Versatile Urban Design: China’s Roadblock Toward Energy Sustainability

Studying neighborhoods in Jinan, China, MIT urban studies and planning Professor Dennis Frenchman told MITnews that the country’s biggest challenge is its homogenous urban design.

Frenchman explained in an interview with MITnews how China has tried to reach energy sustainability and its systemic contradictions to that goal:

"The biggest city-planning challenge that China now faces is to encourage a different form of urbanization than the design model currently being built," said Frenchman.

"Right now, policymakers in China tend to think about improving the energy efficiency of development by seeking 'the perfect form.' And they're very oriented around a top-down structure: Tell developers what they need to do."

"Our work has shown that (China's) way of living (tower-in-a-park model) consumes almost twice as much energy as any other form of development, such as, for example, a conventional, mixed-use urban neighborhood on a grid of streets and blocks."

Full Story: 3 Questions: Dennis Frenchman on making cities sustainable

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
poster

A Short History of America

From comic book artist Robert Crumb, poster shows how the built environment has changed throughout the decades.
$14.95
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95