Capital Steel Redevelopment


Beijing, China

The Capital Steel site is an important redevelopment area in Beijing, marking the western end of the Chang’An axis, Beijing's main east-west circulation spine. As envisioned by the Beijing Municipal Institute of City Planning and Design (BBMICPD), the site will be redeveloped as an iconic gateway to Beijing, a mixed-use urban district with an employment focus. The plan area consists of three zones: the ‘Public Center’ that will have public offices and a city-serving cultural area including art museums and theaters; the ‘Headquarters Zone’ that will be the economic core and research center; and the ‘Arts District’ that will focus on creative industry users including artists, software engineers and similar professionals.

Calthorpe Associates worked with the BBMICPD to create a master plan that would meet ‘International Best Practices’ while considering the existing constraints. The overall concern of this design exercise was the reduction of carbon emission levels as a result of urban design; from the perspective of transportation mode split, mix of uses, and implementation concerns due to the presence of toxics and the large number of existing industrial buildings that needed to be preserved and reused.

The suggested plan aims for livability while maintaining and even improving automobile traffic flow. Key design elements include converting the planned 60 m (197 ft) wide arterial streets to ‘one-way couplets’ to avoid fracturing the site and maintaining pedestrian permeability. Land uses are allocated based on proximity to transit, with the primary commercial area planned along the Chang’An axis. Modifications were suggested for planned transit lines to create better connections between the regional metro network and the national rail service. 

Master Plan illustrative
Site opportunities and constraints
Street grid comparison
Density concentrated around Metro stations
Network of open spaces and civic uses
Existing grid of arterial streets modified by introducing one-way couplets
Existing constraints

Project Summary



The Energy Foundation & China Sustainable Cities Program (San Francisco, CA & Beijing, China)


Redevelopment plan for steel plant


Master Plan for 850 ha (2,100 ac) site


Design completed 2010