International architectural firm 10 Design has recently won the opportunity to master plan a 93-hectare (230-acre) waterfront central business district as part of a new development for Pingtan in China. Pingtan, being the closest Chinese island to Taiwan, is to be transformed into a new commercial hub in an effort to attract trade between the two sides of the Straits.
Transforming Pingtan will be no small feat. The island, that is currently home to established sea farming and transportation industries, is China's fifth-largest island and almost twice the size of Hong Kong. The development includes a 4.99 km (3.1 mile) Pingtan cross-Straits bridge, ending the need for ferries, with a second cross-Straits bridge on the drawing board. An expressway connecting Pingtan and Fuzhou (shortening the journey to 1.5 hours) is also in the works, as are five new ports, including a 200,000-ton (181,437-tonne)-capacity port and two 300,000-ton (272,155-tonne) ports.
The Ten Design team has come up with a futuristic model for the island, including contemporary skyscrapers, theaters, convention and exhibition centers and an array of commercial and cultural facilities. Towards the center of the district will lie a newly-created freshwater lake, designed to conserve gray water collected from the local urban landscape.
Overall, the master plan hopes to see the creation of 3.3 million square meters (35.5 million square feet) of urban construction, with roads and trams to be integrated along a series of terraced landscapes. This will ultimately reduce the impact of traffic, whilst also providing safe and clear pedestrian routes. The waterfront will see a series of leisure attractions, with retail outlets lining the canals.
10 Design is now reportedly working with educators, artists and manufacturers to explore and advance Pingtan's sustainable development.