On December 16th ima hosted a presentation by the Bureau Chief of the Xinhua News Agency (The Official Press Agency of the People’s Republic of China) discussing changes in China and its effect on China’s urbanization trends. The Xinhua News Agency article below provides more information about the event:
“Los Angeles, Dec. 16 (Xinhua News Agency, Reporter Xue Ying) – – When passengers are to and from Los Angeles International Airport, the first thing they see will be a group of 15 lampposts which are color-varied and over 30 meters high. These lampposts are a masterpiece of ima and one of landmarks in this region, appearing in a wide variety of image data on said city.
Founded in 1994, ima has a number of masterpieces like this. This company has designed and constructed a lot of unique buildings and building complexes for cities and towns in America, including projects of Disneyland in the world.
Ten years ago, this company began to undertake business in China market. At present, there are a number of urban construction projects in Hubei and other parts of China. After observation and understanding on China, this company’s president William Schulz has many reflections on the construction of China’s new urbanization. Recently in an interview with the reporter of Xinhua News Agency, he said that China’s people-oriented new urbanization will promote the development of the whole Chinese society, and in this process, the attention should be paid to the localization, industry first and environmental friendliness.
“Once I traveled along a high-speed rail in China. I walked a long distance and found that both sides have the identical houses and buildings and so forth. We also went through a lot of cities and towns. They should have their own characteristics including local cultures, but these were not reflected in the urban planning.” He said.
In Hubei Province, ima helped a city in carrying out an urban planning and construction (area: 13,000mu). In this process, ima used a set of geographic information system (GIS) software which can analyze data such as population, nature, economy and culture and present the design reference. “For example, we need to undertake a comprehensive consideration on a variety of factors, including the local watershed and other geographical conditions; surrounding traffic conditions; future economic development goals; local population aging; customs and so on.” Schulz said, “Each place is not exactly the same. Thus, in the new urbanization process of China, we must consider the local conditions rather than copy the town planning in other places.”
Founded in Irvine, ima is headquartered in Southern California. Schulz believes that the urban development of Irvine is a successful example.
Irvine was developed in 1950’s to 1960’s due to urbanization and migration in surrounding areas of Los Angeles. Irvine was formally established in 1971. “In 1960’s, Irvine was still very desolate.” Schulz said, “But since early 1970’s when the University of California, Irvine was setup, the city has boomed.”
Today, Irvine has a population of 250,000 people. A high-tech & intensive economy is formed around the University of California, Irvine, so promoting the local community development. High quality residents bring about the reputation to the local academic community. High taxes from high-tech industries enable the municipal services and infrastructure to maintain high standards. The city has repeatedly been ranked as one of leading livable cities nationwide by mainstream media in America.
“In 2008, when the global financial crisis took place, many universities because of lack of sufficient government funding had to dismiss teachers, cut the curriculum, producing a great impact on long-term education development. However, still receiving capital support from the surrounding enterprises, the University of California, Irvine was not seriously affected in the financial crisis.” Schulz said,” In the process of urbanization, the priority should be given to the sustainable industrial construction, in order to have a strong vitality.”
ima also participated in a number of construction projects in Irvine. Schulz recalled, “Greening occupies an important position in Irvine. In this city, green space, parks, leisure facilities form a network, which is very important for the spiritual life of a city, because the green environment is beneficial for people’s physical and mental health.”
“Cities are where people live. They should not be a concrete jungle, instead, they should meet people’s basic living needs and promote people’s physical and mental development.”