In a city of over 20 million people, with about 3500 people living in each square kilometre, finding a space that provides an intimate sense of community may seem next to impossible. Within this urban maze, however, exists a number of places seeking to foster a greater sense of community and neighbourhood.
Envisioned by Brearley Architects and Urbanists, Jiashan Market is made up of 6 former factory buildings, now converted into a mixed-used space with restaurants and shops on the ground floor and residential apartments above. Also in the complex are a small number of office spaces and a highly successful rooftop garden. Since it opened in 2010, the space has been host to numerous community events, such as yoga, BBQs, movie screenings, monthly markets and more. It was also constructed using sustainable design practices, such as using recycled wood, rainwater toilets, double glazed windows and a rooftop community garden.
Emphasizing the importance of community within the city, Jiashan Market creates a setting in which life takes place in this busy city. Differing from the standard model of development in Shanghai that seems to have taken hold, Jiashan Market stands out as an example of a mixed-use space in the city.
Could this a model of community living in developing megalopolises like Shanghai?
While it may not provide the same density as other development methods, the integration of residential, office, restaurant, shop and gardens all within the same car-free area make this space truly unique and valuable.
How can cities integrate community-oriented development? What are some examples of spaces that foster community living?
Credits: Photo by Sophie Plottel and data linked to sources