restricted access 85. Do Good Urban Planning
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485 85 Do Good Urban Planning1 May 16, 1990 Why have I always wanted to come to the Academy of Urban Planning? Because planning is very important, and also because I hear some of you have different views. I’ve come today mainly to exchange thoughts, beginning with the importance of planning. The quality of a construction project should be good enough to last for a hundred years. Thus planning is major work that will affect generations to come—it can have an impact for a very long period. Whether or not planning is done well will have a direct effect on economic and social benefits. At the time, because of [the desire to save] a few camphor trees, only two lanes of traffic were built on Hongqiao Road, and these became inadequate after little more than a year. Now that we’ve built four lanes, Chinese and foreigners alike are clapping for joy. If the planning then had insisted on facing the facts and insisted on four lanes, the benefits would have been great and we would have saved the state quite a lot of money. But urban planning isn’t just a question of yielding economic benefits; it also touches on social and political issues. You at the academy should be aware of the importance of your responsibilities. Whether you are meticulous in your work and whether you are truly acting responsibly will all affect the future and the happiness of the people of Shanghai. I hope you’ll be aware of the importance and glorious nature of your responsibilities. Keep your minds on your work and do it with gusto. This is my first point. My second point is that the planning team in Shanghai is to be commended —it is of fairly high caliber. You’ve done a great amount of work and made tremendous contributions. Your work has been hard and you’ve been very diligent—this basic fact should be recognized. My third point is that planning in Shanghai faces difficulties but also favorable conditions. Having developed as a semi-colony, the city was laid out very poorly; the roads are haphazard, and various facilities are lacking. However, Shanghai has been a relatively open city so it has absorbed the best from urban developments in many countries. It can lay claim to being a world expo of 1. This is the main part of Zhu Rongji’s speech at a seminar attended by over 50 planning experts and managers at the Shanghai Academy of Urban Planning and Design. Zhu_Shanghai Years_1987-1991_hc_9780815731399_i-xii_1-620.indd 485 12/26/17 12:01 PM 486 Do Good Urban Planning architecture—with its great variety of buildings, it might be the only city of its sort in the entire country. This has become a treasure for the people, surrounding them with the architectural styles of many countries, and has kept the city from looking monotonous. In our urban planning, we must retain the city’s unique features. Buildings with a long history should not be casually demolished—they should be restored. Henceforth one requirement for urban planning in Shanghai will be that the city’s own style should be maintained, but it should also develop in line with the trends of modern cities—equal attention must be paid to both these approaches. We have to keep in mind that its features should reflect a city that is open and cosmopolitan, and whose economy is primarily an externally oriented one. We must take the long-term view of the city and not set standards too low. My fourth point is that we must think about issues that touch on the immediate interests of the people and that are in urgent need of attention. This is a very important part of urban planning. On the one hand, we have to set our sights farther—our long-term vision is to build a great cosmopolitan city. On the other hand, we must consider practical problems that the people urgently need to have solved. Communities should have schools, hospitals, kindergartens , day-care centers, parks, shopping, and entertainment—as one person has remarked, we should “build an area, manage that area, and beautify that area.” Land in Shanghai is very precious. We should establish a group to study highrise residences and determine the most economical height for such residences in Shanghai. There must be gas connections: underground pipes should be added to plans, and we must insist on a construction sequence of first...


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Subject Headings

  • Shanghai (China) -- Social policy.
  • Shanghai (China) -- Economic conditions -- 20th century.
  • Shanghai (China) -- Economic policy.
  • Zhu, Rongji, 1928-.
  • City planning -- China -- Shanghai.
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