We are engaged with a three year joint workshop with the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at Tongji University. The work explores the concept of an urbanised innovation environment in relation to existing medical and research facilities. Within the broader debates about knowledge-based economies, current ideas about ‘innovation environments’ and ‘clusters’ are moving towards urbanised developments rather than the earlier model of the ‘science park’.
In Fenglin, a central area of Shanghai with a rich mix of housing and commercial space, there is already a significant cluster of science research, bio-medical and hospital facilities. There is great potential to develop a more advanced and expanded bio-medical resource in Fenglin as an urbanized innovation environment.
Xuhui District Authority has initiated the process of urban regeneration of the Fenglin area (546ha), adjacent to the EXPO 2010 site. The area offers a full spectrum of spatial conditions that are also representative of urban conditions in other parts of Shanghai, as well as other Asian cities. In particular the challenges of housing development and upgrading, community facilities, and ‘micro’ opportunities for development will be of high relevance. At the same time, space needs to be created to receive highly qualified international experts, visitors and patients as residents and contributors to Biomedical R&D efforts. For these future residents, sustainable models of citizenship need to be found.