Nanhu New Country Village Master Plan

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Nanhu New Country Village Master Plan | Notes of Interest

China’s rapid urbanization is radically diminishing its already distressed agricultural landscapes. In addition to creating significant environmental degradation, China’s farming systems are inefficient compared to countries with modern agricultural practices, producing very low outputs related to high labor inputs. To address this inefficiency, farm reform policies have been introduced including farm reorganization, enlarged operational scale, technology integration, and rural revitalization.

The plan for Nanhu Country Village seeks to further the nation’s farm reform goals and address the region’s environmental problems. Modern technologies and sustainable practices improve productivity, while the introduction of new, high-quality produce creates a special identity for the region. The design coalesces the site’s agrarian setting with its transit access and urban amenities to create a compact, walkable village with abundant access to open space. Of the 1,100-hectare site, more than 700 hectares are maintained as working farms. Focused around the intricate canal network, the traditional Jiangnan architectural style of the region is reinterpreted to create an urban form that is integrated with the environment.

Overall, the Nanhu New Country Village Master Plan will remediate contamination of the canal network and reduce water usage through wetland treatment zones and innovative water strategies. Together, the village and its adjacent farmlands will form a 21st-century sustainable, livable community and serve as a model for future development throughout China.

Additional Credit

  • Economic Analysis: AECOM Economics
  • Landscape Architect: SWA Group
  • Sustainable Infrastructure: Sherwood Design Engineers

Photo Credit

  • © Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
  • © Christopher Grubbs Illustrator

Nanhu New Country Village Master Plan


Jury Comments

This is an excellent example of sustainable design that supports food production and habitable spaces and establishes a viable regional footprint for agriculture, housing, and natural conservation. It is commendable to see a development that relates to the canals and addresses pressing production and sustainability issues in the context of growth in China.

It is a strong ecological proposal with a thoughtful range of concerns and detail of urban design recommendations that provide a well-represented sense of place and community. The plan creates rich layers of agrarian and residential environments with a thoughtful overlay of sustainable environmental/landscape tactics for managing infrastructure systems.

It is careful in defining a variety of public spaces. It negotiates an urbanization of the countryside that manages to capture the best of both worlds without being overwhelming.

More about Nanhu New Country Village Master Plan.

2013 Institute Honor Awards for Regional and Urban Design Jury

  • Mark Shapiro, AIA, Chair
  • Mithun, Inc.
  • Seattle
  • Ellen Dunham-Jones, AIA
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Atlanta
  • William A. Gilchrist, FAIA
  • Place Based Planning
  • New Orleans
  • Toni L. Griffin, AIA
  • The City College of New York
  • New York City
  • Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
  • U.S. Commission of Fine Arts
  • Washington, DC

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