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Green vegetation with mountain landscape behind, on cover of 'Prosperous Lishui, A Project for Suburban China', by ORO Editions.

Prosperous Lishui

A Project for Suburban China

By (author) Haohao Xu
By (author) Leonardo Ramondetti
By (author) Edoardo Bruno
By (author) Mauro Berta


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  • The book is not addressed exclusively to academics, but to a wider public interested on the processes of urbanisation in contemporary China
  • The publication includes many photographs by Raul Ariano, a professional photographer based in Shanghai. All the pictures, including maps, architectural drawings and diagrams, have been specifically prepared for this publication by the authors
  • The afterword by Gong DONG (founder of Vector Architects) are expected to open up debate on the role of architects in approaching suburban spaces to expertise and practitioners
  • The book will be the basis for teaching activities at Politecnico di Torino and South China University of Technology
Full Description

The unprecedented growth faced by the Chinese cities in the last decades entailed serious consequences: economic and social disparities, environmental crises, and demographic imbalances between the rural and the urban areas. These issues, together with a growing awareness of the intrinsic unsustainability of Chinese economic model, has stimulated debate on redefining the approach to urban development.

In this framework, Lishui, a minor municipality of Zhezjiang Province, launched the international competition Future ShanShui City. Dwellings in Lishui Mountains in 2020. In line with the main policies enacted at national level, this competition highlights the need of new spatial relations between urban and rural. This approach leads to a radical reconfiguration of the suburban spaces, which is giving rise to an unprecedent landscape where urban services are integrated in the countryside areas, and, vice versa, agriculture and environmental elements are part of the city.

The publication explores the ongoing processes of suburbanisation in Lishui Valley based on three years of design, research and teaching activities carried out by Politecnico di Torino and South China University of Technology since 2020. With a rich collection of original essays and projects, this book combines reflexive knowledge, critical imagination, and design experimentation to provide scenarios for Chinese suburban development.

About the Author

Mauro Berta is an architect and holds a PhD. He is an associate professor of architectural and urban design at Politecnico di Torino, the head of design of the China Room research group. He works mainly on urban regeneration and sustainable design, with particular focus on China. He has been scientific coordinator of the SCUT-PoliTO winning team at Solar Decathlon China 2018 competition. Edoardo Bruno is an architect, and holds a PhD in architecture, history, and project. He is a researcher at Politecnico di Torino. He is the responsible for the South China-Torino Collaboration Lab (Guangzhou) since 2015. As part of the China Room research group, he coordinated design activities, such as the renewal of the Oxygen Factory the XXIV Olympic Winter Games of Beijing (2022), and curate the Biennale of Architecture/Urbanism of Shenzhen and Hong Kong (2019). Leonardo Ramondetti is an architect and holds a PhD in urban and regional development. He is postdoctoral researcher at Politecnico di Torino and adjunct professor at Università di Bologna. His field of research is contemporary urban design theories and planning cultures, with particular focus on the processes of urbanisation and infrastructuration in global contexts. Haohao Xu is an architect and holds a PhD in economics and PhD in architectural history and theory. He is an associate professor of architecture at the South China University of Technology. He is founder of the Faan Nguk Kei organisation for Cantonese built heritage conservation and senior architect at Urban Elephant Architects. In 2019 he was the executive curator of the Shenzhen and Hong Kong Biennale of Architecture\Urbanism. In 2020, he taught in the PhD program of Politecnico di Torino as visiting professor.

ORO Editions
2nd Nov 2023
Paperback / softback
World excluding USA, Canada, Australasia & Asia (except Japan; China non-exclusive)
267 mm x 191 mm
178 Pages
100 color
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