“Material Construction Project for Tianjin Special Municipality City” and Noulan Cauchon’s Hexagonal Planning
In the ninth chapter of “Material Construction Project for Tianjin Special Municipality City”, Liang Si Cheng and Zhang Rui proposed the Hexagonal planning in the newly developed areas, for example, the Xigu area, south of the Xihu garden and Liulitai area, which are not planned yet. Hexagonal planning is not an innovation by Liang and Zhang that it is influenced by the Western Hexagonal Planning Theories. Hexagonal planning emerged around the turn of the twentieth century and in 1925, Noulan Cauchon, an Canadian railway engineer based upon his training, attendance at numerous conferences and study of the early textbooks of the day, analyzed the hexagonal planning from the perspective of traffic safety and convenience. He found that the 120° angle of intersection is beneficial to the driver to have a clear view and at the same time, since each intersection of a hexagonal urban road does not have the interference of the vehicle in the straight direction, the right turn automobiles does not have to be decelerated, making the city commute more efficiently. In addition, Noulan is famous for his scientific calculation of proving under the same area, the road length of the enclosed hexagonal block is 10% less than the rectangular land, which can save ten percent of the investment in the infrastructure such as streets, sidewalks and sewers and also demonstrates that a reasonable layout within a hexagonal block avoids mutual occlusion between buildings and creates a healthier urban environment. Since then, a more grand hexagonal city model was proposed. Noulan’s planning ideas and drawings have had a huge shock in the urban planning at the time, and have been followed by planners from all over the world in the late 1920s. The urban development and studies of modern Chinese cities is also entwined with hexagonal planning as part of Garden City movement. Noulan’s planning ideas become the prototype of Liang and Zhang’s Hexagonal planning.
Hexagonal plan, Noulan Cauchon, 1925. Source: Cauchon (1925).
Hexagonal Planning, “Material Construction Project for Tianjin Special Municipality City”, Liang Sicheng and ZhangRui,1930
Journal of Urban Design,Vol.5, No.3, 237-265 ,2000