development

November 2014
Capacity building by workshop in Singapore on resilient port development in the context of urbanizing deltas, organised by the Future Cities Laboratory at ETH and Delft University of Technology.
 

New Town development in Zhejiang

2014
Consulting for World Bank on a New Town development in Zhejiang Province
 

Urban Sustainability in China

2013
Research on urban sustainability and liveability in Chinese new towns commissioned by the European Commission.
 

Urban Design Workshop in India

November-December 2012
Urban Language was invited to participate in a 10-day cross-disciplinairy urban design workshop on the development of a new town in central India.
 

Research for Moscow Urban Forum 2012

Autumn 2012
Urban Language was asked as Chinese representative by the organizing committee of the Moscow International Urban Forum «Emerging World Cities» to do preliminary research on the quality of life as experienced by residents of Beijing and Shanghai.
 

Dutch New Worlds

Scenarios in Physical Planning and Design in the Netherlands, 1970-2000
Shanghai - Zurich - Rotterdam, June 2012
"Our decisions shape our future, but we know little about how. To find out, planners and designers construct vivid images of what could be."
Urban Language translated Christian Salewski's fascinating book on the use of scenarios in physical planning and design in the Netherlands into Dutch.
 

Edge of Public

Exhibition + book + forum in Hong Kong's Kowloon Park, curated by Liu Yuyang, Li Xiangning, and Harry den Hartog
Hong Kong, 16 February - 23 April, 2012
In the countless new town developments in China, we witnessed an increasingly privatized domain both spatially and socially. What is the real shape of the public domain and how can architects respond to this phenomenon?
 

Critical advice on developing a new town (2)

Liaoning, 2011
Urban Language was asked to give an independent critical reflection on existing plans for a new town near Shenyang supplemented by suggestions for further development.
 

Redevelopment plan for an island

Vladivostok / Shanghai, 2011
Urban Language consulted with the international communications and strategy to be followed, and made a master plan, in a design competition regarding the redevelopment of a Russian island near Vladivostok.
 

Critical advice on developing a new town (1)

Beijing, 2011
Urban Language was asked to give an independent critical reflection on existing plans for a new town near Beijing supplemented by suggestions for further development.
 

Advice on various international projects

Shanghai, 2011
In the autumn of 2011, Urban Language worked on several studies and consultations commissioned by professionals related with Tongji University.
 

Urban China magazine

Shanghai, 2011 - 2012
Urban Language consults regularly with the urban research center of Urban China magazine. Harry den Hartog was member of the editorial board of #51 and #52.
 

Area development in rural Henan

Zhengzhou, 2011
Urban Language has been consulted by a local developer for independent critical advice in an area development in rural Henan.

 

Shanghai New Towns

Searching for community and identity in a sprawling metropolis
Shanghai, 2010
Research on the rapid urbanization and decentralization in the direct controlled municipality Shanghai, resulting in the book Shanghai New Towns - Searching for community and identity in a sprawling metropolis, published by 010 Publishers.
 

From Almere to Qingpu

Shanghai, 13-19 May 2010
Urban Language coordinated an excursion for the International New Town Institute (INTI) with as central theme the new towns and new cities around Shanghai.
 

Urban Flux

Beijing, Summer 2009
The Chinese magazine Urban Flux invited Harry den Hartog as a guest-editor to make this special issue on Dutch Architects and China. The magazine also discusses the state of architecture in the Netherlands.
 

BNSP workshop discussion

Amsterdam, 22 October 2009
Urban Language organized a workshop discussion on the urbanization of the Dutch countryside during a BNSP Congress.
 

Shanghai Dialogues

Shanghai, 17 October 2009
Urban Language mediated the Chinese contacts during a Sino-Dutch conference, as part of the Shanghai International Creative Industry Week.
 

Shanghai Globalism

Shanghai, 2009
Organisation of a study tour to the 'One City - Nine Towns' development around Shanghai commissioned by New York University.
 

Urban Galleries

Nanjing - Rotterdam, 2009
Organization of a study trip through Germany and the Netherlands for a group of young Chinese designers and critics with a special interest in museums
 

Are cities more important than countries?

Rotterdam, 2008-2009
Publication commissioned by the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) on the occasion of its 50th anniversary
 

Urban Meetings

Rotterdam, October 2008
Urban Language made a series of reports and an essay, commissioned by the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), meant to explore the outlines of an 'Urban Agenda' for the 21st century.
 

A Wider View

Apeldoorn, summer and spring 2008
Urban Language was embedded as reporter during the conference A Wider View on Cultural Landscape Challenges in Europe, which makes part of the Apeldoorn International Triennial. The report formed a basis for the 'Radio Kootwijk Frequency', a call to strengthen the quality of all landscapes in Europe.
 

Vreewijk

Rotterdam, 2008
Design study on urban renewal and restructuring of a monumental neighbourhood
 

PowerNotes IABR

Rotterdam, 2007
Urban Language wrote and edited PowerNotes, the weblog of the 3rd International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam. The log gives background information, interviews, impressions, photography, video's, quotes from visitors and special guests, and critical reviews.
 

The power of small scale

Rotterdam - Almere, 2007
Design study for urban renewal in the Dutch newtown Almere.
 

Huig

Executive-editor of Huig#8 and Huig#9
Rotterdam, 2007
Harry den Hartog was executive-editor of Huig#8 and Huig#9, the biannual magazine of the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and Urban Design.
 

NL2040 - Hints for later

The Hague - Rotterdam, 2007
Harry den Hartog wrote a number of columns, reports and an extensive essay as input for a series of meetings and debates with the aim to give an 'alternative' vision on future spatial tasks for The Netherlands.
 

Living farmyards

Overijssel, 2006
The Dutch Province of Overijssel counts thousands of farmyards. Yearly several hundreds of them loose their agricultural function. The province asked us to do a research on the possibilities for transformation of abandoned and old farmyards.
 

Private Territory

Study on the rise of private controlled outdoor spaces in the Netherlands
Rotterdam, 2005-2006
Following his graduation project at the Academy of Architecture and Urban Design in Rotterdam Harry den Hartog researched the rise of private controlled territories in The Netherlands.
 

EXURBIA

Living outside the city
Rotterdam, 2005-2006
The book Exurbia - living outside the city, made by Harry den Hartog, criticizes the fast changing Dutch countryside. The new spatial policy in the Netherlands seems to be a threat for the countryside and the edges between urban and rural. This book gives some critical comment on the new policy, supplemented with appropriate suggestions.

Our Publications


 

China Urban Lab: Nut en noodzaak van experimenten

Published in: Rooilijn
Amsterdam, November 2016
Article for Rooilijn, a journal by the University of Amsterdam on science and policy in spatial planning
 

Back to Basics

Published in: Mark #63
Chengdu, August/September 2016
Article on Liu Jiakun's West Village for Mark magazine
 

Ya Chang Art Center

Published in: Mark #56
Shanghai, June-July 2015
Article on the red-tiled Ya Chang Art Center for Mark magazine.
 

Attempts to Control Urbanization

Published in: Volume #39
Amsterdam, April 2014
Article on China’s Hukou System: Attempts to Control Urbanization by Strictly Separating Urban and Rural
 

Urban Tensions in the Yangtze River Delta

Published in: IOSPress
Delft, April 2014
Essay contribution in the book 'New Urban Configurations'.
 

Eastern Promises

Published in: Hantje Catz Verlag
Vienna, June 2013
We were invited by MAK (Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art) to contribute a series of critical articles on pioneering architectural projects for an exhibit and accompanying catalog 'Contemporary Architecture and Spatial Practices in East Asia'.
 

Shopping for History

Published in: Mark #43
Zhujiajiao, April/May 2013
Article on an urban renewal project in an ancient Chinese water town west of Shanghai.
 

Made in China

Published in: MARK #45
Dalian, Aug/Sept 2013
Article written at the request of MARK about the Dalian Conference Center, designed by Coop Himmelb(l)au: a prime example of thoroughness and precision work.
 

重细节与长远规划

Published in: Society and Public Welfare
March 2013
中国应复制与改进欧洲城市规划与设计的途径
Urban Language contributed an article at the request of a renowned Chinese magazine
 

Utopia or Dystopia 乌托邦,反乌托邦?

Published in: Modern Weekly (China)
Rotterdam, 3 November 2012
Urban Language spoke with Joep van Lieshout: Do we choose F1 or a Volkswagen Santana?
 

Publication on Moscow's new town development

Shanghai, Autumn 2012
Urban Language was invited as critical independent expert to contribute a chapter to a book on conurbations, commissioned by the Moscow Urban Planning Institute. This book serves as a moment of reflection in the development of a new city near Moscow.
 

Quality towers over quantity in building cities

Published in: China Daily
Shanghai, 22 June 2012
Opinion piece for the newspaper China Daily, by Harry den Hartog. The inducement for writing this article was the Joint Declaration on the EU-China Partnership on Urbanization, signed by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and China's Vice-Premier Li Keqiang on 3 May 2012.
 

From central control towards laissez faire

Published in: S+RO
Shanghai, June 2012
Article about the similarities and differences between the Netherlands and China in the field of urban and regional planning.
 

Everyday Theme Parks 日常主题公园

Published in: Urban China magazine #52
Shanghai, May 2012
Essay about the role of malls in contemporary China, with references to worldwide experiences, the decay of existing cities, an urban renaissance, and of course Michael Sorkin's 'Variations on a theme park: the new American city and the end of public space'.
 

From Qingpu to Jiading

Published in: T+A magazine
Shanghai, January 2012
Paper on the urbanization of the countryside around Shanghai and the role of architects in creating new cities.
 

Nanjing Perspectives

Published in: MARK magazine #32
Nanjing, June/July 2011
Conversation with Steven Holl on the design and building process of the Art & Architecture Museum in Nanjing.
 

Horticultural Exposition Xi'an

Published in: de Architect
Xi'an, May 2011
Report on the International Horticultural Exposition 2011 Xi'an.
 

Haphazard growth in a land of plenty

Published in: DAMn°28
Shanghai, April 2011
Essay on extremely fast and uncoordinated urban developments in Shanghai.
 

Creación de comunidad e identidad en los pueblos nuevos de Shanghai

Published in: Materia Arquitectura #2
Shanghai, November 2010
Essay on the creation of new communities and new identities in Shanghai for a Chilean magazine.
 

World Expo Shanghai

Published in: de Architect
Shanghai, May 2010
Report on the World Expo in Shanghai for the Dutch magazine 'the Architect'.
 

Bubbles in Shanghai: decentralization, speculation and the housing shortage

Published in: SR+O
Shanghai, April 2010
Essay on the effects of spatial and administrative decentralization, increasing speculation and huge housing shortage.
 

Letter from Sichuan

Published in: MARK magazine #23
Chengdu, December 2009 - January 2010
Report about reconstruction activities in the earthquake devastated area.
 

Green Fields, Orange Clouds

Chicago, September 2009
Essay on urban - rural relations in American cities, notably Chicago
 

Museum as billboard

Published in: MARK magazine #21
Guangzhou, August-September 2009
Visiting 'Times Museum' in Guangzhou.
 

Greener City, Better Life

Published in: Urban China #37
Shanghai, August 2009
Essay for the magazine Urban China on the meaning of parks as public spaces, in east and west
 

Urbanus reinvents the wheel

Published in: MARK magazine #20
Guangzhou, June-July 2009
Hakka Tulou in the 21st century. An experiment with social housing by Urbanus.
 

City in a city: Linked Hybrid

Published in: de Architect
Beijing, May 2009
That it is possible to combine climatic, economic and social sustainability in an overall concept has been demonstrated by Steven Holl Architects with Linked Hybrid.
 

Dutch architects building global architecture in China?

Published in: Urban Flux #7
Shanghai, May 2009
Essay on the works and experiences of Dutch architects in China.
Urban Language was also invited as a guest-editor for a special edition about 'Dutch architecure'. (circa 60 pages). The magazine also discusses recent projects and developments in the Netherlands.
 

Architecture as afterimage

Conversation with Ben van Berkel
Published in: id+c
Nanjing, May 2009
Urban Language interviewed Ben van Berkel on his design philosophy.
 

Sidewalk versus Mall

Public spaces under threat
Published in: Urban Flux #6
Shanghai, April 2009
Essay on the similarities and differences between the Netherlands and China, regarding the use and meaning of public spaces.
 

Building your own house

Published in: id+c
Nanjing, April 2009
Column on private commissioned housing in the Netherlands for the Chinese-language magazine id+c
 

Architecture in the Netherlands

Published in: id+c
Nanjing, January 2009
Essay on recent developments in the field of architecture in the Netherlands. This essay is also an introduction for an extended special on Dutch Design.
 

Greenery & Community

Community gardens in New York
Published in: Club Donny #1
Rotterdam, Spring/Summer 2008
Essay for Club Donny, a new biennial magazine on the personal experience of nature in the urban environment.
 

Beijing 080808

The meaning of the Olympic Games for Beijing
Published in: de Architect
Beijing, August 2008
Host country China intends to use the Olympic Games that will take place this year in Beijing to show off what it has achieved. What is the impact of the Olympic Games on this city?
 

The Limits to Growth?

How Beijing is preparing for the future
Published in: de Architect
Beijing, August 2008
Beijing, like Shanghai, wants to present itself as a model city for the future. How will Beijing continue to develop itself after the Games?
 

Olympic Games, a motor for urban renewal

Conversation with Kees Christiaanse
Published in: NAi Publishers
Rotterdam, May 2008
Urban Language interviewed Kees Christiaanse and others about the usefulness of Olympic Games in the Netherlands. These conversations are included in the book Olympic Fire, published by NAI Publishers and edited by Winy Maas.
 

Tamed 'wild living'

Municipal management versus freedom of building
Published in: de Architect
Almere, June 2007
Over the coming years the municipality of Almere will make 30,000 sites available to private individuals so that they can build homes as they want to. A new balance has to be found between municipal management and this new freedom.
 

City and Countryside

Physical planning and design in contemporary China
Published in: de Architect
Shanghai/Beijing, May 2006
The relation between the rural and urban economy have been changing ever since China became a World Trade Organization member in 2001. To overcome the dichotomy between city and countryside, farmers must find a way to join the world economy.
 

Collective Housing in Suburbia

Published in: SR&O
Rotterdam, October 2005
Article (in Dutch) on new forms of collective housing in suburbs and new towns in the Netherlands.
 

Correspondent for Mark magazine

Published in: Mark magazine
Since 2009
Harry den Hartog regularly contributes articles to Mark magazine, a platform for the practice and perception of architecture at the dawn of the third millennium.
 

Correspondent for ArchiNed

Published in: ArchiNed
Since 2004
Harry den Hartog regularly contributes articles to ArchiNed and made temporarily part of the editorial team.

News about us


 

ZAOjiu talk on 'Shared Urbanism

9 September 2017
ZAOjiu talk on 'Shared Urbanism"
 

Interviewed on metropolitan agriculture by Shenzhen TV

Shenzhen, July 2016
Interviewed on metropolitan agriculture by Shenzhen TV
 

TEDx

TEDx talk in Caohejing High-Tec Park, Shanghai
Shanghai, 28 October 2015
 

Urban Agenda

November 2013
Visiting Beijing as participant at EU China Urbanisation Partnership Forum.
 

OCT LOFT Talk

invited as panel-member by Urbanus
Shenzhen, 7 December 2013
 

Urban Interiors in contemporary China

Invited speaker at World Interiors Event
Amsterdam,7 September 2013
 

Lecturing in Italy

Invited by two universities in Italy for guest-lectures
Milano/Pavia, May 2013
 

Creating liveable cities in China

Debate at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Lausanne, 23 October 2012
 

Study session on high-rise in Asia

Shanghai, 19 September 2012
 

History and Design Studio Shanghai

Workshop and lecture at Politecnico di Torino
Turin, 2012
 

Debate in Rockbund Art Museum: Disappearing Rural Shanghai

Discussion on 'Disappearing Rural Shanghai'
Shanghai, 29 June 2012
 

Book presentation 'Edge of Public'

Hong Kong, 16 February 2012
Today our bilingual booklet Edge of Public was presented in Hong Kong's Kowloon Park, during the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture 2011-2012.
 

Shanghai New Towns to see on the Shenzhen architecture biennial

Shenzhen, 8 December 2011 - 10 February 2012
 

Needed: Architecture with Chinese characteristics

Interviewed by Shanghai Daily
Shanghai, 25&26 October 2011
 

Sanghay ile Istanbul

Turkish-language review of Shanghai New Towns
September 11, 2011
 

Rural Kitchen

Lecture and jury member during the Rural Kitchen workshop
Chongming Island, Fall 2009
 

Beijing International Book Fair 2011

Beijing, 30 August - 5 September 2011
 

Shanghai New Towns rewarded by 'Best Dutch Book Designs 2010'

Exhibited from 11 June to 17 July 2011 in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam
Amsterdam, 11 June to 17 July 2011
 

Book review by Time + Architecture magazine

Chinese-language review of our book 'Shanghai New Towns'
Shanghai, May/June 2011
 

Interviewed by Urban China magazine

Shanghai, June 2011
...on sprawling cities and the edge between urban and rural.

 

Ontwerpen aan China

Rotterdam, May 2011
Interviewed by Arjen Oosterman
 

Public lecture and debate in the Shanghai Study Center of the Hong Kong University

Shanghai, 7 March 2011
Presentation of the main findings of our recently published book "Shanghai New Towns - Searching for community and identity in a sprawling metropolis".
 

Exported to China

Shanghai, February 2011
'Shanghai New Towns. Searching for community and identity in a sprawling metropolis' is also available now in Chinese bookstores.
 

Book Launch and debate in Trouw Amsterdam / De Verdieping

Amsterdam, 30 November 2010
Presentation of our book Shanghai New Towns - Searching for community and identity in a sprawling metropolis followed by a debate.
 

Presentation in Tai Wu

Rotterdam, 20 September 2010
Presentation in Tai Wu for an association of architects on recent architectural developments in China.
 

Local wisdom and globalization

Shanghai, 20 July 2010
Urban Language was member of the jury during the CUMULUS Shanghai Conference 2010 at the College of Design & Innovation.
 

First copy Shanghai New Towns

Shanghai, 14 May 2010
Today a first (preliminary) copy of our book 'Shanghai New Towns - Searching for community and identity in a sprawling metropolis' was handed over to Sun Jiwei, the District Governor of Shanghai's Jiading district, during a conference organized in cooperation with INTI, in the VIP lounge of the Dutch Pavilion 'Happy Street' during the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.
 

Presentation on urban developments in Shanghai

Delft, 28 November 2009
Presentation on the turbulent urban developments in Shanghai during the international conference 'The New Urban Question - Urbanism beyond Neo-Liberalism' that took place from November 26th to 28th, 2009 at Zuiderkerk in Amsterdam and Delft University of Technology (TU Delft).
 

Interviewed by the Chinese-language newsmagazine Modern Weekly

Shanghai, 3 October 2009
This well-read newsmagazine, which has a wide circulation, interviewed Harry den Hartog on the changing urban-rural relations in China.
 

Interviewed by Urban China magazine

Shanghai, March 2009
We were interviewed by Chinese-language Urban China magazine on 'the ideal city'.
 

Looking for green

The Hague (Nl.), 29 September 2008
Lecture on community gardens during the debate 'Greenspotting Haaglanden' in Stroom The Hague
 

Book launch Exurbia - Living outside the city

Amsterdam, 5 January 2007
Today a first copy of our book was handed over to Government Advisor on Landscape Dirk Sijmons in Architectura & Natura.