Chongqing(1983)/Possible space for further development

From 1983 to 1997, the two editions of urban planning proposal of Chongqing City both agreed on the guideline of multinuclear urban organization. With the blocking of natural topography and policy constrains, the city was divided into several self-sufficient districts. As a result, all the districts are in lack of growth space. Basically, there are three main directions for possible solutions.

The first one is expanding to the mountains and rivers. The city grew began with the construction at the submontane zones and could gradually extend to the mountainside. However, it would on the one hand, decrease the wetland and green space of the city, and on the other, the constructions of new buildings and related infrastructures would break the boundaries between different districts.

The second one is increasing the existing height and density. By building higher and denser, more rooms could be created on the same piece of ground. However, the cost is the satisfying living environment.


The third one is utilizing the underground space. By removing the soil from underground, space for infrastructure such as the subways and express tunnels could be provided and the dense on ground level would be reduced. Additionally, the soil could be used as reclamation fillings.



Take Central of Hong Kong as an precedent. Harbor reclamation and utilization of underground space are the main solutions to land shortage problem. Even though the heights of buildings are rising to the extremity, the overcrowded conditions, as always, are not well improved.

Compared with the horizontal expansions to the mountains and rivers, I believe the vertical expansion should be more rational and practical. I was wondering if it is possible to find out a proper scale for each metropolis individually, otherwise the endless desire on expansion would never be requited. To conclude, the balance between scale controlling and expansion tendency is always a tough topic.


Reference and Image source:

WANG Jiwu,(2003)Resarch of Space Exploitation in Mountainous Metropolis: Take Examples of Chongqing and Hongkong, Chongqing Architecture.06(12).P21-23.

XU Sishu, (1984) Utilizing of underground space is an inevitable tendency for urban development in Chongqing, Underground Space, 03(06).P1-7.

1 Comment on “Chongqing(1983)/Possible space for further development

  1. Compared to Hong Kong, Chongqing has a steeper topography and does not really has a large area of water to be reclaimed. Yangtze River is the main waterway artery connecting the Western China and Eastern China so I do not think horizontal expansion into the river is a valid solution to the urban congestion. Therefore I agree with you on the vertical expansion. I think Chongqing has already done a nice job in incorporating a vertical city that deals with the topography of the city.

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