Narrative 4: Comparison with the plan by Beiyang Government in 1920《TIAN JIN HUA JIE CHENG JIAN GUI HUA TU SHUO》

The later three narratives are about comparing the Liang Zhang Plan to other plans made in similar time period.


This plan by Beiyang Government (the upper left image) mainly focuses on the planning of road system. It emphasized the south area as a new district to counterbalance the concessions as mentioned before. Their planning strategy is using the grid system to regularize the road system. The grid follows the orthogonal boundaries of the old town and the north-south axis, which distinguished to the concessions area where most of the road patterns were developed along the Hai He River and more irregular and less orthogonal.

And if we compare this to the main road system in the Liang Zhang Plan (the upper right image), the similarity is that they both try to unite the old town area and the concession area through the planning of road system. In Beiyang Government’s plan, they impose this grid system from a general perspective, with quite limited regard to the original city fabric. As for the Liang Zhang Plan, the focus didn’t limited to the south side, and their road system is more “organic”, which resulted from the analysis of original local conditions. When they plan the main roads, they didn’t cut into the existing patches but more using the road as a way to stitch them together. In their words, “they respect the original condition and considered the equal developing opportunity when planning the road”

This kind of difference also appears in the comparisons with later city planning in Tianjin. We usually see the straight lines or say the geometrical patterns instead of these kind of organic/meandering lines.

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