Stories in the City of Springs in the New Era: My Ideal City

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Stories in the City of Springs in the New Era: My Ideal City

Jinan – A series of short videos, Stories in the City of Springs in the New Era·the Practices of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in Jinan, is released.The first episode, My Ideal City, tells the story of Bjoern von Randow, the Urban Planner who lived in Jinan for ten years and shows the changes in the planning and construction of Jinan in the past 10 years and reflect the rapid development trend of Jinan and the whole Shandong Province.

(Poster of My Ideal City)

“In the last ten years, we have pushed very immense development for Jinan.”

In 2013, German urban planner Bjoern von Randow came to Jinan and joined Tong Yuan Design Group as the urban planner at the city and life research institute. In the past decade, he witnessed the development and changes in Jinan.

“For me, the ideal city in the future is a green and dynamic city, which is suitable for all people to live in. It is diversified, safe and people-oriented. And Jinan is becoming such an ideal city.”

Jinan is a smart city

“Jinan has been using advanced digital intelligent systems to truly improve our current life through modern technologies.”

(The TOD Project Construction Site)

Jinan Metro Wangfu Depot Rental Housing Project is a benchmark TOD (Transit-oriented Development) project in Jinan, with a total land area of 32.9 hectares and a total building area of 1.02 million square meters.

In general, the TOD project is building a house on the subway. This “house” includes residential areas, offices, and commercial areas. It takes the subway station as a center to solve the problem of eating, drinking, and having fun within 400 to 800 meters.

Bojern participated in the planning of the Jinan TOD Project. He said that in urban planning, it is necessary to take into account the overall situation and the rational layout of various functional areas. Land can be used efficiently if capital construction land and residential area are combined. Subways are built underground, parking spaces will be built in spaces more than 10 meters above the ground, and residential or commercial areas are built above the pavement to optimize public transport and alleviate urban congestion while building an urban complex.

“I think it is very environment-friendly. At the same time, there are some commercial spaces in front of the parking space. A 10-meter high ramp can block the parking lot, just like a boulevard. This design is also a challenge.”

It is worthy-mentioned that this project has made full use of smart control technology to provide smart information systems for construction sites, which can carry out smart control of the infrastructure information in real time.

“Not only the infrastructure such as engineering construction and subway, but all aspects of the city are also increasingly closely linked through digital technology.”

Jinan is a perfect combination of history and modernity

“When I first came here, the old town of Jinan was like a traditional residential area. It was nice but it was simple. To look at this now, it is becoming a modern city.”

During the past decade, Bjoern believed that Jinan had fully combined traditional culture with a modern lifestyle in the transformation of the old city.

(Bojern in Jinan‘s Kuanhouli Street)

The old area of Kuanhouli is known as the living fossil of Jinan’s mortal life. Located in the southeast corner of the ancient city of Jinan, it is an important historical area and residential area.

Kuanhouli has not only important cultural attractions such as Black Tiger Spring, the Jinan Moat and Jiefang Pavilion, but also traditional buildings such as Jinjia Courtyard and Zhemin Association.

Bjoern introduced that in the planning, Kuanhouli could reproduce the prosperity of the old Jinan on the basis of inheriting its cultural essence.

It has been maximized to retain the original texture of the area and the spatial scale of streets and alleys. In terms of architectural design, the overall consideration is given to the style, pattern, volume and height, with a focus on the relationship between the style of new buildings and the preserved buildings. Besides respecting the value of the terrain and historical culture, it fully integrates the international in-fashion elements, and takes Chinese traditional culture and art as the core to create a commercial area with the characteristics of a traditional Jinan residential area.

Jinan is an ideal city of green and vitality

“For me, an ideal city is a green, safe and livable city that is suitable for everyone.”

In Bjoern’s eyes, Jinan is more inspiring because of the springs. Jinan is “a city of a thousand springs”. 72 springs gather in the center area of the city.

(Bojern is enjoying the sight of Jinan‘s Baishi Spring)

Bjoern often takes his daughter to the Five Dragons Pool to play with water and watch the local Jinaners collect spring water from the springs near the Black Tiger Spring.

“Many restaurants are located in the courtyards with spring water. It’s amazing to see the fresh spring water.”

Bjoern works in the central business district (CBD) of Jinan, where five tall buildings are called “Wuzhishan (Five Finger Mountains)”. The five buildings take the five natural features of Jinan as its design elements, namely “mountain, spring, lake, river and city”. They are surrounded by two parks, with one horizontal and the other vertical. The parks, like two winding green belts, pass through the CBD and reach the mountains.

“I like mountains. Jinan has developed a lot of walking ways in the mountains, so I can walk up the mountain in my spare time.” Living in Jinan, you can open the window to see the mountains, go out to see the springs, step into the park, and stay so close to natural life.

“An ideal city is a perfect combination of nature and modern technologies. It is not only a green city, but also an intelligent city.” Bjoern introduced that Jinan’s urban planning has always been focused on building a green intelligent city using modern technologies.

Jinan has an advanced intelligent traffic control system. With the rapid development of the public transportation, the transfer between subways is becoming increasingly convenient. And there are more and more TOD projects.

(Seminar on Jinan Urban Planning)

“A five-minute city circle can be built in this area. You can walk into the shop in five minutes and arrive at the office in fifteen minutes.” This is the ideal city in Bjoern’s eyes, a green and dynamic city.

The new layout of urban development of Jinan, “strong in the east, prosperous in the west, beautiful in the south, rising in the north, and excellent in the middle”, has been fully launched. The development strategy of a strong industrial city has been thoroughly implemented. The rise of ten hundred-billion-level industries has been accelerated. Jinan has already become an international financial city, with all aspects such as urban construction and social livelihood being all-around developed. Resources such as industries and populations have been accelerated to converge here. The smart, ecological, balanced, and two-way development model has been mature and finalized. Jinan is becoming an ideal city for people all over the world because of the perfect environment that is suitable for living, working and traveling.


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