Tianjin/The Reasons behind Metabolic City Images of Haihe River

Transforming from a green stamp to a luxury ribbon, upper stream of Haihe River gains her status in modern urban planning and world but looses some mental meaning at the same time. Just like a stamp, the original images of Haihe River carry more profound historical implication than current condition. However, the renovation is inevitable since the general conscious that the landscape and environmental value of upper stream of Haihe River cannot be ignored.

Lots of the cities were established near basin and took advantage of these geographical environments to thrive. Rivers served as transport corridors of cities initially. Means of transportation transformed to highway and railway traffic after industrial revolution. Since then, the status of waterway transportation declined. The functions of rivers are changing with the demands of city development. To realize and improve four major functions (landscape value, ecological environment, floor control and profit) of Haihe River, it is divided into three sections to develop as well as conserve according to demand and situation.

From the metabolic images of Haihe River and her waterfronts, the fact that well organized and unified urban planning strategies are taking over Haihe River belt from spontaneous development.

  1. To increase land use efficiency, the semi-artificial green belts are replaced by stem roads and universal approachable platforms. Old neighborhoods are facing their fates of demolition. Large area of land are constructing high-rise commercial or luxury residential buildings.

    currently built high-rise building
  2. To improve the water quality of Haihe River and reduce sewage discharge, old industrial zones are moved to suburb. The actions about water usage and drainage are under tightly control.

    a shutdown thermal power plant
    a shutdown thermal power plant
  3. In response to the increase of motor vehicles, dozens of new bridges are on the list of new master plan. As economic barycenter is moving towards Haihe River again, denser road grid is under construction to dredge the large amount of traffic flow.

    currently built bridges and broadened roads
  4. For the purpose of shaping the image of river metropolitan, actions on Haihe River are strictly constrained. Private boats are forbidden. Tourist ships and their routines as well as tourist facilities are adopted along the upper and middle streams of Haihe River.

    tourist ships on Haihe River with the 'eye' of Tianjin
    tourist ships on Haihe River with the ‘eye’ of Tianjin

Although some historical meaning and life memories are sacrificed in the process of renovation, this in-process renovation indeed gives Haihe River higher economic and political status in Tianjin.



Chen Cheng , Xing Zhong, 2006. River and Urban spatial structure. Urban Studies. Vol.14 No.1.

Hu Hu, 2003. About Urban River Planning. Nonferrous Metals Engineering & Research. Vol.24 No.3.

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