Waterfront Analysis and Design: Comparative Report of Beijing, Suzhou and Yinchuan


Yifan YANG (ed), China Architecture Design and Research Group; Suning XU (ed), Harbin Institute of Technology; PaolaÀ‚ VIGANO (ed), Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne; Dachang YUAN (ed), Tianjin University; Hui LIU (ed), Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology (XAUAT); Marco LUB (ed), Delft University of Technology; Luiz de CARVALHO FILHO (ed), Delft University of Technology
Keywords: Waterfronts, China, Beijing, Suzhou, Yinchuan


Waterfront Analysis and Design Comparative Report of Beijing, Suzhou and Yinchuan systematically summarizes the research and planning cases. Conventional concepts and strategies concerning urban planning implemented in Beijing, Suzhou and Yinchuan have long been established, and the construction of many areas in these cities have been widely finished. Under such circumstances, based on analyses of the three cities and several typical cases of waterfront planning, this book breaks through the established conceptual constraints and delves into the commonalities and differences among the cases through systematic scientific approaches. On top of conducting the intensive research into urban waterfronts planning at levels of both basic theory and methodology, this book also presents specific practices of urban waterfront planning and design customized to the urban water system, as well as the layout and space of waterfront areas. By displaying how research findings can be applied into urban design, this book is of unique significance on value transmission.

The book is broken down into four chapters, namely Comparison, Beijing, Suzhou and Yinchuan. Comparing and researching the water-city relations of the three cities.

Chapter Comparison makes clear of the development characteristics of urban spatial structure based on changes of water systems in these cities with different geographical environments, and researches the patterns of urban spatial organization. Finally, the chapter summarizes the creating mode and focus of urban waterfronts under the effects of different natural environments, water networks and city landscapes.

Chapter Beijing is compiled jointly by Harbin Institute of Technology and China Architecture Design and Research Group. Led by Professor Suning Xu, the study is structured as the combination of “research”, “judgment” and “design”. Studying the historical changes of water-city relation in Beijing and comparing the water-city relation of world typical capitals with that of prominent Chinese ancient capitals. This chapter sets the overall goal for Beijing’s waterfront development; The value system of the waterfront area is evaluated in 6 dimensions, including ecology, space, demand, history, economy and aesthetics, based on which the urban design strategy is crafted and verified with the design of typical nodes.

Chapter Suzhou is put together by Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Iuav University of Venice, Tianjin University, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou and China Architecture Design and Research Group. At the macro level, the joint research team analyzed the spatial structure of Suzhou urban area, selected important urban waterfronts based on the comprehensive considerations of urban functions, different water network structures, ecological protection and urban landscapes, and proposed practical urban design strategy and guidance at various grades and of different types; At the micro level, dedicated to the objectives of “properly clustered water networks, water conservation, living along the water, open and sharing, and reflection of historical culture”, the team offered key points for different urban waterfront designs.

Chapter Yinchuan is collectively compiled by Delft University of Technology, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, Ningxia University and China Architecture Design and Research Group. Adopting the RTD (research through design) method, in other words, further defining research questions through designing and exploring various possibilities and solutions, the joint research team attempted to identify comprehensive solutions at multiple levels: Yinchuan city as a whole, the urban areas where the waterfronts are located, and the waterfronts themselves; Jointly led by landscape architects and urban designers, the research of waterfront design in Yinchuan highlights the ecology-based analysis method and design strategy.

Author Biographies

Yifan YANG, China Architecture Design and Research Group

YANG Yifan, the former deputy chief planner of China Architecture Design and Research Group, director of Urban Planning Design and Research Centre, and current the Vice President and chief planner of China Urban Development Planning and Desgn Consulting Co., Ltd. He is Member of Urban Design Professional Board Appointted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-rural Development, Executive Member of Urban Planning Society of Beijing, President of Urban Renewal Branch of Beijing Engineering Exploration and Design Association, and professor level senior planner.

Suning XU, Harbin Institute of Technology

Born in 1957 in Nanjing, currently works at the School of Architecture, Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) as a Professor, Doctoral Advisor, Director of Urban Design Research Institute and academic leader for urban and rural planning. He is also the first-class registered architect, member of Urban Planning Society of China (UPSC), Vice Chairman of Academic Committee of Urban Design, Member of Urban Design Professional Board Appointted by the Ministry of Housing and Urbanrural Development, member of Chinese Society for Urban Studies and its Urban Design Department of Historical and Cultural City Committee, and member of Academic Committee of Urban Image UPSC.

PaolaÀ‚ VIGANO, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne

Architect and urbanist, Professor in Urban Theory and Urban Design at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne directing the Lab-U and the interdisciplinary Habitat Research Centre, and at UniversitÀ‚ IUAV of Venice. One of the founders and the scientific board members of the European Postgraduate Masters in Urbanism (EMU). She was guest professor in GSD, Harvard, a Thomas Jefferson Professorship at University of Virginia, and several European schools of Architecture. In 2013 she was the first woman to receive the Grand Prix de l’Urbanisme in France. She was awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium in 2016, won the Flemish Culture Award for Architecture in 2017, and the Golden Medal of the Milan Triennale in 2018. In 1990 she founded Studio Associato Bernardo Secchi Paola ViganÀ‚ (Studio Paola ViganÀ‚ since 2014) with Bernardo Secchi. Studio has been practicing on architecture, landscape, and urbanism, and won numerous international competitions and awards.

Dachang YUAN, Tianjin University

Professor and Doctoral Advisor of Tianjin University, School of Architecture, President of Tianjin University Research Institute of Architectural Design and Urban Planning, Member of China Engineering and Consulting Association (CECA), Vice President of Higher Education Branch of CECA, senior member of Architectural Society of China, Vice Chairman of Urban Planning Society of Tianjin, Vice President of Tianjin Exploration and Design Association, and consultant of People’s Government of Yingtan, Jiangxi Province. He is in charge of national key research projects, meanwhile, directs and participates in multiple scientific research projects at national and provincial & ministerial levels. He has been responsible for strategic planning, urban overall planning, all levels of urban design, etc.

Hui LIU, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology (XAUAT)

Professor, PhD, Doctoral Advisor, leading the discipline of landscape architecture in the Architecture College of Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology (XAUAT). She works on the specialty education of landscape architecture and academic researches in three directions, including Theory and History of Chinese Landscape Culture, Theory and Method of Planning and Designing Landscape in Arid and Semiarid Regions, and the Evolution of Modern Urban Morphology in Xi’an. She has been involved, leading or collaborating, in 7 researches unded by National Natural Science Foundation of China, 7 monograghs and more than 30 papers. Besides, she has directed over 20 practices. She is currently a member of Teaching and Steering Subcommittee of Landscape Architecture Education Under the Ministry of Education, and member of Chinese Society of Landscape Architecture (CHSLA).

Marco LUB, Delft University of Technology

Born in 1970, Dutch architect, urban designer and academic. He is educated at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. His design experience is built up with work at several internationally known Dutch developing and design offices like Ballast Nedam and One Architecture whilst running projects in collaboration with for example O.M.A. and MVRDV. In this work he was rewarded with the Dutch Young Architect Talent Grant. With the Dutch urban designer Peter Smit he established the firm CITY4870, designing on all levels of urbanism. In recent years, Marco LUB is focusing on the academics. Together with a great team, he founded the first bachelor school of Urban Design in the Netherlands at the Saxion University of Applied Science. Nowadays he is a senior lecturer at the faculty of Architecture TUD and conducting his PhD research about Dutch/Chinese urban design education.

Luiz de CARVALHO FILHO, Delft University of Technology

Born in 1972, coordinator of the European Post master in Urbanism — EMU at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherl and also a guest researcher at the Politecnico di Torino in Italy. He is an architect, urbanist and urban designer with over 20 years of experience. He graduated as an architect in Brazil and has an advanced master’s degree (with honours) in Urbanism from TU Delft.His research focuses on planning instruments and urban morphology, particularly investigating the processes of segregation and encounter in the urban environment. His work has been presented and published in several conferences such as the Association of European Schools of Planning 2017, the International Seminar on Urban Form 2018, The International Planning History Society 2018 and at the Space Syntax symposia, 2015, 2017, 2019.



June 29, 2021


Details about this monograph

ISBN-13 (15)


Date of first publication (11)


Physical Dimensions

210mm x 254mm