Malaysian sister firm of Llewelyn Davies Yeang picks up megaproject as China maintains green agenda

Architect Ken Yeang has been commissioned to design a 4,000-acre eco-city in the sea off the Shanghai coast.

TR Hamzah and Yeang, the Malaysian sister company of Llewelyn Davies Yeang, is leading the design of the Shanghai Beach masterplan for an unnamed Malaysian client. The scheme, which is to be sited on reclaimed tidal flats, aims to create a “green community”, with offices, housing, theme parks, visitor attractions and hotels.

The news is the latest in a series of indications that the Chinese government has not ditched its green ambitions, despite the stalling of the Dongtan eco-city, also near Shanghai. The government has enlisted UK engineer WSP to help create a sustainable policy for urban growth. It has asked the consulting engineer to make policy recommendations for the south-eastern city of Cixi. These will then be put into practice over two years, and if successful will be extended to other cities in China.

Prashant Kapoor, WSP’s head of sustainability planning and research, said: “There is so much that can be done. Cities in the developed world are quite efficient, mainly because of transport. In the developing world, it’s the opposite. The policy needs to cater to that.”

The Shanghai Beach scheme is at a preliminary stage, and Web Structures, a Singaporean engineer, has been asked to do a feasibility study. Hossein Rezai-Jorabi, its group director, said: “The opportunity to reclaim almost 4,000 acres without damaging the eco-structure of the ocean is a challenge. If it’s feasible, and we believe it is, the plan is to create world-class architecture to revitalise the district as a tourist destination.”

It has not yet been decided how many homes and offices the city will hold.

The development is unrelated to the plans for Dongtan, the Arup-designed eco-city for 500,000 people that has been on hold since the Shanghai mayor, who backed the scheme, was arrested in 2006 on corruption charges.