Smart Design:
Disruption, Crisis, and the Reshaping of Urban Spaces

Author: Richard Hu

About this book

This book tackles the emerging smart urbanism to advance a new way of urban thinking and to explore a new design approach. It unravels several urban transformations in dualities: economic relationality and centrality, technological flattening and polarisation, and spatial division and fusion. These dualities are interdependent; concurrent, coexisting, and contradictory, they are jointly disrupting and reshaping many aspects of contemporary cities and spaces.

The book draws on a suite of international studies, experiences, and observations, including case studies in Beijing, Singapore, and Boston, to reveal how these processes are impacting urban design, development, and policy approaches. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many changes already in motion, and provides an extreme circumstance for reflecting on and imagining urban spaces. These analyses, thoughts, and visions inform an urban imaginary of smart design that incorporates change, flexibility, collaboration, and experimentation, which together forge a paradigm of urban thinking. This paradigm builds upon the modernist and postmodernist urban design traditions and extends them in new directions, responding to and anticipating a changing urban environment.

The book proposes a smart design manifesto to stimulate thought, trigger debate, and, hopefully, influence a new generation of urban thinkers and smart designers. It will be of interest to scholars, students, and practitioners in the fields of urban design, planning, architecture, urban development, and urban studies.

The Shenzhen Phenomenon: From Fishing Village to Global Knowledge City

Author: Richard Hu

About this book

The Shenzhen Phenomenon is a comprehensive and systematic study about how Shenzhen, the world’s fastest growing city, has developed into an international metropolis from scratch within 40 years.


It unravels the decision and policy making, planning, design, and development processes that have enabled the city’s rapid growth, and associated problems and paradoxes. It also reveals the politics and power that have propelled this experimental city to spearhead Deng Xiaoping’s ‘reform and opening-up’ agenda, which has made the city and remade the nation. This book demystifies several long-held misperceptions through identifying Shenzhen’s rise as an opportunity deriving from a crisis, as a product of both grassroots ingenuity and top vision, and as both a planned city and an unplanned city.


Produced at the 40th anniversary of Shenzhen, this timely volume not only offers a comprehensive and systematic chronicle of the city, but also opens a window to understand China’s new city making and urbanisation. It will be of interest to academics in the field of urban and Chinese studies, as well as urban planning and design.

Global Shanghai Remade: The Rise of Pudong New Area

Authors: Richard Hu and Weijie Chen

About this book

Examining the rise of Pudong and its role in re-creating Shanghai as a global city, Global Shanghai Remade utilises this important case study to shed light on contemporary globalisation and China’s integration with the world since the late 20th century.

Unpacking the rise of Pudong in the context of Deng Xiaoping’s nation-building agenda, this book explores the development of the district from its earliest planning into a global city centre through multiple perspectives. In doing so, it explores the role of key decision-makers and actors, the strategic planning process, the approaches to urban development, and some of the iconic projects that define the rise of Pudong, Shanghai, and China itself. A timely volume for the 30th anniversary of China’s strategy of ‘developing and opening Pudong,’ it combines the analyses and findings from these perspectives into a framework for a broader understanding of city-making with Chinese characteristics.


The first study of its kind, providing a comprehensive and systematic examination of Pudong, this book will be useful for students and scholars of urban planning and design, as well as Chinese Studies and Development Studies more generally.

Crafting Innovative Places for Australia’s Knowledge Economy

Authors: Edward J. Blakely and Richard Hu

About this book

This book integrates planning, policy, economics, and urban design into an approach to crafting innovative places. Exploring new paradigms of innovative places under the framework of globalisation, urbanisation, and new technology, it argues against state-centric policies to innovation and focuses on how a globalized approach can shape innovative capacity and competitiveness. It notably situates the innovative place making paradigm in a broader context of globalisation, urbanisation, the knowledge economy and technological advancement, and employs an international perspective that includes a wide range of case studies from America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Developing a co-design and co-creation paradigm that integrates governments, the private sector and the community into shared understanding and collaborative action in crafting innovative places, it discusses place-based innovation in Australian context to inform policy making and planning, and to contribute to policy debates on programs of smart cities and communities.

Designing the Global City: Design Excellence, Competitions and the Remaking of Central Sydney

Authors:Robert Freestone, Gethin Davison, and Richard Hu

About this book

This text explores how architectural and urban design values have been co-opted by global cities to enhance their economic competitiveness by creating a superior built environment that is not just aesthetically memorable but more productive and sustainable. It focuses on the experience of central Sydney through its policy commitment to ‘design excellence’ and more particularly to mandatory competitive design processes for major private development. Framed within broader contexts that link it to comparable urban policy and design issues in the Asia-Pacific region and globally, it provides a scholarly but accessible volume that provides a balanced and critical overview of a policy that has changed the design culture, development expectations, public realm and skyline of central Sydney, raising issues surrounding the uneven distribution of benefits and costs, professional practice, representative democracy, and implications of globalization.