Yantai Hua’an International Korean Town’ is part of a new large-scale and high-level development strategy for the region, which responds to its geographical and multicultural role.

Yantai and Weihai both have very important roles as harbour cities connected to inland China and looking towards Korea and beyond. The development opportunities for the plot rise from its location right in the middle between these two cities, taking advantage of the permanent cultural, trading and commercial communication between China and Korea.

Yantai, Shandong Province / China
Yantai Hua’an Group
Planning area
18 km² / Start-up area 1.4 km²
Planned GFA
1,22 million m² (start-up area)
The main traffic connections from East to West divide t …

The main traffic connections from East to West divide the site into three parts. The natural resources of sea, river, mountain and forest interconnect in the site and constitute its most valuable asset. These factors determine the main development direction: from sea and riverside towards the interior.

As reference, we can see that typical harbour/estuary cities base their growth on their history or on the industries which give the city its character. Our site is based on natural resources, which are new and pristine. So how does one define the new city’s character? How can a nice environment be integrated with the new city functions?

River, sea, forest and mountain. These elements help define the functional distribution and desired atmosphere: Proximity to the water determines the active, leisure and entertainment pole. Proximity to the forest park determines the more quiet, calm and private area for residences. Water and forest are brought into the site in a dramatic way to increase direct contact with the waterfront and the park, for better commercial performance, but at the same time of course with the aim of creating perfect conditions for a life-and-work balance.

Following this analysis, some key concepts for the new city’s main characteristics have been defined:

  • Korean culture in a Chinese-Korean Town will create a unique atmosphere based on eastern cultures. Firstly, the local culture is an attraction for non-Koreans, Chinese and foreigners who bring business and commerce. The good atmosphere will attract more tourists and business opportunities. Secondly, Korean City culture is an attraction for Koreans, an incentive for settlement and investment. The increasing visitor flow promotes business cooperation between China and Korea.
  • Tourism: All-season all-day tourism, suitable for various age-groups, multiple categories, one-stop service, multi-culture tourism.
  • Green construction / new energy resources: Wind, solar, and tidal energy, water treatment, central infrastructure corridor, low-carbon buildings, waste management system, slow urban transportation.
  • Self-sustainable / self-supporting: Meeting the demands of the physical and spiritual life of citizens. Containing a full range of industries and services to promote the development of the city without using the surrounding cities’ functions, at the same time pushing the development of the surrounding areas
  • Smart city: Using IT for the people to satisfy their need for food, clothing, living, transportation, sports, entertainment and various aspects of ubiquitous convenience. To foster the development of Chinese IT industry emerging application technology, strengthen the industrial advantage and national competitiveness.
  • Sea, Mountain, Forest and Estuary converge in a common zone of interest. A green loop is born, extended, and multiple loops appear on focal points. The existing road plan and its green protection areas form the base for the urban fabric. Main and secondary circulation nodes appear and integrate the existing towns as urban heritage areas. A riverside green public space loop is priority and forms the main landscape element. A secondary public green loop gives structure as an urban corridor connecting all areas.

Four main development poles have been defined, with specific functions – tourism, mixed use, science & technology as well as finance – that give structure to the zoning plan.
The development is divided into 5 stages. The first stage (which has been deepened carefully in RhineScheme’s design) is to become the heart of the city.

Due to serious political differences between China and Korea in 2017, the project has come to an unexpected complete stop.

Scope of services
General consulting regarding project development, conceptual urban planning (suspended)
Design & Consulting team
Ran Li, Wolf Loebel, Pablo Molina, Andreea Hriscu, Rita Lourenço, Xie Binyang, Kseniya Kapitonova, Xiong Yan