How did urban revitalization catalyze creative industries in China?
Frank Krueger from logon explains Shanghai’s serendipity at TedX Shanghai
Shanghai, China, July 25th 2012 – logon Creative Director Mr. Frank Krueger delivered a keynote speech entitled “Today’s mistakes in urban planning are tomorrow’s opportunities for Chinese cities” at TEDx Shanghai under the conference theme 'Unveiling the Dragon". Krueger explained the China’s short road of urban revitalization over the past twelve years that led to the creation of the so called Creative Park; the catalyst in the development of Creative Industries. In his speech, Krueger revealed the reasons behind the reuse of old factories for the creative industries, the key players driving its’ growth and the future development of urban revitalization in China.
In the TEDx talk, Krueger identified two types of structures in China that have no time limit on land usage - historically preserved buildings and old factories. State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) have the unlimited usage rights of the land of factories unless they add new buildings or demolish the site for new developments. “.. If they (SOEs) demolish it, they would lose everything”, Krueger explained. This unique condition along with the pressure to find new a revenue source to pay employee pensions gave SOEs in Shanghai an incentive to look for alternative uses for their abandoned factory sites. In 2000, urban revitalization started in Shanghai’s central areas, it was “the first time new uses came into these old factories; artists, designers came to occupy these spaces” Krueger said. “It was a fragile relationship because there was no legal background behind it”. In 2003, the Bridge 8 project was the game changer, “it was the first project where a developer rented an old factory from a SOE, refurbished it and leased it out”, that created a win-win situation between the SOE, the developer and end users, explained Krueger.
In order to develop a creative industry economy in 2003 the Shanghai government set up a new program where “the goal was to turn China into a base for production and innovation”, stated Krueger. The new Shanghai Creative Industry Center helped to develop Creative Industry Parks; they also developed themselves where Creative Parks spread from the city center through to the suburbs. Higher-end Creative Industry users now have moved into to these spaces such as in 800SHOW or Surpass Court Shanghai’s newest mixed use lifestyle center where people gather day and night across weekends to socialize: “This could only happen on a project that was not originally designed as a commercial project”. Adaptive reuse are beginning to reach higher end projects such as the Shanghai Museum of Glass “…something not to be imagined ten years ago” Krueger said.
The TEDx talk ended by highlighting the ‘new’ adaptive reuse projects of tomorrow taking reference to unknown number of newly built but empty shopping malls and other wrongly positioned projects in China. Krueger citing reference to a recent project completed in Jiaxing where logon turned newly built office buildings in a residential compound. “The future has just begun in a way that today’s mistakes in planning are tomorrow’s opportunities for Chinese cities”, Krueger concluded.
Frank Krueger | Creative Director | logon
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