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Interational Competition for Guangzhou Pearl Riverside Area Concept Plan and Focus Urban Design

Guangzhou - Pearl Riverside Area Concept Plan: Summary


By incorporating Guangzhou with its four neighboring cities, Huaduo and Conghua to the north, Panyu to the south, and Zengcheng to the west, a new metropolis of 6.85 million people was born.

The area has recorded remarkable economic growth, citing a GDP exceeding $3000 per person in the year 2000. The future is also optimistic for urban and economic developments including the fiber-optic 'Photon Valley' along the stretch of the Pearl River delta area (Guangdong precinct). By the year 2020 the population is anticipated to increase by 2 to 2.8 million, thus reaching 10 million.

With these emerging conditions in mind, the master plan desired by the International Competition Board would parallel these and other developments the new millennium will bring and render Guangzhou and the Pearl Riverside area as the gate through which the future will enter.

Development Area

The area to be developed is the Pearl Riverside area spanning 38,900 hectactres (more than half of Tokyo's 23 district areas)

Results of Design Competition

The request for submission of the P.Q. (proposal qualification) was opened to architects and architectural consultants in June of 2000. Competition proposals from the four chosen companies (one Japanese, two American, and one British) were submitted for further judging from September to the end of December, entering two trials held in October and December. A 20-member international judging committee composed of members from America, Australia, Hong Kong, and China examined the submittals. On December 19th, 2000 the team of the Japanese firm Kisho Kurokawa architect and associates with the RIA Shanghai team and the American firm Sasaki Associates Inc. were announced as winners, and the American firm RTKL Associates Inc. and the British firm WS Atkins International Limited were announced as runners-up.

Future Master Plan Developments

Upon incorporating the comments from the judging committee, the master plan will be finalized at the end of February 2001. At that time, the two winning plans will be consolidated into one, under the guidance of Guangzhou's City Planning Agency, and work on the master plan will then begin. The architectural design of Focal Area 1 (665 ha - Pazhou Island, Changzhou Island) (Document 1), Focal Area 2 (990 ha - Lianhua Mountains, Seagull Island) (Document 2), and Focal Area 3 (992 ha - Nansha, Humon Bridge) will be divided between the two winners.


The vast region's water supply, sewer pipe, road system, monorail system, bridges, and other infrastructure will be constructed in 5-year phases until the year 2020. The architecture, including the international trade center, art museum, botanical garden, aquarium, international conference center, and new ports in addition to recreational parks and residential areas will all be implemented in phases supported by funding from Guangdong precinct and the city of Guangzhou. Tourism related architecture including vacation homes, hotels, a container port, bio-electronic industrial park, and other similar facilities will be developed with funding from the private sector.

Characteristics of the Winning Design by Kisho Kurokawa architect and associates

1. Construct the world's largest Eco-Corridor, which will connect and preserve the river, mountain, forest, and rice field ecosystems.

2. Develop a low-rise "River City" utilizing the Pearl River delta and its abundant rivers.

3. Foster symbiosis between agriculture and the city by preserving the entirety of traditional rice fields, fish farms, waterways, and villages along the river banks while also introducing new vacation home developments.

4. Establish the goal to create for a zero-emission producing sustainable city for the 21st century

5. Create the center of the definitive industry of the 21st century, Bio-Electronics, by bringing serious companies in the genetic engineering industry, who will be attracted to the area by the abundant variety of ecosystems, together with the fiber optic communications industry already progressing in Guangdong.

6. Construct the world's first ecosystem botanical garden and ecosystem fresh-water aquarium.

7. Build a comprehensive contemporary museum featuring China's modern music, cinema, and art.

8. Search for an ultra-modern Chinese (Asian) style that will not imitate western styles of architecture and design for the master plan.

Consultant to the Guangzhou Government

Kisho Kurokawa received the honor of being the first Japanese person named consultant to the city of Guangzhou. The ceremony took place on the evening of December 20th 2000, and was hosted by the mayor (Document 3). The responsibility of being named consultant includes responding to requests for advice regarding not only architecture, but all things pertaining to the future development of Guangzhou.