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Experts offer ideas on city lounge program

A WORKSHOP with urban planning experts was inaugurated Friday to discuss a city lounge project in Futian CBD that will link business areas, culture facilities and public squares.

Futian CBD, the central area of the city, starts in the north at Lianhua Hill Park and stretches southward to Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center, passing by Shenzhen Book City CBD Store, Shenzhen Civic Center, Central Walk and Wongtee Plaza.

The central line of the CBD is the city lounge, which will integrate sightseeing, leisure, business, culture, Metro, parking and bus services.

"Shenzhen planned its city lounge in 2003, but it was halted and shelved. Now is the best time to initiate the program, as the building clusters around the central line have taken shape," said Chen Yixin, deputy chief engineer with the city's urban planning and land resources commission, at the inauguration ceremony.

The experts attending the workshop said the city lounge shouldn't be simply a transportation platform, but it should also be a public space enriched by rain shelters, garden terraces, spaces for leisure, socializing and business operation.

"Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center in the south end of the city lounge should be a focus in activating the project. The neighborhood and its role should be redefined as a public area for residents during daily life instead of an isolated area, which is only crowded and bustling during exhibitions," said Liang Hao, head of the No. 3 Research Institute of China Urban Planning and Design Research Institute Shenzhen Branch.

Experts also said that the aerial platform should be well connected with the street-level and underground facilities.

"The underground space in Futian CBD is too enclosed with a large passenger flow caught at the underground stations and shopping streets. The street level neighborhoods are too large and not suitable for walking as they are separated by fast and urban roads, and the rooftop gardens of Central Walk and Wongtee Plaza aren't frequented by the public as they are disconnected from the street-level facilities," said Zhu Tao, associate professor in the Architecture Department of Hong Kong University.

"We should integrate underground, street-level and aerial walking systems at key connecting points to allow pedestrians to converge and diverge at different street levels," said Qin Li, chief designer at the Architecture and Urban Planning College of Shenzhen University.

Source:Shenzhen Daily

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