Dutch experts in Shan Nan
To the south of Shantou, in Guangdong Province, lies a vast area that can be characterised as a “Desakota” area. A Desakota area is in origin an agricultural area in Asia were the villages (“desa” in Indonesian) and agricultural lands are rapidly changing towards intensive and densely built cities (“kota” in Indonesian) with a mixture of small and larger industries, housing for local inhabitants and immigrant workers. The Shan Nan Desakota Area has a surface area of about 600 km2 and contains an estimated 1,3 million inhabitants. In the process of rapid urbanisation and industrialisation historic and useful structures, such as the delicate water structures, were neglected and polluted by the textile industries and lack of water treatment facilities.
It is to be expected that due to the rapid urbanisation and industrialisation the present small-scale agriculture and traditional villages will disappear within the next decade from this area and that the delicate water system will be damaged beyond repair. In many aspects this area can be compared with parts of the Netherlands. It is a delta area with a man-made, delicate and controlled water system that stands in close relation with the natural water system. It is an area where local identity, mixed uses and intensive land use can be combined with intensive agriculture, water retention and green spaces for leisure and recreation. The Desakota area will have a better and more prosperous future if and when the delicate water system is restored and when the area is better connected with the City of Shantou, the international airport and the future high-speed railway network.
Invited by the City of Shantou, the Shantou Urban and Rural Planning Bureau and the Institute of Urban Planning and Design of the Nanjing University, a Team of Dutch Experts has visited South Shantou 20-26 January 2013 for an intensive and creative workshop for the organic regeneration of the Desakota Area. The results of this workshop provided relevant and effective ideas and concepts for the Shantou Master Plan, the follow-up of the Shantou Development Plan.
The Team of Dutch Experts started on Sunday 20 and Monday 21 January with field trips to the Desakota Area, met with representatives and officials of the Institute of Urban Planning and Design of the Nanjing University, the Shantou Urban and Rural Bureau and local planning officials. The members of the Team of Dutch Experts were able to exchange questions and ideas with them during the week. The Team of Dutch Experts Workshop ended with a presentation at the Shantou Urban and Rural Planning Bureau of the preliminary results for planning officials on Friday 25 January 2013. The draft and final reports of the Team of Dutch Experts, Part 1 Research and Strategy, were presented at the International Seminar on Shantou Master Planning in Nanjing 04-06 April 2013 and in Shantou on 21 October 2013 and 27-28 March 2014.
The Team of Dutch Experts (TDE) was lead by Martin Dubbeling, urban planner and designer. Other team members are dr. Govert Geldof, water management expert, Wouter Vos, landscape architect, Richard ter Avest, mobility and transport expert, Ric Stephens, urban planner and expert on community planning, Sébastien Goethals, architect and expert on urban agriculture, and Brechtje Spreeuwers, architect and sinologist.