Mark Thomas - New Mayor for Auckland

Sizing Up Shenzhen

The impressive architecture of Shenzhen in southern China is both a testament to what Deng Xiaopeng achieved with his economic experiment but also a pointer to the challenges ahead.



Shenzhen has delivered in spades on Mr Deng’s original dream but, having toured the central city and then having visited the City Museum, the challenge now is to update city planning to respond more effectively to changing people movement priorities.

Despite a sizeable amount of dedicated park and green space in large areas of the city…


..the key public spaces lack a people-centred design (unless it’s perhaps for troop marching!).

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The same can be said for cycle infrastructure. Although racks of “O” bikes can be seen all around the city…


…the same can’t be seen for biking riding infrastructure – particularly cycle lanes.

Big sized masterplanning has been a key element in Shenzhen’s past achievements. The next phase needs to re-size the plans to better integrate people into the city.

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