Flexible edges



With urbanisation and industrialisation, large amounts of agricultural land have been converted into industrial land and profit-oriented urban development has led to conflicting edges between different functional areas. Edges are the main point of conflict between functional areas, causing social, environmental and economic problems to varying degrees.

In the process of urban construction, the scale of land use planning is relatively large, and due to the constraints of different conditions such as topography and local regulations, some grey areas that are easily ignored by people are formed. And these grey informal spaces or the remaining spaces often have great potential. In contrast to the 'formal' development of urban spaces under rational planning, the neglected 'informal' spaces often reflect and revive people's real needs and willingness to transform. Paying attention to the informality in the city is a remarkable milestone during process of modernization. Combined with the public attributes inherent in informality, they should be transformed and used from a human perspective, taking into account the needs of the surrounding citizens and "empowering the city and its citizens".

As a carrier of economic development, city is also a home for citizens to live on, and its core is to attract and retain people. With China‘s economic development have become a new normal, people are seeking a higher quality of living environment. Urban public space as important space for public life, it is hoped that the intervention and transformation of edges and informal spaces will create a continuous interface for public life and further enhance the spatial value of the city.is improving as the level of urban development increases, and the edge of urban space, as a kind of transition zone in urban public space, plays an important role in enhancing urban vitality as well as spatiality and humanity. Edge, a social space is created to trigger the participation and intermingling of the old and new community residents.


The Team

HE Qianyang is a Chinese student who obtained her bachelor’s degree of Architecture at Wuhan university. Now she is studying urban environments design at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her interest mainly about the urban renewal and urban sustainable development. Within the context of GBA development, she takes this chance to explore deeper understanding of urbanization.

ZENG Shisui grew up in Shenzhen, China, and comes from Environmental Design. Now she is studying urban environment design at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She is interested in livable environment design and urban renewal, and hopes to gain a deep understanding of regional planning and urban sociology through this Greater Bay Area project.

JI Junqin is a Chinese student who obtained her bachelor’s degree of Landscape Architecture in Guangzhou. Now she is studying urban environments design at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She hopes that through this project, she can deepen her understanding of urban development in the GBA from economic, policy and social issues.


The Quest

1.Population flow intensity in GBA: The booming economy of the Gba region has resulted in changing population movements across cities.

2. Second industry flow intensity: The Pearl River Delta urban agglomeration actively undertakes the transfer of labor-intensive manufacturing enterprises in Hong Kong and Macao by virtue of its geographical advantages adjacent to Hong Kong and Macao, as well as the comparative advantages of cheap land and labor.

3. expansion intensity: It can be seen that over the past four decades, the GBA region has experienced an extremely rapid expansion of urban built-up areas. This has led to a shortage of land resources in the entire GBA, which has shifted from incremental planning development to stock planning development.


The Challenge

Challenge 1 At the city scale, citizens' lives are microscopic. How to shift the focus from the land-oriented to human-oriented?

Challenge 2 How to reuse and revive the previously underutilized space in the stocking development stage?

Challenge 3 What is most essential value of edges and how to extend the meaning of edge from the narrow sense of space to the integration of environment and social life?


The Game

The framework:

Start with the mountain boundary, highlight the basic mountain edge and existing functional edge. Next, According to the characteristics of the edge, we divide the edge into two types. First is Virtual Edge that define different regions and help distinguish regions with different characteristics. When we zoom in, this kind of edge will always maintain a linear shape.

 The other edge is Physical Edge that actually exists. It exists between the voids between the two zones, there is an actual space. When we zoom in, this kind of edge will be enlarged.

 These two types of edge can help us to study our site and the way we do the intervention.

Zoom in Xixiang Game play: 

In xixiang, the propose edges are aim to develop the environmental and society value. In terms of environmental development, take the advantage from natural resources, create wetlands on edges near the sea and reservoir, and create new green belts with parks and green walk along the river and existing Greenland and connect wetland.so that green infrastructure cover most of urban village and residential area.

In terms of social value development, xixiang river as a natural edge divided the urban area. on both side of the river, going to propose more infrastructure and provide people with various types of small scale connections to cross the river.

Zoom in Bantian Game play: 

In Bantian, the scenario is aim to develop social and economic value. Now many high-tect and traditional industrial area in Bantian. Each industrial area now is separated from each other and lack of infrastructure and space for economic activities and social interaction. So edges in Bantian is design for higher transition capacity and create more spaces for diverse human activities.

After XIxiang zoom in: 

The characteristic in xixiang is high industrial energy consumption, low output, low level of science and technology, and decentralized layout. In Xixiang, the mobility system basically a linear system to connect existing and proposed infrastructures.

5.After Bantian zoom in: In Bantian,the tertiary industry is lagging behind. In Bantian is loop system connected all new edges to ensure the transportation efficiency, save time for people to travel back and forth.


The Vision


Final Vision

In the final GBA vision, under the circumstance of “ three old renewals” and “stocking planning”, the land-use has been more intensive, thus reserving and providing more space for the development of more potential industries and strongly promoting the development of tertiary industries. More affordable housing, job and education opportunities will be provided. Through the energetic edges and well-organized transportation network connected to neighbourhoods and infrastructures, breaking through the gap between urban villages and the cities, will encourage more interaction between people. In short, diverse edges serve as symbiotic and sustainable systems could satisfy different kinds of activities requirements and environment conditions in the city to build a walkable and liveable city.