Essay: Landuse in Suzhou Industrial Park in the past

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  • Subject area(s): Miscellaneous essays
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  • Published on: November 15, 2017
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The land that SIP started out on was initially dominated by agricultural and residential areas which are in the form of farms and cottages respectively. The land was dominated by greenery and lakes. Most of the cleared land is used to build high-rise buildings and industries within SIP. As rural housing were removed, there was a need to allocate a large proportion of land to residential areas in SIP to accommodate these people who have lost their houses.

Figure 1: Master Plan of SIP in 1994

In the first ever landuse plan for SIP, most of the land allocated was for industrial, commercial and residential purposes. There was one main commercial centre, with residential areas surrounding it in a rough concentric circle. There were also further smaller commercial areas scattered among the residential areas. The industrial areas were furthest away from the main commercial centre. This landuse represents some form of the Burgess’s model. In terms of layout, development seemed to radiate outwards from the commercial centre. However, the location of industry is found at the outermost ring while the residential areas are found closer to the commercial area which is different from the Burgess’s model. Furthermore, in terms of shape, the shape of the CBD was also not a circle, but a rectangle. The development around the CBD is in a series of rectangles and not concentric circles. In terms of assumption, unlike the Burgess’s model, the master plan took into account physical landforms (Jinji Lake) that could obstruct development but also promote recreational activities. On top of that, the residential areas were not being segregated by socio-economic statuses.

Landuse in Suzhou Industrial Park in the present

Figure 2: Master plan of SIP from 2007-2020, where the area is segregated into districts.

At present, the two main primary landuses are residential and industrial.This landuse map of Suzhou is much more detailed than its predecessor, with many communal amenities planned and it resembles the Multiple Nuclei Model. In terms of functions, transport lines are considered which is reminiscent of the multiple nuclei model. In terms of functions, the housing areas are being categorised into low, medium and high density which is different from the multiple nuclei model which separates housing areas by socio-economic statuses. On top of that, unlike the current landuse of SIP, the Multiple Nuclei Model does not take into account recreational facilities like golf course and parks. In terms of the location of the CBDs, as well as the sizes and functions of the different CBDs, SIP’s landuse resembles the multiple nuclei model. This is because there are numerous CBDs that act as the nexus from which growth radiates out and there is no central large CBD.

Currently, SIP has residential, commercial and recreational facilities as well as educational institutions, in addition to industrial developments. As seen from figure 3, residential areas are mostly situated in the middle of SIP with a mix of high and low- density housing. Commercial areas are still dotted among the housing areas in the centre as well as in the West which promote accessibility for workers. Based on figure 4, cultural hubs entertainment hubs concentrate around Jinji Lake, which is South-West of SIP. Recreational centres like the golf centre are found south of the Jinji Lake, as seen from figure 5. The presence of Jinji Lake caters for many water-related recreational activities which resulted in the land around it to be predominantly used for housing and entertainment purposes. Industries are located around the peripheral region of SIP, far away from the residential areas. Educational institutions like primary and secondary schools are mainly found in close proximity to the housing areas of SIP.

Figure 3: Low-density housing (foreground) and high-density housing (background) in the centre of SIP

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