New town modeling

Reviewing Dutch new towns via quantitative methods to provide appropriate tools and strategy for accelerating Chinese new town development, using songjiang new town as the test case

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Abstract

China turned to the Open-Policy in 1978 and began its rapid urbanization process. To handle the urgent demand from working migration and reduce the problems triggered by congestion in mega cities, decentralization and new towns are widely accepted by Chinese urbanists and politicians. However, new towns in China lost their urbanity in the instant city-making while European new towns have experienced a long time reflection. This master thesis intends to advance the knowledge on new town development by applying GIS-related quantitative methods to compare new towns in various contexts with their historically evolved peers. There are two main directions in this research: improving quantitative analytical methods and understanding the transformation process of new towns. This research dwells on quantitative modeling on three elements of urban morphology: street network, building types and function via GIS. By this way, a new quantitative analytical method about built environment can be raised based on the study of van Nes, Berghauser-Pont and Masshoodi (2012). Through applying this new method to compare the development process of Dutch post-war new towns with historical city, a series of spatial principles will be found and applied into Chinese context. Specifically, in the Netherlands, the transformation process in Dutch new towns will be revealed and an urban diagnosis tool will be given. Then, all the knowledge getting from Dutch context will be converted into a Chinese case: Songjiang new town to provide guiding. Although the focus for this thesis will be on one new town, it contributes to the development strategy for other new towns in China as well.