Urban Planning and the People Behind
The development of a city cannot be separated from human beings. In the development of Chongqing, there were two types of people who had great influence on the development of the city.
The first was a group of people. These people were immigrants who moved to Chongqing with the National Government capital. Chongqing had experienced several large-scale immigrations since the Ming and Qing dynasties, and the city had had a good ability to adapt to and accept immigrant culture. Immigration during the war caused a sharp rise in Chongqing’s population and tight housing. The government had to take measures to deal with the management of a high-density city. While, at the same time, immigration brought new technology and culture, and created a new social structure.
Another kind of people were those who played a key role in urban planning and construction. Such people can be called urban elites. At that time, the knowledge and technology and resources that individuals possessed could have an impact on the development of the entire city. These people were often able to make more forward-looking decisions. Representatives of these people include Lu Cho-fu and Yang Tingbao.
Lu Cho-fu was an industrialist in the western region. He played an important role in rural modernization in Chongqing. The successful case of Beibei District was developed under his guidance. Lu Cho-fu inspected many developed cities in eastern China in his early years, and the planning of these cities became his reference in practices in Chongqing. His concept of paying attention to the healthy life of citizens was also very advanced.
Yang Tingbao was one of the first generation of local architects who studied in the United States. This group of architects, including Liang Sicheng, participated in designing many public projects after returning China. The western style and ideas they brought back greatly influenced the modernization of cities in China. Yang Tingbao’s works from 1939 to 1946 were in Chongqing, covering private residences and public buildings. After 1946, his works were mostly in Nanjing.
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Shu Ying, Comment on Architectural Works of the Master Architect Yang Tingbao in Chongqing During the Anti-Japanese War Period 建筑大师杨廷宝抗战时期重庆建筑作品评析 (Chongqing Architecture, 2019 (6)).
Yang Yuzhen, Factors on Early Modern History Study of Urban Development —— Take Chongqing as an Example 论近代城市建设发展研究的多维因子——以近代重庆城市为例(Journal of Tsinghua University(Philosophy and Social Sciences,2005).