As cities change and evolve over time their adaptive capacity is regularly questioned. Cities can be vulnerable to the effects of population change, climate change and the pressures of modernisation and globalisation, or they can be designed and built with those effects and the capability to manage them, even benefit from them, in mind. Designing, creating and managing sustainable residential areas, those that last the test of time, is pivotal to providing liveable environments for residents. Sustainable residential areas provide adequate and secure housing, prosperous social and cultural environments, and ensure a well-educated, healthy and motivated workforce for local economies. In addition, as inhabitants are recognised for their diversity and are engaged in their living environments, public participation in urban planning is an essential step in the process of sustainable urban design. This special issue thus brings together urban planning research focusing on three key areas: the use and access of information technology to residents, residential area uses and divisions, and urban area renewal.
The rapid growth of urban populations in China, together with dramatic institutional transition, has led to the fast spread of urban space and a growing tendency toward residential suburbanization. Remarkable environmental changes have taken place in urban China, with large suburban residential areas emerging in big Chinese cities. As often observed in urban China, the dwelling environment of suburban areas is distinct from downtown areas with less job opportunities and insufficient facilities, resulting in longer distance in daily trips and disadvantages in residents′ accessibility. This study, based on a GPS based activity-travel survey in Beijing in 2012, applies a time-geographic research framework to explore the activity pattern of suburban residents in both spatial and temporal dimensions as an attempt to reveal characteristics of suburban China. Emphasis is put on daily rhythms and time allocation of activities based on the activity-travel diaries and time space paths based on the GPS data. On the one hand, in the aspect of time, it is observed that the daily life of the suburban residents tends to be regular on weekdays, diversified and fragmented on weekends. On weekdays, working activities constitute a dominant part in time allocation, while on weekends, housework and leisure activities constitute a greater part of time use. On the other hand, in the aspect of space, it is found that the majority of the suburban residents are employed in the inner city and most of the non-work activities take place in suburbs with an exception of shopping activities on weekends. Travel on weekdays is "less time and multi-purpose" and on weekends is "multiple time and single purpose". It could be concluded that the suburban areas in Beijing, while being gradually shifting from dwelling space to living space for suburban residents, still need further promotion in job opportunities and shopping facilities. The results from the study shed light on the weekly spatial and temporal patterns of suburban residents in China and provide beneficial implications for spatial planning and infrastructure construction in the suburban areas to enhance the quality of life in suburban China.
In the context of China's rapid urbanization, large quantities of traditional buildings are disappearing. How to efficiently and intuitively protect these traditional buildings is an important issue being faced. Taking a Qing Dynasty tea house in Guifeng Village as an example, this paper applies information collection, processing and saving in a Building Information Model (BIM) for traditional buildings. It focuses on the application of BIM in traditional buildings’ surveying and creating 3D virtual models of a tea house with Revit Architecture, in order to provide a new method for the protection and regeneration of traditional buildings.
Whether the principle of ‘attending nearby schools’ is an obligation or an option makes a big difference in promoting education equity. This paper explores how the setting up of a de jure catchment area together with other complex socio-economic factors in China’s context distorted the initiative intention of ‘attending nearby schools’, via a case study of Xicheng District in central Beijing where quality public schools are concentrated and their catchment areas were accurately divided. With the unbalanced distribution of basic education resources formed by history, the remaining controversial hukou system, and the rapid urban and social transformations increasing parental choice, a contradiction exists within the Chinese public school enrolment system where the admission right is directly bound up with residential registration (hukou): an emphasis of equal access to basic education, but an opposite outcome. In order to reveal the causes and effects of the ‘attending nearby schools’ policy in practice, the paper illustrates the spatial pattern of de jure school catchment areas by GIS-based mapping, explores the relationship in demographics classified by hukou status between the schools and catchments and collected representative opinions among residents on the policy implementation through semi-structured in-depth interviews. By explaining the disparity between school composition and the residential pattern of typical catchments with the choice behaviours of nonnative/native groups, the paper discusses the legitimacy underlying the current enrolment system and makes suggestions for future reform.
There is a well-known ‘‘digital divide” in the tendency to connect to the Internet, but whether there is similar differentiation among Internet usage is still worthy of further exploration. Studies on the geography of the digital divide are more concentrated on the national and regional scale, with a lack of research on the micro-scale. This paper builds up an index system, uses the factors, clustering and regression to analyse the Internet usage level on spatial distribution and attributes characteristic influence factors, based on 2012 survey questionnaires about personal information usage. The result shows that there is a weak distinction in comprehensive Internet usage among Internet users from different social-economic groups, but differences in online activities are relatively significant and individual social-economic attributes and properties of location and housing of residents have a significant impact of different usage patterns.
When the city develops to a certain extent, the city will have some problem of aging. In order to solve this problem, the governments carry out "urban renewal" policies to cope with it. Urban renewal makes the urban land to reuse with the urban planning, the urban function to recovery, the life to improve, and to raise the public Interest. The Taiwan Government has published the “Urban Renewal Act” and “Bulk Reward for Urban Renewal” since 1998 to promote the urban renewal policies and civil participation. Taipei, though, is the earliest and the most experienced city in Taiwan which has already conducted 221 urban renewal projects so far, neither the projects themselves can present the specific interests created nor the government can assess the effectiveness of them. In recent years, a Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) method is widely used in various fields. Because the process of urban renewal involves a variety of input and output factors, the relationship between them can be regarded as a major project for performance assessment. This study, therefore, categorizes the urban renewal projects in Taipei City as a decision making unit. The influential factors were further determined and divided into environmental, economic and social dimensions. Following this, the DEA method was used to evaluate the efficiency of urban renewal projects. Finally the outcomes of evaluation can be used as an approach for government and developers to propose an efficient urban renewal project.
Under the guidance of the China national development policy of new urbanization, this research explores the approach of how to promote the development of new urbanization through the construction of smart community by taking the community planning of Yishanwan, Jiangxia District, Wuhan as an example. Based on the practical experience of the planning and construction of a smart city, a general framework of smart community planning of Yishanwan is put forward in this paper. The framework consists of five-layer components, which are the base layer, sharing layer, application layer, service layer and portal layer. An information center and a security system are designed to conduct the integration of the five layers. With the instruction of the framework, it is expected to achieve four targets: the construction of the infrastructure, the establishment of a sharing platform, the research and development of an application system and the development of a service portal. With the achievements implemented, the smart Yishanwan community will be founded.
Under the research framework of changes in morphology, as well as social structure in historic areas in Beijing, this study carries out investigation and quantitative analysis on living space and social and economic problems in Shichahai, Xisibei and Nanluoguxiang, and conducts a sample analysis on typical courtyards. Scholars from different fields analyzed issues of social space reconstruction and cultural value protection from the perspectives of political and economic factors and cultural heritage protection and explores strategies for traditional courtyard improvement from the perspectives of physical space and public policy, though the tracking investigation and empirical analysis on the regeneration of traditional courtyards regarding social orientation is quite limited. In this paper the author analyzes social problems existing in physical and social space changes and explored sustainable regeneration strategies for traditional courtyards with social orientation, in Beijing, employing literature research, sampling investigation, participatory observation, in-depth interview and reconnaissance mapping methods.
Chiang Mai is the second biggest city in Thailand. With its own history, this city has been represented as a culture city but many economic growths have been increasing at the same time. Many areas in the city are turning toward economic purposes, especially Nimmanhaemin District, which is currently well known as a business district for dining and entertainment spots where it was originally a planned area for single house real estate and had followed grid system planning following modern thought since 1980s. The strong character of this district is in its street network which is related to the grid system and provides for communities on “Soi” (Thai, meaning alleys that connect to the main street). With rapidly economic development in the last 15 years, area uses on the Nimmanhaemin street network have been turning toward business purposes and have grown without direction or limits. The most invested in are residential and commercial uses. There can be found numbers of new apartments which were built into old residential areas. In addition, researchers have found conflicts and controversies between old residents and new communities which are permanently related to urban management such as traffic circulation, zoning, image of the city and community design. Because previous government strategies were lacking local input, analysis of existing communities’ relations is required. This research hypothesis is to posit sustainable communities which move forward with a “Community Drive” where cultural and creative activities create a balance between social relations (Existing residents and present business grouping) and business aims. Then, this research aims to integrate “Neighbourhood” into apartments which lack social interaction and public mind as a part of community. This research methodology identifies the relationship between existing residents and present business groups which refer to concerned theories; “The Production of Space” theory by Henri Lefebvre and “Neighbourhood” by Nicholas Patricios, which defines the “Neighbourhood”concept as a retrospective of physical design and social interaction. Analysis was conducted based on community participation and questionnaire data. The implications of this research are applications and strategies toward integrating a “Neighbourhood Network” on a condominium floor plan for a case study of a condominium community.