A Review on the General Planning of Chongqing (1937-1946)

A general planning named the “Draft of Ten-Year Planning on the Construction of the Alternate Capital” (陪都十年建設計劃草案) was initiated after the Anti-Japanese War. The aim of the plan was to improve the living conditions of Chongqing. Before the planning was announced, Chongqing had experienced serious war destructions. Besides, the growing population of residents and the industrial pollutions further worsened the situations.

Specialists, governmental officials and normal residents were gathered by the local government to help design the planning of Chongqing. Their sight located to the West where a lot of urban studies were done and plenty of matured urban theories were discussed. Led by the scholars, the planners started to add Western urban ideas into the plans.

The idea of Garden City, which was largely accepted by the designers, was one of them. A standard design of it was made based on the studies of Western ideas. The design was further developed by the planners according to Chongqing’s mountainous characteristics and the urban conditions such as the scattered form of towns.

Apart from the application of Garden City, the idea of Functional City was also applied to the general planning of Chongqing. The city was separated into different zones to fulfil different needs of the citizens.

As discussed in this review, it is noticeable that the Chongqing government had combined lots of Western theories to the local planning. This action not only provided more opportunities for Chongqing’s urban developments but also encouraged the designers to think and act more internationally. The acceptance of the West and the combination of Western ideas and Eastern methods had opened a new door for the urban developments of Chongqing.

Long Bin and Zhao Yao, A Review on the Formulation and Planning Text of Draft of Ten-Year Planning on the Construction of the Alternate Capital (Journal of Human Settlements in West China, 2015)

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