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Title: An analysis of contemporary urban public open space design and construction in China : progresses and problems
Author: Tang, Hong
Awarding Body: Heriot-Watt University
Current Institution: Heriot-Watt University
Date of Award: 2004
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The urban square as a new spatial form has become a main component of urban public open space with large numbers of them constructed during and immediately following the 1990s. Chinese scholars describe this phenomenon as `urban square craze' and provide critical suggestions focusing on the problems of design and utilisation, which mainly include the excessive pursuit of image enhancement, over -formalised patterns, under -utilisation and the loss of local distinctiveness. Do these negative aspects indicate the inappropriateness of urban square development in contemporary China? If not, what should be continued and what should be adjusted in future development? To answer these questions, this thesis sets out from the perspective that the urban square is a foreign spatial form and asks, "what are the positive and negative aspects of the application of western design elements in contemporary urban public space development in China ?" It explores the general issues and the problems existing in urban square design and construction and identifies the changes and influences urban square construction has brought into social development and social life; it identifies comprehensive recommendations for further research and practice which focus chiefly on issues of scale and daily use. A history review and literature review are employed to explore the hypothesis that imitation of western design elements characterises contemporary public space development. A range of nationwide urban square projects have been drawn on and surveys of citizens and interviews with designers and managers used, to address a secondary hypothesis that negative aspects dominate urban square design.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available