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Fast City, Slow Water – The story of Gusu-Li

Narrative by Peiwen Yu Suzhou Huamao Center (Gusu-Li) mixed-use complex is envisioned to be the next cultural landmark in Suzhou’s old town, which houses many world cultural heritage sites. Occupied 9.5 ha precious urban land next to Shang-Tang Canal, the 1.27 billion USD development will be the newest lifestyle destination with retails, office and hotel

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Designing Places for Authentic Cities: Transformation of a Postindustrial Waterfront

By Peiwen Yu In an age of technology that so often produces simulated reality at the expense of the real, how do we design American and global cities to be smarter and more enjoyable to live in?  As a landscape architect and city builder, I am convinced the urban places we inhabit shape us, acknowledging

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The Urban Transformation, China Dream, and an Urban Planning Strategy

The Urban Transformation, China Dream, and an Urban Planning Strategy This essay is an attempt to comprehend the “new urbanization” (新型城镇化) put forward by Chinese central government as an important national strategy for the next decades – what it means to a new typology of economy, the upgrading of industrial structure, reform of social benefits

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African Jottings

Photo Essay by Peiwen Yu Craving adventure, once in a lifetime experiences and culture, I had wanted to visit African safari and witness one of the top wonders of nature world – wildlife migration. In this July, I finally made the trip to Kenya! My imaged-reality of Africa was largely made of stories including the

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Walking the Path vs. Knowing the Path – Designing Places for Authentic Cities

In an age of technology that so often produces simulated reality at the expense of the real, how do we design American and global cities to be smarter and more enjoyable to live in? Today’s technology and artificial intelligence has amplified the power of humans significantly. However, human feelings will never been delivered through a

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City of Revolution, City of Evolution – Learning from La Habana, a People Centered City

If you’re happy, does reality matter? Happiness is subjective, not objective. Prosperity and wealth help, but definitely not the only things that matter to happiness. By visiting some of the most vital urban places in La Habana, Cuba, I was deeply impressed by the mixture of charms offered by this unique city with both history

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Inherit the Culture and Re Imagine the Cities

By sharing the following two stories in the beginning of the New Year, I hope to explore environment and culture-friendly models of urbanization, towards more sustainable, memorable and vital communities, with the renewed power of design. Around the Christmas and New Year holiday seasons, I was visiting and living in the heart of metropolitan Beijing. While

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2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture Winners Announced

We at RenChi Space are excited to see Hutong Children’s Library and Art Center selected as one of the winners of this prestigious award. It transformed a crowded and messy Hutong courtyard into a refreshing and vibrant community space, envisioning a new use of traditional housing units at the dense core of modern metropolitan. See all winners of Aga

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Observing Marfa RenChi

In mega cities with millions of residents, public places with life and vibrancy are commonly expected. Observing dynamics in a high desert small town with only 2000 people could be more fun, for it may lead to better insight into what created RenChi attraction in the large canvas of natural landscape. Located between the Davis Mountains and Big

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Creating value through reusing the materials from last biennale – 2016 venice biennale installation by Alejandro Aravena

Renchi Space is excited to learn about the massive recycled steel installation at 2016 Venice Biennale’s main venue curated  by People’s architect Alejandro Aravena (2016 Pritzker Prize Winner). The architect’s body of work and TED talk demonstrated tremendous value on social impact work through architectural practice, an approach emphasizing both intelligence and intuition in design process,

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Shekou Mountain Park – Interpret History and Connect Dots for a Future City

Narrative by Peiwen Yu (Publication of this article approved by Shenzhen Nanshan Urban Management Bureau client) Shenzhen, one of China’s fastest urbanizing megacities, would be unlivable without its parks, squares, waterfront promenades and green mountains. As the first Special Economic Zone China Established in 1980, the city placed itself on the frontier of domestic reform

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Remaking Chengdu Lifestyle

— Edge, Complexity and Informality in shaping places for 528 Art Village What makes a charming traditional city moving forward in the global era while keeping its memories of place? I believe in the resilience of its social energy. It is what makes a city healthy and competitive, and often has little to do with

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The Post Industrial Urban Future – Baton Rouge 2050

When it comes to quality of life, are people really better off in cities?  As the world is entering the Urban Age, Americans are moving to cities in ever increasing numbers. But in what speed and scale average American suburban oriented cities may embrace the idea of density, more integrated land use, creative tension between

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Tactical RenChi Interventions at Shekou Fish Harbor Green

“Really, tactical urbanism is how most cities are built. Especially in developing nations,” Mike Lydon says. “It’s step-by-step, piece-by-piece.” In many fast urbanizing regions, the presence of various temporary open spaces is crucial to meeting the overwhelming needs of public parks in dense urban core; although often constructed with modest budget and designed to have

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ACHIEVING REN CHI IN PUBLIC SPACES: DESIGN FROM THE BOTTOM UP 打造人气空间:自下而上的设计理念

What kinds of public spaces contribute the most to building memorable and attractive cities? As landscape architects, a large portion of our practice focuses on ecology, natural processes, and material performances. The global urban age is happening at a dizzying pace and scale, and with a diversity and complexity that challenges traditional design paradigms. Weaving

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Shekou Promenade in the News – Meeting with the New Mayor

  On November 18th, Nanshan District’s new leadership group – Party Secretary Jiang Jianjun and Mayor Wang Qiang met with SWA design team, brainstorming on visions and ideas of Shenzhen Bay Shekou Promenade. Last month, the city was excited to see groundbreaking of Shekou promenade’s initial phase, which kicked off the implementation of this 6KM

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Remaking Shekou Oil Pipe Line

As the Nation’s first testing ground of China’s Open Door Policy, Economic Reform and Capitalism Operation, Shekou Industrial Zone was established even before the SEZ (Shenzhen Special Economic Zone), in 1979. The great visionary Deng Xiaoping once said – “A little more power was granted to it so the Shekou Industrial Zone may develop faster

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Music Festival RenChi at Shenzhen Bay Park

Completed in 2011, this 9 kilometers long coastal Long Park is the first phase of Shenzhen Bay Waterfront Competition Winning Proposal in 2005, implementing a strong concept of coastal ecological restoration with 13 programmed park places for recreation and celebration. In the effort of accommodating diverse urban outdoor events in the 13 park nodes, program

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Shekou Lighthouse Plaza Reinvention – Memorial Terrace

Shekou Memorial Terrace Proposal tackled an urban space upgrading solution for a waterfront tourism spot – the light house and captain bar of Shekou Peninsula. Located at the Shenzhen Bay Shekou Waterfront, the place is adjacent to a high rise residential complex and a trendy retail development that’s currently undergoing construction – The Peninsula Boutique

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Dalian Coastal Parc Belt – Connecting City to Waterfront

A Conceptual Landscape Master Plan Proposal was newly prepared for Dalian Coastal Scenic Road Upgrading Project – revitalizing this scenic area with fresh recreational places and attracting more Ren Chi. The study area involves a 30KM long scenic Binhai road located on the South Coast of Dalian, China. Once a famous tourism destination of Dalian, Binhai road

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Houston’s Ren Chi Bubbles

How is Houston’s walkability improved over years? While the public transit in the city made significant progress compared to 10 years ago, the parks and squares in Houston’s urban area have been growing in terms of quantity and quality. The population centers of Uptown and Mid Town have been transformed to reach new level of

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My Livable City Magazine Publishes Many Projects that Transformed Shenzhen

Peiwen gave a speech about Shenzhen Urban Waterfront Transformation, discussing pressing issues on Shenzhen’s need of new public space. She researched Shenzhen’s urbanization history, compared it’s spatial condition with the ‘sister city” – Houston, and reviewed how it’s transformed from instant city to garden city by design effort. Her research on Shenzhen Waterfront is located in southwest corner

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Beijing Hillside Community’s “Picture Window” Courtyard is Completed!

There has been a lot of academic debates on high-end gated communities in today’s mega cities in how segregated they’re from surrounding urban context. While studying the landscape for this Italian and French style villa project developed by China Resources Land Developer, Peiwen intended to try a fresher design vocabulary for the model unit courtyard landscape, different from the

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Cairo Workshop – Pocket of Urbanity

The narrative is an attempt to decode the future open space needs in booming suburban developments under the large picture of Egyptian dream. What it means for master planned communities, and specifically how to advance the landscape place making to be stronger in supporting these projects to achieve economic success, sustainability, cultural authenticity, and a

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Thousand Lantern Lake Park Was Announced as One of the Two Winners of ULI’s Prestigious Urban Open Space Award

Awards ceremony took place on Thursday October 15th during ULI’s Fall meeting in San Francisco. Among 6 finalists, Thousand Lantern Lake Park was announced as one of the two winners of ULI’s prestigious  Urban Open Space award. This is the first time this award is open to international projects.  For 15 years, design team at SWA has

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Shenzhen’s Historical Fishing Harbor Embraces its New Park

As one of the cultural landmarks of Shenzhen Bay, Shekou’s fishing harbor, with over 100 years of history, has witnessed the dramatic city transformation of Shenzhen. This natural deep-water port hosts hundreds of fishing boats and functions as a seafood storage and wholesale center. During many project site visits, the author was impressed by the

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Meet The Founder: Peiwen Yu

A landscape architect, urban designer and avid world traveler. She is particularly interested in urban place making that promotes socially resilient public space and a forward looking lifestyle of urban residents.

Meet Her...

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