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BDP designs smart sustainable city neighbourhood in Shanghai

BDP has been appointed to design the Jiabao Smart Bay Future City Practice Zone, a new smart and sustainable city neighbourhood in Shanghai.

The project aims to be an exemplar of the smart community in Jiading and Shanghai and will play an important role in accelerating the development of Shanghai’s high-tech industry and economy.

Connected with the dense forests and water systems that surround it, the design approach is inspired by the traditional waterfront ‘urba-tecture’ of the historic Jiading district. It is an exciting test-bed for future city thinking where smart technology is reshaping the way people live and where smart and sustainable living combines with quality of life through wellbeing, air quality, mobility and accessibility interventions.

Arranged around the reshaped Jie River and Matou River waterfronts, the design enhances connections with nature, forming human-scale neighbourhoods where industry, research, exposition, learning, leisure and living come together.


Fundamentally, the project is designed to create a ’smart industrial hub‘ by linking connected buildings, industrial internet platforms, innovative software, data and shared cloud technologies. This supports Shanghai’s wider ambition to increase and improve research and development, business, culture and exhibition functions in the city. At the centre of this new neighbourhood is the ‘Smart Brain Cube’ a building that provides shared facilities and resources for enterprises to promote product innovation and technological development.

Digitally enabled streets will provide intelligent, mobile shopping centres and virtual reality experience showrooms, creating an innovative commercial service for product display, customer experience and procurement. Big data will accurately analyse customer trends and feedback, to optimise production efficiency and enhance the overall retail environment over time.

And to meet user's travel needs, a variety of intelligent, sustainable automated transportation modes will be introduced to create a ‘5 minute city’ concept for the area. A ‘living circle’ provides a wide variety of public facilities and spaces around five separate residential areas, so that people can access all they need locally.

Architect Director at BDP, Tianyi Gu, explains: “Utilising a ‘people first and low carbon’ approach, the plans for Jiabao Smart Bay organically integrate the three facets of nature, people and city. The design promises a dynamic future for Jiabao Smart Bay as a safe, efficient, environmentally friendly and attractive place to live.”


By incorporating sustainable design concepts and technologies, BDP is creating a low carbon, spatial architectural development, with medium-density building layouts to maximise natural ventilation and the use of natural light, saving energy and reducing emissions whilst improving human comfort.

Meanwhile, public open spaces such as parks, plazas and greenways are being introduced to provide environments sporting activities and socialisation. A number of multi-purpose venues in the district will act to meet these important community needs.

Tianyi Gu, added: “People who come to Jiabao will feel a sense of belonging while images of a modern, smart, sustainable, technology-enabled cities unfolds before their eyes. It will become a bustling and engaging place, promoting natural habitats, health and wellbeing; actively completing its transformation from an urban, desolate area to a natural, active and commercially successful place.

“This project marks a new wave of urban-scale, cross-discipline thinking for BDP to create a place where the future citizens of Jiabao will enjoy a digitally-enabled world of health and happiness.”


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