Revitalizing Historic Waterfronts in China: Suzhou and Changshu / by Stefan Al

This year's urban design studio of Penn's Master in City Planning program, led by Professor Stefan Al, focused on canal redevelopment in the historic city of Suzhou and new development in the small city of Changshu, both in China. These two cities are characterized by their historic canals and gardens that were once integral to their economic and urban development, yet these canals have rapidly disappeared as water transportation became obsolete and new urban growth was directed outside of their historic centers.

The studio developed models for the redevelopment of Suzhou’s and Changshu’s inner city canals. It aimed to improve the public realm and upgrade the canals through culturally sensitive urban development, environmental remediation, and sustainable transportation.