The Bohai Rim, the area surrounding the Bohai Sea and including Beijing and major Chinese sea ports such as Tianjin, is a major area of economic development in China. Within the Bohai Rim, the corridor between Beijing and Tianjin is an especially important development region, as major industries seek a foothold there.
All of which makes developing the Beijing-Tianjin corridor an important task, both from a transportation and a sustainable development point of view. Chicago-based architecture and urban planning firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has won the master plan competition, held by Beijing Tongzhou District Taihu High End Headquarters Construction Management Committee and Beijing Xinghu Investment and Development Co. Ltd., to design the network of satellite cities along the high-speed-rail line that links the national capital to the port city of Tianjin.
The winning SOM plan, encompassing 17.6 million square meters of mixed-use development, integrates multiple modes of transport into the corridor. Residents will be able to connect to the high-speed rail line through a bus rapid transit system, streetcars and a fleet of electric cars, according to the plan. If SOM’s plan is fully implemented, 80 percent of the city’s personal transportation could be done through transit, walking and bicycling.
Called “Beijing Bohai Innovation City,” SOM’s winning master plan is based on a landscape design by firm Beijing-based landscape architecture firm Turenscape, whose proposed central wetland park will filter and clean storm water before returning it to waterways that traverse the corridor.
SOM has already won other urban planning work in the area, including in the Yujiapu Financial District, an emerging financial center in Tianjin. And it recently announced it has won a contest to design a major high-rise, the Greenland Group Suzou Center, in Wuijiang, China.