Planning the New Town in Lijiang
The historic city Lijiang lies at the foothills of the Himalayas, at a height of about 2400m in the province of Yunnan. The planning site for the new town of Yulong is situated 5.5 km to the south of Lijiang. In the west and the south, the mountains form a natural boundary to the site. Its scenery is dominated by Snow Mountain in the north.
Another important element to the city’s atmosphere is the water which is important to the soul of the Naxi people. The dimensions of the planning site for the new town, about 490 ha, are nearly as large as the historic city centre of Lijiang, which is listed by the UNESCO world heritage. The new city will provide space for 40.000 inhabitants.
Facing the high aesthetical qualities of the historic city centre of Lijiang, Yulong New Town will get its own unmistakable identity based on the Naxi culture and the particular conditions of the surroundings. Transforming traditional values and architectural designs, it will show itself open to the world of today. The analysis aims to sift out the main qualities and abstract them into a modern way. This method allows the creation of a modern city with modern architecture that nevertheless shows a close relationship to the old city and its qualities.
The most important criteria are:
- Mixed uses (housing, jobs and recreation)
- Compact and dense buildings
- Defined spaces
- Changing directions (no long, even streets)
- Varied sequences of space qualities
- Using Wenbi Mountain and Snow Mountain as backdrop for the new city
- Lively and differentiated building groups
- Modern architecture inspired by building traditions
- Strong emphasis on the natural elements – water and green- present in the city
The main design principle is based on the planning philosophy, that harmony should be established between Man and nature, earth and water, openness and enclosure, aesthetic simplicity and abundance, and last but not least, man-made town and the natural landscape created by higher forces.