Yuelai Eco-City is a thousand-hectare urban development district in northern Chongqing, China. The site is situated within the lush hills and valleys along the Jialing River, a few kilometers upstream from its junction with the Yangtze. Serviced by three proposed Metro stations, and sited between Chongqing’s upcoming International Exposition and Horticultural Exposition Centers, the development is poised to become a major population center in the region. In addition, Chongqing leadership has targeted this site to become a regional leader in ‘low carbon’ development with special emphasis on sustainable transportation, infrastructure and energy-efficient uses. In fulfilling this vision, the term ‘Eco-City’ will take on a greater meaning, and Yuelai could be a model community for all of China to emulate.
The previous plan for Yuelai Township suffers from many typical planning problems: large single-use areas, pedestrian-unfriendly superblocks, and a lack of co-ordination with Metro stations in the allocation of land uses. The proposed Calthorpe plan re-organizes the site into walkable, mixed-use transit centers in and among the rolling topography.
Transit adjacency is a key determinant of the land-use makeup and supplementary transportation systems within Yuelai, with the highest densities and mix of uses surrounding the Metro Stations. To reduce dependence on the car, a network of dedicated bus-only streets services neighborhoods throughout the city, supported by a comprehensive system of auto-free streets that connect key destinations, open spaces and the riverfront. In addition, a dedicated electric shuttle bus route has been planned along an auto-free street, connecting the Metro stations to surrounding neighborhoods and amenities. To facilitate pedestrian mobility along steep slopes, hillside elevators have been proposed on special pedestrian streets that will be lined with retail uses, mirroring Chongqing’s traditional shopping streets. Traditional hillside architecture of the region has been studied and adapted to create a diverse range of building typologies for Yuelai.