Location: Luzhou County, Sichuan, China

Client: Luzhou County Government, Sichuan

Nestled between lush rural mountains of Southern Sichuan, the Gulin New Town will be a new regional center for the unique district of Gulin, as identified in the Gulin River Corridor Master Plan. The New Town is located just west of the existing Gulin Town on the limited flat lands of steep Gulin River Valley. For centuries a single valley road has been the only access to this area. Construction of a new freeway is underway that will open access to this area for the entire region.

The plan for the New Town incorporates and draws its identity from the following uses: corporate headquarters and offices for Gulin District’s coal and whiskey industries, a service center base for the regional tourism industry, diverse employment opportunities, a high quality living environment, educational institutions (primary, secondary and higher), recreational and cultural amenities and the best regional medical services, all within an ecologically sustainable urban environment.

The plan organizes a clear hierarchical road system which offers choice in mobility and builds redundancy into the circulation network. The secondary roads along the hillsides are sensitively designed to respect the existing land contours, and provide opportunities for equally sensitive and scenic development. The center of the town is characterized by a small grid of development blocks to promote pedestrian scale. The plan proposes a light rail line to connect the town neighborhoods and provide a sustainable transportation alternative with convenient access.

The plan uses the Gulin River as an organizing element for the plan. It respects the terrain and preserves the streams and riparian corridors as protected native vegetation landscaped corridors, creating a green armature integrated with the new development. These serve to connect the mountains to the river with linear open spaces, and establish specially identified view corridors.