Vertical Urbanism: Designing Compact Cities in China, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Vertical Urbanism

Designing Compact Cities in China, 1st Edition

Edited by Zhongjie Lin, José L. S. Gámez


284 pages | 197 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-04-10
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Studies of compact cities have evolved along with the rising awareness of climate change and sustainable development. Relevant debates, however, reveal that the prevailing definitions and practices of compact cities are tied primarily to traditional Western urban forms.

This book reinterprets "compact city", and develops a ground-breaking discourse of "Vertical Urbanism", a concept that has never been critically articulated. It emphasizes "Vertical Urbanism" as a dynamic design strategy instead of a static form, distinguishing it from the stereotyped concept of "vertical city" or "towers in the park" dominant in China and elsewhere, and suggests its adaptability to different geographic and cultural contexts. Using Chinese cities as laboratories of investigation, this book explores the design, ecological, and sociocultural dimensions of building compact cities, and addresses important global urban issues through localized design solutions, such as the relationship between density and vitality, the integration of horizontal and vertical dimensions of design, and the ecological and social adaptability of combinatory mega-forms. In addition, through discussions with scholars from the United States, China, and Japan, this book provides an insight into the theoretical debates surrounding "compact city" and "Vertical Urbanism" in the global context.

Scholars and students in architecture and urban planning will be attracted by this book. Also, it will appeal to readers with an interest in urban development and Asian studies.

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables

List of contributors


Part I: Framing the Discourse of Vertical Urbanism

1. Vertical Urbanism: Re-conceptualizing the Compact City

2. When New Urbanism Gets Old: Cultural Difference in Global City Design

3. Hong Kong’s Transit-Oriented Podium-Tower Development

4. City without Landmark: The Soft City for the Ageing Society

5. From Manhattan-ism to Bigness: Reconsidering an Alternative Urbanism of Rem Koolhaas

Part II: Urban Design and Transformation of Chinese Cities

6. The City after the City

7. Urban Regeneration and Public Space Making: Case Study of Urban Design for the North Bund in Shanghai

8. Urbanism in a Skyscraper: A Study of Vertical Malls in Hong Kong

9. Deterritorialization and the Collective Memories of Contemporary Shanghai

10. Restoring Hydrophilic Cities: Strategies of Urban Waterfront Space Classification and Design in Suzhou

11. Vertical Development and Urban Design: The Jiefangbei Experience

Part III: Compact City and Eco-city

12. Performance-based Model for Vertical Urbanism

13. Compact Development in Hong Kong

14. Spatial Metrics of Urban Form: Measuring Compact Cities in China

15. Eco-city Planning in China: A Review of Policies and Cases 2009–2015

16. Living off the Ground: Cautionary Tales from a Small Island

Part IV Expanding Pedagogical Territory

17. Experiencing the Compact City: A Pedagogy of Global Engagement

18. Suzhou Industrial Park High-speed Rail Station Business District

19. Redevelopment of Xiangmen Area in the Historic Center of Suzhou

20. Wuyuan Bay Waterfront Redevelopment in Xiamen


About the Editors

Zhongjie Lin is Director of the Master of Urban Design Program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and cofounder of Futurepolis, a cross-disciplinary design practice. A 2013 Guggenheim Fellow, he studies modern architectural avant-garde movements, theory and practice of urban design, and contemporary architecture and urbanism in East Asia, and has published extensively in these areas.

José L.S. Gámez is an Associate Professor of Architecture and the Associate Director of the School of Architecture at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His research explores the role of community-engaged scholarship in public interest design, the roles of culture and identity in architecture and urbanism, and critical art and design practices.

About the Series

China Perspectives

The China Perspectives series focuses on translating and publishing works by leading Chinese scholars, writing about both global topics and China-related themes. It covers Humanities & Social Sciences, Education, Media and Psychology, as well as many interdisciplinary themes.

This is the first time that any of these books have been translated into English for international readers. The series aims to put forward a Chinese perspective, give insights into cutting-edge academic thinking in China, and inspire researchers globally.


Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning
ARCHITECTURE / Sustainability & Green Design
ARCHITECTURE / Buildings / General