The Implications of the Planning of Beijing’s Imperial City for Sustainable Community Development

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för geovetenskaper


China is experiencing the unprecedentedly rapid urbanization hence how to build a sustainable city with Chinese featuresbecomes a common challenge for city planners and researchers in the field of sustainability. Beijing has been the imperialcapital of China for more than eight hundred years and is deeply embedded within ancient Chinese urban planning theoriesand thoughts; for this reason it is chosen as the subject of this study. The history of Beijing as an imperial city from theYuan Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty (1267-1912) is reviewed under the framework PEBOSCA, an assessment framework ofsustainable community development which derives from UN HABITAT Agenda. The state of the seven resources ofsustainability is outlined to demonstrate the sustainability of Beijing’s imperial city planning history. Following this,sustainability was assessed at micro- and macro-levels: first the quadrangle as the basic unit of the city is documented andassessed with the Green Building Assessment Standard of China and the LEED for Homes Ranking system in a qualitativeapproach; then the city as a whole was analyzed to assess the interrelationships between the ancient Chinese urban theory –the Fengshui Theory – and urban ecology to understand its implications for the sustainable city planning.The study shows that although sustainable development is becoming a global issue, the key to the challenges faced is local.Integrated with modern technologies, the quadrangle design and the Fengshui Theory will inspire future sustainablecommunity planning and sustainable development.

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