+ BACKGROUND, CHALLENGES AND OBJECTIVES
Background, Challenges, and Objectives
Wangjing Street is located to the west side of Dashan Bridge on the airport highway. The official operation started on August 8, 2020, and Wangjing Street has become the most eye-catching commercial renovation project in Wangjing subdistrict, Chaoyang district of Beijing after 4 years of reconstruction. In the past, the area was crammed with motor and electrical vehicles. Now it has been transformed into a new urban space which integrates commerce, catering, creative office space, square, art installation, exhibition space and cultural pedestrian street.
The place was known as Wangjing International Business Center, a well-established business district called by the residents Wangjing Canteen. However, the old facilities and the separation of internal and external space could not keep up with the business development gradually.
Since the start of Wangjing Street Renovation and Upgrading Project, the traditional commercial center with old facilities, disordered business forms and misplaced functions has been converted into a fashionable and dynamic new area infused with international, cultural and technological elements in an effort to introduce more social capital to neighborhood renewal, develop special commercial and cultural streets, build international talent communities as well as achieve fine-grained urban management and smart governance.
+ ACTIONS AND IMPLEMENTATION
Focus on the goal of co-governance, sharing and win-win results
In the early design process of Wangjing Street, the subdistrict office reached a consensus with enterprises nearby through communication and coordination about the mechanism led by the government and invested by enterprises. By doing so, it solved the problem that the financial funds were limited by procurement projects and the lack of funds. Also, it focused on the interconnection of business forms as a whole. The investment of long-term management in the later phase of construction are able to address the problem of ‘preferring construction to management’ of environmental construction projects.
Focus on fostering a sound business environment
Wangjing Street are mainly lined with the subordinate enterprises of Vanke Group and Fangheng Group on both sides including hotels, office buildings, restaurants, shopping malls, entertainment facilities, which is predominated by the service industry. There are also four residential communities and seven large-sized and medium-sized commercial buildings nearby. The renovation and upgrading project aims to thoroughly change the status quo of chaotic parking, dirty environment and disordered management and to promote the interaction of multiple business forms in the area so as to optimize the business environment, stimulate ‘night consumption’ and develop a vibrant neighborhood economy.
Focus on making international elements prominent
Combined with the relevant arrangements for the construction of the Chaoyang international talent community, and following the guidance of head of Chaoyang district Mr. Wen, the design of the project draws on some features and elements of the German commercial pedestrian street. Meanwhile, art exhibits with international characteristics, provided by the Central Academy of Fine Arts in the area, will be displayed for a long time in the future. When completed, Wangjing Street is linked with Vanke Time Square to introduce catering, entertainment and art performance with international features so as to turn the area into a fashionable neighborhood.
Focus on speeding up the establishment of a long-term management mechanism
Wangjing Street received strong support from the relevant government departments of Chaoyang district in the early design. Director Liu Bingqi of the Urban Management Committee has given on-the-spot guidance four times, and the representatives from transport departments have also given guidance on transport optimization in the later phase for many times. A number of departments, such as Beijing Municipal Commission of Planning and Natural Resources and Beijing Gardening and Greening Bureau have also provided support in their respective fields. The Wangjing subdistrict office will focus on the long-term management in the later phase, and then accelerate the research program on motor vehicles, non-motor vehicles, shared bicycles, garbage disposal, neighborhood conventions, etc. In addition, as outlined by departments and required by the head of the district, the plan will continue to be improved to make Wangjing Street more eye-watching and sustainable, and to exemplify the neighborhood renewal in Chaoyang district.
+ OUTCOMES AND IMPACTS
Wangjing Street has been transformed from a chaotic motor lane into a new international commercial street, integrating office buildings, shopping, leisure and art. In the 380-meter-long street, an artistic design -- Eye of Wangjing lies in the northeast corner. The work gathers millions of big data of urban renewal in Beijing over the past 40 years, such as urban development map, temperature change map and wind change curve. Visualizations of data are used to present the change, create visual content and show the prosperity and development of Beijing.
Many surrounding residents take their children to Wangjing Street to play, and the fountain is the most attractive place. Unlike other fountains which spray water based on the set procedure, there are four sensing devices near the fountain here, through which visitors can control the flow of water by extending their hands and making movements.
Yang Xiaosheng, director of the Wangjing subdistrict office, said that Wangjing neighborhood is a home to foreigners from more than 60 countries including a permanent foreign population of over 4,000 who are mainly from South Korea and Germany. There are also six Fortune Global 500 companies and more than 30 multinational enterprises within one kilometer. Therefore, it is one of the earliest neighborhoods in Beijing that gathers international enterprises and foreign talents.
A large number of investigations before the transformation have introduced more German elements to the street, which are displayed by German bazaars and booths, German catering brand, German art canopy, among others. On the opening day, in addition to 15 booths with German characteristics and 6 gadget trucks, statues of Berlin’s bear and Maybaum installations were displayed to create a strong German atmosphere, said Liu Xiao, partner of Vanke Group and the social capital provider of the neighborhood construction.
Ms.Yang lives in the Chaoting community to the southeast side of Wangjing Street. Before the transformation, there were many vehicles on both sides of the street including cars, shared bikes and express cars. She felt worried about her son's safety. After the transformation, the environment is much more comfortable for the elderly and children.
On both sides of the street are Vanke Times Center and Fangheng International Center. In recent years, there have been some problems such as road damage, parking chaos, traffic congestion, dirty environment and so on. At the same time, the business forms, space management and service quality have also become backward.
‘The two commercial spaces on the sides of this street are small. One is more than 40,000 square meters and the other is more than 70,000 square meters. The middle is divided by green belts, motor vehicles, bicycles and takeout,’ said Yang Xiaosheng. Before embarking on the renovation of the neighborhood, the officers of the subdistrict asked residents, merchants, enterprises and other parties’ opinions, and then came up with the idea of building a pedestrian-friendly street to connect the commercial space.
However, besides Vanke and Fangheng, there are nearly a thousand merchants holding property rights on the street. ‘It is difficult to coordinate overall design and planning due to many subjects of property rights, and inconsistent demands between merchants and residents,’ said Yang Xiaosheng. The subdistrict office established a governance structure with a focus on Vanke and Fangheng, the Party Building Coordination Committee as the core, Wangjing Street Autonomy Committee as the foundation, the Merchant Autonomy Alliance and the mobile party branches as the supplement. By doing so, the property rights owners, managers and users are integrated. Inter-departmental cooperation mechanism is also introduced into relevant government departments to solve a series of important and difficult problems, such as traffic order, garbage sorting, construction management, catering and standardized management of merchants.
Yang Xiaosheng said, in about two months, the subdistrict office managed to conduct hundreds of investigations and meetings, and finally reached a unanimous and well-considered renovation plan by well coordinating residents, enterprises, merchants, government departments and other parties,. According to the final plan, the construction of Wangjing Street began on March 15 and was completed in no more than five months.
+ REPLICABILITY AND SCALABILITY
In the past 40 year’s rapid development of globalization, the urban construction of China also had a burgeoning. The urban space of China has a progress of being a saturation, ripe later and then recession. Instead of new construction, the innovation of the old buildings has become a more and more important topic. Besides the former baseboard, the urban reforming project need a new planning which can balance the requests from design, environment, economy and society. Not only the former conditions of each projects are a restriction, but also they can be a kind of nourishment. Compare to the new projects, the results of the reforming projects can frequently appear more layers and form a unique character. They can be a active of characteristic differentiation in the progress of assimilation of city appearance.
Under this background, we believe a good design can constantly self-updated and will constantly transport power for the city. The innovation of a city not only is a beautified facade, but also a destructive object, upgrade density and function addition, to make architecture to be a reaction core, reactive the connection of people and city. A good design can make people spontaneously participate the city activities and have a connection to the environment. Let everybody be a part of the city reformation.
+ BUDGET AMOUNT
The initiative budget: 2 million USD (13 million RMB)
Due to the large amount of funds for the renovation and upgrading project, the Wangjing Street Project actively sought support from all parties. On the basis of sufficient policy funds, the subdistrict office extensively mobilized social units and corporate resources to participate, which made it an ‘engine’ to promote Wangjing's economic development in the new era and help to explore new models of economic development.
In the early design process of Wangjing Street, through communication and coordination with surrounding enterprises, the enterprise investment was incorporated on the basis of government leadership with a consensus. On one hand, it solved the problem that financial funds were restricted by procurement projects and insufficient funds. On the other hand, it also focused on the linkage of surrounding enterprises and the overall construction.
In order to realize the long-term governance of Wangjing's small streets, the streets and related enterprises have also established neighborhood governance committees, and have signed the merchant autonomy conventions as well as the neighborhood civilization conventions. They have also established a ‘fund pool’ for public revenue in small streets to form a professional management of urban property and neighborhoods.