Melbournians travelling to China need no longer feel home sick. With the Chinese population moving to urban areas at an unprecedented rate, the firm Architektonic has developed a master plan to build what is being described as a ”mini-Melbourne” next to an artificial lake outside Tianjin, a sister city to the Victorian capital.
The proposed development would house 20,000 people in an area covering 900,000 square meters – roughly half the size of the Melbourne CBD. Its centerpiece would be a Melbourne-style shopping and cafes hub based on Acland, Brunswick and Lygon streets.
”The Chinese government developer wanted to capitalise on the strengths of the Melbourne city,” says Architektonic director Joburt Betadam. ”They wanted to ensure the lifestyle they were promoting in China was going to resemble that lifestyle they seemed to admire that we have.”
Pitched at the rising Chinese middle class, the proposal embraces modern sustainable practice including buildings with five and six-star green ratings with construction to start later this year.
With China preparing to move half its population into cities by mid-century and projected to build 50,000 skyscrapers over the next 20 years, Premier John Brumby told a sustainable cities forum at the Shanghai World Expo the pace of development meant extraordinary opportunities for urban planners and engineers.
Be sure to enjoy a coffee Lygon Street style the next time you’re in China.