Chongqing 2035: Urban Growth Scenarios
I contributed to this technical report we developed in collaboration with local entities in Chongqing, China and the World Bank and Energy Foundation. It was part of the larger Chongqing 2035 initiative, as the globalizing city confronts spatial and economic transformation.
The Chongqing 2035 scenario study compares the modeled outcomes of two different development paths, as represented by land use scenarios for projected growth of 5.8 million new urban residents and 4 million new jobs. A “Trend” scenario continues past patterns of land development, characterized by continued centralization of high-level employment around the existing downtown core, and expansive superblock, office park, and industrial development throughout the central city area. For comparison, a “Compact Growth” scenario posits a polycentric regional structure created through focused, walkable, mixed use development around existing and planned transit nodes.
While other possibilities exist on the spectrum between and around them, these two alternative futures embody the principal development choices facing Chongqing as it looks ahead, and serve to highlight the range of benefits and consequences that can be expected.Urban development patterns have substantial effects on laying the foundation for progress in climate mitigation and environmental sustainability. While policies that address the technological aspects of vehicle efficiency, building performance, and energy supply also play roles in conserving resources and reducing emissions, the impacts of land use on either increasing or reducing demand highlight the fundamental role of strategic development.This technical report describes the scenarios and their implications for Chongqing and its residents, and the methodology behind the RapidFire model as adapted for use in the city. Examining the comprehensive effects of growth on a range of performance indicators—including land consumption, transportation mode share and auto travel, infrastructure costs, energy use, and emissions—has shown how greatly Chongqing’s potential urban development patterns vary in their ability to support its growth as a global, sustainable city.