ChenGuang Li received his Bachelor of Architecture from Tianjin University, China, in 2001, followed by a Master of Architecture from the same school in 2004. After graduation he worked as an architect in the China Architecture Design and Research Group, and developed an interest in the theories and research on sustainable urban form, eco-town, and urban housing. In 2006, he established his own design center for urban design, housing estate planning, and new town planning, and successfully completed several important projects. During this period he realized that the issue of how to achieve urban sustainable development through design and planning is a significant one. In order to research and understand this issue more in-depth, Chenguang began to study for a PhD at the WSA in October 2008.
With urbanisation and urban regeneration, high-rise housing estates (HHE) are becoming a global housing phenomenon. HHE, as a housing pattern which combines high-density, with energy saving, and an economic use of land, is becoming accepted by a growing number of scholars and policymakers. However, there has been a long-term debate in contemporary urban housing studies about HHE because of the core contradiction between the built environment of HHE and the living requirement of residents. Although it is widely believed that high-rise and high-density residential buildings are a sustainable form of housing, especially for those cities with large populations and a land shortage, the sustainable development of this housing pattern cannot be achieved without the satisfaction of the residents’ demand for a high-quality of life. This study attempts to explore the link between built environment quality and residents’ requirements with a focus on HHE, currently the main housing pattern in China’s cities. The result of the research aims to establish a more practical control indicator system on built environmental quality for governments and developers, and frame a guideline on planning and design of HHEs for planners and architects, with special reference to Tianjin, China.