Guangzhou Declaration of China City Planning: Promoting Harmonious Development via Scientific Planning
In the golden autumn of 2006, hundreds of city planners gather in Guangzhou, the Flower City of China, to congratulate on the 50th anniversary of Urban Planning Society of China. Looking back on the history, China city planning has been developed gradually through a series of frustrations, dealing with problems and difficulties that are never met before and gaining achievements and experience that are unique in the world.
Today the development of Chinese cities, as well as that of China city planning, is standing at a new historical turning point. We must envisage the reality seriously, anticipate the future positively and make great efforts to explore the road of urbanization with unique Chinese characteristics.
On the condition that there exists already a series of sound national policies concerning city development, it becomes the soul of city planning to set up proper development objectives in line with the established policies and guidelines.
It is required to frame urbanization strategies with a practical and realistic attitude to avoid disordered urban sprawl, to regulate the utilization of land resources in a compact and concentrated way, to properly arrange the layout of infrastructures, to actively deal with pollution issues to improve the quality of ecological environment, to positively encourage the saving of water and energy and the preferential development of public transportation in cities, to dynamically advocate the beautiful and harmonious city landscape full of ethical and local characteristics, and to create with great efforts a city environment that is suitable for living and working. In a word, our goal is to build a healthy and safe city for all.
An effective planning system should guide and control urban development from both space and time perspectives, guaranteeing the public interests, promoting the social equity, carrying forward the historic culture and regulating the market activities, so as to realize an efficient and sustainable development.
The integrating and synthesizing function of planning should be highlighted. City planning should not be limited to physical planning but a comprehensive study from multiple viewpoints including space, economy, society and environment, so as to reinforce its role of comprehensive coordination.
City planning should be “flexible” to a certain extent, regulating the utilization of land and space with both compulsory and guiding measures, so as to meet the requirements of socialist market economy and to provide effective service for city development and its management.
As there exist the phenomena of irrational decision-making in the current process of planning and development, such as trans-authority or exceeding-authority decision-making, a democratic and scientific mechanism for planning management and planning decision-making should be set up and the relationship between planning and decision-making should be handled tactfully. Whenever an important decision concerning city development is to be made, the municipal government and the administrative authorities of planning should listen carefully to the opinions of the public and experts about the content of decision and the procedure of decision-making.
The relationship between planning and development must be treated carefully and the regulation and guidance of planning for real-estate development should be strengthened. The authorization management and supervision of planning should be enhanced when dealing with development projects, particularly in terms of location, scale, standard and affiliated facilities.
It is our mission to discover and solve the problems occurring in the process of city development. All the concepts, goals, schemes, strategies and measures of planning should be based on thorough and scientific studies. The methodologies of field investigation and sociological survey should be highlighted, while the trans-disciplinary studies, particularly those of humanity, society and economy should be encouraged.
As more and more cities have experienced the initial stage of urban construction and the built-up area accounts for a larger and larger part of the planned urban area in many cities, it is required to pay due attention to the renovation of old areas while developing new areas, predicting the new demands of the society, improving the mechanism of public participation, guaranteeing the social equity and supervising the implementation of planning. Pleasant spaces and places should be created in cities by means of urban design, demonstrating the thoughts of humanism and the characteristics of the city.
As city planning should provide guidance for the whole process of construction, the work of planning and design, from framing strategies to drafting schemes and then to putting forward acting measures, must be profound and meticulous.
It should be advocated to emphasize both theory and practice, integrating theoretical analyses with empirical studies and planning practices. Planners’ ability of comprehensive study to deal with city development issues should be enhanced so as to increase the feasibility of planning and design schemes.
Planners should possess a large scope of necessary knowledge and set up a knowledge system of multi-disciplines. The planning education mechanism keeping abreast with the times should be established and the new and advanced technologies should be applied and popularized in city planning.
The professional ethic of planners should also be strengthened. As planners, we should take the notion of serving the people as the core of our profession, having the courage to stick up for the dignity of science and to guarantee the interest of the public. It should be our faith to look for actual situations, to depend on true principles and to put forward real planning.
While fifty years have passed, China is looking forward to a more prosperous and creative development in the coming fifty years. We are facing many new planning missions that nobody has ever done before. So we would like to appeal to all administrative personnel, theoretical researchers and technical professionals. Let’s strive hand in hand for the development of urban and rural planning course with Chinese characteristics and for the construction of modernized socialistic China!