Sasaki Wins APA International Planning Excellence Award
Sasaki is delighted to announce that our master plan for the Songzhuang Arts and Agriculture City has been awarded the American Planning Association's (APA) 2014 Pierre L'Enfant International Planning Excellence Award! The plan offers an innovative approach to the integration of agriculture within a vibrant urban environment.
Sasaki's master plan proposes a series of self-sustaining communities with farmland located at the core and urban development along the periphery. This approach allows for more diverse internal edge conditions that foster greater interaction between the cultivated landscape and urban fabric. "The Songzhuang Arts and Agriculture master plan incorporates novel strategies that combine urbanity and agriculture, resulting in new developments that are integrated with natural systems," said Ann C. Bagley, FAICP, 2014 APA Awards Jury Chair. "The resulting new communities in Songzhuang will facilitate a higher quality of life for all residents."
Through a systems-based approach, the plan responds to critical issues in the region. "In a country where farmland is being lost in the name of development at an alarming rate, and where nearly one-sixth of existing arable land suffers from soil pollution, it is imperative that future growth seriously consider food security as a priority," said Michael Grove, the principal in charge of the project for Sasaki and director of the firm's Shanghai office. "The master plan for Songzhuang offers a model approach which suggests that agriculture can coexist with development, as well as help to generate new economic opportunities."
The Sasaki master plan for Songzhuang reconfigures traditional relationships between the city, open space, and farmland, and forms a new paradigm for urban living. "The Songzhuang arts and agriculture plan enables live-work communities that still retain a uniquely Chinese identity," said Shanshu Wu, Chief Engineer for the plan's initial National Creative Cluster component. "Today, creativity and fresh ideas are becoming a valued part of China's cultural identity. Songzhuang's new cluster communities will foster this spirit of innovation."
The Pierre L'Enfant International Planning Excellence Award honors planning practices and efforts undertaken outside the United States to promote communities of lasting value. The award criteria are based on a set of goals developed by the Global Planners Network.
As contemporary cities grow, a common issue around the world is how to repurpose agricultural land and resources for urban development. With social, economic, and ecological implications, this topic...