Importation and adaptation: Building 'one city and nine towns' in Shanghai : A case study of Vittorio Gregotti's plan of Pujiang Town

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-40
Journal / PublicationUrban Design International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007


During the past 25 years, China has seen a large influx of imported foreign architecture. What is the mechanism of introducing foreign design in China? What methodologies and ideas do foreign architects adopt for their designs in remote China? How can ideas be turned into real buildings? This article tries to find the answers through a case study of Vittorio Gregotti's design for Pujiang Town and some other new towns in Shanghai, China. The article shows different methodologies adopted by various foreign architects, and how the ideal concepts are transformed into real buildings. The authors suggest that more practical aspects of local life should be studied before imposing any spectacular plans by the overseas architects. This may ameliorate the common approach of imitating indigenous building vocabularies visually and superficially.