Undergraduate and graduate programmes offered by the University iuav of Venice:

Serge Salat



Architect, artist and urban planner, Serge Salat is a pioneer in urban morphology studies and in complexity theory of cities. He is a leading expert in the field of spatial planning, land use, urban energy and transportation, urban finance and complex systems management. He advises IPCC, United Nations, the World Bank, the Chinese government and the municipality of Shanghai. He has published 20 books. He holds a master in Sciences, a master in Public Affairs, a PhD in Architecture, a PhD in Economics and a PhD in History of Art.





Becoming a global city in 2050

Reshaping Shanghai spatial structure to connect people to people through scales

Shanghai is likely to enter the top 2 or 3 global urban economies in the wake of the rise of China to top global economy. Today 6 cities (Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Seoul, London, and Paris) concentrate about 8 percent of the world GDP. Tokyo has the same economic size as Australia. New York and London, control 40 percent of the world financial transactions. Los Angeles, New York, Seoul, Tokyo are at the forefront of high tech creativity.

To enter this elite of super global cities, size and growth will not be enough. Shanghai will have to reshape its urban and economic structure towards maximizing interactions and connecting people to people. Connectivity at all scales and high levels of economic concentration are necessary to create the agglomeration economies between innovative people necessary for advanced service provider economies to thrive. The square mile of City of London concentrates in less than 1% of its surface 29% of Inner London office space and has been growing by 30% in jobs density during the last 10 years to reach today 155,000 jobs per km2, delivering, on 2.9 km2, 8.5 % of UK GDP. 7.5 million New Yorkers can reach Manhattan in less than 30 minutes by transit. Investment in new subway and HSR lines in London aims at increasing the connectivity to these super spiky central nodes of economic density. Billions of pounds are invested in urban regeneration of the center city blending 19th century industrial building heritage, high tech buildings, landscaping, creation of new streets and plazas, enhancement of public realm with a strong identity and image.

Building on ongoing work to advise Shanghai mayor on the city strategy for 2050, the lecture will look at Shanghai from the perspective of 8 spatial planning principles that are key for urban competitiveness:

Connect and link seamlessly physical and informational networks through all scales from local to the world.

Concentrate urban growth and investment in the most connected nodes.

Concentrate jobs density in “spikes” to reap maximum agglomeration economies.

Connect the urban fabric with dense street patterns.

Articulate density with integration of transportation and land use and match node value (strategic network location) and place value to reap maximum market benefits and capture value.

Enhance city livability and image with place making and public realm while blending the heritage and the high tech to create places with a strong identity.

Diversify and mix land uses with a very fine grain and ensure flexibility of uses and adaptation to market and technological change.

Set simple rules and let the city evolve bottom up as a complex systems creating constantly new structures in an emerging unpredictable manner.

The lecture will look at how Shanghai can embrace these 8 principles to reach the top of global cities within the next decades.





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