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Is this Chinese satellite city the future of suburban sprawl?

Posting in Architecture

Like many Chinese cities, Chengdu is growing at "breakneck speed." The city has over 7 million people and the metro region is home to nearly 15 million. But as growth continues, thanks to its fast growing economy, it will come at a cost: overburdened infrastructure.

To take some pressure off the city's infrastructure, Chengdu is building a new satellite city, known as Great City, outside of Chengdu. The design of the new development -- just released by Chicago-based architecture firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture -- sounds like the most sustainable suburban development you can imagine.

With a goal of building a new development that doesn't contribute to the "high energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with suburban sprawl," the 3 square-kilometer, high-density  satellite city will house 80,000 people. The area is so compact, in fact, that the average person can walk anywhere in the city in 15 minutes, with all residential units a two minute walk from the nearest public park. At the center of the city is a transit hub that connects Great City to Chengdu.

According to the designer, compared to a typical development of a similar population, Great City is expected to use almost 50 percent less energy, 58 percent less water, and create 89 percent less landfill waste.

Of the 800 acre development, people will only work and live on 40 percent of the land area. The rest will be used for open space and agriculture. Here's the bird's-eye view:

“For the first time in China’s history, more people live in cities rather than rural areas, which means that the country is in real need of examples of dense, mixed-use sustainable urbanism,” says AS+GG partner Robert Forest in a statement. “Our design for Great City is a shining example of what the urban future could and should look like, both in China and elsewhere around the globe.”

Great City, which is being developed by Beijing Vantone Real Estate Co., is expected to be complete in the next eight years.

[h/t dezeen]

Images courtesy of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

— By on October 26, 2012, 3:07 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure