Carmona’s place-shaping continuum model (2014) will be used to investigate masterplanning process through three case studies: Sonjiang New Town, China; Songdo Smart City, South Korea; and Tongzhou, China.
Conclusion design process. This tendency can be seen for example in Chinese new towns, where the masterplanners are led by international consultants (mainly European/American) accompanied by local consultants. These international consultants are expected to export their ‘best practice’ to the local context, resulting in the ‘copycat’ new town phenomena e.g., Holland Village, Thames Town, Paris-Tianducheng, etc. The intended values from the ‘exported best practice’ tend to be diluted along the whole process, from design-development-managementto the use of space (Hartog, 2010). Align with other researches and commentaries related to Carmona’s place-shaping continuum (Lang, 2014; Elis, 2014; Anderson et al, 2015), this article is trying to investigate the stated phenomena in the new town masterplanning projects with Carmona’s Placeshaping Continuum urban design process framework (design process, development process, management process, and space in use) to explore the model’s applicability in the new town masterplanning field. The investigation will be done based on three case studies of masterplanning projects where the stated phenomena occurred: Sonjiang New Town (Hartog, 2010), Songdo Smart City (Keeton, 2011), and Tongzhou (Zhou, 2012). This article will not propose new framework of urban design process, although suggestion to Carmona’s urban design process framework might be added based on the new town masterplanning case studies. Reflecting to its scale and effect to the general users, this article is intended to argue that masterplanning field should have an equal spotlight in the study of its process – if not more, with other urban design subsidiaries.
Urban design process framework by Carmona (2012) is as expected, fitted with the masterplanning process. The three case studies showed the interrelated relationship between each phase of urban design process. Sonjiang New Town case study showed that the literal translation of urban form does not ensure the same urban quality – as the design expected. This case however showed an interesting use of space phase where the unintended uses are introduced. Songdo Special Economic Zone case study showed the intricacy of urban design process: changing stakeholders, interest, and power. This case study showed the transition between phases in relation to changing of the masterplanners resulted in the different intention with the original masterplan. Tongzhou case study showed an interesting comparison of new town masterplanning with specific criteria. These case studies emphasized the very intention of this article: reflecting to its scale and effect to the general users in the long term, masterplanning is arguably should have an equal spotlight in the study of its process – if not more, with other urban design subsidiaries. Lastly, as implicitly learnt from the case studies, investigating the whole process of urban design (design, development, management, and use of space) in a masterplanning project will give more clarity in the pursuit of understanding how urban design is actually implemented.
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