Professor Xu Leiqing is a professor and doctoral supervisor of the School of Architecture and Urban Planning in Tongji University. He is a first-class registered architect. He is also the vice president and secretary general of the Environment-Behavior Research Association (EBRA)， the Secretary of Academic Committee on Urban and Rural Features of World Association of Chinese Architecture （WACA），the editorial board of journal《Architectural Science Review》.His main research direction is the psychology and behavior research of urban and architectural spatial environment.
Professor Xu Leiqing
First of all , Professor Xu explained the concept of public space. He described the basic situation of Shanghai by comparing Shanghai with Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Tokyo. In the next parts, Professor Xu shared the latest researches conducted by his team, 408 research team.
In the first research case, in the leadership of Professor Xu, his team selected 11 blocks of Nanjing Road as the research object, used the spatial scanning method (snapping) to collect data,built model to explore the influence of space environment elements on streets. A conclusion was drawn from the study finally. The vitality and attractiveness of the street is affected by the height difference and width of sidewalks, transparency, length and openness of seats, density of stores. These factors should be valued to improve street quality in urban design.
In the study case of walking quality of three commercial streets in Shanghai, Professor Xu’s team carried out research by using questionnaire survey methods, correlation analysis, and factor analysis. Similarly, they found walking quality of three commercial streets were affected by 6 main factors, store density, land size, aesthetic experience, landscape environment, facilities and spatial scale. This research highlights the model "small streets and intensive road network" of commercial streets in Shanghai is very effective.
In the third case, our understanding of public space was broken by the study of public space of rail transit station. Professor Xu and his team got a conclusion that the real public space should be distributed according to the flow distribution, which is different from the current planning concept, through the investigation and analysis of people traffic, flow density and activities.
In the research of Shanghai community street, Professor Xu put forward his point of view "High-energy neighborhoods are not necessarily highly rated by residents "by contrasting the four communities in Shanghai. This view sparked a heated discussion. In addition, Professor Xu propose a forecast on the future development of street space that top-down planning and design will slowly blurred, but bottom-up transformation and use will gradually highlight. Through the example of Fumin Road and Yanqing Road, Professor Xu pointed out that demolition of illegal buildings influenced the vitality of streets. He thought that we should emphasis on protecting historical features in the process of urban renewal. Professor Xu mentioned his image of urban space and street space that streets are tended to be creative life places in the future urban construction.
In the subsequent discussion, students asked questions with their own positive thinking. Si Nan asked whether pay more attention to the quality of life rather than economic benefits .Because economical developed cities have begun to focus on appropriate economic benefits to improve the quality of life. Professor Xu pointed out that Shanghai is a post-industrial society and it will pursue urban space quality more in the process of urban development to attract talents. But this development model does not apply to other cities in other provinces nationwide for power shortage.
Shi Xiaodong asked professor’s view on the demolition of illegal building. Professor Xu thought that such behavior is more harm than good to the urban development., that is, whether there are other reasons for the decrease of the urban vitality of the streets of Fumin Road, which has been demolished. He believed illegal buildings were a natural growth of the street that is bottom-up growth for the demands of the public. These details are not concerned in overall planning of our country. It’s more harm to demolish illegal constructions ignoring the market demand.
Finally, Professor Yin Jie made a summary on the contents of lecture. Methodology is vital in the study. Professor Yin stressed that not only scene investigation is necessary but also workload accumulation is required. This lecture gave students an in-depth understanding of the public space characteristics of Shanghai streets, helped students further understand research and analysis methods of urban space research. What’s more ,the lecture as a good paradigm have provided more diverse perspectives and research methods for students in the further learning and research.
(Written & Photoed by SUN Yiling
Edited by YI Zhexing)