Chengdu CSR : factory town 2.0 : urban regeneration of a socialist factory town in the west of China
Urban regeneration of a socialist factory town in the west of China
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
Brent D. Ryan and Rafi Segal.
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This thesis is to explore the urban design strategies for the regeneration of a Socialist factory town, Chengdu CSR, in Chengdu, a major city in the west of China. A socialist factory town is an urban composition of both municipal and manufacture functions. It is a top-down system in the control of the central government in order to execute its economic and social policies directly. Factory towns are established on all different economic sectors, agriculture, military control, steel, oil and machinery. The establishment of socialist factory towns industrialized the region and brought in millions of population from the east and north parts of China. The factory town studied in the thesis, China South Railway, Chengdu (Chengdu CSR) is focused on the maintenance of locomotives and carriages from 1951. However, the reform of economy in the 1980s shifted the planned economy to the market economy which also led to the serious decline of factory towns from the 1990s after their forty-year extraordinary growth. At present, the factory town has become a negative place in the city disconnected with surrounding urban environment suffering with outdated infrastructure. Through the research on the history of factory towns in the aspect of design, it is concluded that the three design principles of previous factory towns, Monumentality, Mono-function Zoning and 2D Design, created the space without the flexibility and diversity required by rising service industry and technology based enterprises. It is one of the major reasons for the decline of the campus of the socialist factory towns. Both as a criticism and an alternative methodology, new design principles are proposed, overlaying and intersecting bands of different programs in order to obtain Urbanity and Temporality in the regeneration plans for these factory towns. Inspired by the local cultural element, Mahjong, these design principles are further developed into one major urban strategy, Mahjong. This strategy shifts the previous linear manufacture factory to be a platform, Factory Town 2.0, which accelerates the connections and interactions between Chengdu Institute of Technology, Chengdu CSR, original equipment manufacturers (OEM), hundreds of startups and medium-size enterprises (SME). In addition, the collision and overlaying of different functions creates a dynamic urban environment curating various events all the time during the day and bringing livelihood to the community. This thesis proposes new design principles, Urbanity and Temporality, which can be applied into different regeneration projects in the socialist factory towns in China, since they were all designed previously under the same principles.
Thesis: S.M. in Architecture Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, 2017.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 218-219).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology