Rebuilding Underway in Sichuan Province

A California-based architecture firm has been selected by a Sichuan planning department to rebuild the city of Dujiangyan after the deadly earthquake in the province earlier this year.
October 23, 2008, 7am PDT | Judy Chang
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"WWCOT's contribution involves several changes to the city plan. Most momentous, the city center will be shifted 20 miles to the east, closer to Chengdu. Beyond accommodating a forecasted 30 percent population growth, this allows the government to start reconstruction while it continues to clean up the quake wreckage. 'If someone's home was damaged, usually he would have to live in a tent, and then move among three or four different temporary apartments,' Lu explains. 'The government would rather have victims move from tents to permanent residential areas.' The strategy also places Dujiangyan residents closer to the Chengdu airport.

In the new core, significant green space between buildings will provide a public amenity. And once cleared, the former downtown will be maintained as a public park, amplifying efforts-such as construction of 10 art museums-to further entice visitors to the city. Lu says that due to the size and visibility of the rebuilding effort, not to mention the government's strapped resources, many of these design principles will be adopted by cities throughout the province."

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Published on Wednesday, October 22, 2008 in Architectural Record
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