除了拆围墙,小区更需要多样性的功能 How Tearing Down Walls Will Open Up China’s Cities



[Photo by Urban Language]

在中国,“小区”是住宅集合体的代名词。在一个欧洲人看来,“小区”有一个奇怪的现象:它们都被高墙围挡,并在出入口设有安保人员值班把守。最初我觉得,这些围挡有些多余了。毕竟中国是世界上犯罪率最低的国家之一,我觉得在市区里很安全,很少需要进行自我保护。
事实上,在中国的大城市中,这些围墙更多是为城市居民营造社区氛围,提供社区身份以及归属感。然而,这些小区的围墙通常会牺牲掉通行的便利。比如5年前,我住在一个小区里,里面有24栋高楼,住着约1万居民,小区出口没有开在靠近地铁站的一角,而是开在离地铁站最远的角落里。这样一来,本来1分钟就能走到地铁站,却要走10分钟才能到达。
围墙在城市形态的塑造过程中起到了十分重要的作用,因为它打散了城市的格局。的确,小区的围墙可以避免城市中的许多危险因素,比如偷盗、抢劫、超速的车辆等等,但是这个安全的代价却是将我们的生活与生机勃勃的城市隔离开来。当居住区与外界城市相隔离,社区感会越来越淡薄。
在我居住的小区中,只有在风和日丽的时候,楼与楼之间的绿地才会有人使用,而他们多数还是老年人。绝大多数的居民通常是一早就离开小区去上班,直到晚饭时间才会回来。在傍晚与周末的时候,我常常在喧闹的路边市集和附件的商场看见邻居们,他们很少会在居住区里的绿地空间里放松。这样的现象让小区中维护成本高昂的绿地变成了装饰品,也不禁让我觉得上海变成了一个个群岛,而那些分散的小岛就是被围墙、栏杆和道路分隔开的独立居住区。
当然中国历来有建造封闭庭院或围墙居住区的传统。古时候,城墙的建造意在抵御外来敌人的入侵,许多历史悠久的城市仍保留着壮观的古城墙遗迹,而今天体量庞大的居民楼成为了我们抵挡外来世界的新堡垒。城市设计师和作家彼得·卡尔索尔普(Peter Calthorpe)认为,占地超过15公顷(相当于30个足球场的面积)的小区,其居住的舒适性是十分堪忧的,也会造成一些城市交通问题。他也提到19世纪城市规划师德方斯·塞尔达(Ildefons Cerda)为西班牙巴塞罗那规划设计的网格状低层住宅区Eixample,建议中国的城市改造可以遵循其中的一些方法。
卡尔索尔普认为,最重要的一点就是缩小城市设计中每个城市街区的尺度。对我来说,街区尺度固然重要,但是我认为更重要的因素是提高小区功能的多样性。许多郊区的土地完全变成居住用地,周边的服务设施也是大型的商业中心和园区。让我疑惑的是:是什么原因让小区和本地蔬果商贩、理发师以及报刊亭隔离开了呢?
这个问题也开始受到中国政府的关注。去年政府出台加强城市规划建设的相关意见,鼓励缩小小区的建造尺度,其中包括建议缩小道路宽度,增加城市路网密度,以及建立功能单一的大片住宅区与城市的连接。这些意见意在减少围墙,建设更利于行人和自行车通行的城市生活环境,同时也改善超高层住宅居民的居住环境。如果这些意见被最终实施,它将会是一项十分积极的城市改善措施,只要前提是不会造成过多外来人员进入小区,打扰现有居民的生活质量。我认为,这些措施的提出,不是因为户外公共空间没人用,而是因为户外空间太拥挤了,而且没有什么特色,需要提升品质。
一些社会学家认为,围墙以及其它限制流动的设施可以帮助划分私人用地、半公共用地和公共用地,继而增加社会的凝聚力。比如,小区里的半公共空间,不仅服务于小区居民,也向行人开放,会增加居民维护小区环境的使命感。除了那些极其昂贵的高端住宅小区,大多数现有小区在转变成半公共用地后,可以作为纯公共用地和纯私人领域之间的一种过渡空间。
为了补偿小区居民对于城市感的缺失,很多小区的物业管理公司将小区边界上的房子租售给服务类行业的店铺,将一些商业和半商业设施渗入到小区内部的功能运作中,比如健身设施和幼儿园。这些举措响应了国家降低居住小区密度,建设服务性更强的新型小区的号召。在这样的背景下,正规的私人用地与非正规的街道之间的差别与隔阂也被弱化了。
受到当下的城市发展建设的启发与影响,城市规划设计师应该更有信心将功能单一的大片住宅区改变成为生活气息浓郁的社区。虽然我们不能将古老的欧洲城市照搬到中国的高密度城市中,但是像香港和东京这样的城市,将高密度城市格局与小体量房屋建设结合在一起的尝试,可以作为参考来建设更开放的、充满生机和适于步行的城市。

One of the stranger features of residential areas in Chinese cities is that many compounds — known locally as xiaoqu — are hemmed in by high walls, guarded at each entrance by security personnel. From a European perspective, these barriers seem a bit excessive. After all, China feels like one of the safest large countries on earth, and rarely do I feel the need to protect myself in the country’s urban areas.

In fact, the construction of protective walls has more to do with creating feelings of community and belonging within residential areas, especially in the context of China’s thronging megacities. However, community solidarity often comes at the expense of convenience. In my own apartment complex — a maze of 24 high-rise buildings housing around 10,000 people — the main entrance is at the opposite end of the compound from the nearest metro station. A one-minute journey as the crow flies thus becomes a 10-minute one.

As barriers disconnecting and fragmenting our cities, walls play a dominant role in shaping urban forms. Yes, we in the xiaoqu are protected against what we perceived as the dangers of the city — thieves, muggers, and speeding motorists, to name a few — but that sense of security can be enjoyed only when we divorce ourselves from the vivacity of urban life. Ironically, by turning away from the outside world, we become less of a community than ever.

In our xiaoqu, the manicured green spaces between buildings are predominantly used by elderly residents — and even then, only on warm, sunny days when the trees cast cooling shade onto the flagstones. In general, most of us dash out of the compound every morning and return around dinnertime. On evenings and weekends, I see many more of my neighbors in the bustling roadside markets and malls nearby than in the supposedly more relaxing ambience of the housing estate. This habit has rendered most of our painstakingly maintained greenery a purely cosmetic feature, and I have sometimes pondered how Shanghai became an archipelago of self-contained neighborhoods, isolated from one another by perimeter walls, wire fences, and multi-lane roads.

China has a long tradition of building self-contained courtyards and walled neighborhoods, of course. Many of the country’s ancient cities still bear remnants of imposing city walls that protected the gridlike communities within them from invaders. Now, supersized apartment blocks are our modern-day fortresses, impregnable to outsiders. So-called superblocks — defined as xiaoqu that exceed areas of 15 hectares, the size of around 30 soccer fields put together — are disastrous in terms of livability and cause traffic problems, according to urban designer and writer Peter Calthorpe. He even advocates remodeling China’s cities along the lines of Barcelona’s Eixample neighborhood — a gridlike series of low-rise residential blocks designed by Ildefons Cerdà in the late 19th century.

Key to Calthorpe’s proposal is its drastic scaling-down of urban apartment blocks. Size is important of course, but to me, the key to generating truly vibrant xiaoqu is diversifying their functionality. In suburban areas, most estates are given over almost entirely to housing, while local amenities are concentrated in malls or business complexes. What’s stopping us from opening up our compounds to local grocers, hairdressers, or newsdealers?

It’s a question that’s been concerning the Chinese government, too. Last year, the State Council — China’s cabinet — introduced new guidelines promoting the construction of smaller xiaoqu. The plans include proposals to build narrower city roads, increase the density of street networks, and open up access to superblocks. The idea is that making walled-off compounds more pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly will make high-rise housing more livable. If the guidelines become reality, these will by and large be positive innovations, as long as the influx of outsiders into previously self-contained communities does not, in turn, prove so large as to disorient residents — not because outdoor space will lie vacant, but because it will be so congested as to become unrecognizable.

According to some social scientists , walls and other limitations on movement can sometimes play positive roles in improving social cohesion by helping to distinguish between private and public spaces. Defining semi-public spaces within individual xiaoqu — that is to say, spaces for use by both residents and pedestrians — will give those who live there a feeling of responsibility toward the maintenance of their estates. With the exception of the often hermetically sealed xiaoqu in the uppermost segment of the housing market, many of which are real gated communities accessible only to the super-wealthy, opening up existing residential spaces will offer a more gradual transition between public and private realms.

In many xiaoqu, residents’ perceived lack of urbanity is compensated for through the rows of shops that have sprung up on the boundaries of each estate. Many of them come under the supervision of the same property managers as residential apartment blocks. In addition, commercial and semi-commercial facilities — particularly on-site sports facilities and kindergartens — are already expanding in certain estates. These reflect the national government’s policy to decentralize living quarters where possible and encourage new-style xiaoqu to provide living resources to residents. In these contexts, the sharp distinction between formalized, private spaces and informal street life has been reassuringly blurred.

These developments should give urban planners confidence that even superblocks can transform into vibrant centers of community and identity. While we cannot directly transplant the granular natures of old European cities into the Chinese context, cities like Hong Kong and Tokyo prove the potential of combining high density with small-scale housing blocks to create cities that are attractive, lively, inspiring, dynamic, walkable — and open.


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February 2017
Copyright: Urban Language

Research & Consult


 

Research on residential high-rise

2016
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.

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


 

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.