Pu’er City

Pu'er City


Pu’er Government and Planning Bureau

Project Type:

Strategic Masterplan and Concept Masterplan

Total Projected Area:

Strategic Masterplan (45,000 km2) Concept Masterplan (200 km2)

Project Completion:



With the Pu Erh tea (普洱茶) that it is known for producing, Pu’er attracts tourists through its tea culture and activities.  Located in the south of Yunnan Province, China, Pu’er covers a total area of 45,000 km2 and is the only prefecture-level city in Yunnan to border three Southeast Asian countries — Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar. Administratively, it is subdivided into one district and nine autonomous counties.

As with much of the province, Pu’er consists mainly of mountainous terrain covering 98.3% of its land, with buildable land scattered across this area.

According to the Seventh National Population Census in China, Pu’er has a total population of 2,404,954 as of November 2020, and 61% of the population are ethnic groups, including LaHu, HaNi, Yi, Dai, and Va. These ethnic groups have contributed significantly to Yunnan’s tea culture, with SiMao District hosting the annual China International Pu’er Tea Festival.

Besides the many different ethnic groups in the city, Pu’er is also one of the most biodiverse regions in China. A key forest area, Pu’er is also an important commercial timber forest base, and a forest product industrial base in Yunnan Province. Hence, a project was implemented to protect the forestry land of Pu’er (530,987 hectares).

By now there are also 14 nature reserves within Pu’er, including two national nature reserves, five provincial nature reserves, and seven county-level nature reserves, covering an area of 105,830.53 hectares. Pu’er is described by the United Nations Environment Program as “Heaven of the world, the world of heaven”.

Mater Planning and Concept Plan

MORROW was appointed to develop a long-term strategic master plan and a concept masterplan for Simao and Ninger to improve the connectivity and amenity provision to better serve the urban centres within Pu’er. With a projected total population of 3.85 million for Pu’er and a population of 1.20 million for the main urban centre by 2070, the goal of the project is to transform the Pu’er into a major gateway of Yunnan Province from South Asia and Southeast Asia.

 Based on our recommendations, Pu’er  will be sub-divided into three regions, with Simao, Ninger, Jinggu and Lancang forming the core development centre for Pu’er. Simao and Ninger (Sining) will be the main commercial and cultural centre of Pu’er, consisting of three New Towns, formed by over 50 Neighbourhoods.

Although the project focus is on the formulation of a Concept Master plan for Simao and Ninger (200 km2), the research focus that the team had to include covers an extended area of about 7600 km2 to ensure good, all-encompassing planning.

The focus of the Strategic and Concept Masterplans aim to balance urban development and preservation of the existing natural features and culture. The team hopes to improve the connectivity and amenity provision of Pu’er to better support its people as well as to develop and upscale the local industries. Through this Master plan, Pu’er will establish its identity as a world-renowned liveable city with a unique ethnic minority culture and Pu’er tea culture.

Project plan and image:

MORROW Architects - Pu Er City

MORROW Architects - Pu Er City

MORROW Architects - Pu Er City
MORROW Architects - Pu Er City