MORROW’s Founding Chairman, Dr Liu Thai Ker speaks at the International Consultation Conference for the Mayor of Nanjing

Organised by the Nanjing Municipal Government, the “2021 International Consultation Conference for the Mayor of Nanjing” was held at the Purple Palace Nanjing Hotel on 12 October 2021, with the main conference theme “”Applications of new development ideologies in accelerating the building of safe and resilient cities”.  Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s conference was held in a hybrid format, welcoming guests from overseas to join in the discussion online.

The topics discussed at this conference included developing and implementing effective precautions against major risks in cities, improving safe development capabilities, exploring modern governance methods for large cities, and establishing efficient governance frameworks to enhance the resilience of cities. Both local and foreign experts weighed in on the subject matter of building a safe and resilient city, drawing relevant insights from past experiences, and devising approaches from the collective knowledge shared. 

MORROW’s founding chairman, Dr. Liu Thai Ker, attended the conference virtually and illustrated the key principles of intelligent urban planning. Dr Liu also elaborated on the focal points for this year’s conference — how the constellation cities concept plays a key role in achieving city resilience as cities face critical challenges in this urban sprawl. 

Accurate Foresight in Urban Developments and Intelligent Planning 

The core and essence of urban development is the construction of the city, and that should be carefully planned with accurate foresight for it to last through generations. Dr Liu also emphasised that the main structure of the master  plan must not undergo major changes. 

Let the system guide the projects, and not let projects piece together a city

An intelligently planned city structure resembles that of a family, with different family members each representing a social unit of a different size. Increasing in scale, they resemble cities, districts, new towns and eventually, the neighbourhood community. Dr Liu illustrated this family of city  concept as realised in  the case of Singapore’s urban planning use. 

The Constellation City Concept

Characteristically, Asia houses 60% of the world’s population but only occupies 30% of the total land area. Along with a high population growth rate and urban density, it is also home to many mega cities. Against this backdrop, Dr. Liu proposed the concept of a “Constellation City”. Unlike a conventional city’s individualistic structure that is akin to a single family, a constellation city simulates an entire clan. The scale of land and population size that constellation cities hold far exceeds those of a conventional city. 

In closing, Dr Liu reiterated an important aspect of precise urban planning. 

“The formula to a better and more precise urban plan is to examine every stroke of your plan against the environment on a larger scale.”