Beijing (1950s) / Beijing Urban Master Plan (1950s)

Beijing Urban Master Plan (1950s)


Up to 1994, the leaders has never made a reply to the proposal Liang Sicheng and Chen Zhanxiang made. Chen Zhanxiang had not given up but together with Hua Lanhong, they continuously thinking the solution for Beijing’s city planning, they looked for a solution that can preserved the valuable structures without stopping the growth of the city. As Hua Lanhong has a europen educational background in Paris, soon he came up with a master plan influenced by the city he came from.


Beijing Urban Master Plan (1953)
Beijing Urban Master Plan (1953)

Hua Lanhong proposed quite a lot of changes to the shape of old Beijing. Accordin to the plan, functional zoning was introduced in which ‘Industrial zones were dispersed in suburbs, while new residential areas were located between the old city and new industrial zones’. The zones were linked via ring roads and radial sub-arteries, and separated by greenbelts. The Plan privileged industry and production.


Hua thinks that a concentration of government buildings in one district is not necessary. In Paris, the sites of government organs are quite scattered, various government organs are located in different areas could avoid an excess concentration of traffic.

It is obviously comparing with the Liang-Chen proposal, Chen Zhanxiang had reluctantly withdrawn from his previous stand for developing the administration center outside the city.


This proposal shown a westernized vision of urban planning, which was very new to most of the Chinese architects. The Paris city plan is very famous for its ring roads around the center and the radial avenues extending outward, it provides efficient communications in all direction. This idea is very first-hand to be apply to Beijing as it is always considered to be a small castle with high enclosed and secured central core, which this plan introduced the totally opposite idea of opening up the core of the city. Although is plan did not get referenced at the end but I think this is a avant-garde movement in the city planning history of Beijing.

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