Chinese Urban Design: The Typomorphological Approach, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Chinese Urban Design

The Typomorphological Approach, 1st Edition

By Fei Chen, Kevin Thwaites


260 pages

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pub: 2016-10-17
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The traditional Chinese city is undergoing an identity crisis. With the rapid development taking place, there is growing conflict between this new building and the existing urban heritage. An appropriate approach, both in design and in legislation, is urgently needed to deal with this problem. Furthermore, although Chinese cities have a remarkably long history, existing methods of urban form study in China are either descriptive or loosely structured, whereas a comprehensive methodology is necessary to 'read' Chinese urban forms in a consistent way, and thus inform designers and policy-makers. Chinese Urban Design targets these problems and offers an analytic and conceptual framework for both urban investigation and consequent design. Firstly summarising traditional urban design principles and how Chinese cities have transformed over time, it then introduces and offers a theoretic ground and scientific methodology for understanding the evolution of urban forms, initially developed in western countries. It demonstrates the theoretic model via real cases - from the city of Nanjing - and establishes a direct link between understanding of urban forms and design development. By providing a cross-cultural investigation on the theories and methods of urban typology and morphology, this book aims to suggest best future practice for urban design in China. It explores how urban designers and local policy-makers can produce culturally responsive designs and how they might better understand the formation and transformation of the built environment in which their creations sit. It also looks at how local residents' lifestyle, culture and demands might be reflected and respected in design process.


’As someone who is experienced in both academia and practice in China, I found this book insightful and accurate in its representation of the theory and practice of urban design in China. Chinese Urban Design is a fantastic introduction for those new to the country and subject along with those who are more familiar with this unique context.’ Timothy Heath, University of Nottingham, UK 'Fei Chen and Kevin Thwaites have taken a fascinating angle on urban investigation and city design in China …Undoubtedly, the authors have done an excellent job of introducing Chinese urban design theory and practice to urban theorists and researchers, designers, practitioners and perhaps most importantly, policy-makers. The book provides a new approach for achieving socially sustainable urban design in contemporary Chinese cities and towns … the book should prove to be essential reading for Chinese urban design scholars'. LSE Review of Books

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Part I History and Theory: Traditional Chinese urban form and continuity; Transformation of Chinese urban form in the modern era; Typology morphology and typomorphology. Part II Understanding the Design Context: A theoretic model: Chinese urban form as seven elements; Typomorphological analysis of urban form: the case of Nanjing. Part III Urban Design Practice: Urban design in the West and its operation in China; From typomorphological analysis to design practice : the case of Nanjing; Typomorphology and Chinese urban design; Glossary; Bibliography; Index.

About the Series

Design and the Built Environment

Design and the Built Environment

Urban design is an expanding discipline bridging the gaps between the established built environment professions of architecture, planning, surveying, landscape architecture, and engineering. In this position, urban design also borrows from, and contributes to, academic discourse in areas as diverse as urban geography, sociology, public administration, cultural studies, environmental management, conservation and urban regeneration.

This series provides a means to disseminate more substantive urban and environmental design research. Specifically, contributions will be welcomed which are the result of original empirical research, scholarly evaluation, reflection on the practice and the process of urban design, and critical analysis of particular aspects of the built environment. Volumes should be of international interest and may reflect theory and practice from across one or more of the spatial scales over which urban design operates, from environmental and spatial design of settlements, to a concern with large areas of towns and cities - districts or quarters, to consideration of individual developments, urban spaces and networks of spaces, to the contribution of architecture in the urban realm.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development